It’s back to school for college students. Dorm rooms to set up, books to buy, projects and tests, SO much to plan for! Before the freshman 15 sneaks up, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for meals. Eating healthy means getting the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. The most common mistakes are eating too many refined carbs (chips, crackers, bread, pasta) and not enough complex carbs (fresh vegetables and fruit). Eating fast food will lead to an excess of fried foods & fat, high sodium, sugary sodas, and empty calories.
The easiest way to improve a diet is to eat the protein without the bun, and add a colorful vegetable to each meal. Eat chicken with broccoli. Try the turkey, avocado, and lettuce sandwich open-faced (or wrapped in lettuce) with carrot sticks instead of chips. Baked fish on a garden salad and a bowl of fresh fruit is so much smarter than a fried fish sandwich with fries. Ask the café cook what the healthiest options are. Try something new!
Instead of eating out, save money by keeping your fridge and pantry stocked in your room. Keep cheese sticks, almonds, apples, halo oranges, carrot and celery sticks, hummus, natural peanut butter, Greek yogurt, and low sodium deli meat on hand so you’ll always have healthy options.
Keeping a food journal helps you keep track of what your eating and also provides a place to plan out meals and grocery lists. There are also several apps available to calculate calories, protein, carbs, fat, and sugar. Many people like myfitnesspal.com because it is so user friendly.
Now, what to drink? WATER!! The general rule of thumb is to drink half your bodyweight in ounces a day. Your brain is 70% water, your lungs are 90% water, the blood is 75% water, so it makes sense that we need to keep our body hydrated by drinking plenty of water to keep our organs working properly. Water flushes out toxins, helps fight fatigue, and prevents cramps and sprains. Tap water is no different than filtered bottle water, so just refill your water bottle. Save your calories and your $$ for healthy food!!
FEED YOUR BRAIN!!