Recently, it seems like everywhere you look there are new health trends popping up—acai bowls, coconut water, any and all types of natural nut butters—and food bloggers on Instagram make eat healthy look more appetizing than ever. It’s easy to fall in love with this trend; what’s better than eating food that’s delicious, AND good for you? But when your single all- natural, organic, locally produced, aesthetically pleasing breakfast costs more than your textbooks, it might seem like it’s time to switch back to fast food. Lucky for you, The Lala has your back. Here are some tricks and trips to eating healthy without taking out extra loans to cover your food cost.
- Buy vegetables. It’s easy to forget about vegetables, but vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and fiber and, at an average of 69 cent a pound, are almost always cheaper than fruit. Plus, they’re easy to throw in a plastic bag and take with you as a snack. Try kale, carrots, broccoli, celery, or sweet potatoes for the most nutrient loaded veggies.
- Make your own bowl. Acai bowls or smoothie bowls are delicious, but generally cost around $10. You can buy acai powder at most health food stores or on Amazon for about $2 a serving and add frozen fruit and milk to create an equally delicious bowl for about half the price. Or, skip the acai and try these recipes.
- Oatmeal is often overlooked, but it’s basically the greatest food ever. For 10 cents a serving, it offers fiber, protein, and whole grains and keeps you full for several hours. Plus, its super versatile: make it in the microwave, make overnight oats, take a bag of it in your backpack and add hot water for a convenient snack later, add cinnamon, peanut butter, fruit, granola or basically any topping you can think of.
- Keep it classic: peanut butter sandwiches. There’s a reason PB&J is such a classic lunchbox food—it offers protein, whole grains, and healthy fats all in a delicious, portable meal. Just make sure the peanut butter is made with no sugar or hydrogenated oil and buy whole grain bread instead of white. If plain old PB&J is getting bored, sub out jelly for banana, honey, lettuce, or apples.
- Check out the ‘gram. Instagram is chock full of food and lifestyle bloggers, some of who also happen to be health conscious yet poor students. My personal favorites are Katie Lemons (@twist_of_lemons), The College Dish (@thecollegedish), and MedGal (@fitandwellmedgal).
Image via Charlotte Reader