Going to college is for a lot of people the best time of their life, before all the serious growing up happens. It may involve a lot of parties, crazy all night studying, exam pressure and standing on your feet for the first time.
It can also be a bit of a challenge to stay healthy, having to cook for yourself and choose the right foods and even pay for it! Here are some tips that might help you this year.
1) Plan/budget ahead
If you know in what shops you get the best deals for the best prices, you can save yourself money.
Shop around: keep an eye on deals online, buy fresh products that are reduced due to late date and eat that night, buy ‘dry’ products in bulk, such as rice
2) Don’t go shopping when hungry
You will be more likely to buy impulsive
3) Make a shopping list
It is easier to stick to the things you have written down
4) Get your veg in!
Bring your own lunch. You know what you put in your mouth, and it costs less than a canteen-meal.
6) Get local
Make friends with your local butchers/veg man/bakers and get meat in bulk and freeze it. If you get to a friendly basis with your locals, you are more than likely get special rates/discounts/free leftovers.
7) Get creative!
For example: a full chicken could get you 5-6 meals!
Roast chicken (1 breast),
1 breast with salad the next day (lunch),
Take the meat off the bones, use half of this for a curry,
Boil up the bones with leftover veggies for a soup, add some potato/pulses and you have a meal-soup/stew
Use the last of the chicken for a baked dish the next day.
8) Take out days are still ok!
But: opt for healthier options when having a take out. Ask for salad instead of chips, choose brown boiled rice instead of white/fried, go for vegetable based sauces rather than cream based. It’s all about getting the right nutrients in.
9) Pack a snack!
If you pack healthy snacks to keep your brain going, you will less likely go for not so healthy options, laden with sugar, chemicals and nasties, that will make you ‘crash’ after a while. Think: walnuts, oatcakes with hummus, an apple with nut butter. Make sure to get some fat AND protein in with each meal/snack to keep your brain and digestive system active. Small little sealable tubs are the best thing since sliced pan and a must in every student bag!
10) Feed your brain the right way.
Choose lighter, less carby meals before lectures. Think of how you feel after Christmas dinner, you don’t want that before feeding your brain with new information!
A salad with a form of protein, bulked out with veg and some fat in the form of nuts/seeds or an olive oil dressing is a great option.