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5 Things I Learned About How to Be Healthy On a Student Budget

Posted Aug 16 2010 11:34pm

I eat ice cream in bed. That’s right, I admit it: living well is easier said than done. Here is 5 things I learned while trying to lead a healthy lifestyle as a grad student:

There’s a surplus of junk food and a shortage of time when you are a student.  Ice cream in bed happens to me from time to time! But I believe in ditching any mentality that allows a few unhealthy choices to snowball. I just keep reminding myself that it is not about perfection, it is about making as many good decisions as I can. Pizza and beer at a game Saturday does not keep me from a salad and  run on Sunday.

Eating all organic on a student budget really isn’t feasible. Knowing which produce is low pesticide and the best pick when I can’t buy organic really takes a load off my mind.  I keep a miniature of this very cute dirty dozen cheat sheet in my wallet.

Eating fresh means more trips to the store than I ever took before as a student. I eat produce fast. The turnover is constant! It is a major drag but fresh produce isn’t going to keep as long as boxed processed foods can. Shopping more often is a necessary evil.

Apples and pears are my favorite healthy foods that are good when I am on the go. They are very easy to throw in my bag and they don’t wind up crushed into a million tiny pieces like a granola bar can. They also don’t require any prep. Homemade healthy bars or cookies may be a great treat, but I don’t manage to make them regularly. And buying healthy nutrition and/or fruit bars can get pricey. But I want to have good foods to eat no matter where I am during my day, so fruit is my best friend!

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. There is the actual cooking that takes time and energy and then the cleaning up. I can’t believe how many dishes I make every day. It really takes a big commitment to keep your kitchen stocked with good food and to devote yourself to the prep time. It is pretty much all mental for me. I know it is worth the effort no matter how tired I am or how much I do not want to do it. I do not want to fill up on junk! That said, the system isn’t perfect. Just go back to number 1 to see :)

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