Many of today’s college students struggle with the “freshman fifteen” and the constant challenge of eating healthy in their school dining halls. However, if you’re like me, the dining hall doesn’t always fill you up, and therefore you snack in your dorm room. To help you stay healthier this year, I’ve created a guide of refrigerated and non-refrigerated healthy snacks you can keep in your dorm room to help you maintain your summer body all year long. But first, here’s the #1 rule I swear by- keep only healthy snacks in your dorm room. Yup, you read that right. If a temporary craving, such as Oreos are difficult to obtain, you’re more likely to satisfy yourself with what you have on hand, rather than driving to the store to purchase them. Here are my top 10 healthy foods you should be eating:
1. NUTS (CASHEWS, ALMONDS, PEANUTS)
These are a great source of healthy fats and loaded with antioxidants. Studies show they are an incredible brain food to keep you feeling focused and energized all day.
2. FRESH FRUIT AND VEGGIES
Fresh fruits and veggies are an essential part of your diet to help you feel energized and stay healthy. Here are some of my favorites to keep in my dorm room: carrots, kale (smoothies), mangos, strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate, bananas, and avocado.
3. PROTEIN/GRANOLA BAR
These are my go to in the morning when I’m in the rush and don’t have time to make breakfast. Loaded with protein, they help me stay energized and focused until I can get a proper meal. However, beware of certain protein/granola bars- many are loaded with extra sugar to help them taste better. Some of my favorites are: Clif Bar- Peanut butter, Clif Bar- Blueberry, and Kind Protein Bars.
When I’m not in a rush and have time to make breakfast in the morning oatmeal is my go-to. It’s loaded with healthy fibers making it a filling and nutritious option. My personal favorite is Quakers Oats Oatmeal in the apple cinnamon flavor.
Be cautious of this and make sure there’s no excess butter and salt, which will turn this somewhat healthy snack to unhealthy very quickly. Pro tip, buy the pre-portioned small 100 calories bags to prevent overeating.
6. PITA CHIPS
Pita chips are great for any salty craving, dip them in guac or fresh salsa to help you overcome your craving for potato chips.
7. DRIED FRUIT
Be cautious of dried fruit and make sure there’s no added sugar, these are a great snack to toss in your school bag for a mid-day pick me up. Personally, my favorite is Trader Joe’s dried mangos for only $2.99 per bag.
8. COCONUT ICE CREAM
I love So Delicious coconut ice cream- this is a cheat for me when I’m really craving ice cream during that time of the month but don’t want to ruin my healthy eating habits.
9. DARK CHOCOLATE
A powerful source of antioxidants, dark cholate in moderation in very healthy. Some of my favorites are: Lindt 85% Cacao, Lindt Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Barkthins- Pretzels.
Although not technically food, smoothies are my FAVORITE thing to make in my dorm. I love making smoothies using coconut milk, yogurt, bananas, frozen berries, kale, and chia seeds. Smoothies are a great way to get essential nutrients while still being quick and healthy.Remember, in the end, everything is acceptable in moderation, however, if you do your best to only give yourself access to healthy foods- you are far less likely to regret binge eating an entire bag of goldfish later on. Eating healthy will leave you feeling far more energized, intelligent, and happy than junk food ever will. “Love your body and it will love you back.”Best of luck with the remainder of the semester!