A College Girl's Guide to Healthy Eating!

College sometimes feels like a continuous battle against tiredness and hunger. My stomach is growling as I write this from my bed, actually. Time is highly valuable, and choosing how to spend our time is one of the greatest tasks of college. We constantly have to evaluate our opportunity costs, weighing how much studying time we’ll lose if we decide to cook dinner. (Microeconomics sound familiar?) We seem to familiarize ourselves with extra shots of espresso and fast-food runs to help keep our stomachs happy and brains focused... but in the long run, does this really benefit us? Once I realized my body was becoming dependent on caffeine and feeling increasingly lethargic from fast food, I realized it was time to change my ways. Thanks to an extensive amount of “Pinteresting,” I’ve learned all about eating healthy and taking care of my body! I see it as a way of embracing our youth – this is the last time in our lives we’re going to be as physically able as we are now, so I’m trying to lengthen that privilege for myself as long as possible. I want to be the old woman you see kicking butt on your neighborhood jogging trail every now and then. So, I’ve developed a healthy eating plan that saves me heaps of time, keeps me feeling light and energized, helps me focus in class, and allows me more time to study! Here’s what I do:

1.    Every Sunday, I take three to four hours out of my day to go grocery shopping and prep my meals. I ordered 12 Ziploc® containers from Amazon – two per day, six days of the week. I always make breakfasts in the morning, which I’ll talk about later. I allow one break day a week where I usually eat out at restaurants and allow myself one of the cupcakes my roommate and sister tauntingly made. However, this doesn’t mean I consume however many calories I desire. I’ll eat Torchy’s or Raising Cane’s (two of my favorites), but I won’t over do it.

2.    Each meal should contain a lean protein, green vegetables, and a starch. Here’s an idea of what my grocery list looks like:

1 ½ pounds chicken (I usually buy organic)

1 ½ pounds fish (Usually I buy salmon and tilapia)

Brown Rice

Quinoa

Sweet Potatoes

Broccoli

Brussel Sprouts

Green Beans

Essential seasonings and flavorings such as salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, etc.

3.    In each container, add 4 oz of either chicken or fish, one serving of either brown rice, quinoa, or half a sweet potato, and as many vegetables as you desire. I usually just mix all the vegetables together and divide them up evenly among the twelve containers. Leave enough in the fridge to last you two days, keeping the rest in the freezer. Move one from the freezer to the refrigerator for every meal you eat.

4.    In addition to this, I eat breakfast every single morning. If I skip it I won’t feel as fueled and focused as I usually do. My breakfasts generally include egg white omelets with spinach and avocado, whole-wheat bagel thins with cream cheese and raw salmon, yogurt with chia seeds and a banana, a healthy bowl of homemade oatmeal with whatever toppings I desire (I buy old-fashioned rolled oats and top it with walnuts, cinnamon, honey, and berries. All you do is add water and microwave), or a healthy cereal like Cascadian Farms. All of my breakfasts usually have a side of fruit including all kinds of berries, bananas, mangos, pineapple, cantaloupe, etc.

5.    On top of this, I try to work out about five times per week! Exercising regularly adds to the sense of well-being. I also drink 64 ounces of water, only four water bottles, per day to keep myself feeling hydrated. Sometimes I drink a glass of pure green tea a day just to add to all the healthiness. It even contains caffeine, so it provides a small boost of energy!

6.  Also, don’t forget your snacks in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Whether you want to pack a granola bar with you before you leave for class or grab a healthy bite on campus, always keep your stomach satisfied!

Although it requires discipline, this plan has given me more time to study, helped me get organized, and all around made me feel better about myself! Don’t get me wrong, at first it was difficult to resist the free cookies or candy randomly given out on campus, but it was all worthwhile! Hope this left you guys feeling inspired to keep your bodies healthy!

*This is not, in any way, medical or diet/weight loss advice! Just ideas to help keep your body healthy :)

 

About The Author

Adriana Foteh is currently a junior at Texas A&M University. Majoring in Economics, she plans on pursuing a career in financial services upon graduation. Her absolute favorite thing to do is travel and embarks on a new adventure every chance she gets. She has a passion for exercising and eating healthy, spending quality time with family and friends, and life itself.