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How I Eat Healthy On A Student’s Budget

Boulder is a great place to explore cuisine. We have the Kitchen on Pearl Street, a restaurant who values its locally grown, fresh and organic ingredients; The farmers market on Wednesdays and Saturdays; Fate Brewery whom changes their menu based on seasonal produce, you get the picture. This city is health epitomized. However, being a student and being healthy don’t seem to go hand in hand. I know that if I could eat at the Kitchen everyday I absolutely would, but who has that kind of money to spend? Definitely not working, starving, college students.

Here are my secrets to eating healthy & hearty on a low budget…

  1. King Soopers meats – King Soopers always has weekly specials, such as $1.99/pound fresh chicken breast in the deli. They also have salmon, tilapia and catfish that ranges from $3-$6 per cut. Not bad considering every piece of fish I pick up feeds both of my roommates and myself.
  2. Think substitutes – Instead of french fries try sweet potato fries, instead of pasta try veggies pasta,and instead of ground beef try ground turkey. Easy, cheap and tasty!
  3. Eliminate bread completely (or almost completely) – Bread is an empty, and tasty carb, that adds almost nothing nutrient wise to the diet. I’ve always loved bread and I could never live without having bread once in a while. Search for the 45 calorie bread at the supermarket and select wheat, not whole grain. It’s easier for the body to digest and you don’t feel bloated of guilty when you crave a sandwich or peanut butter toast.
  4. Snack randomly and lightly – Stock up with some decadent snacks such as hummus, brie cheese or salsa. Another great and healthy option for snacking is Kale – you can make Kale chips or snack on a quick Kale salad with ranch.
  5. Breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day – After years of being told that eating breakfast will help you lose weight, the world has decided to unmask the truth about this apparent myth. Breakfast is in fact not as important as we have been told. With that being said, don’t eat in the morning if you’re not hungry! This will stretch your stomach out and keep you eating more all day long. If you do want breakfast, eggs are always a healthy and cheap way to go. Or oatmeal, or cereal.

A few of the foods that I consistently buy include,

Tomato & Red Pepper soup (great with an added avocado & splash of  sour cream), salmon, olive oil (unsaturated fat, perfect for cooking), kale, avocados & tomatoes, peanut butter, rice noodles, yogurt, strawberries & blueberries, Honey Bunches of Oats and chocolate.

I’ve realized over the past years that being a college student doesn’t make Ramen a food group and it definitely doesn’t mean that eating healthy is expensive. There are endless creations to be make with veggies, fruits and meats, and all of these things are completely affordable. Get creative, stay away from saturated fats and remember, everything is OK in moderation.

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