Not an easy feat!
It can be hard to eat healthfully when at college. Meal plans, rushing to and from classes and activities, budgets, the amount of burger, pizza and fast food restaurants surrounding FSU, and, of course, late night food runs definitely compromise our student’s plan to not gain the Freshman 15 and stay in shape. (Please note I did not mention the calories that come with a few drinks, but the reality is they often work into the equation.) Don’t get discouraged yet though. Today’s college students are demanding higher quality foods varied in taste and economically priced. There are several apps that many students can download for the latest promotions and deals at some of their favorite places. These include Hooked and Pocket Points. Here are some of FSU students’ favorites and a few ideas that may help your student stay on track and healthy.
3Natives – For health-focused foodies. Available on doordash, postmates, and Grub Hub
Freshroots Kitchen – Located on E. Plaza Drive, they serve healthy breakfasts and lunches such as soup, salads, sandwiches
GreenWise Market – Kombucha on tap, açai bowls, craft beer, wine, handcrafted sandwiches, fresh-baked pizzas, and much more!
Moku Poké – Freshly made poké bowls using quality & fresh ingredients
Muscle Maker Grill – pride themselves on making healthier versions of everyday meals. They have large and small meals, smoothies, bowls, soups, pasta, and meal plans too. Located on W. Pensacola, MMG is one of our favorites.
Newks Eatery – located on West Tennessee, they offer everything from pizzas to sandwiches and salads as well as an under 600 calorie meal option.
Pita Pit– located on Tennessee Street, students can create their own pitas sandwiches. From lean, grilled meats to fresh vegetables, includes cheese and sauce of choice.
Sweet Pea Café – on W. Tharpe St. is a casual counter service, vegan, farm to table café. Everything they make is 100% plant-based and they use local seasonal produce. There is something new every day in addition to their daily menu.
The Good Bery Acai Bowls – 2 locations: Thomasville and now next to Catalyst apartments which are so close to campus. Go right after class and pick up something healthy whether it be acai, avocado toast or sandwiches. Customize your own bowl—picking 3-4 toppings, depending on bowl size.
Vale Food Company – on Madison is a healthy, fast casual and restaurant. Their food model is to make healthy eating more affordable, convenient, and delicious for college students. We are talking acai bowls, avocado toast… perfect if your student (or you) is a health nut. They even offer online ordering and meal plans. A second location will be opening soon in Varsity Plaza where Target is.
Zoe’s Kitchen– Located on Tennessee and on Thomasville, serves a traditional Mediterranean menu in a fast service fashion including baked feta, various hummus flavors, various salads including a Greek and Mediterranean salad, sandwiches and pita, Piadina, kabobs, and bowls.
Even at some of the fast food restaurants, if your student can resist the temptation, many offer healthy alternatives including salads, grilled proteins, and veggie burgers. I, personally, am a big fan of the veggie burger at Burger Fi, but then again I really like their fries too, so that may defeat the purpose.
Below are a few ideas that may also help. Perhaps just forward this whole blog to them, because…well, you never know how they are going to take advice coming from their parents, particularly if you mention the Freshmen 15.
Carry healthy snack options in your bookbag/backpack. There are many low sugar, high protein bars available now. Buy them in bulk and grab one before you leave for the day. Fruit is always a good choice. Apples and bananas work well when you’re in a hurry.
Try to get up early enough that you don’t have to skip breakfast. Things haven’t changed in that respect; breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. Make a quick shake in the morning, or keep oatmeal packets, or get to the dining room early enough to eat. A veggie omelet makes for a great start to your day.
Beans really are a protein and they are cheap! Try to get protein in every meal. You will stay full longer. If you have a meal plan, make a point of starting meals with a salad. Salad bars offer many choices (some better than others, so be careful). Go easy on the creamy dressings. Speaking of meal plans –grab those apples and bananas to take back to your room now after you’re done eating.
Work meals into your schedule. While it can be nice to take all your classes back to back on Tuesday and Thursday only; if it leaves you no time for eating in between, it’s not as great a plan as you thought. You may end up binge eating or grabbing some less thought out meals in between classes. And if you do eat in the dining room; try not to linger. That’s when you end up going back up for the seconds (or thirds) you really don’t need.
Don’t drink your calories. Yes, I am talking about beer, wine, liquor, but I am also referring to sugary sodas, ice tea, lemonade, sports drinks, etc. Water is truly the best thirst quencher and it is so good for you. Carry a reusable water bottle everywhere.
If you want to enjoy some of the junkier meals (we all do at some point), at least opt for the less processed option. For instance, Annie’s makes mac-n-cheese that has a lot less junk in it than others. Peanut butter, a great source of protein, comes in many varieties. Try to find the one with the least amount of additives. There are even healthier choices in ramen noodles and then you can add some veggies to them and maybe even an egg and you are good to go.
For those of you that cook in your apartment; invest in some plastic storage containers. This way when you make a meal you can make enough to store it in portions for more meals. Cook things like rice and quinoa in bulk and use them as needed. They last and can be put into or with so many other things. Plan ahead. Think about your schedule of classes and everything else. Even study time, when snacking can be practically essential, takes planning. It will just make it easier and studying will go better if you are eating smart snacks rather than things that will make you full and tired.
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