The battle to eat healthy on a budget is ongoing. Most people are under the assumption that to partake in a nutritional menu is costly. It does not have to be. Many say consuming fast food is cheaper as well as a time saver. It is not.
Here is a quick breakdown that fast food is not necessarily cheaper. Purchasing chicken breasts in bulk is about $15 (Tip: buy fresh then portion out in baggies and freeze and pull out only what you need). Fresh veggies of your choice may cost you $10 and a starch (pasta, rice, etc.) $5. That’s a total of about $30 for five wholesome meals. Now then, a fast food meal on average costs let’s say $7. If you were to indulge in this option for five meals it will certainly have a higher cost and a lower nutritional value. Option A is obviously lighter on the pocket and heavier on the nourishing benefits. It’s a win-win for you and your body. Our bodies require the right grade of fuel to keep us energized and going.
College life keeps us on the move, even more for those with a job or family added to their scholastic agenda. However, this is no reason to skimp on having healthy food options for yourself. There are many “on the go” nutritional options.
We are told from a young age that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is. Some level of sustenance is required in the A.M. Grab yourself a piece of fruit, muffin, breakfast bar, taco (most are made to order so you are in control of the ingredients) or some granola and eat on the go. Even at lunch, if you are pressed for time, these are healthy options. Eat a tuna sandwich or go old school with a PB&J, which has a good source of protein to fuel you up midday. Try not to skip meals. Snack on something between meals. Grab some fruit or chop up some veggies and throw them in a baggie and pair it with some hummus or other dip. Keep nuts or crackers on you to ensure always having something. I keep peanut butter-filled pretzels on hand. These, of course, are just some options. Modify it to your liking. Perhaps make a list of what you like, don’t like and what you are willing to try.
The Del Mar College West Campus offers an affordable and inventive menu for students and staff. Between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays, the Restaurant Management Program is serving lunch with a to-go order option. Design your own sensible lunch from one of two entrees, sides, salad bar and dessert for a bargain. Beverages are also available.
Don’t forget about the power of the H2O. Drinking enough water throughout the day is a key ingredient to thinking clearly, helping your performance and eliminating fatigue. Eight glasses a day is a dedicated effort; do your best. Remember, you are what you eat.
Desiree Arnold is a student at Del Mar College and a featured columnist on the Foghorn.