It is an under exaggeration to say that college life is hectic. As if classes and work weren’t time consuming enough, here at UND we are kept busy with hockey games, Greek life, sporting teams, intramurals, and many other social events held both on and off campus. While it might seem tempting and much more convenient to pack chips and a soda to campus and order a Deek’s pizza once you are home for the night, it is important to remember something that many college students often forget: to keep your health a priority. Simply because we are in college does not mean that we have an excuse to live off of a diet filled with processed foods and empty calories. When combined with high levels of stress and few hours of sleep, such diets do absolutely nothing for us but make us feel fatigued, gain weight, and suppress our immune systems. Instead, we should be focused on finding nutrient dense foods that can supply our bodies with the strength and energy that we need to look, feel, and perform our best.
With so few hours in the day and not very much money in the bank, however, it can seem challenging to find ways to eat the nourishing food that our bodies need. But, have no fear! The Health & Wellness Hub is here to help! Here are some tips for easy nutrition:
- Buy frozen vegetables, and mix them into just about everything. Not only do frozen veggies save you money, but they also will save you time with fewer trips to the store. They go great with pasta dishes, soups, rice, and even just on their own as a healthy side dish.
- Cut the soda and replace it with water. Even though diet sodas may not have any calories, they are full of artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame) that do much more harm than good. Not only will you be saving money by drinking water from the fill and go water stations found around campus, but you will be hydrating your body without filling it with sugars and chemicals.
- Pack fruit for the ultimate fast food. Many fruits, such as bananas and oranges, have thick peels and therefore are easy to pack along to school for a quick snack without needing any extra containers. You can also mix berries into your morning cereal for a quick dose of extra nutrients and antioxidants.
- Prepare meals ahead of time and enjoy them all week long. If you and your roommate both like similar foods, you can prepare meals together or take turns to help save time. Home cooked meals, even if they are very simple, are much more nutritious than frozen meals and soup cups that can be popped in the microwave.
- Surf the web for fun, fast, clean, cheap, and nutritious recipes. In addition to the many blogs and websites with simple recipes that you can pull up on your phone, you can even pull up YouTube videos for quick tutorials.