College student needs meal plan

Donovan GRANT

Monday, November 26, 2018

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Dear Donovan,

I am a college student so I really don't cook, but I was wondering if you had any examples of quick and healthy meals and snacks that contain all the right amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and fats that I need. I am 5'8 and 140 pounds, and I'm just looking to keep at a steady weight, have energy, and retain a positive outlook on life.

Eating healthy can be a challenge for anyone and even moreso for a college student who may be on a budget and faced with limited time to prepare proper meals. However, eating healthy as a college student is possible with the proper strategies.

Many college students are intimidated by the idea of cooking. It is a situation where they might have gone from mom or dad preparing the meals to eating dorm food. Unfortunately, most of the food available on college campuses is not really healthy and it usually shows in that increase in weight and decline of health in some students.

I see where you'd like to eat in a healthy way but at the same time you basically would like to keep at your current weight. So what I am getting is that you are doing this more for health reasons. However, I wish you had given me a idea of what you are now eating. This would have given me a rough idea of your present calorie intake.

It should be noted that any change in diet could result in you losing or gaining weight. You are not now cooking, but in order to make sure you are eating healthy you will have to take some control over the food you eat. You will have to prepare some of your meals. The overall idea is that these meals should be healthy and at the same time fit into your budget and time available to prepare them.

The first thing I would suggest is that you could make a weekly budget of how much you would like to spend on food. In addition, you might also want to look at the cooking and storing resources that you have on your dorm. Do you have a microwave, a stove, a fridge? Do you have access to cooking utensils, etc? Also, do you have a room-mate who might share the cost of, and in the preparation of meals that could be both cost saving and time saving?

Being able to buy fruits and vegetables from the market might also help. Using fruits and vegetables which are in season makes a lot of sense. The idea of buying in bulk might also be helpful.

Without knowing specifically what your diet is now, I am still going to make some healthy meal suggestions. Again the question is how healthy you want to make your meals and how much of the unhealthy things you want to take out of your diet.

I would suggest that for breakfast you could have oatmeal with banana and raisin or you could do yoghurt with two fruits, or if you have enough fruits you could also make a fruit smoothie. In addition, you could also do a shake with oats, some form of milk, banana and seeds. If there is time you could also make porridge for breakfast, making sure to reduce the sugar and condensed milk. And a wholewheat bread sandwich with a lot of vegetables could also work.

For a mid-morning snack you could have a fruit, coconut water, or even 6-8 oz of a healthy fruit juice.

For lunch you could do a vegetable salad with meat. If there is time on the weekend you could roast or bake a chicken and eat it over time. You could also do a soup. Cook a pot of it when you get a chance and store in the freezer in smaller containers. In this way you can just grab a soup container when you need it. Making a healthy one-pot meal with meat, carbs and vegetables may also be good. In some cases you could also make enough lunch and use some for dinner.

For a mid-afternoon snack you could also have a fruit or yoghurt.

For dinner you could use some of the lunch options. In instances where there is no time to cook, you could buy a serving of baked or roast chicken and just add vegetables to it. In addition, also try and get in some exercise as this will help to reduce your stress levels.

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG's Nutrition and Wellness Centre, 39 Lady Musgrave Road. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to clarkep@jamaicaobserver.com .

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