Over the summer I’ve seen a lot of students who aren’t feeling well, not a surprise since my job is seeing students who don’t feel well. As I’ve tried to get to the bottom of what’s what, I’ve been surprised and somewhat taken aback by how many of you survive on $2 Happy Meals and $0.99 extra value menu items. While I am loathe to denigrate (or pass up) a $2 meal that comes with a free toy, fast food does not form the basis of a healthy diet.
I concede that the food service isn’t always on the same schedule as hunger. After a long, stressful day in the lab or library, throwing together a soufflé might not be super relaxing. McDonalds, on the other hand is open late and doesn’t require any advance planning.
But it’s not that hard to throw together a healthy meal. Here’s a brief guide to feeding yourself well without spending a lot of money or all afternoon prepping mise en place with an expensive German knife.
First, you have to find the food. Your mom, roommate, friend, or even good old COTA (the local city bus for you out of town newbies) can help get you to fresh suppliers. Along with local groceries, don’t forget the affordable bounty at our local ethnic markets. Three or four are a stone’s throw north on High Street. The North Market and its fabulous Saturday farmer’s market is a brisk 2 mile walk south on High Street. For a comprehensive list of fresh food, check out:
Once you get provisions, what do you do? How about salads? Hard-boiled eggs, precut salad bar vegetables, and pre-cleaned greens in bags make a decent salad a breeze. Bulk nuts and dried fruits are great ways to add protein and fiber. Add a side of bread, and you’re running your own Panera. Check out the link below to stretch your salad wings:
Real, live college students commented on their food survival techniques @ 101-Cookbooks:
If you have access to a microwave and fridge there’s almost nothing you can’t do. Look for one of the many well-reviewed products on the market that make cooking rice or pasta in a microwave a breeze, and check out these sites:
Once you’re an accomplished chef, what are you to do with all those odds and ends you have left? Try the Restaurant Puppy. You enter what you have and the puppy spits out recipes for you to try:
So, veteran Buckeye eaters, what do you do? Please post a comment and share your epicurean expertise with the rest of us.
Post voraciously written by Victoria Rentel, MD (Ohio State Student Health Services) with a title shamelessly stolen from Fran Lebowitz