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TaoShaman's avatar

Romantic Vampire

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Does anyone have any tips for eating healthily while in college?
I try to do what I can, but I don't think I'm doing too well. The dining commons has nutrition information for most of the food. I don't usually eat red meat, so I really need to know what has iron and vitamins in it. I can't cook anything in my room and there isn't really anywhere on campus that has food that's not kinda unhealthy. Panda Express is the only thing open if I can't eat dinner in the dining commons. I go home on the weekend, but my mother doesn't really buy groceries that often. Any tips for something not too complicated, or even complicated, I'm fairly good at figuring out how to make things, would be greatly appreciated.
first of all, get your vitamins and iron from supplements.
a daily multivitamin would be perfect.

as i college student who works full-time, i used to struggle with just having the time to cook.
but i live off campus.

my go-to meals are salads and stir frys.
i use a lot of tofu.
or i make meal replacement smoothies with a lot of fruits and vegetables.

stock up on healthy snacks.
i like granola, trial mix, yogurt, or fiber bars.

also, just because you're eating out or somewhere else doesn't mean you can't make healthier choices.
for example, subway.
if you load up your sandwich with veggies, eat whole grains, and skip the mayo you'll be fine.

working out is key, regardless if you want to be in shape or not.
if i can take 16 credits and work 40+ hours a week and still have time to go for a run every day, so can you.
TaoShaman's avatar

Romantic Vampire

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Thank you very much for the advice. I usually go to the gym, just not recently since I've been sick. I'll make sure too look into different recipes and healthy snacks. Most places have at least relatively healthy options.
Green veggies contain iron, the darker the better.

But I digress.

Here would be my suggestions:

-Plan your own meals on a week on week basis. It is actually cheaper in more ways than one to do so. In your case I would suggest doing so at home and asking your Mum to take you food shopping.
-One recipe, many possibilities. Bolognese sauce made in bulk and divided into portions can be added to spaghetti, made into lasagne, added to a bun for sloppy joes or put under mashed potato and cheese to make shepherd's pie. Try to find similar recipes (or for added fibre and less fat use quorn mince)
-Roast meats. Roast a chicken in the weekend, strip the meat and divide it into portions. Not only is this cheaper than pre-cut fillets and has heaps of possibilities, but you can make stock from the carcass, which can be used to add flavour to gravy, or make into soup.
Centuries Before's avatar

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Avoid vending machines. The only reason I use the one at my university is because it sells museli & Alpine bars. See if there is a salad bar at your uni as well, they're normally fairly cheap.
shizuka jozuna's avatar

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Thanks for the suggestion biggrin
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Familiar Guildswoman

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If you don't eat red meat, you can still get adequate iron from meats such as chicken. Leafy green vegetables are also high in iron, but the iron in meat is easier for the body to metabolize. Make sure you not only eat enough fruits and vegetables, but also enough protein and dairy. Although things like meat and cheese are often seen as "unhealthy", they do contain necessary calcium, iron, and complete amino acids, and going without can lead to health problems all the way from cavities (not having enough calcium to keep your teeth strong) to anemia (not having enough iron to produce adequate red blood cells). I'm not kidding. Every time our campus has a blood drive, about a third of the students who volunteer get turned away simply because they don't have enough blood cells to donate, so it can be a pretty big problem.
TaoShaman's avatar

Romantic Vampire

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Thank you very much. I often can't give blood due to my iron level. Even though I still can't give blood anyway since my veins are too small and they'd end up ripping my arm open or something.
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oysters, clams, and chicken liver has very high iron content. don't iron pills like that other person told you to do. too much iron can kill you, so you shouldn't take the pills unless your doctor tells you too. and it also constipates you beyond belief and turns your s**t into charcoal briquettes. plus multivitamins with minerals aren't as bad as iron pills, but they also contain calcium and your body can't absorb iron while it is absorbing calcium. Try to avoid foods high in calcium with your iron foods.
Shebaxotic_firebabe's avatar

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Another idea I would recommend is to pick two plants like lettuce and tomatoes, and learn how to grow them. You don't have to have a whole garden, but it'll provide you with something that you can eat instead of buying other food whenever it's there. Plus if you get one that can stay in a pot indoors, then you don't have to worry about adding pesticides to it. Generally speaking, if you learn how to do it properly, you can have healthier vegetables than the stores sometimes provide. Hell, even if you just had one plant and kept it until you felt more comfortable about caring for a plant, then someday you could grow more. Until then, if your plant succeeds, then you can eat from it. smile
madame13's avatar

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Try eating foods that are 100 calories or less, with the exception of water and yogurt. Don't drink any soda and avoid fast foods that are more than 100 calories.
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I'm not a vegan, but I got peta's vegan college cookbook. Everything in it is really healthy, most things are super tasty, and the best thing is every single recipe in the book can be prepared using a mini fridge and a microwave. It has one recipe called the "better than bell" burrito, it tastes just like a burrito from taco bell but its all vegan and full of good stuff.

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