Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fast Food: Quick Snacks and Meals for Dorm Living

One of the hardest parts of dorm living for me was not having a kitchen, or regular access to one.  This is why so many of us succumb to the Easy Mac and Ramen noodles, but these quick, cheap, accessible snacks don't really do much to nourish our bodies.  However, most students living in a dorm are on a meal plan or have a punch card for their campus sponsored or run dining establishments.  This ensures accessibility to a real meal that they don't have to prepare themselves, but often includes a lot of fried and processed food that can leave you feeling sluggish. 

If one of your campus establishments has a deli and/or salad bar, I would try to eat most of your meals here because most of the food is prepared fresh, or you can prepare it yourself.  Also, this allows you an opportunity to include a variety of vegetables and proteins, the most nutrient rich food group that will keep you feeling good, and the foods that will stick with you the longest.  Try to make sure your plate is colorful.  I know a lot of people have aversions to certain foods, but a pretty simple way to make sure you are getting all of the nutrients your body needs is to eat a variety of vegetables; colorful ones like tomatoes, carrots, and peppers and leafy greens such as spring mix and spinach are a few of the best foods for you and can be found just about anywhere.  Remember that a burger every now and then isn't going to kill you, just make sure it doesn't become every meal.

Also, here are a few go-to snacks that are good to keep on hand.  They're quick, easy to store, and will satiate your during those long afternoons in the library or hold you over until breakfast during a late night study session.
  • nuts (peanuts, walnuts, and almonds are easy to find and full of protein and omega 3 fats that support healthy brain function; plus they come in a variety of seasonings curbing the sweet or salty craving)
  • Greek yogurt (chock full of protein and also comes in a variety of flavors; easy to store in any mini-fridge)
  • baby carrots, grapes, apples, bananas, and citrus fruits are all dorm-friendly produce
  • Amy's Organic; Amy's makes a variety of soups, frozen dinners, and even the college classic--burritos.  They are made from all organic products and preservatives, store easily in the tiny freezer section of mini-fridges, and are actually really delicious
 ***Next Time: Quick In the Kitchen- a few quick and easy recipes for those with kitchen access

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