The Wellness Girls' Guide To College Survival: The Snack Kit

Originally published in The Chalkboard Magazine

"INTEGRATIVE NUTRITIONIST, Jennie Miremadi, is rounding out our three part series on college wellness and campus survival with this guide to the ultimate snack kit. Grab her savvy survival tips for college-bound wellness babes — an essential guide to how, where and what to eat. Whether it’s a long day on campus or a marathon study sesh, stashing the right snacks can be a game changer for well-being. Set yourself us for success with Jennie’s do’s and don’t, and explore her other guides for total college wellness here and here…" - The Chalkboard Magazine

DO: SNACK SMART

Instead of grabbing unhealthy snacks that might be easily accessible in your dorm or around campus, create your own snack survival kit with nutrient-rich options that will fill you up and won’t spike your blood sugar. Some great choices include nuts, seeds, single-serving nut butter squeeze packets from Artisana Organics, no-sugar-added jerky and organic olive snack packs.

If you’re open to doing a little bit of prep, here are some other quick and easy snack ideas: strawberry almond coconut trail mix, chia seed puddings, cans of organic roasted chicken breast with lemon, salt and pepper, and half an avocado with lemon, salt and pepper.

DO: COOK FOR YOURSELF

If you go to college never having cooked before, it can feel overwhelming to have to prepare your own meals. Don’t let this deter you from eating healthy food. Start by making quick and easy meals that only require very basic cooking skills. Focus on delicious, easy-to-prep options like chia seed puddings, smoothies and simple nutrient-rich salads while you slowly learn how to make more complex meals.

A great way to up your cooking game is by watching YouTube videos that show you step by step how to make a particular meal or practice a specific cooking skill. Whether you want to learn how to roast vegetables, make cauliflower rice, or skewer your own chicken kabobs, there are YouTube videos demoing how to do it. If you pick one new meal to master each week, by the end of the school year you’ll be a pro.

DON’T: GO OVERBOARD WITH KITCHEN GADGETS

You need food storage containers to keep your food fresh and organized, and cooking supplies to help you prepare healthy meals. But don’t go overboard in buying kitchen gadgets! Stick with the basics — you can always add to your collection if you find that you’re missing something.

COOKING SUPPLIES: Set up your kitchen with some basic cooking equipment, including a baking sheet, glass baking dish, cutting board, vegetable peeler, vegetable grater, can opener, pot holders, measuring cups, measuring spoons, cooking utensils and a set of knives. For cookware, try Green Pan’s ceramic non-stick pots and pans — they’re made without toxic chemicals and won’t release toxic fumes into your food. If you’re going to make smoothies and salad dressings, invest in a blender.

FOOD STORAGE: Stock up on Mason jars — they’re an inexpensive way to store nuts, seeds, grains and other pantry items. If you don’t have much space to store your food, consider getting some non-toxic, durable storage containers from UConserve or New Wave Enviro. If your dorm isn’t equipped with a mini-fridge, purchase one so that you have the option to store fresh food.

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