Stop thinking that healthy means no carbs, or no saturated fats. Stop thinking that healthy means eating green things and stuff that has grown. You need to get over what the popular media is telling you. Just because we are supposed to eat five fruit and veg per day does not mean you have to be a vegetarian. A glass of OJ in the morning is one of them, and the lemons they put in your gin at the student night bars are your other, so you only need to find three during the day. And, given the fact that you are going to have to eat three meals per day, there is a good chance you are already getting your five per day.
Healthy means balanced! Healthy eating means mixing up your food so that you don’t eat the same thing all the time. It means that you eat three meals per day and that you don’t eat too much. It means that you eat meals instead of snacking through the day. Your first priority is a balanced diet, eating three meals per day and not eating too much. If you have unsightly fat then it is time to start swimming and walking the neighbor’s dog. Here's how a student can achieve a balanced diet.
1. Your Freezer is Your Best Friend
People will tell you to cook too much of something and then portion out parts of your meals into small containers to freeze. They are plonkers. Who wants to eat frozen stew? Instead, you should make sauces and freeze them. A real Korma sauce for example is good for you, and is very labor intensive to make, so make too much (way too much) and freeze some in small containers. When it is time for a meal, boil the rice in the microwave and flash fry a bit of meat, pour in the sauce (frozen) and you have a meal in fifteen minutes.
2. Take Care of Leftovers
Put leftover food in the fridge; anything from your leftover beans to the last of your couscous salad. You can turn the five-a-day from yesterday into one for today too, and all without having to cook again.
3. Fruit is the Brother You Always Wanted
Buying fruit has become expensive these days for some reason. Nevertheless, if you are going to snack then snack on fruit. Nobody has ever gotten fat from eating too much fruit (unless you count Terry’s Chocolate orange). Plus they are full of anti-oxidants to keep you sprightly, and full of the micronutrients that we lose when we drink alcohol. Fruit and broccoli anti-oxidants also neutralize the carcinogens from tobacco smoking.
4. Dried Foods Are Your Secret Lover
The amounts of nutrients (macro and micro) that are packed into dried fruits will make your nose bleed. In fact, there are even micronutrients found in raisins that can only be otherwise found in certain fish and specific nuts. Food manufacturers have also (finally) started to put them in packets that you can pick up and eat as easily as a packet of chips. You can buy handfuls of dried treats and wolf them down between lectures. They are all good for you, and even if you do not like them but are eating them for their health benefits, the bags are so small that three chomps and they are eaten.
5. Tinned Food is the Father You Never Had
A lot of scare stories have come out about tinned food, how eating too much does this and that. But that is the story of people who eat them exclusively. Usually the ones who feel gain such ailments are the same ones that think celery is something you are paid at the end of the month, and think that carrots are only found in diamond rings. Baked beans for example, are still a vegetable and are still packed with vitamins, minerals and energy. Tinned fruit is still fruit and tinned tomatoes are still tomatoes. Eat things from tins because they are good for you and quick to cook. Just do not eat them to the exclusion of all other foods. It is better if you eat them as a compliment to a larger meal that took you only minutes to cook (because who has time to cook these days anyway).