Almost every college student can testify to hearing of something called the “freshman 15.” It’s a saying that is used to reference the 15 pounds that incoming freshmen tend to gain during their first year away from home.
Moving away from home comes with many challenges. In many cases, the first year of college is the first time that students are forced to be on their own. Along with tasks like doing laundry and setting their own alarms to wake up in the morning, freshmen are also faced with the challenge of balancing a healthy lifestyle and school work.
Some students believe that the food provided on campus is not the most nutritious. While there is the wellness center, living a healthy lifestyle also includes eating healthy, not just exercise.
“I feel like every meal on campus includes tons of carbs, and not everyone wants to eat a salad every day,” freshman Emily Starling said. “It would be so nice if we had some sort of food truck on campus or just a restaurant specifically made to promote a healthier lifestyle.”
Fueling your body properly is one of the best ways to have a productive day. When you take care of your health and body, your mind will follow too; eating right is one way to do just that.
“When I lived on campus, I had a few healthy go-to’s for the in between class and work intervals that I made myself with ingredients from the grocery store,” senior Regina Sandberg said. “These snacks are tasty, quick, affordable and convenient.”
A few of Sandberg’s favorites included avocado toast, sliced apples, peanut butter, rice cakes and steamed broccoli.
One of the easiest options for a protein-packed breakfast is overnight oats. Overnight oats have become a favorite on social media. They’re so versatile and customizable that you can add whatever you want into them and make each batch your own. Not to mention that the addition of chia seeds can add protein, bumping the overall number up to about 14.8 grams.
To make these chia overnight oats you need: a container of your choice, oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, milk, yogurt, berries and a sweetener of your choice. Simply mix a ½ cup of oats, ¼ cup of chia seeds, 1 cup of milk and cinnamon if you choose. Refrigerate overnight, and in the morning, top the mixture off with yogurt, berries and sweetener. After these few easy steps you have a tasty, protein-filled breakfast to help keep you focused throughout the day.
Another quick and easy breakfast or snack is an açaí bowl. Açaí alone contains many health benefits, mainly support for the brain and mental health. The antioxidants in acai are known to protect and cleanse the body from the inside out. They neutralize free radicals, which are cell damaging molecules linked to cancer and various diseases.
Açaí is not high in protein levels, but it does have a high level of antioxidants. Instead of breaking the bank and buying premade acai bowls, homemade bowls can be just as simple.
Açaí bowls can be made using a few ingredients, and the addition of protein powder can add a little boost. To make an açaí bowl, you need a blender, two frozen açaí packets, one frozen banana, water or juice, granola, honey and fresh fruit toppings of your choice. Simply blend the açaí packets, banana, and ⅓ cup of liquid. The base of the açaí bowl should be thick. Then, top with a sprinkle of granola, fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey.
“Things like wraps, açaí bowls, cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles, or even fresh produce being sold in the Moc Mart would make a huge difference,” Starling said.
Until these healthier options are implemented throughout campus, students can opt to make their own protein-packed breakfasts or açaí bowls for lunch.