Remember the blissful days of never having to worry about food? In the morning, shuffling out of bed to a kitchen full of options; from Eggo Waffles and Toaster Strudels stacked high in the freezer, to whatever cereal that was available: Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs or some classic Honey Nut Cheerios. On a good day, one might have walked in on the sweet sight of mom or dad flipping pancakes at the stove.

That afternoon in school, mom or dad packed a lunch box of snacks or feast on a tray of cafeteria food with a carton of chocolate milk. Later while relaxing in front of Nickelodeon after another long day at a desk, one suddenly hear their name ring through the house, followed by two magic words: “Dinner’s ready!”

Unfortunately, childhood is but a distant memory and there is no one making all the decisions, especially when it comes to food. This is “young-adulthood”— land of slow metabolism, little money and no time. Here, a healthy diet tends to die at the bottom of our all-consuming to-do lists.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean shopping at Whole Foods, eating lettuce for every meal or juice-cleansing each month. It can be simple and inexpensive, while still impactful. Here are three easy tips to eat healthier in college.

Get Full Off Breakfast

Person Mixing Cereal, Milk, and Strawberry Jam on White Ceramic Bowl
Source: www.pexels.com

Skipping breakfast may be tempting when running out the door to make it to a 9:30 a.m. class, but eating a breakfast full of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats make a difference. The American Society of Nutrition published a study stating that those who skipped breakfast had a higher Body Mass Index compared to those who ate their biggest meal after waking up. If there’s no time to prepare anything, granola bars, protein-packed smoothies or frozen breakfast wraps are easy and on-the-go.

Make Friends With Fast Food

Close-up of Healthy Burger

Convenience doesn’t have to be bad for you. Three fast food chains across from KSU’s campus—Arby’s, Taco Bell and Wendy’s—offer several options healthier than a Big Mac. Don’t be afraid to customize your orders.

Say “fresco style” at Taco Bell and they’ll nix the sour cream and cheese and replace it with Pico de Gallo. At Arby’s, skip chicken salad for an actual salad, such as the Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad with 230 calories. Wendy’s offers a variety of cholesterol-friendly wraps and salads when ordering them with no ranch dressing.

Be Creative at The Commons

Vegetables Sauteed on Wok
Source: www.pexels.com

Endless options in the Commons can be daunting. Rather than graze from station to station or flying on auto-pilot in the Hwy 41 burger line again, show up with a plan. Create a plate that’s Instagram-worthy. It could be a salad, stir-fry or burrito bowl, overflowing with vegetables from The Campus Green. Fried rice from Miso Caliente and maybe some of Globe Trotter’s exotic, grilled meat. Think colorful, be creative and bounce around.

Eating healthy is an investment in one’s well-being, just as college is for one’s future. As an adult, taking care of oneself doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. KSU makes sure students have the resources needed to stay healthy because overall health is the first layer to a high quality of life.

Take advantage of the KSU’s nutrition services already paid for in tuition and fees each semester, with services such as one-on-one nutrition counseling, cooking demonstrations and nutrition workshops covering a wide range of relevant topics from “Healthy Eating on a Budget” to “Sports Nutrition”. For more information on KSU’s Nutrition Services, visit: http://wellness.kennesaw.edu/programs-services/nutrition-services.php