Freshman year of college can be like jumping head first into freezing cold water. It is a whole new world of freedom and it can be tempting to live off of Ramen and beer. I was there four years ago and believe me when I say that dorm life can lead to some bad eating habits. It is all about ease since the only standard cooking method is a microwave. I am here to help with some creative tips to maintaining a healthy lifestyle while living in dorms.
5 Tips to Healthy Living in the Dorm
- Establish a food budget and stick to it. I lived in Tutwiler, an all girls dorm, that housed a food mart on the bottom floor. This sounds ideal, but it was all overpriced and I ended up spending WAY too much money there. My roommates and I would end up buying food there almost everyday. Pick a day to buy your weekly groceries and buy everything you will need to avoid multiple trips.
- Find a frozen food brand that you love. Frozen vegetables are as good as fresh vegetables. Buy some steamer packs that you can cook in the microwave so you can have opportunities for maintaining a well rounded diet each day.
- Join a gym if your school does not provide a Recreation Center. Getting in any amount of exercise a day can help you focus and boost your endorphin levels. I found that when I exercised before a test, I was able to read each question correctly and answer more quickly. Also, while exercising on the stationary bike, I was able to study at the same time, which was incredibly beneficial.
- Keep a basket of fruits and vegetables that can be eaten without needing to be cooked. Obviously it is easier to find fruits that are eaten raw but some examples of vegetables include: tomatoes, lettuce, celery, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers. Keep your favorite dip or hummus around to enjoy these vegetables.
- Keep nutrient dense, healthy snacks around to help manage hunger and keep your body and brain active! Eat nutrient dense meals and snacks on a regular schedule to avoid energy slumps! By running low on energy, you limit your ability to be focused, energized, and alert which leads to poor study habits and poor diet choices. Listen to your tummy, if it tells you that you're hungry then eat a nutritious snack!
Bonus Tip: Take advantage of on campus events. Not only will you meet new people but more than likely there will be food for you to enjoy!
**Wash all fruit and vegetables before eating (yes, it is possible in dorm sinks)