Tired of feeling guilty after you eat? Learn how to create quick and healthy meals!
By: Saphire Cervantes
Ramen Noodles are a staple meal for college students because they are cheap and easy to make, but they aren't exactly the most nutritious meal to choose from. Instagram is full of "healthy recipe" influencers who aren't living on a college budget, so how is a college student supposed to eat healthy with minimal time and money? The answer is simple: plan! Take some time to plan out meals for the week before going to the grocery store.
The first step to planning a healthy meal is knowing what one looks like. Think of your food as your fuel; the more nutritious a meal is, the more fulfilled your stomach will feel throughout the day. You need enough energy to write a paper or get through tough exams!
There are five categories of food each meal should strive to contain: fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein. Half of the plate should contain fruits and vegetables, whereas the other half should contain whole grains and a lean protein of choice. Your plate should also include a dairy portion, this can consist of soy milk or low-fat yogurt.
The next step is buying groceries. I do this in bulk every two weeks, starting by searching for the best deals and always keeping in mind that store-brand is my friend. I typically buy groceries at Walmart and Aldi because I know I’ll be able to find great deals and their store-brand items are typically cheaper than name brand while also keeping quality.
My days consist of late nights and early mornings, so I don't have time to cook meals every night. Instead, I prepare my meals beforehand and use Sunday to cook meals for each day of the upcoming week. This process saves money and reduces the amount of fast food I eat.
Here are some items on my recent grocery list, as well as how I work them into a boujee meal for breakfast!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the most often skipped. I like to choose sweet and savory meals to switch out during the week. For this week, I wanted a variation of an egg sandwich and overnight oats.
Great Value Large White Eggs 18 Count- $1.91
Great Value Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese 16 ounces- $3.24
Freshness Guaranteed Chunky Avocado Spread 15 ounces- $4.88
Great Value Diced Tomatoes With Green Chiles 10 ounces- $0.68
Thomas 100% Whole Wheat English Muffin, Made With Whole Grains Six Count- $2.98
Start off by cooking two eggs and toasting an English Muffin. Put the eggs on top of the muffin and add cheese, avocado-spread and diced tomatoes. This meal is only $1.50!
Great Value Organic White Quinoa 16 ounces - $3.62
Gala apples 3-pound Bag - $3.64
Great Value Clover Honey 12 ounces - $2.98
Great Value Ground Cinnamon 2.5 ounces - $0.98
Cut apples into bite-size pieces and boil them in water with Quinoa. Stir in cinnamon and transfer to a bowl. Drizzle on top, and you have breakfast for $2.40!
A nutritious meal does not have to be an expensive one. As long as you take the time to plan, you can have meals that are both price conscious and jammed packed with flavor. Now that you have an idea of what a low-cost grocery run looks like, you’re ready to do it on your own. Happy shopping!
Photo by: Kkavory Lee