Welcome to the first installment of Eat Well, Live Well: your guide to learning the best food tips and eating tricks for living a college lifestyle.
Breakfast. The most important meal of the day, right? Well, in college, breakfast tends to be put on the back burner when it comes to your daily meals. I know I’m not the only one who wakes up 20 minutes before class on the weekdays and misses breakfast, and I’m definitely not the only one who wakes up around lunchtime on the weekends. I’m not going to preach to you the benefits of eating breakfast (though there are many) because we’ve all heard them before. It’s all about making breakfast work for the college lifestyle and schedule. Since it’s impossible to whip up a balanced breakfast in your dorm, we have to work with what we’ve got.
You can still wake up 10 minutes before your 8 am class and fit breakfast in before you begrudgingly head off to calculus. Not only will this get your metabolism going for the day, but it won’t leave your stomach grumbling until your 11 am break. The answer: plan it the night before. Pack a ziploc bag full of dry cereal or invest in a few boxes of protein/breakfast bars. Since these are easy to transport, you can eat it on your walk (or run, if you tend to be late like me) to class. No dishes involved, so you can throw away the trash or save the leftovers for later very easily.
Say YES to fresh fruit. Studies have shown that eating one apple can wake you up as much as a cup of coffee. It won’t give you a sudden jolt like a cappuccino, nor will you experience a terrible crash afterward. Apples are delicious and nutritious, and who doesn’t love saving a few bucks on a Starbucks? Either way, fruit should be a part of your daily diet. The trick is not buying fresh fruit in bulk. I know how tempting it is to buy a box of 100 oranges at Costco because it’s such a good deal, but chances are that you won’t be able to eat all 100 oranges before they go bad. The solution? Go shopping once a week and just buy what you know you’ll eat. In the end, it’s all about the choices. Choose whole-grain Cheerios over Lucky Charms, fresh fruit over a Fruit Roll-Up, and an Odwalla or tea over Diet Coke. Though any breakfast is better than no breakfast, being conscientious of your choices will benefit your health in the long run.
My personal favorite breakfast fix is definitely Odwalla and Naked juices. They are delicious, rich, and chalk full of nutrients to keep you going all day. You can get these at any grocery store (including the ones on campus!) and just stock them up in your dorm fridge. I’m also a coffee person, but I’ve learned that getting a venti double iced caramel macchiatto with soy milk every single day just isn’t necessary. On those days where my body just needs coffee (which is more often than I’d like), I go for a simple iced coffee with soy milk. But wait, there’s an even easier and better alternative than having to make a daily Starbucks run! Get a coffee maker. There are a million kinds: french presses, espresso machines, and your traditional coffee pot. Research what will suit your needs best, look online for a good deal, and go for it. This saves money and time because you won’t be blowing $5 a day on your latte, and you won’t have to wait in the endless line of exhausted girls at the Starbucks in the bookstore. Don’t forget to buy a cute travel mug so you can sip on your way to class!