Five Easy Tips to Eat Like a Superhero
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Five Easy Tips to Eat Like a Superhero

The following is a special needs program update from College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future. You may also click here to read the original article on the program’s website.

By Becky Daily, Independent Living Skills Instructor

austin eatingIf you’re as familiar with superheroes as I am, you’ll notice that a fair amount of them are college students or they work on a college campus. After all, that’s where all the cool research happens! But what do you think these superheroes eat? The first thing that typically comes to mind is pizza, instant noodles and soda. Many college students think meals such as these are the only way to eat quickly during their busy schedules. Unfortunately, not only is eating junk unhealthy but it can seriously reduce your superhero abilities. Fortunately, here are five tips for eating quickly and healthily on a budget.

Plan ahead.

Look online for quick recipes and make a meal plan based on those recipes. When you find a favorite recipe, save it for easy retrieval in the future. Having a meal plan will also result in less food being wasted and thrown away. Throwing away food is equivalent to throwing away money. One of my personal favorite websites for locating recipes is All Recipes. On their site, you can search by type of food, ingredients you do and do not like, and total meal time preparation. You can save the recipes you like into your “Recipe Box” where you can add notes. Recently, they added a handy feature where the website will look up the ingredients on the recipe you have selected, and inform you of where those items are on sale or where you can get coupons. Here’s the best part: their website and phone apps are free!

Superheroes cookbookMake a grocery list prior to going to the grocery store.

Research has shown that having a grocery list (and sticking to it!) prior to shopping at the grocery store saves you money because you will be less inclined to buy unnecessary items. Do you really need that box of chocolate flavored cereal? If it’s not on your list, don’t buy it! Having a grocery list also gives you a plan of attack when you are at the store. You can arrange your list by the grocery store layout to increase your shopping speed.

Buy fresh produce items in season.

How will you know when they are in season? Check around the produce section to see how much of that produce is available. During berry season (late spring, early summer), you see stacks upon stacks of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. In the fall, you’ll see 10 different types of apples in the produce section. Another quick technique, glance at the price. If the price is really high, the produce item is most likely not in season. So, if a produce item is not in season, does that mean you shouldn’t eat it? Of course not! You can find most produce items in the freezer section or the canned section of your grocery store. Search for canned or frozen items that are cookingsugar free or are stored in their own juices. Yes, it is still possible to eat blueberries in the middle of winter. Mmm… Blueberries. Oh, sorry! I got a little distracted for a moment. Anyway, did you know you could cook fresh and frozen vegetables in the microwave? They taste so much better than the canned variety. For the student who is on an extreme time crunch, look for individually packaged microwave vegetables in your freezer section or purchase some Ziploc Zip N’ Steam bags. Those bags can help you cook fresh vegetables in three minutes!

Try something new.

If your grocery store has samples, try some. This is a free way to be exposed to new foods. Increasing your food repertoire is an excellent way to get the nutrients you need without becoming bored of the same foods. Most grocery stores have a staff member devoted to the produce section. Get to know them. Ask them questions. They are there with their expertise and love to share it with customers. If talking to people is not your preferred method, look online. A quick Google search can provide most of the answers you are looking for such as how to know when fruit is ripe or how to cook fresh green beans.

Take advantage of store coupons, sales, and store deals.

Grocery stores want to you buy these deals, so they use techniques to draw your attention to them. Look for brightly colored signs, giant letters or blinking lights. Check out store brand items rather than name brand items. Store brands tend to be significantly cheaper and are often made with the same ingredients.

Well, that’s it. Five simple tips to have you eating like a superhero while in college.

Newsletter Articles – August 2014

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Gaining the freshman fifteen is a common experience with today’s college students. Trust me, I once shared in the communal weight gain. I gained weight because like any other college student, my stress was high, my time was valuable, and my budget was small. Naturally, I problem solved by eating out regularly. However, I learned the hard way that eating out wastes time, money and eventually, can cause serious health impacts.

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I wake up one lovely summer morning. The sun is shining. Birds are singing on the rooftops. Overall, I feel on top of the world. As I saunter down to the kitchen for breakfast, I hear my parents’ voices. They say curiosity killed the cat, but I’m more of a dog person, so I approach them. Little do I know that today is the first day of the rest of my life.

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