Let’s take a moment and talk about the unfortunate phenomenon called a slump. Defined by Webster, a slump is a period of decline or deterioration. Brace yourself for the biggest slump of all: the healthy eating slump.
When was the last time you went a whole week feeling energized, optimistic and well fed? For me, it was probably over the summer, when I was living at home and eating meals made from scratch and stuffed with fresh summer produce. It is now February, and boy, am I feeling the slump. But what’s a girl to do? Head downstairs and face the unwashed masses and chafing dishes at Eickhoff Hall?
No! I’ve got to stand up for myself, wrench the cholesterol out of my veins and eat healthier. It sounds valiant, doesn’t it? However, when faced with a never-ending parade of fatty and greasy foods on campus, the journey to eating healthy seems more like an obstacle course. It’s the vats of coffee, baskets of croissants, foil-wrapped burgers and two meals a day that seem to sustain us and yet, detain us.
So what is the best way to beat these obstacles so generously placed before us? Simple changes to your snacking routine will do the trick, and you’ll see yourself back on the healthy eating track.
1. Drink a lot of water. Try to substitute at least one bottle of water for every cup of coffee or soda that you drink per day. Ice water will perk you up if you’re tired – and the best way to perk someone else up? Drop an ice cube down the back of their shirt . just don’t get hit.
2. Trail mix: Some people say Brazil nuts, some say almonds – trail mix is easier to come by, and a much better choice than a bag of Lay’s or Doritos. The nuts will offer up lots of protein, and the mix of sweet and salty will keep your mind guessing (just don’t go straight to the M&M’s).
3. Something spicy: According to epicurious.com, spicy foods are stimulating, and peppers especially can wake up all five senses.
Good Old PB & J
4. Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat: Easy enough to store in a dorm room, this snack is transportation-friendly – just slap some plastic wrap on it and you’re ready to go. If you use one slice of bread instead of two, you’re cutting down on lots of unnecessary calories.
Most Important Meal of the Day
5. Eat breakfast. I know it’s hard sometimes, but even if you grab a handful of dry cereal or a granola bar on your way out the door, you’ll be surprised how much easier it is to eat better during the day.
6. Foodnetwork.com: If you live off campus, you probably have easier access to cooking appliances, so this tip is especially for you, although I would encourage everyone to check it out. It has some really healthy and easy recipes to try at:
Eating consistently well is tough in college, unless you have super-human willpower, or an endless supply of points combined with an unhealthy addiction to wraps. If you’re interested in experimenting with some other healthy meal options, I highly suggest the “The Healthy College Cookbook.” It was written by college students, and it’s got loads of recipes to try.
Good luck beating the slump.