Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Healthy Foods for a Starving Student: It's Possible!

It is common knowledge that being a starving student includes eating low priced, highly processed foods to keep their brains working. This is a total myth! Did you know that you can spend just as much money on nutritious, healthy food that won't break your bank account, keep you energized, thinking clearly and doesn't any time at all?
Here are some great foods to stock up on with some recipe ideas to make sure you stay full, energized and healthy. You will want to make sure you have a small fridge with a small freezer so you can store the essential fresh items we will list. Remember, you will find yourself saving money Instead of wasting money on expensive take-out pizza, consider this quick, easy and much healthier option:
• Purchase a stack of whole wheat pita bread, top with pizza sauce, cheese, veggies and a lean meat for a high protein quick meal.
• Pasta is great to store in your dorm room and cost-effective. Just make sure you purchase the whole wheat or whole grain type. Stay away from white pasta or Ramen. Whole grains help you eat less and stay fuller longer.
• For a quick snack, store pieces of fruit and cut up some veggies ahead of time to store in plastic bags. This way you will be able to grab them quickly when on the run to class.
• Eggs are a quick and easy breakfast that will keep you full of protein and energy. Eggs also last a long time. Store in your fridge and prepare ahead of time by hard boiling or scrambling with ham, salsa, veggies and your favorite spices. Heat up in the microwave for roughly a minute and roll up in a whole wheat tortilla for a healthy breakfast-on-the-go.
• Stock up on whole wheat bread, legumes, frozen veggies, chicken or beef stalk, whole grain rice and try to stay away from highly processed ready-prepared foods. Some great healthy snack alternatives are popcorn, whole grain crackers, nuts and dried fruits.
Here is a great basic recipe where you can substitute any of the above ingredients we listed. This stir fry goes well with rice, pasta or beans along with any type of veggie or meat you have available:
½ cup whole wheat rice or pasta, dry 
½ tablespoon olive oil 
¼ red pepper, in strips

½ cup green pepper, in strips 
½ carrots, shredded

1 cup broccoli cuts 
Teriyaki or soy sauce, amount per your taste

- Boil water for the rice or pasta. Follow instructions on the rice or pasta bag, adjusting for ½ cup of rice. Pour the olive oil into the deepest frying pan you have. Add all of the veggies, and then turn on medium heat.
- Cover and let steam for about 10 minutes. Move the veggies around with a spatula occasionally to make sure that the frozen bits hug the bottom of the pan. It's normal to have some water at the bottom. The vegetables should begin to look more vibrant in color.
- Drizzle your sauce throughout the pan, covering all vegetables. Adjust the amount based on your taste.
- Move the vegetables around with a wooden spoon to make sure the sauce covers all of them evenly. Then let sit for 5 minutes on low heat.

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