The struggles of campus life can be very real (small space, loud neighbors, crazy roommates, cafeteria food). However… many adults would kill to be in our shoes, with no grass to mow and minimal dishes to wash. Real food is cooked for us on demand. Every stage of life has it’s +’s and -‘s, but with a positive outlook and a little help from those ahead of us, we can magnify the +’s.
Here’s a little advice to make the most of your nutrition options while in college (especially in the dorms).
- Eat at the dining hall. You can get so much bang for your swipe. Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of options once you get inside – take a lap, and then decide what you want. Be moderate, eat with friends if you can, eat slowly, and grab a healthy snack (banana, apple, etc.) for later if your dining hall allows. Definitely take advantage of chicken, turkey, lean beef options at the dining hall, as well as fresh and cooked veggies.
- Spend your flex points or dining dollars on helpful additions to your diet. I buy jerky, nuts, yogurt, freeze-dried fruit, powerade (athlete probs), and the occasional quest, luna, or cliff bar at Herb’s place. I’ve gradually shifted away from eating at Einstein’s (the bagel place) all the time and spending more at Herb’s, and I like it because I can get what I really want. I often need on-the-go food, or would prefer to chef something up in the comfort of my room. However, there are smart, filling, and healthy options at on-campus restaurants as well. Check out the menu, and just think smart. More whole grains, protein, healthy fats, fruits and veggies. Less sugar, refined grains, saturated fats/fried foods.
- When you shop at the grocery store, shop smart, simple, perimeter. Keep what will help you around, ditch what will bring you down! Oatmeal and eggs for breakfast, and fruit and veggies for snacking will do it – (maybe some almond milk too 🙂 ) Nut butter and whole wheat bread is a great to have on hand as well. Sometimes I buy hummus and dip my veggies in it when training is heavy and I need a boost of healthy fats.
- Take advantage of the walking lifestyle. Go see your professors in person. And the gym or sports, intramural or collegiate – make fit friends!
- Treat yourself every now and again! You work hard! If it’s not to halotop ice cream – maybe to a movie night, or a chill walk, or an online purchase (bonus points if you shop poshmark).
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Make the choices that make YOU happy.