The Meat and Potatoes of Grocery Shopping

4webBy: Leanna Gubbels, Mentor Student

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Now that school is now in full swing, homework and everything, some students might have started getting homesick. Even if you won’t admit that you secretly do miss Mom and Dad’s nagging or arguing with your siblings, there is one thing there is no denial that you do miss, and that is HOMECOOKED MEALS!. Dining halls can only do so much, and there’s always “broke-college-kid syndrome” to take into consideration so even if you do go eat off campus, it’s usually just fast food or some pre-made, pre-packaged, 3-minutes in the microwave meal. Nothing against that, though, either, but it can make staying healthy and avoiding that Freshman Fifteen (even for non-freshmen.) It seems that everything that is advertised as being “healthy” is all “organic” and meat-free. As farmers, we never feed out animals diets that would harm our animals. If our animals aren’t healthy, then we can’t make a living so it doesn’t make sense that we wouldn’t give our animals the best care; just as you should care for yourself if you want to stay healthy. It is not an impossible task to find affordable, healthy, non-cardboard imitation food for you as a college student.

Here’s a list to get you started:

  • Fruits and vegetables (of course)

-frozen or dried are good too (and less expensive). You can cook some up quickly and easily then add some seasoning (all-purpose seasoning is a wonderful fall back for any foods…even popcorn)

  • Apples
  • Bananas
    • Both are easy to take with to class as a snack and taste delicious with peanut butter….and are at your dining hall so you wouldn’t even have to go shopping for them.
  • Carrots
  • Celery
    • Also easy to take with you (and good with peanut butter.) They also burn more calories raw than cooked.
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Lettuce
    • You don’t have to drown it in dressing for it to taste good
    • Pork loin- less calories than chicken!
      • chicken breasts
      • lean ground beef
        • they both have more calories than pork loin but are delicious and good for you, too
        • potatoes
          • sweet potatoes (high in antioxidants-I like them best baked with a packet of ranch seasoning)
          • peanut butter
          • yogurt
          • trail mix
          • dark chocolate almonds
          • whole grain bread (or ultragrain)
            • almonds are good for your memory and dark chocolate has many antioxidants…and helps curb those sweets cravings
            • eggs
              • if you’re worried about them spoiling, you can whisk them up like you do before scrambling, put into an ice cube. When they are frozen, just store in your freezer. (1 cube= ~1 egg)
              • oatmeal
                • blueberries make this extra yummy…or other fruits
                • pretzels
                • popcorn

And just some addition tips:

  • You can still enjoy sweets and pizza and such, just in moderation.
    • Just because the label says it is “low-fat” or “diet” doesn’t always mean it is the healthier choice. It may have fewer calories, but these meals typically have other additives that are almost counter-productive to having the normal-regular calorie meal.
    • If it says “organic” and you are at say Walmart, chances are it is the exact same, or close to the same as the product that does not claim to be organic….and costs half as much (yeah money-saving!)
    • Coupons are your friend. J
    • If you can’t find it in nature, chances are that it will be highly processed or at least have more sodium and/ or calories than the real thing. Such as chicken breast verses chicken nuggets (I still love chicken nuggets though.)
    • Exercise is the cure-all to whatever ails you. Feeling down, tired, out-of-shape, or out of sync? Go to the gym! Run! Get moving! Like the Got Milk? ads say, just 30 minutes a day can help you stay healthy and in a better mood.

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