Eating a Nutrient Dense Diet in a College Setting
Maintaining a whole food, nutrient dense diet when starting college and living in the dorms doesn’t have to be stressful. The main thing is to remember if God made it, it’s good. Keeping God foods on-hand for easy meals and snacks is doable even if it takes a little extra planning. Most college dorms allow small refrigerators and microwaves. There are other wonderful tools that can also be used to maintain a healthy diet. The following is a list of foods and helpful tools that can be used in dorm rooms, apartments, and campus housing.
Boiled eggs—Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition. They contain healthy fat and protein along with good minerals. A small egg boiler is easy to use and doesn’t pose a fire risk so should be aloud in a dorm room (always check campus policy).
Amazon.com: DASH Rapid Egg Cooker: 6 Egg Capacity Electric Egg Cooker for Hard Boiled Eggs, Poached Eggs, Scrambled Eggs, or Omelets with Auto Shut Off Feature – Black: Electric Egg Cookers: Home & Kitchen
Here are a couple of easy ways to prepare eggs in the microwave:
Oats—Oats are another easy way to get a nutrient-dense breakfast at the start of the day. Oats are full of B-Vitamins and fiber. Plus, adding fruit, protein sources and healthy fats create a completely balanced meal. We love overnight oats cooked in the crock pot or separated into small jars to pop into the microwave for breakfast. If your dorm allows crock pots, this is a good one for a smaller room: Amazon.com: Elite Gourmet MST-250XS Electric Slow Cooker Ceramic Pot, Adjustable Temp, Entrees, Sauces, Stews & Dips, Dishwasher Safe Glass Lid & Crock, 1.5 Quart, Stainless Steel: Crock Pot: Home & Kitchen.
Here are a few ways to prepare oats for a nutrient dense breakfast:
How to Make Overnight Oats + 15 Healthy Recipes – Fed & Fit (fedandfit.com)—Adding collagen powder to these oats will increase protein content.
Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats – Eat. Drink. Love. (eat-drink-love.com)—This recipe can be reduced to fit into a small crock pot. We use coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup to sweeten instead of the brown sugar.
The following recipes also make for great dorm room breakfasts:
Blueberry Banana Microwave Baked Oats – Kim’s Cravings (kimscravings.com)—Use real meal or coconut milk in this recipe instead of the almond milk. Always oil the cup with butter, coconut oil or olive oil instead of non-stick sprays.
Greek Yogurt—Full of probiotics, protein and healthy fats, Greek yogurt is an excellent way to start the day. Add protein powder for extra protein and some fruit for a nutrient-dense, easy breakfast or lunch.
Lunch foods are easy to gather and can be easily stored in a small refrigerator or closet. See the following ideas for some nutrient-dense lunch ideas:
Ham and Cheese roll-up with avocado—Just roll up ham and sliced cheese with a slice of avocado. Add sliced cucumbers and apples.
Grain Free Crackers and Cheese—This can be any type of cheese. Add a slice of avocado and a kalamata olive to each cracker for added healthy fats.
Nachos—tortilla chips with shredded cheese (cooked in microwave). Add pico de gallo, diced avocado, sour cream, beans.
Smoothies—If dorm rooms/apartments allow a small blender, smoothies can be a nutrient-dense meal when healthy fats, proteins and carbs are used.
Fortunately, there are more and more healthy, easy options for quick dinner meals when going to an on-campus cafeteria or restaurant isn’t appealing. Check Costco and Natural Grocers for frozen options as well as easy to store soup ideas such as Kettle and Fire.
Nutrient-Dense Dining at Texas Tech
Murray Hall—This dining hall serves breakfast burritos that are pretty good. Of course, they aren’t made with pasture raised eggs and organic ingredients. But skip the tortilla and ask for the burrito in a bowl and you’ll have a high protein meal.
The Sub—This eatery serves BBQ. Again, this is an easy way to avoid highly processed grains and sugars and still enjoy a meal rich in protein.
Talkington Cafeteria—Noted as one of the favorites on Tech campus, this cafeteria serves Brickwood Pizza, Wings, Mexican Bowls (think Chipotle) and has a salad bar.
Sams West— This cafeteria contains Tech Bowl (again think Chipotle or Qdoba style eating), a smoothie/acai bowl option, burgers, rotisserie chicken with rice and a sandwich bar.
All eateries have gluten-free options.