Friday, July 12, 2013

Back to School: Freshmen Dorm Edition

Hello readers! I am sorry to be the one to say this but summer is almost over and most of us should be ready to be headed back to campus. For all you freshmen out there, here are tips on how to successfully navigate eating healthy in college and how you can avoid the dreaded "Freshman 15".

Dorm: Although a lot of dorms today are upgraded to suite-like appearances, many still lack a kitchen. In most cases, you don't even have a fridge in your room. For those of you who can, I suggest investing a mini fridge with a separate freezer and fridge compartment.  If you can't, there are still plenty of ways for you to eat clean college...for cheap!
  • If you like your roommate, then you can split the costs and the foods with them. 
  • Plastic storage bins comes as cheap at $1.00 and fabric storage bins start at around $3.00-$5.00 depending on the size and store. On your side of the room, you can keep a weeks supply of nuts, natural PB, wheat crackers, pouches of tuna, popcorn, granola (watch out for sugar and HFC), pretzels. Fruits such as apples, oranges, and bananas do not require refrigeration in order to stay fresh and maintain good taste. If you can, you can even keep firm avocado- generally 50 or 75 cents a piece- in your room as well. Just remember to eat the fruit in due time, otherwise you will find pesky fruit flies in your dorm.
  • If you have mini fridge: stock up on cheap produces that requires refrigeration. Cucumbers, carrots, and a bunch of spinach are relatively cheap. Also, don't forget about milk, natural or Greek yogurt, and hummus. In your freezer, you can keep frozen fruits and steamable vegetable pouches. 
 On Campus: There are healthy cafeteria options to enjoy as enjoy. Here are some of my tips to healthily navigate through a school's cafe:
  • Enjoy the salad bars and baked potato bars. Load up on leafy vegetables, beans, tuna, and tofu. Choose items such as nuts or avocados for a  little "good" fat and go easy on the dressing
  • Choose lean, grilled chicken and fish over meat if possible. sometimes, the Salisbury Steak special is laced with sodium 
  • Avoid the "grill" lines that offer pizza, nachos, and burgers.
  • Ask the chef to hold the butter, oil, mayonnaise, sour cream, and cheese or cream based sauces
  • If possible, choose whole wheat rolls over standard rolls, biscuits, and cornbread
  • Watch your toppings! Cheese, bacon, dressings, and extra add-on are delicious but come with additional calories, sodium, carbohydrates, and fat
  • Pass on high calorie, low nutrient foods such as sugary cereals, ice-cream, cakes, cookies, and other sweet treat. Instead, choose fruit and low fat yogurt to satisfy your sweet tooth. 
  • Choose milk and water over sodas, juices, and sweetened teas
  • Try to avoid those late night craving and food trucks if you can. Although it is tempting to chow down on a large BBQ sandwich, it is a sure fire way to gaining weight. 
  • Go to your campus' website and find who is your food provider is. Nowadays, they list all the nutritional information about the meals they cook. If you are eating on campus read my post on How to Eat Well in a College Cafeteria for a general guideline.

 "While away at college, we are out of the watchful eye of our parents. Rather than reaching for dessert everyday, substitute it with a healthier option! Grab some Greek yogurt and top it with fruit or even frozen greek yogurt! These serve as a great substitute for ice cream!"
-Ashliegh Jarzenski, Ashland University

"Don't drink everyday lmfao"
-Nischcal, University of Texas at San Antonio 

"Utilizing the Rec and the group exercises classes helps!"
-Rebecca Smith, University of Texas at San Antonio 

"Whole food plant based diet and riding my bike to school every day! Lost 30 pounds in a semester"
-Lauren Rundall, UTSA

"Try and buy your own fruits and veggies. Carrots and apples stay the longest. Don't be afraid to get some natural peanut butter to go with your apples, its delicious and filling!
I tried to eat at least one snack that I made a day,and I also ate breakfast in my room, a healthy cereal, or waffles or toast is good!"

-Ashley Vickney, University of Wisconsin Green Bay

"I generally tried to have at least one serving of fruit/vegetables with every meal, and limited my soda drinking to the weekends only. It wasn't weight-related, but at the beginning of freshman year my skin was breaking out like crazy and it cleared up when I cut down on soda."
- Darci Miller, UMiami 

"I kept a food journal and wrote down how much and what I ate, It kept me in check by making me think about what I'm putting in my body. Also, I had roommates join in and eat healthy with me."
-Armeen Ali, North Park University  
If all else fails, just remember that: Wal-Mart DELIVERS!!!

-Eating Clean in College

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