For the college students out there, trust me when I say I know it’s hard to eat well in college. I was in your shoes not too long ago and was also an RA (resident assistant), so I’ve pretty much seen everything from the whole “let’s see how long we can survive on cup noodles” to “let’s just eat popcorn for dinner” business. With all-you-can-eat dining halls, late night pizzerias, 24 hour McDonald’s everywhere and let’s not forget the chicken and rice stand waiting for you at the street corner at 4AM, let’s be real here- eating healthy during college is hard!
Things can add up quickly (hello freshman 15) and while your eating habits can get out of control sometimes, be sure to stock your dorm room with healthy options so you don’t end up with a “dinner” that consists of a bag of M&Ms and a tub of ice cream.
Food items- Keep your dorm room stocked with these staples
Kefir (lasts a pretty long time) or greek yogurt are great breakfast options (and quick) and are good to have on hand for smoothies
Milk or Almond milk – nut milks last longer than cow’s milk so would be good to have for backup
Low fat string cheese- a good “quiet” snack for class and during lectures
Carrots, cucumbers, celery and hummus– quick and easy snack
Nut Butter– Some of my favorites are Justin’s Nut butter and Barney butter with apple slices or celery sticks
Hard boiled eggs- Hard-boil some eggs ahead of time and leave them in the fridge so you have them on hand for the week.
Bars- they are good options if you’re trying to get through those long lectures or running on the go. I like the uber line of Lara Bars, the lower sugar kind bars, this nut delight , their healthy grains bar, and also 22 day bars.
Extra virgin olive oil and Balsamic vinegar- DIY salad dressing instead of purchasing bottled versions
Here are some things that worked for me and made it way easier to eat well in my dorm room
Tip 1: Batch cook and freeze..EVERYTHING! I used to batch cook on Sundays and then freeze them so I can pick at my inventory slowly for a few months. Any soups, meals, and sauces will work great.
Tip 2: Keep frozen veggies and fruits on hand. You will never know when you need to whip up a smoothie or want to add greens to a dish.
Tip 3: Keep some dry pasta, beans, lentils, quinoa, or rice on hand. Spend a little more time one day and batch cook them in one shot. This saves you time throughout the week, which really adds up. You can store it in the fridge and use little by little throughout the week.
And here are some tools that saved my butt (literally) in college
I absolutely love this tool so much. This apple corer has made my favorite snack, apple slices with nut butter, so easy. I just pair with a packet of Justin’s Nut butter, put them in a ziplock bag so they don’t turn brown and voila! my snack for class. Easy Peasy
A good blender
I would love to have a Vitamix in my dorm room but you want something small enough to do the job so there is less cleaning involved. I love the Nutribullet because you can make so many things in small batches from smoothies to soups to sauces. It’s so easy to use and really breaks food down pretty well so you can add chia, nuts, etc without worrying about it being chunky.
I cannot even recall the number of times I wanted to make myself tea but was too lazy to get up, turn on the stove, and wait for the kettle to whistle, then only to get back up to turn it off. These electric kettles are lifesavers, most of them stop automatically when the water is finished boiling. I like these glass ones because it is BPA free (and pretty).
I used to avoid buying loose leaf teas because they were so annoying to fill into tea filters (I would spill tea leaves everywhere) but then I got this tea pincer from David’s Tea and I now drink mostly loose leaf thanks to this little guy! You just fill the tea ball with tea leaves and place it into your mug and pour hot water over it and let it steep and you’re all set!
I love to cook and love to use garlic in almost everything but I have to admit, mincing garlic is the LAST thing I want to do when I get back from a long day of classes and work. And not to mention those appealing garlic scented fingers you get shortly afterwards….The whole world doesn’t need to know you minced garlic last night.
How do you keep your dorm room healthy? Any tricks that worked for you when you were in college?
Happy Healthy Dorming,