In order to eat right and exercise while trying to balance all the stresses of student life, you have to be committed and willing to make time for your health each day. It might be hard at first to start new habits, but they will simply become part of your routine once you get use to it! Personally, working out and eating healthy foods are what keeps me sane when college gets stressful! Here are the ways that I stay healthy in college! :)
My morning: It takes me about 15-20 minutes in the morning to make breakfast and pack my lunch and snacks. I know 20 minutes is a long time in the morning when you’re in a hurry! So, I just wake up 20 minutes earlier so I have time to get ready, then prepare my breakfast and lunch before I run out the door!
For breakfast: Protein and carbohydrates for breakfast are important to give energy and fuel for your day. I don’t get too fancy with my breakfast on school days since I’m in a hurry. I like to make 2 scrambled eggs with a side of strawberries or other fruit. Other days, I make a simple smoothie with a nut butter or protein powder (you might want to try my Chocolate PB Banana Smoothie!). These are really quick breakfasts because scrambling eggs takes like 2 minutes, and throwing ingredients in a blender is just as easy!
For lunch: I love making salad bowls filled with greens + veggies + healthy fats + protein and a separate little container with a homemade dressing with a side of fruit.
I usually have a bed of spinach with cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, olives and chickpeas with a dressing made out of olive oil, lemon, and apple cider vinegar. There are endless possibilities with this meal! When it’s lunch time I just pour in the dressing, close the salad up again and shake it up! My inspiration for this lunch came from one of my favorite healthy blogs Nutrition Stripped. Read here where she explains more in depth how to create a “nourish bowl“. If you just don’t seem to have enough time in the morning to make your lunch, prepare as much as you can the night before. It saves so much time!
For snacks: I always try to have protein at every snack and meal. I usually bring a banana and almonds and a thermos of green tea. If I am eating fruit, I always eat it with nuts or other protein so that it does not spike my blood sugar. Any type of fruit and nut combination is always good! Other protein-filled snack ideas would be boiled eggs, or veggie sticks like cucumber, carrot, and celery with humus dip.
Water: Drink water to keep those good nutrients flowing through your body throughout the day. Did you know that not drinking enough water can cause you to be tired and fatigued? Try filling up a water bottle with filtered water in the morning and sip on it throughout the day :) Adding lemon makes a world or difference, too!
Exercise: Find a convenient time of day for you to work out and make it a part of your routine. I work out right after I get home from school, which works for me because I get it over with and it keeps me from getting lazy! Other people find working out first thing in the morning before school works for them. Everyone is different, so find out what works for you! I make a schedule for my exercise goals at the beginning of the week. I always try to fit in at least 2-3 days of weights and 3 days of cardio. You don’t have to go to the gym every day, but do try to do something active everyday! It could be just walking to classes around campus or taking stairs instead of the elevator and parking your car far away so you can get a little extra movement in!
Sleep: I know I have repeated myself many times on the importance of sleep, but it is truly important if you want to stay healthy while in college. If you get enough rest, it will be easier to wake up early to prepare your meals and have enough energy to exercise. As a student, sleep is also important in order to retain knowledge, because during sleep is when your brain organizes all the information that you learned and studied throughout the day. Try not to go to sleep past 10 or 11 o’clock so you can wake up early rested and ready to start your day! :)
I hope that I have inspired you to incorporate more healthy habits into your busy schedule!