Often the most important thing to a college student isn’t getting good grades, finding time to fit in studying and sleep, making new friends or preparing for the future. It’s food.
We all like eating, especially without bursting our college-student budget. Eating on a budget is difficult, but the myth that healthy food costs more than junk food is just an excuse.
It is an excuse because it’s pure laziness. It takes more time and energy to go grocery shopping and cook, but in the end it makes all the difference. Feeling good after eating a balanced meal results in better sleep and better focus for studying.
This is the most important time in our lives to be eating a good diet because it sets us up for the entire day. If we put junk in our bodies, then we feel sick all day and wonder why.
Complaining about the cost of food gets a college student absolutely nowhere except closer to a louder and angrier stomach. The food on campus is a horrible choice for any student. Yes, it is convenient and somewhat tasty because of all the fats and oils in pizza, burgers and Subway sandwiches. However, in no way is it cheap or all that healthy.
Those options will run a student close to $10 on one meal if you count getting a drink and snack as well. Even going down the path of choosing a salad cost $6.
Spending so much money on food on campus and not eating healthy is a double negative and not the kind that equals into a positive.
Daily options for spending less money and eating good:
-Eat breakfast at home before school such as oatmeal, granola or eggs.
-Bring a banana and nuts/seeds for snack throughout the day at school.
-If you’re at school for longer then make a sandwich to bring.
-Always bring a water bottle. There is a water bottle re-filling station by the Student Union. If you have trouble drinking a lot of water then put some lemon or cucumber slices in to give it extra flavor.
-For dinner instead of getting fast food on the way home from school make a homemade pizza. Dough, sauce, cheese and veggies can be purchased for $10-$15 at a natural grocery store.
We are so used to rushing around. We rush to school, we rush to our next class, we rush to work and we rush through our meals as we shove it down in our cars while driving to one of our many destinations of responsibility. We need to slow down enough to actually finishing chewing.
Without eating a balanced diet, simply surviving college is all that will emerge. But, surviving college isn’t enough, that’s how we gain the Freshman Fifteen. Although, at Palomar the mantra should be that “no matter what age or semester you’re in, you will gain 15 pounds eating on campus everyday.”
Eating healthy on a budget requires more work and more time which is difficult for a busy student, but not impossible. If eating healthy is a serious goal or New Year’s resolution you made, then you can find a way to make it happen. It may be stressful at first, but after time it gets easier to budget and plan meals ahead of time.
1. Find a local farmers market to go to every week. On off days, go to the grocery store for things you may run out of. Buying too many vegetables and fruits in bulk will only result in produce spoiling.
2. Buy grains, beans and granola in bulk. Get lots of different herbs and seasonings to mix the flavor up.
3. Prep food in advance and place in fridge so when it comes time to make meals throughout the week the hard part is already over. This can be simply making a big pot of rice or quinoa, marinating meat/tofu, hard-boiling eggs, chopping veggies and fruits into to-go snacks.
- Opinion_Eating Healthy_002_sm: Claudia Rodriguez/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved