Last Updated on January 7, 2021
Make the time to whip up a nutrition packed meal and prevent the “freshman 15.”
College is challenging — from running to classes, doing homework, and socializing to having to work to pay for it all. And unfortunately for most college kids, eating healthy is at the bottom of the list and “you are what you eat” stands true. That’s where meal-prep comes in — preparing your meals in advance is one of the best ways to guarantee that you’re eating healthy. Cooking doesn’t always have to be time-consuming or complicated, so follow these hacks to make your life a little less stressful.
Use The Oven or Crock Pot
Start by baking your food in the oven or crock pot because it’s way healthier than eating fried food. Anything can be baked (meats, veggies, potatoes, and even rice), and it’s super simple and fast because you can cook multiple items at once. Crock pots are also great because you can let food cook while you’re at class.
If your lean proteins taste bland, don’t be scared to add seasoning. Buy salt-free seasonings like Mrs. Dash or find seasonings that are made with sea salt.
Be Smart with Sal
Sodium adds flavor to pretty much everything, but it’s best to avoid table salt because it’s stripped of minerals and contains additives. Instead, choose sea salt, which contains naturally occurring minerals like selenium, boron, and chromium.
Make Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes should be considered a dessert. They’re lower on the GI scale compared to white potatoes — not making insulin levels spike post-consumption. If you want crispy sweet potatoes, bake them at 400 degrees on a baking sheet until desired crispiness. And if you want soft, mushy sweet potatoes, bake them covered with aluminum foil in an oven-safe dish for about 40 minutes. Once, the potatoes are baked, top them with nut butter, cinnamon, and/or honey.
Bake Some Veggies
The same cooking instructions can be applied for other vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, and carrots.
Eat Raw Veggies
Cooking can destory the nutrition profile of certain vegetables, so throw a few raw veggies into a salad or smoothie.
Use Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
For baking, use extra-virgin olive oil spray instead of actual oil to avoid excessive fats. Other healthy oils are coconut oil, avocado oil, and sunflower oil.
Know What Oils To Use When Frying Food
If you decide to fry food, opt to use oils that have a higher smoke point to avoid harmful fumes. Try using the oils mentioned before: avocado or sunflower. You can even use olive oil, only if it’s the light or pure version.
Roasted nuts taste delicious and are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Spray them with olive oil, sprinkle a little sea salt, and then throw them into the oven. Bake until desired crispiness.