Eating healthy at uni, on a student budget
In my very first blog post, I promised I would write one with some tips and tricks for how to stay healthy at university, without necessarily breaking the bank and wasting precious time. I think this is important to think about as, for many of us, when we leave home and come to uni we will, for the first time, be responsible for our own cooking and for ensuring we stick to a healthy diet. I am well aware that this can seem like a lot of effort and may not seem like a major priority to all of you but I really believe that a balanced diet is crucial to feeling good, performing well and avoiding getting sick. So here is a list of things I try to do in my daily life to keep my diet balanced.
Salads are my all time favourite way to get a lot of vegetables into my diet, in a very easy way. They really don’t have to be very fancy. All it takes are a few cut peppers, baby tomatoes, cucumber and some olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper for the dressing. These vegetables keep in the fridge for quite a few days as opposed to actual salad that needs to be eaten relatively quickly. I usually make these salads to accompany a bigger meal that contains some carbs and protein or for even just for lunch. If I have a little more time, I expand on this salad by adding quinoa (rinse it with cold water after boiling it), mozzarella and maybe some avocado. With the added quinoa, this salad becomes a filling meal. Make sure to spend some time on the dressing as this makes or breaks the salad! I personally really like one with a bit of mustard.
I actually find cooking for one person harder than cooking for multiple people. As a result, I am always left with extras that I simply store in a Tupperware and eat either the next day or the day after. I love doing this because not only do you not have to cook every day, you have a healthy meal every time. You also only have to plan up to three meals a week instead of seven, which when short on inspiration is useful. It of course also saves money as you need fewer ingredients for three big meals than for seven small ones. The only thing with leftovers is that they might not taste as good when reheating in the microwave. Instead, try heating them again in the pan, with a little bit of oil to avoid it stocking.
Finding inspiration for meals can sometimes be a little bit of a challenge but Pinterest is the answer to all of your problems. It has a huge collection of easy, comprehensive and of course free recipes. I am sure you are familiar with the concept of Pinterest but I just want to emphasise how much I love the fact you can make your own lists, come back to them anytime, on any device and share them with others.
- Only buy what you are actually going to eat
This might seem obvious but if you don’t to eat crisps because they aren’t healthy, then make sure you don’t have any lying around for you to eat. Of course, once in a while eating some crisps is not a problem at all and I definitely do this too!
Just like salads are the easiest way to eat enough vegetables, smoothies are the perfect way to eat enough fruit. You do need a blender to make smoothies but they are definitely worth the investment! Not only are they healthy, but they can also be very tasty, even without adding any sugar. Cinnamon and agave syrup are my secret ingredients!
- Onions, garlic and pepper flakes
These ingredients are cheap and make simple meals so much better. Think of the classic pesto pasta dish. Add some fried garlic and onions to that and you’ll start adding it everywhere you can! A few pepper flakes are great to add to stir-fries for a little extra spice.
Well, that brings my tips to an end. I hope this was helpful. As always, let me know if I can answer any questions!