Exercise healthy eating strategies in your dorm

Students+eat+in+the+Busey-Evans+dining+hall+on+Oct.+25.+Even+though+living+in+a+dorm+without+access+to+a+kitchen+can+be+a+challenge%2C+there+are+multiple+ways+to+stay+healthy.+

Ryan Ash

Students eat in the Busey-Evans dining hall on Oct. 25. Even though living in a dorm without access to a kitchen can be a challenge, there are multiple ways to stay healthy.

By Sonal Singh, Staff Writer

Eating healthy is a struggle to begin with, regardless of where you live. However, living in a dorm without a proper kitchen can make eating nutritious even harder. Some ways you can stay on track are listed below.

Invest in a mini-fridge and a microwave

Although these may seem like unnecessarily expensive purchases for your dorm, I can assure you they will both come in handy. Whether you want to store milk, fruit or yogurt, a mini-fridge is the perfect option. Additionally, a microwave comes in handy all the time – especially if you’re trying to make something quick and easy like the classic, ramen.

Don’t skip meals because it’s inconvenient

The first step to eating healthy is consuming enough nutrient-rich food. As easy as it is to skip breakfast because you just got out of bed and might be late to your 8 a.m., try to always keep some simple foods on hand. Cereals, Greek yogurt or fruit in your dorm can be a great resource if it’s difficult to make it to a dining hall before class.

Apart from that, make sure you get lunch between classes. Figure out which dining hall is closest to your classes. (If you’re looking for vegetarian and vegan options, I recommend Field of Greens at LAR.)

Finally, try not to eat dinner too late!

Stay hydrated

One of the best ways to make sure you’re eating healthy is to constantly stay hydrated. If your dorm has a water fountain, you could either get a Brita or invest in a reusable water bottle. Having a water bottle around makes it more likely that you will drink it when you’re thirsty, as opposed to having to walk to the fountain every time you’d like a sip. Additionally, consuming soda with every meal just because it’s readily available in the dining halls will quickly lead to an excessive amount of sugar.

Navigating dining hall food

Eating in the dining halls can quickly go downhill, especially when you’re constantly consuming sugary and greasy food. Some things you can try are meatless Mondays, where you try to get your nutrition from sources that aren’t animal products like beef or chicken. Additionally, one thing you can try is making sure you get a lot of different kinds of foods. For example, if you’re getting a little bit of meat, try getting some vegetables and some fruit with it as a sweet treat. Overall, just try to focus on having a balanced diet.

Everything in moderation

It is rather easy to buy a lot of junk food and especially convenient when you want to snack while watching Netflix. If you’re living in the dorms, you probably have access to 57 North, which is always stocked up on processed food items like instant ramen and large bags of chips. You don’t have to completely ban junk food from your diet, but try to make sure you eat everything in moderation.

Try incorporating these suggestions, and see if it helps you make a difference. Focusing on your eating habits will help improve your overall health and experience while you’re in college.

Sonal is a sophomore in Business. 

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