Easy Healthy Meals You'll Want to Make this Week

Eating healthy as a college student can be hard. Between going to class, studying for tests, laundry or other dreaded chores, the last thing you want to do is go grocery shopping or even think about cooking. It’s so much easier to just pick something up on your way home or make something that isn’t too time consuming but maybe not the healthiest. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be time consuming, overwhelming, or even expensive! Having a few go-to meals is key so here are some ‘healthified’ meals of your not so healthy favorites.

 

1.) Zoodle Primavera

Photo by Logan Aitken (@livinglolo_)

Zoodles are the number one way to get your pasta craving satisfied, but without all the carbs! They can be bought pre-spiralized or you can spiralize zucchinis yourself. Zucchinis are filled with vitamin C, potassium, and can even improve digestion. They only take about 15 minutes to make, and you don’t even have to boil a pot of water! Just sauté and add any veggie of your choice from broccoli, cauliflower, or bell peppers. Then pick your favorite sauce like marinara, pesto, or olive oil, add some cheese, and you’ve got a delicious and veggie filled “pasta” meal!

Sample meal: Zoodles, pesto, roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts, sauteed bell pepper and onion, tomato, and fresh mozzarella balls

                                                                                     

2.) Burrito Bowl

 

Mexican food always makes for a delicious dinner! Instead of picking up Trujillo’s or Chipotle on your way back from class, try making your own burrito bowl. Burrito bowls are an easy, inexpensive meal and you’re guaranteed to have leftovers. Try swapping regular rice for brown rice or even cauliflower rice. Cauliflower rice is low in carbs, high in fiber and cauliflower even lowers your risk of heart disease. If cauliflower rice isn’t your favorite, add brown rice, which is high in fiber and protein. Then try black beans to avoid the saturated fat and added sodium that is found in refried beans and top it all off with sliced avocado for a healthy fat. Simple swaps can make an entire meal lower in calories and much healthier.

Sample meal: Cauliflower rice, black beans, sauteed bell pepper and onion, sliced avocado, shredded cheese on a bed of romaine

 

3.) Loaded salad

Salads don’t have to be boring, in fact, you’ll never have to dread eating one again because you can load them with all your favorites! They’re such a simple meal that can definitely fit into your busy schedule. A study in the journal of Neurology found that brain functioning is improved from eating a serving of leafy greens per day. Not only will your mind be clearer, but you’ll have an increase in antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, vitamin C, and your cholesterol can even be lowered. Pick a base like kale, romaine, arugula, or spinach, then add your fav protein such as grilled chicken, turkey, salmon, tofu or a veggie burger. Then add fresh fruit, vegetables, beans, or even seeds. This easy salad hack is perfect for lunch or dinner and is guaranteed to give you loads of brain fuel!

Sample meal: Kale, grilled chicken, roasted brussel sprouts, sliced strawberries, pumpkin seeds, and feta cheese

 

4.) Cauliflower pizza

For college kids, pizza is its own food group. So instead of having a traditional pizza, try switching to cauliflower crust. Cauliflower pizza is less in carbs, calories, fat and has an increased amount of fiber. It’s even grain free and gluten free. Now, that’s not normally how you think of pizza! But, it’s just as delicious, if not better, since its guilt free. Cali’flour Foods makes the yummiest and most flavorful crust. Its only 1 gram of carbs per ⅓ of the crust. It comes frozen so you can just bake it, add your toppings, and then bake it again. It’s just as easy as buying a frozen pizza, except healthier and better for you!

Photo by Logan Aitken (@livinglolo_)

Sample meal: Cali’flour foods crust, marinara sauce, zucchini, artichoke hearts, bell pepper, caramelized onions, roasted brussel sprouts, basil, mozzarella cheese

 

5.) Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are such an easy meal that are full of health benefits. Sweet potatoes are a complex carb, high in fiber, potassium, antioxidants and even beta-carotene. They can be baked and stuffed for a complete meal. The best part is that while they’re baking, you can be doing something else and not spending hours in the kitchen. Once they’re done, scoop out the inside, add your sauteed veggies, protein, or any other topping, mix it together and put it back in the skin. Then just bake until everything’s married together. It’s just like a twice baked potato, only sweeter. This meal is pure healthified comfort food.  

Sample meal: Sweet potatoes stuffed with sauteed spinach, bell pepper, onion, mozzarella cheese

 

Hopefully these easy meals can jump start you into changing your eating habits. It may be a bit of an adjustment or take a little research, but tackle it the same way you would a test or a paper and you’re guaranteed success. Your body will definitely thank you!