What I eat in a week

Hey Everyone! Todays post is a little peek into what I tend to eat as a student on a budget but also as someone who is leading a healthy lifestyle. I am not on a diet in any way (which you’ll be able to see clearly from the food I eat), instead I try to eat healthily with good portion sizes whilst making sure there are some treats in there because yo girl needs something to look forward to otherwise ‘Moody Molly’ makes a reappearance (as my family know too well).

Tuesday: Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner

Wednesday: Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner

Thursday: Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner

Friday: Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner

Saturday: Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner

Sunday: Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner

Monday: Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner

Tuesday (today): Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner is to be decided

Snacks and desserts:

So as you can see there are a lot of repeated meals (mainly avocado on toast which I’ve been LOVING lately if you can’t tell already) because this is not only useful for using up any leftovers but enables me to stay on track of my healthy eating as I form a sort of routine so I know what I’m having and when. This is also so that I can avoid the almighty dangerous stage of starvation where you literally eat everything and anything in sight because you can’t wait/ be bothered to cook anything; you’re that HANGRY (yes thats right hangry, the angry stage of hunger!) Yet this ‘routine’ of eating is not necessarily super strict by any means as you can see from my food diary, I had lunch out on Saturday and I had dinner out at TGI Fridays on Monday. But even though I enjoyed meals out this is not to say that you can’t still be healthy, as at TGI Fridays I opted for a small salad (which I know many people would be like ‘why go out and have a salad? but honestly this salad is A M A Z I N G) and sweet potato fries on the side which is a healthier alternative to having a burger and fries. You see I’m all about making healthIER choices, note the emphasis on ‘IER’ because I’m not about to cut out all the nice sweet treats that give me ultimate satisfaction, because thats not a life that I want to lead. So yes I do have 4 biscuits for dessert (with a glass of milk, whilst feeling like a right little kid) and yes I still have pasta, sausages, popcorn and many other normal foods, because you can eat all that and still be healthy. Its all about MODERATION, the word everyone hates (including me because sometimes I do want to just devour a whole 200g Cadburys bar) but ultimately moderation is key to leading a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy eating as a student

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.

My experience at uni so far…

Currently I’m in my second year at university studying French with business management and I can tell you now university isn’t a doddle (well first year maybe but second year is definitely NOT). So in this blog I’m just going to share with you a few things I’ve learnt since coming to uni…

  1. It’s okay to be yourself. Basically what I mean by this is if you don’t want to go out every night of the week and get absolutely trollied then that’s perfectly okay. Its not a university requirement that you go out all the time because A thats such a waste of money and time since you don’t remember anything anyway and B the only thing you do get out of it is a sore head and your feet cursing you from the not so comfy high heels you so desperately tried to wear all night. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go out because I think everybody deserves a good night to let loose, especially in celebration after you say goodbye to those haunting deadlines, but you just shouldn’t be pressured into going out when you don’t want to. I mean who can afford to go out all the time with student loan nowadays anyway.  giphy-5
  2. Be careful with money. On the topic of student loan even though its so tempting to spend that magical sum of money each semester you gotta restrain those little fingers from pressing checkout online or entering those 4 magic numbers in the card machine, because that money runs out quickly and when its gone its gone for good. Unfortunately my student loan didn’t and still doesn’t cover my accommodation or bills so I have a part time job on the side which gets tricky during exam season and when those deadlines creep up but essentially I need it so just gotta deal. So for me I’ve never actually been able to spend any of my student loan to date, sad times.giphy-6
  3. Preparation is key. Now this is something I didn’t quite grasp in first year, the whole idea of organisation, preparation and keeping on top of that endless stream of work, but that’s okay because thats what first year is all about. Theres so many changes that happen at once and so many new things you have to adjust to that you physically won’t get everything right first time so try not to beat yourself up about it. You’ll get there, everyone does just in time and experience. I must admit though this was something I found particularly hard because I’m the most impatient person in the world (thanks dad) so I like to get things right then and there, but sometimes in life you just gotta wait (unfortunately).giphy-4
  4. Don’t compare yourself to others. I’m a massive culprit of doing this, especially because I’m studying French surrounded by such amazing people who are practically already fluent and theres me with no French relatives and having only learnt French at school which wasn’t much help to be honest. You know what I mean, just learning and reciting paragraphs for exams and oh the dreaded unexpected questions which weren’t really unexpected because you knew the topic beforehand, but you’re still sitting there thinking no please no don’t ask me them. Well now I’m learning about French politics and French laws when I don’t even know about my own country’s politics or laws and those dreaded unexpected questions are a just daily occurence but still dreaded. Anyway back to what I was saying about comparing yourself to others, even though you may think you’re the dummy of the class you’re definitely not. Its just at university praise is not really something they do so just prepare yourself for lots in the way of criticism, but don’t worry you will have improved its just they don’t like to tell you that you have #outofschoolreality.          giphy-3
  5. Go to your lectures. Now it may be tempting especially at the end of the semester to miss a few lectures here and there, no one will notice? But you forget that you’re actually paying to go to university and you wouldn’t pay for something unless you wanted it so in a sense you’re just shooting yourself in your own foot. It’s better to go and sit through a whole two hours of someone rambling on about nonsense than missing something crucial in the long run. It may hurt your soul at the moment but it will pay off in the future. And anyway it’s not like you’ve got to go to uni every day for 9 hours straight, I only have to go in 3 times a week (for £9000 a year, totally getting my moneys worth…NOT). giphy-2
  6. Make sure you check your emails and blackboard. Lecturers love to spring unexpected work and deadlines on you so make sure you check your emails/blackboard (blackboard may vary from uni to uni but it is essentially an online portal for all the modules/work you’re currently doing) because you don’t want to turn up to a lecture and feel a sudden rush of panic as the lecturer says I hope you’ve all prepared for your presentation today. At this point you can feel yourself slowly sinking into your chair trying to pretend you’re not there. giphy
  7. You are responsible for your own work. There ain’t nobody who’s gonna remind you to hand that summative essay in or remind you to revise for the big end of year exam, unfortunately my friends is all up to you. That’s what uni is all about, learning to cope and be independent. When that deadline says 3pm Tuesday it means 3pm Tuesday, there’s no bargaining or sweet talking that can be done to change it so if you don’t reach that deadline you’re stuffed!giphy-7
  8. Be careful with that food shop. So first year food shopping is a little trickier as you have to share a kitchen with roughly 8 other people so fridge and freezer space is a little limited. So try not to buy too much food as A you won’t be able to fit it anywhere and B most of the time you’ll end up wasting it which is what i used to do. The key thing is to buy only what you need, which I must admit is quite hard sometimes especially with jars of sauce as they are usually quite large and the smaller versions are more expensive even though there’s less stuff in it. The CHEEK! So my best advice is to shop around. Though this does get a lot easier in 2nd year when you move into your own house with the people you actually chose to live with and less of them, meaning you can have a whole shelf to yourself. Ah the dream! Plus now we tend to do a whole house shop and cook together which makes things so much cheaper and less wastage. Aldi is every students fav place to shop, but I’m also partial to ASDA and Sainsbury’s (mainly because of my staff discount) to get the branded stuff like Belvita breakfast biscuits which are my go to snack. I confess I am a biscuit lover. giphy-10
  9. Make sure you eat your greens. It’s so easy to go crazy with food because this is the first time you’ve been able to properly take control of what you’re eating. So first few months its okay to go crazy but make sure you integrate that staple fruit and veg as well. Now I know fruit and veg can be expensive but this is where Aldi comes in handy again. Aldi fruit and veg is so much cheaper than any other supermarkets, it can be a little but hit and miss sometimes but fruit and veg is unpredictable anyway. So get yourself down to Aldi (or Lidl) because you need that brain food to keep you going, especially during exam season. giphy-11
  10. Enjoy it! Lets face it you’re probably not going to get as much time off as you do at university for a while so enjoy the long ole holidays and enjoy the university experience. Get involved in anything and everything and above all be yourself!source-8