Sick of eating cereal and ramen for lunch and dinner? Want to spend less money eating out and finally start cooking for yourself? Put down that frozen pizza, because HC’s Health Editor, Sammie Levin, is here to share her daily eats so you can get ideas for healthy, satisfying meals that are easy enough for any time-strapped collegiette to make. After you read Collegiette Eats, your taste buds, wallet and waistline will thank you.
This past weekend, my healthy eating habits went out the window. Going out three nights in a row—and the aftermath that ensued from each of those nights—resulted in me feasting on more carbs and grease than I’d like to admit. So yesterday I wanted to make sure that I got back on track and didn’t launch into a week of more bagels and bacon.
My efforts led me to put together some tips for bouncing back after an unhealthy weekend, because I think (or, at least, I hope) other collegiettes out there can relate.
1. Start the day on the right note
When you wake up on Monday, remind yourself that it’s a new day and a new week for you to get it right. So don’t beat yourself up over any weekend slipups and don’t go crazy overcompensating for your mistakes or you may end up feeling deprived, which can ultimately lead to more bingeing.
Start the new day off with an especially healthy breakfast filled with fruits and vegetables, like a smoothie or a veggie omelet. Setting a healthy tone from the get-go can help you get back on track.
2. OD on vegetables
Filling up on vegetables after an unhealthy weekend can help get you back in the healthy-eating mindset. Try eating them in different ways, such as raw, or steamed, sautéed or blended into a juice, to switch it up so you don’t get bored.
3. Cut back on white carbs and sweets
In the next few days, try to cut back on foods that’ll spike your cravings for less healthy fare and make you feel heavy rather than light. Specifically, try to eat less white carbs (white bread, white rice, pasta, potatoes), super creamy dishes and sugary desserts. You don’t have to totally eliminate these foods, but eating less than you usually do in the days following a weekend full of late-night nachos can help you de-bloat and return to a happy medium.
4. Lay off the booze
If you went on a bit of a drinker bender over the weekend, nixing alcohol for a few days, or at least going easy on it, will give your body a much-needed break. We are all well aware that drinking is not a low-calorie endeavor. The drinks themselves, the food eaten after and the inability to hit the gym the next day (unless you’re superhuman) – nothing kills a healthy diet and lifestyle quite like too many nights out in a row. Do yourself a favor and trade your Long Island Iced Tea in for a nice, tall glass of water.
5. Get a workout in
You may not feel up to working out first thing on Monday, but finding the time and energy to squeeze a workout in later in the day or the week can make you feel better. Endorphins are a girl’s best friend.
I hope that with these tips you’ll be better equipped to get back on track after overeating, because it happens to the best of us and one day (or weekend, or week, or month) of less-than-ideal eating habits doesn’t mean you can’t turn things around. Every day is a new day to do better!
Now, on to my Monday eats.
Following my own advice, I started the day off on the right note with a green smoothie. I blended together one cup of frozen pineapple with a handful of kale, a handful of spinach, a half-cup of coconut milk and a third-cup of plain Greek yogurt.
For lunch, I OD’d on vegetables with a big salad from a café on campus. It had spinach, arugula, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, garbanzo beans, edamame and sliced apples. So satisfying! I topped it with a little bit of herb vinaigrette and sriracha.
For dinner, I made something high in protein but low in carbs: open-faced fajitas, based on a recipe my mom sent me.
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- Sliced avocado
- Sautéed onions and mushrooms
- Dollop sour cream
- Fresh cilantro
- And any other toppings of your choice! (other options include grilled peppers, salsa, lettuce, etc.)
- Combine marinade ingredients in plastic bag and put chicken in it; leave in fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add marinated chicken and cook on medium-high until tender but cooked through (you can cut into it to check).
- Mix with toppings of your choice.
In retrospect, I would’ve liked to make homemade guacamole with the avocado instead of just slicing it into pieces, and I think next time I make this I am going to add peppers, salsa and corn. But it was still really good the way it was!