For some, college is one of the most significant periods of their life. Parties, friends, drinking, the list goes on.
But for those who look to achieve good health, they might start to cut corners in healthcare and nutrition to liberate time for studying.
In this article, you will read through the diverse ways to care for your body through food, healthy tips, and an ideal grocery list on a budget. Later in the article, vegetables and fruits will also be discussed and compared to protein and dairy products.
We all know that college students are always in a hurry. Therefore, they sometimes compromise their nutrition to make ends meet. If you could put to use a few useful tricks, you will feel healthier in the long term.
First, it is essential to have a good breakfast because the nutrients you intake in the morning can bring you through the whole day. Breakfast with the right amount of calcium is also ideal because people in their early twenties need to start building stores of calcium to prevent osteoporosis later in life.
Drinking water is also beneficial because it removes toxins that might lead to distraction and tiredness. Most importantly, limit sugar intake because sugar is full of calories but lacks many vital nutrients,
Some colleges offer dining packages where students can eat in a common hall for a fixed price. For those who can afford it, this is an excellent idea because most offered meals will be balanced with nutrients and plenty full. Unfortunately, this isn't an option for everyone.
Some students have a small monetary allocation which they spend on grocery shopping. Even for those on a low budget, fruits and vegetables are essential. If you have a fridge and a small cooking area, consider buying cheap vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and salad.
Not only they are full of fiber, which aids bowel movements, but they also provide you with all the recommended nutrients. Eggs and inexpensive meat might be an option for protein.
Remember, food doesn't only have to provide you with nutrients, eating should be a time of the day where you take the time to enjoy and savor. Eating is a lot more than the feeding of bodies. It is the nourishment of the soul.
Make Your Own Meal Plan
The most important thing about making a meal plan is to not over think it. The grocery list above is packed with everything you could need at school during crunch time.
can be many things including peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, yogurt and granola, oatmeal, protein/breakfast bars. Fruit by itself could even be great. Breakfast burritos with sausage, egg and cheese etc.
The options are boundless because you can make your breakfast to match your diet needs.
could be chicken breast, broccoli and rice or yogurt and granola. You want this meal to provide protein and keep you going through the day. Salad isn't a bad option either or just a sandwich.
Once again be careful to consider the calories, protein, fats, and carbs so that you can make sure you diet is a happy camper.
is the last meal of the day and it could almost be the entire grocery list. Your dinner could be spaghetti, chicken alfredo or even burritos.
Vegetables and Fruits
Wherever you study in the world, one thing is for sure; there are going to be vegetables and fruits for sale. A good tip when shopping for these is to buy whatever is local and in season.
For example, if you study in North America, apples are a good bet in the fall and strawberries are cheaper in the spring. For vegetables, there are always hidden gems in the sales section. Although eating the recommended five servings of vegetables and fruits might seem a lot.
The point is that wherever you are, you can always make ends meet when it comes to healthy nutrition. Sometimes, college students can even get a discount in grocery stores.
Protein and Dairy
Did you know that a serving of two eggs has about 15 grams of protein? Since meat is expensive, they are many supplements for protein. Eggs are the most favorable because they are cheap and easy to cook.
Other alternatives, like nuts and protein powder, are rather expensive and aren't very accessible for college students. Getting calcium is essential for the body, but you can get calcium from other foods than milk and yogurt. Tofu is a second example which is, nowadays, very popular because it is an alternative for vegan people.
Below is an example of a Healthy College Grocery List that I created. Use it as a guide as you learn what foods you like best. You may opt for different vegetables or fruit, but the list should help you decide.
College Grocery List
- Almond Milk(Or Regular Milk)
- Peanut Butter
- Protein Powder
- Instant Oatmeal
- Eggs(Egg whites are healthier)
- Fat Free Cheese
- Turkey(ground or sliced)
- Veggie Steamer Bags(broccolli/green beans/peas)
- Instant White Rice
- Chicken Breast
- Rotisserie Chicken
- Instant Sweet Potatoes
- Fresh Veggies(bell pepper/mushroom/spinach)
- Ready To Go Salad
- Pasta Noodles(fettuccine or spaghetti)
- Pasta Sauce(Tomato Pasta Sauce/Alfredo Sauce)
- Healthy Frozen Dinners
- Favorite Salad Dressing(Ranch/Caesar/Blue Cheese/Vegan)
- Protein Bars
- Beef Jerky
- Granola/Granola Bars
- Frozen pizza and/or pizza bites(This is to help keep you sane!)
Download The Printable list here.
Hence, college can be a stressful time for one, but nutrition goes a long way. If you can eat well and healthy, you will accomplish more and be more productive during the day. As Steve Maboli once said: ''By choosing healthy over skinny, you are choosing self-love over self-judgment.''
Weight isn't as important as long as you have a stable diet. Remember that your brain is a potent tool that you can always influence when making a healthy choice.
A small budget doesn't mean a small cart when you invest your time in looking for healthy foods like potatoes, apples, tomatoes, and tofu. Try to go shopping more regularly that should help you cut down on your food costs.