If you’re away at school for the first time, supporting someone who is, or you’re just looking for quick tips on how you can do more in the kitchen with less, this article is for you.
Everyone is adjusting to a new reality thanks to Covid-19. But when you’re away at school, learning how to feed yourself while living alone in a dorm room or sharing space in rented digs, it can add another layer of complexity and stress to student life. The space in dining halls is limited with no self-serve options, takeout meals are being encouraged to ensure distancing and safety and the use of residence kitchens may be restricted, making it difficult for you to help yourself out, even if you did know what to do. I’m sure that at this point I don’t need to tell you how (I’ll try to be kind here) “limited” residence food can be in the first place. Now with even less choice on how, when and where you feed yourself, those limitations are amplified.
These exceptional times make understanding how to feed yourself more important than ever. The foods we eat can have a profound impact on our physical and mental health, including our energy levels, how well we sleep, our mood, our ability to manage stress, our immunity and our mental focus. Whew! That’s quite a list. Food matters, and you owe it to yourself to understand a little bit about it. Being able to feed yourself well is not about becoming a gourmet cook or eating perfectly all the time (whatever that is). It’s not about becoming an expert in nutrients, balancing macros or following the latest diet trend. It’s about focusing on whole, real foods, finding simple ways to support yourself with a variety of foods and knowing how to adjust when your options are limited.
Learning what you can do to positively impact your nutrition is a fantastic way to start feeling in control of your plate and your environment. Preparing your own food can help reduce your stress and build resilience with the added bonus of breaking up the monotony of dining-hall meal plans. This Healthy Away from Home Guide is full of great ideas to help you get started! Simple no cook snacks, go-to lists of foods to have on hand to build flavour and nutrition into your meals and a cheat sheet on your best bets to stock a limited pantry. All the key tools and ingredients that you can carry with you from dorm room to kitchen, or that fit easily into your share of the limited cupboard space.
Find more great nutrition insights from Beth David and SWSCD:
OK - hold on a ‘sec … Please stay with me here. I hear you …
“I don’t have time!”, “I don’t have a kitchen!”, “I don’t even know where to start, and besides that, the meal plan has already been paid for”.
Did I miss anything? You might feel like now is not the right time to change up your food game, or to add anything else to your plate (pun completely intended). You probably feel like you can’t make a difference anyways, because you don’t have the right tools, a kitchen to work in or much knowledge. You might not even like cooking!
That’s all completely OK. You don’t have to be an instant expert or do everything all at once. I want to show you how you can make a difference - to how you feel, your energy level, your sleep, and how much you enjoy eating, even in residence - by just starting with a few simple changes. No tossing out the dining hall card required. I invite you to download my Healthy Away from Home Guide and get started.
The Healthy Away from Home Guide includes ideas for fast foods and snacks, easy add-ins to boost flavour and nutrition, a list of prepared foods to have on hand and kitchen tools to help you pull it all together. All designed to make things simpler and more delicious for you, wherever you’re cooking these days. Minimal cooking, minimal ingredients and minimal time all chosen to have maximum impact on your plate.
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Blog written by Beth David.
Beth David is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist™ professional, a certified Culinary Nutrition Expert and the owner/opeartor of Beth David Holistic and Culinary Wellness. Beth combines her in-depth knowledge of nutrition with her training in Culinary Nutrition to provide simple, practical strategies around food and cooking, customized to work for your real life.
In Beth's mind, “complicated” is not on the ingredient list! Eating well and feeling your best does not have to be complicated. Beth will help you build and maintain your health by putting the joy back into your kitchen and onto your plate. Without restrictions, diets or weight talk. Health for all, at every size.
Additional ways to connect with Beth: on Instagram at @bethjdavid; check in with Beth in the B’Hive at www.bethjdavid.com; or send her a note at email@example.com. Reach out today!
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