How to step up your nutrition game at university
Understandably, it’s without a doubt that the majority of students miss a good ol’ home cooked meal when they fly the nest to university. Truthfully, when you’re skint and too busy with your newfound social life, getting your ‘five a day’ (do piña coladas count?) can be easily forgotten about. Step in Nutrition and Hydration Week. Getting your greens and keeping hydrated is super important amidst all that partying and librarying, especially when a lot of concentration is required. So, here are a few student hacks to make sure you’re looking after yourself at university, whilst sticking to your budget.
Shopping in the Tesco Express or Little Waitrose on your doorstep may be convenient, but how about trying market stalls instead? You could save a fortune on your weekly shop AND get a load of fresh fruit and veg. It might take a little extra time to walk there, but it’s worth the savings. Plus, buying loose, local market produce is friendlier to the environment than purchasing packaged veg in huge supermarkets.
Do you ever find you make far too much food for dinner? Perfect – you can freeze your leftovers for another time. Get yourself some sturdy Tupperware (or leftover curry takeaway boxes will do the job!) and plan for the weeks ahead. It’ll save you some serious coin and your precious time, so definitely worth a try.
Don’t feel ashamed of rummaging through all the reduced yellow-stickered items in supermarket fridges. You can sometimes find a few diamond deals in there, especially items which you can freeze and save for a later date. Don’t ditch that almost out-of-date mince before you’ve considered freezing it and making a cheap and nutritious spaghetti Bolognese or chilli con carne sometime.
Have you seen those fancy hydration tracker water bottles? The ones that advise you to so many millilitres by 9am, and repeat by 10am, to help you track your habits right up until 6pm. Well unfortunately, they’re pretty pricey and the average student would most likely want to spend that ‘water bottle money’ in their favourite club. But why fork out when you can easily track your water intake yourself? Experts say we should be drinking two litres of water a day, so go ahead and refill your regular 500ml water bottle just four times a day and HEY-PRESTO, you’ll be hitting those hydration levels.
Sick of buying fresh vegetables only for them to go off really quickly? Frozen vegetables are a surprisingly great source of nutrition, even when compared to their fresher counterparts. Supermarkets offer a huge variety of frozen and microwavable vegetables, which can be ready in just a few minutes.
Similar to frozen greens, buying frozen fruit is a great way to get your five-a-day. If you can get your hands on a blender in your student flat, make a breakfast smoothie using frozen berries. Toss in a handful of berries, peanut butter, almond milk, honey and a banana, and voilà, you have a healthy alternative to your usual morning cereal. Better yet, when frozen, this particular recipe tastes just like a homemade bowl of ice cream. Delicious!