Active Living, Balance, Food, How-to, Student Life

Fueling my commuter student day

I lived on residence for my first three years at U of T and now that I’m living off-campus I face a real nutritional challenge. I used to pop into my residence repeatedly throughout the day, which gave me the chance to make some food and sit down to eat. Needless to say, these days that’s not exactly feasible.

It’s been a learning curve, but I’ve managed to identify some strategies for success when it comes to feeding myself as a new commuter student. I was doing a terrible job of it initially and learned my lesson the hard way when I fell ill and enjoyed a throbbing headache for three whole days. If you take anything away from this post, try to remember that while it can be challenging, time-consuming and expensive to stay on top of healthy eating sometimes – it’s worth the work. You might save an hour or two by cutting corners or cutting meals but you’ll lose much more than that when you’re feeling unwell later on.

Veggies are shown with a text overlay which reads "Those who think they have no time for healthy eating, will sooner or later have to find time for illness."

Source: natural-healing-retreats.com

Having said that, here are the habits I’ve formed to keep myself in tip-top shape to have productive, feel-good days on and off campus.

  1. Breakfast: This is a challenging meal because I barely got myself out of bed and now I’m expected to cook (hopefully I’m not alone in my outrage). My go to for a healthy breakfast is now a portion of overnight oats and some fresh fruit (I am a total fruit addict). If you haven’t discovered them already, overnight oats are a life-saver! I whip up a batch or two the night before when I’m not so exhausted and all I need to do in the morning is feast. Plus, this recipe is particularly nutritious, packed with fiber, protein and calcium. Much, much healthier than any variety of bagel from Tim Hortons (guilty!).

    Mason jars with different flavors of overnight oats are pictured.

    Source: backtoherroots.com

  2. Lunch: I usually make an effort to pack a healthy lunch as eating on campus can get a little expensive and cheap food doesn’t tend to be feel-good food. I’m also a picky eater so campus eating can get a little monotonous. My go-to lunch is a salad with some dressing packed on the side, but I’m excited to try this MoveU inexpensive tuna sandwich recipe this week. When I’ve forgotten to prepare a lunch or just feel like treating myself, I look for a healthy option in one of the campus food courts. I’ve recently taken to the vegetarian bento boxes and soups available at Robart’s food court. They’re a couple of the less expensive options and are enough to keep me fueled until I can get home. If I’m feeling like I could splurge a little I’m bee-lining it to Fresh Restaurant on Bloor St. It’s primarily vegetarian/vegan but it’s super healthy and you should be able to love it even as a carnivore!

    A bowl with tofu steaks, topped with sunflower sprouts is shown.

    I really like the Powerhouse bowl at Fresh!

  3. Dinner: This is the most exciting meal of the day, but the one that takes the most prep. I have to be honest, my parents are a big help in this department (Momma’s home cooking gets delivered to my spoiled self often enough) but I do like cooking. I try to make things that are either not super time consuming or don’t create a lot of mess or dishes. If it makes good leftovers, even better!

    Bowl containing sweet potato, toasted chickpeas, red onion and kale drizzled with a sauce.

    This is my one pan Buddha bowl dinner! Love it!

Now, to be able to do any of that, I need a thoughtfully stocked fridge and pantry. Thankfully, the MoveU team has a video that’ll give you some great ideas for staples to have in your kitchen and tell you why they’re so important!

Do you have any tips for me? How do you eat right on campus? I’m eager to keep improving!

 

P.S. Still loving skating! Learning how to skate backwards now, not so easy but I’m slowly getting the hang of it…kinda, sorta.