Eating Healthy in College on the Cheap
College is a huge transition period for everyone. One of the biggest transitions to living on your own is choosing what you eat and how you spend your time. For some, this freedom can result in a freshman year weight gain, and an overall unhealthy lifestyle. But that doesn’t have to be you!
Many people believe that eating healthier costs more, but it doesn’t have to!
If you eat at the dining centers, you have already paid for these meals, so you can’t save any more money, but you can choose healthy options!
1. Drink plenty of water
Replace sugary drinks and coffee with water and the occasional tea. I have found that drinking more water helps me to stay alert in my classes and I’m less tired throughout the day. Best of all, water is FREE everywhere on campus, so bring a bottle and fill it regularly!
2. Foods to avoid (or eat sparingly):
Fried foods, desserts, sugary cereal, potato chips, and other processed foods.
Not only are these foods unhealthy, but they also cost money! If you want to get the most nutrition out of your money, put it toward healthy options!
3. Foods to chow down on:
Fruits and vegetables. LOTS of vegetables. Plant based diets are better for your health, weight, and the environment. I’m not saying you have to become a vegetarian, but for if you want to eat healthy, plants are the way to go!
- Bananas are cheap and good for you, and quick. Perfect combination!
- Frozen vegetables may not taste quite as good as fresh ones, but are generally cheaper and will keep longer. I like to make stir fry or a simple vegetable curry, which are both quick, easy, and cheap!
- Hummus seems to be all the rage, and for good reason! Hummus is rich in fiber and protein and tastes great. Many of the dining centers have hummus, so be sure to try it!
- Oatmeal is really cheap if you buy a large container, easy to make, and has good nutritional value, especially compared to sugary cold cereal!
- Eggs (obviously not a plant, but still a great food!) are a great protein source, put on a sandwich, salad, or just eat plain.