One of the hardest parts of becoming an moving out of mom and dad’s house is learning the balance between what’s good for our bodies and what we desperately wished was good for our bodies. Eating healthy on campus is tough, especially if you’re new at it but the good news is, it’s definitely not impossible. Here are a few ways to help keep you stay on top of your health game if you’re life revolves around the clock on campus.
1. Meal prep
If you’re unsure of what meal prepping consists of or are scared to try it, don’t be! It doesn’t have to be super fancy or difficult. Create yourself a list of meals you enjoy and each week try making large portions of one dish. Divide it into four or five different Tupperware and store it in the fridge, it’s simple! Try to keep it easy with more basic foods that are easier to purchase in bulk. Chicken, rice, veggies and fruits are all great options for meal prep because they can be cooked in so many ways and will properly cover your carbs, protein, and fats. This may be one of the more time consuming ways to eat on campus but it’s definitely the most beneficial to keeping you healthy!
2. Healthy options
Sticking to healthy options on campus is hard, trust me I know. The second the elevator door opens to the cafeteria and that glorious smell of cheese pizza fills your nose, it becomes pretty hard to think of a munching on a salad but hold your composure and look for the better option. A lot of school cafeterias have pita bars, stir fry tables and burger hubs. Trying grabbing a grilled chicken pita or ask for a burger on a lettuce wrap, healthy doesn’t always mean salad. Keep in mind that food fuels your body so if you fill your body with low protein foods then not only will you not feel your best but your brain cannot perform as best as possible, and we don’t want that when we get a pop quiz!
Keeping snacks in your bag sounds childish but is SO important! This is something I’ve learned over my years of student life and will continue throughout my life because no one likes a hangry group member. The worst thing you can do for your body is allow your blood sugar to drop, so by keeping a bag of nuts, a protein bar or a package of Oreo mini’s will help you curve your hunger and maintain blood sugar levels to keep you sharp and on top of the ball in class.
Find a group of friends to potluck lunches with! This option is actually a lot of fun and allows you to try food you may not have through to cook before. The way this works is, each member of the potluck lunch will bring an item that builds up a meal. For instance, one friend brings a protein, like chicken skewers, someone brings a carb, maybe some roasted potatoes, another brings a veggie, try some sautéed peppers, etc, etc. The idea is to keep everything homemade and each week everyone tries to make a different food, considering the options are endless, this can be a lot of fun!
We have to remember that balance is key to staying healthy and is the most important way to hold ourselves accountable to healthy eating. It’s also important to enjoy ourselves once and a while, we are students after all and some times that Ben and Jerry’s study pint is necessary! Of course it’s ok to indulge every now and then but if we know we had one too many chicken wings last night, maybe we should grab a stir fry for lunch.