Dorm living contributes to the “freshman fifteen” like no other. Between the late-night pizza temptations, no kitchen full of appliances, and the lack of options in a dining hall, it can make living a healthy lifestyle a bit of a challenge. Luckily, there are ways to eat healthy in a dorm room, it just takes a bit of practice. Here are a few tips & ideas for ways to eat healthier.
1. Always keep an emergency granola bar in your backpack.
They can up-charge you hardcore for granola bars in the dining halls and university markets. Your money and calories are ahead by buying a large box at a local grocery store and keeping a few in your backpack to snack on in-between classes, as opposed to buying a bag of Cheetos on-the-go.
2. Don’t drink your calories.
I cannot stress this tip enough. This is especially tempting on a college campus, but thankfully, there are water fountains basically everywhere you go. If you’re lucky enough, there will even be one on your dorm’s floor. Don’t be afraid to use the tacky reusable water bottles they give you at move-in/orientation, because by the end of the semester, everyone else is too!
3. Utilize the Residence Hall Kitchen.
Chances are your residence hall has a kitchen somewhere available to students. Go ask for a key and spend even one night a month cooking for yourself or a group of friends! Stir fry is an easy favorite! It’s still easy to eat healthier options in the dining hall.
4. Smoothie Shakers or Naked Juice.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but let’s face it. College students never even have enough time to make their beds in the morning. These two options are an easy way to drink your breakfast in class!
5. More fruits and veggies- Less Doritos and Pop Tarts.
The classic fruits and veggies are necessary to keep stocked in your fridge as they can often be hard to come by in the dining hall. Apples and carrots are good on-the-go snacks and also have a longer shelf life than most options. Keep in mind you are only eating for one (maybe 2 if you have a mooching roommate ) so don’t overload on your produce or it will go bad! Always keep some humus or peanut butter on hand if you want to enhance your healthy snack! Eat healthier by cutting these foods out!
6. Protein balls.
These are my favorite way to satisfy my sweet and salty cravings! Oats, honey, flax seed, natural peanut butter, and dark chocolate chips make up these delicious little treats. Make them on a Sunday night and they will last all week! Here is a link for my favorite recipe.
7. Microwave those eggs!
If you’re like me, eggs in the microwave sounded utterly repulsive until I actually tried them. It’s not a farmhouse omelette or your mom making Sunday breakfast, but it’s better than the greasy eggs in the dining hall and keeps you full for a long day.
8. If you go processed, go for quality!
Sometimes, processed food is just the easiest thing to do after a long week. If you go processed, splurge for something a little better than ramen noodles. Annie’s White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese was a staple item in my dorm room, and these brand has many other yummy options.
9. Monitor your late night snacks to eat healthier.
You’ll be up late studying-it’s inevitable. Therefore, you’ll occasionally be mindlessly noshing on something yummy to distract you from the info going in one ear and out the other. Choose wisely! Studies show our bodies tend to store more fat in calories at night. Some of my favorites include unsalted almonds and grapes.
10. Last but not least: Do NOT forget to treat yourself!
It’s college. Don’t beat yourself up over an Insomnia Cookie binge after you receive the first C of your life, because trust me it’s happening. Everything in moderation my friends!