Easy, Healthy Meals for the Student Lifestyle | The Student Pocket Guide
Ah, student life. Late nights, daily lie-ins, cluttered flats and a diet of pizza and beer – what could be better? Well, if you consider your health, the ‘grab what’s easiest and cheapest’ diet is worth reconsidering..
Whilst this stereotype doesn’t represent all students, a large percentage of the university population could certainly benefit from a healthier diet. Here are a few suggestions – from healthy soup recipes to great one-pot dinners – for easy, healthy meals to enjoy throughout the day:
One of the biggest mistakes many students make is skipping breakfast altogether. Breakfast has long been touted by scientists and nutritionists as the ‘most important meal of the day’, and recent reports that show how skipping breakfast may increase your risk of suffering a heart attack back up this claim. For a healthy morning meal on a student budget, consider the following:
- Porridge: Not just delicious, but oats have a number of health benefits, including helping to lower cholesterol and providing plenty of fibre, vitamin B, iron and magnesium.
- Hard boiled eggs, whole wheat toast: Start your day right with plenty of protein (the eggs) and enjoy slow-release energy (the toast) to keep your brain alert during those long morning lectures.
Grabbing lunch in-between classes leaves you with little time to cook up something elaborate. Instead, consider these quick and healthy lunch ideas:
- Soup: From hearty minestrone to spicy butternut squash bisque, there are a number of healthy soup recipes available online. Cook up a batch, portion it into lunch-sized containers and freeze to reheat later.
- Tuna Pasta Salad: Combine your favourite pasta with pesto, tuna, red onion, capers and sundried tomatoes for a delicious pasta salad you can eat all week. This is also an ideal way to use up extra pasta from the night before.
If you live in a shared flat, dividing dinner duty throughout the week is usually far more economic than each of you buying meals for one. Here are a couple of simple, healthy group dinner ideas that your friends will love:
- Sweet potato and pea curry: For a hearty, vegetarian meal your flatmates will love, combine chunks of sweet potato and white potato in a sauce of coconut milk, veggie stock and curry paste. Once the potatoes have softened, throw in some frozen peas and chopped coriander. Serve with fluffy brown rice.
- Chili con carne: This simple, one-pot dish is always a crowd-pleaser. Simply brown some onions, garlic and mince in a large pot before adding a few tins of chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and chilli powder. Adjust the recipe however you like by adding other types of beans (black beans and garbanzo beans work well) and a few dashes of your favourite flavourings (cinnamon, Worcestershire sauce, etc.).
So, don’t skip breakfast, be a little more organised and not only will your health improve but your bank balance will too…