You might think you don’t have the time to have a healthy meal because of all the classes, and studying…and partying. You might think that eating healthy food is too expensive or too complicated with all of the fad diets on the market. But now that you have have your own kitchen in your apartment, there’s no need to waste your money on Junk food, eating out, or fast food in-between classes (although the food carts are kinda sweet, right?). You don’t have to eat gluten-free, all-organic, gourmet home cooking in order to ditch the junk and eat a little better. Here are a few simple ways to eat a little bit healthier without breaking the bank.
Some of our favorite snacks are peanut butter/banana rice cakes and avocado toast. We like these snacks for for three reasons. First, these snacks are super easy to make. Second, they are inexpensive products to buy, and third, the protein and carbs will work well together to tide you over longer. Put them in a container, bring them with you, and eat them between classes. Granola bars, mixed nuts, fruit, or even un-buttered popcorn are healthy snacks as well!
We got some of these ideas from an article in BuzzFeed. You can check it out here.
For lunch on the go, sandwiches or salads are always an easy option! It’s OK to eat one 5 days a week if you choose your ingredients healthfully. Making a different type of sandwich every day is a great way to keep a routine without getting bored of what you eat (unless you like eating PB and J every day)! We recommend ditching the white bread and choosing wheat or 7-grain. Get different kinds of meat at the deli counter, making sure to just get a few slices of each. If you are vegetarian, we recommend hummus as a protein packed sandwich-stuffer. Salad is another easy lunch option. Grab some dark leafy greens, and top them with a healthy protein like eggs or chicken, and add a little bit of healthy fat like avocado or walnuts. Finish your salad by tossing in your favorite dressing, and you’re all set! Stick with a bottled water, or better yet, get a reusable bottle and fill it with water! Grab a fruit like a banana, apple or orange to go with your lunch, and you’ve got yourself a filling meal.
One of the things to remember is that dinner doesn’t have to be your heaviest meal of the day. Going to bed with a full stomach isn’t really ideal. One rule of thumb is that you can never have too many veggies. Make vegetables the “main dish” and supplement them with smaller portions of meat and carbs. Your healthy dinner shopping list might include chicken breasts, some kind of fish, or tofu. Avoid processed meats, frozen meals, and preservatives when you can. For your starchy side, sweet potatoes are a great option. Forget the white rice, switch to brown rise or even quinoa. Keep your portions reasonable. For example, you don’t need to stuff yourself with two chicken breasts. You can cook two and save one for the next day’s lunch or dinner!
You might be wondering about breakfast. We will make this easy. Some of our favorite breakfast items are Yogurt with blueberries and granola or a veggie scrambler with toast. Adding protein into your breakfast will give you the perfect boost you need to kick off your day on a good note. You know what they say: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And drink water throughout the day!
Balance and moderation are the key. You don’t have to give up your favorite foods to eat conscientiously. Plan ahead so you can go shopping each weekend in small batches rather than spending hundreds on one huge shopping experience each month. See, it’s not that difficult to keep healthy habits living on your own! And, you know what? On Sunday, go ahead and splurge!