So if you don’t already know I am currently a student, which means I can’t splash out on luxury food, organic fruit and veg or even chia seeds (which are ridiculously expensive for a seed I must add) and basically anything that your average healthy Instagramer promotes on a daily basis. So here is my solution to being healthy whilst also being a student…
First up is breakfast and lately I’m really into making smoothies because A its a way of loading up on your fruit AND veg, which many students lack, plus its a way of getting rid of that mouldy fruit you haven’t quite got round to eating as its right near the biscuit tin and lets face it biscuits come first.
I tend to just mix and match my smoothie flavours with basically whatever fruit I have at that time so the one on the left was mango, blueberries, spinach and apple juice and the one on the right is my newest obsession with banana, mango, raspberries, desiccated coconut and apple juice. It’s seriously da bomb! Plus its a cute pinky colour so looks appetising as well. Now you maybe thinking well how can she afford all this fruit when she’s a student…? Well my friends here is where frozen fruit comes in, not only is it cheaper than fresh fruit but lasts a whole lot longer and all you have to do is just pop it in the blender and let it do its thang. Same great taste but way cheaper. Also I am a rather avid bargain hunter/yellow sticker seeker (thanks dad) so when those bananas are reduced because they a lil ripe I’ll snatch those bad boys up for my smoothies.
Now onto actual food for breakfast, I tend to either have a bagel or toast or if I’m feeling a little fancy and creative then I’ll replicate a salmon and cream cheese bagel but we all know that smoked salmon is very expensive and frankly way out of a students league. So instead of using smoked salmon I use this cooked ham from Lidl and grill it. You could use bacon but because I’m a cheapskate and I am partial to a little ham to snack on every now and then (don’t judge) this works a lot better for me. Plus it kind of tastes the same anyway! Also in winter if I’m feeling a warm hearty breakfast then I’ll opt for porridge as you can’t go wrong with a good ole bowl of porridge. To add some chocolatey flavour I mixed a spoonful of Nutella into the mixture and added some slices of banana on top to create a scrummy morning meal.
Next up is lunch and this varies from day to day and is very dependant on how much time I have. I love salads but I’m so put off by the actual preparation and creation of salads which is so lazy I know so this is probably one of student luxuries buying pre-prepared salad kits. My favourite one is the caesar salad kit from Lidl for £1.69 which isn’t too bad as I can get two servings out of it and its the only way I’m going to actually eat salad so its worth it. The salad on the left below is one of my more upmarket salads containing avocado and super grains which is by far the best salad I’ve ever made (if I do say so myself). Another lunchtime fav is for when I’m craving something naughty but don’t want to indulge too much as its only lunchtime… tortilla pizza. This is something my mum used to make all the time for lunch when we were growing up and its such an easy, cheap and quick way of satisfying those midday urges. All you need is simply a tortilla wrap, tomato puree, cheese and anything else you want to put on top. I opted for tomatoes, peppers and some herbs on mine which was absolutely scrummy.
Tea/dinner (whatever you want to call it) can be challenging for a student as this is where the protein comes in and meat isn’t cheap nowadays. My solution to this is load up on veg and potatoes (but not too much potato I must add). My absolute go to is roasted veg because all you do is chop up a load of veg, add a splash of oil and in the oven it goes. Then all you have to do is add a little bit of meat to accompany the veg mountain. In the photo on the left I actually had breaded cod as you can get four from Lidl for under £2! If I’m feeling a lighter tea/dinner then I’ll opt for salad instead of veg and bung in some sweet potato wedges as who doesn’t love sweet potato.
If I’m out all day and know that I won’t want to cook when I get back then I can always rely on my faithful slow cooker to do the job. If you’re a student and don’t have a slow cooker then I seriously suggest investing in one as they are an easy way to whip up tea/dinner and stop you from ordering that dominos because you can’t be bothered to cook. Some of my favourite things to cook in the slow cooker are sweet and sour chicken and butter chicken as you can whack a load of veg with that too and let it simmer all day. Also to pad out the meal I tend to add some sweet potato which can be a veggie alternative to meat or just an extra if you’re feeling a tad hangry (yes not hungry, HANGRY!)
And lastly its dessert because who doesn’t love dessert. One of my go to desserts is rice pudding. Yes don’t we all remember having rice pudding when we were little, I sure do and still do to this day. It’s cheap (around 30p per can) and fills you up. I tend to bung a load of fruit ontop with some honey and away you go. Another alternative is bananas and custard which may divide people (and rice pudding too when I think about it) but it’s one of my all time favs and I love it! Can’t go wrong with a bit of ambrosia.
So you can eat healthily as a student its just about integrating fruit and veg into dishes where you can and putting on your bargain hunting hat when you go shopping. Also I must point out that portion control is very important as you don’t want to overindulge (well not every day anyway, save that for special occasions.) I know the food I’ve shown you isn’t probably diet worthy but I’m not on a diet and I don’t intend to be, I’m simply eating healthily and living a healthy lifestyle which includes a few treats and naughty things yes. Too many people nowadays have these grand ideas and drastic measures when it comes to “dieting” when in fact its just a mixture of eating healthily and in moderation (as much as I hate saying that word) and exercising. You’ve just got to find what works for you and remember to Be True Be You.