Ramen noodles and Goldfish, yum.
Yea sounds good for about two days until you are at sodium overload and you notice the dreaded freshman 15 slowly peeking it head around the corner. So how do you eat healthy while living in a 10 by 15 foot room? Here are four ways that I have found worked for me...
1) Don't keep unhealthy snacks around
This means when you are at the store and it is a choice between Lays BBQ chips (don't get me wrong those are freaking delish) and Skinny Pop popcorn, chose the popcorn. Or even get the microwave kind WITHOUT butter, kettle sugar stuff, etc. Still something yummy to snack on but a little bit of a healthier alternative.
2) Eat fulfilling meals
You are paying for a meal plan so use it! When you're faced with the 11:30pm dilemma of late night hunger and all you have is Goldfish and Ramen you are leaving yourself with no choice! Make sure that when you eat in the dining hall have a full and balanced meal. That means protein (eggs and chicken), greens (eat a salad, most dining halls have salad bars), grains (rice or a whole wheat bun), and veggies (my dining hall always had grilled or steamed veggies like brussel sprouts, green beans, and sweet potato). Allowing yourself to have full meals will kill the late night cravings.
3) BLENDER BABY
Smoothies are an awesome way to have an easy snack or curve a sweet tooth craving. I have a Nutribullet and it is great because the blender part doubles as a cup, so that means less dishes! People think smoothies have too many ingredients but listen, this isn’t Jamba Juice, this is your dorm room. Here’s my go-to smoothie…
Mixed berries (bag from Trader Joe’s like $2 and I can make 4-6 smoothies with it)
1 banana (a bunch, 5-7, is like $3 at any grocery store, sometimes I steal mine from my dining hall #collegehack)
Almond milk (small and skinny bottle so it takes up virtually no room in the fridge, $2-$4)
Peanut Butter (do I need to explain this)
Protein Powder (if you’re into that kinda stuff go for it, I personally don’t use any because it is expensive and I get my protein through lean meats)
4) On-the-go snacks
Sometimes there are long gaps between when you can eat meals, for example, I eat breakfast at 9am then I go to class until 2:45pm with not an adequate amount of time to get lunch. So, in order to stay away from grabbing fast food or not eating at all, I make sure to have one to two healthy snacks in my backpack. I love protein granola bars and the applesauce squeeze packets!
I do understand that sometimes classes get in the way of regular eating times or it is inconvenient to leave your dorm to get a meal (it was for me because it’s a 10 minute walk and it snows here so). Here are my favorite go to meal replacements to eat in your dorm…
Breakfast - Oatmeal in a package (add water and microwave)
Lunch - PB&J sandwich (loaf of whole grain bread, jar of PB, and jar of jelly)
Dinner - Frozen microwavable burritos (I love PJ’s Organic Bean & Chicken, grab a jar of salsa too #yum)
It can be hard eating healthy while living in the dorms, I get it, but these are a few tips I have been using! That being said, I have a bag of goldfish and a Kraft Mac n Cheese sitting in my room that will probably be gone in the next week. I’m not saying DON’T get Goldfish or eat ramen, I’m saying it shouldn’t become a norm or a lifestyles because after a while you will see the reflection in your body. You will feel not as confident or prepared as you would if you made a few healthier options.
Oh, and drink tons of water!! Hydration is key :)