A lot of people think that it is hard to eat clean while in college. I would have to agree and disagree. I’ll get to that in a second. But first, let me give you a little background to my journey to eating clean. When I first went away to college, I was the queen of food products that I thought was healthy. Things like Yoplait light, frozen lean cuisines, low fat products, etc. I still ate fruits and veggies, but I almost never cooked real food. My number one used appliance in the kitchen was the microwave. I was also a pescatarian so I relied on vegetarian frozen meals and a lot of beans. Long story short, I gained quite a few pounds my first semester of college. I still exercised about six days a week, but going out a lot and snacking on fake food products contributed to the weight gain. Mid-way through, I knew I needed to make a change. I ended up eating meat again and getting creative in the kitchen. I researched my heart out and starting eating real foods. That is when the weight simply fell off me. I also fell in love with eating clean, coming up with clean recipes, spending time in the kitchen, and so much more. After about a year and half to two years of changing my diet, I found Jamie Eason’s LiveFit program. I fell in love with weight lifting, and learned even more about eating clean! When you’re in college, it’s a bit harder to eat clean if you live in a dorm. I actually had a kitchen in my dorm, so it was a lot easier. Another thing is, you have to WANT to eat clean while in college. It is definitely possible, you just have to make it a priority.
- Don’t get a meal plan. It is so much easier to eat clean if you skip out on the meal plan and buy your own groceries. That way, you don’t have to worry about what is going into your food since you make it yourself.
- Buy real food. I go food shopping every week since my food is mostly fresh fruits, veggies, meats, etc. Plus, buying a bunch of stuff that comes from a box ends up more expensive in the long run.
- Plan ahead. This is KEY for me. Having food available and ready to eat keeps me on track. Pack lunch, snacks, and anything else you need. Especially if you are going to be on campus all day. That way, you won’t have to worry about buying something out.
- Get creative. Getting creative with your food and switching it up with keep you on track to prevent boredom! I’m a creature of habit, so I could eat the same things over and over. However, some people will quit something if they are bored of it.
- Shop (money) smart. I do not have endless money to spend on food. Being on a college budget requires a little more planning. Try to find coupons, sales, deals, etc.
- Buy in bulk. If you have a bulk food store like Costco or Trader Joes, you can get a bunch of thinks for cheaper. I buy a HUGE bag of frozen chicken breast from Costco for a heck of a lot cheaper and it lasts so much longer.
- Allow yourself a treat. I love eating healthy and eating clean. However, I love things like wine, chocolate, etc. as well. I’m only human. Depriving yourself of things you like will only end up badly. Enjoy your favorite things in moderation.
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