A Starving Student’s Dinner on a Meal Plan: Tips on Making the Most Out of Your Dinner

Dinner in college is kind of anything goes. Your mom isn’t there to tell you what to eat, so dinner could mean cereal and pizza to one person, and pasta and late night takeout to the next. My dinner is pretty much the same every night… so here it goes!

Grilled Chicken: My school offers a grill, so every night I get two small pieces of chicken, to either cut up in a salad or eat plain. Since my diet doesn’t involve a lot of protein, it’s important that I eat it at dinner

Salad: The staple of almost all of my meals, I make the most colorful salad possible at the salad bar. It’s my #1 fave, and I definitely would have starved by now if it weren’t for  the option of making my own salad everyday.

Silk Milk: Since I don’t drink dairy milk, my cafeteria post dinner go to is always a glass of milk. After pairing most of my meals with water, it’s refreshing and filling to mix it up at the end of my day.

Fruit: After dinner I’ll usually grab an apple or an orange to calm down my sweet tooth. Whether I eat it immediately after dinner or I wait until I need a study break, an apple is a great, healthy way to curb your midnight munchies!

Here’s some more helpful tips!

http://www.vegan.com/dairy-free/

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/080112p38.shtml

Health Benefits of Going Dairy Free! Talk vs. Truth

The Dairy-Free movement is definitely gaining momentum, whether it be from all the health benefits, or simply because it’s a fad. I’m going to take sometime to compare some of the health benefits of going DF, and if I have experienced them.

Reduced Bloating: 100%! I really struggled with bloating in the past, and once I went DF, my body felt normal again. I did not feel weighed down in any way, and my stomach is much flatter because of it.

Heightened Sense of Smell: To be honest, I’ve always had a terrible nose. But, recently, I have noticed scents that I usually wouldn’t be able to pick up. Also, I can smell more than many of my friends!

Clear Skin: I have noticed an extreme improvement in my skin. While I still have occasional breakouts, I am no longer plagued with chronic acne marks.

More Energy: I feel great! In the beginning of my DF journey, I remember waking up two weeks in, and for the first time, I was able to hop right out of bed, with a new found sense of alertness! I no longer crash in the middle of the day, and I can fall asleep at regulated times at night!

Weight Loss: This one is tricky. I have not lost any weight since going dairy-free, and I definitely don’t think it’s effective or healthy to lose weight through elimination dieting.

Going DF has definitely changed my life for the better! Comment below with some of the benefits you found from going DF.

Check it out for yourself!

http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/6-things-happened-when-i-gave-dairy

http://www.allure.com/beauty-trends/health/2013/gluten-free-dairy-free-sugar-free-paleo-diets

Reflection

Since going dairy-free, my life has changed for the better. I’m much more mindful about the things I put in my body. Rather than eating mostly processed foods, I have noticed that varying my diet towards eating healthy has alotted me an overall healther feeling and appearance. I’m more alert, less lethargic and my skin is noticeably brighter. The energy that eating healthy gives me has allowed me to stop focusing on cutting out foods I thought I needed. I’ve learned that eating certain foods that make me feel sick an hour later are not truly worth it. My diet is more balanced, and I have much better nutrition, which has honestly changed my life. While I don’t know what the future holds for my diet, I do know that this new sense of confidence will carry over into the rest of my life.

Vegging Out Without the Guilt

I love snacks. I eat in class, in bed, watching netflix, out at parties, walking down the street, on the metro and occasionally on the way to the student restaurant, where I eat more. Snacks are the way to go… but in a world full of dorito’s and cheese-it’s, what is a dairy-free girl supposed to do? Give up on junk food forever? Alas, I shopped around so you didn’t have to, to tell you some of my favorite DF munchies.

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Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Cookie Thins- A new found fave, I can eat almost an entire box in one fitting (which is impressive considering the box has A LOT of cookies). Get these quick, and eat all of them.

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Trader Joe’s Inner Peas: These kind of remind me of Veggie Straws (which is crack in its’ own right), I love them because they’re a salty snack, but I will admit they are a bit flakey, which leaves a bit of a mess. So pour them into a bowl before you binge watch Netflix.

Mini pretzels: I love pretzels, and the pretzel song, so getting a family sized bag is ideal for me. With a container of ziploc sandwich bags, this snack can last you a while, and never get boring!

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Trader Joe’s Organic Popcorn with Olive Oil: S/o to butterless popcorn! Eat this and only feel kind of bad afterwards. As a full popcorn enthusiast I strongly encourage everyone to go out and get a bag of this pre popped popcorn… It’s great for when your microwave has been broken for 3 months and you’ve procrastinated calling to get it fixed 🙂

There you have it! Eat until you drop! NEVER STOP. Just because you can’t eat cheese doesn’t mean you can’t veg out like a true college student.

These links can make snacking that much easier!

http://milkfreepantry.com/

http://www.godairyfree.org/dairy-free-grocery-shopping-guide

Trader Joe’s Milk Alternative Haul!

There are certain dairy products that it can be hard to live without… Milk being one of them. Whether you want it in your coffee, or just with dinner, milk is a staple that is in almost every house. So I went to Trader Joe’s and tried out some of my DF options.

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Trader Joe’s Soymilk- Organic Vanilla

Based on personal preference, as well as a large aversion to unsweetened nondairy drinks, I chose to get the organic vanilla flavored milk. It’s pretty inexpensive, which is a plus considering anything I buy outside of my food plan better be cheap and taste good. This one does the trick. Which goes to show that TJ’s is the best place ever and I would live there if I could.

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Trader Joe’s Coconut Beverage- Vanilla

Something that immediately caught my eye in the store was the nutritional value of this drink. Filled with Calcium and Vitamins A, D, and B12, this drink is great for anyone who needs a quick vitamin fix. I’m not too keen on how high this product is on saturated fats, however overall taste it wasn’t bad and I’d probably drink it again.

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Trader Joe’s Almond Beverage – Original

Out of all the almond milk cartons I have tried, this is definitely at the top of my list. For an unsweetened drink, it is pretty similar to milk, at least with consistency. It’s perfect for dipping cookies and cereal. I don’t feel like it’s thick enough to put in my coffee, but I could see how it could work well with someone who drinks their coffee with a little bit of milk. While I probably wouldn’t buy a whole carton of this to keep in my dorm again, I’ll probably beg my mom to get it for me for winter break!

Check out these links!

http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101/shopping_cooking_guides/a_buyer_s_guide_to_milk_part_ii?slide=2

http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/08/milk-taste-tests-soy-almond-rice-oat-goats-hemp.html

Lunchtime Guide

The clouds open and the heavens rejoice, it’s lunchtime. One of my favorite meals of the day always has me filling up my plate. Here’s a few quick lunch ideas

A wrap: Get it with turkey! Get it with lettuce and tomato! Get it pressed! Get it any way you want it! Make it by yourself or go out! This lunch is versatile and since we have a sandwich bar at my university, I’m always eating one! P.S. if you have the choice, get the pickle on the side.

Salad bar: An ultimate lunchtime classic. Fill up you bowl with every fruit, veggie and green that you can imagine. Pile it on and shake it up with your fave dressing and you’re off! (Balsamic, anyone?)

PB&J sandwich: I have a lab once a week that cuts into my lunch hour, so usually I cut the lines by toasting multi-grain bread, and making a PB&J. I’ll throw it into my to-go box with an apple and carrots and I’m ready to veg out all lab!

Check these links out!

http://www.hungryhealthyhappy.com/healthy-snack-ideas/

http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/category/eat/recipes/snacks/

Veggies and Hummus: Meal’s are tricky for any snacker… So get some carrots, cucumbers, and broccoli on a plate with some hummus! It’s the perfect snack to eat at lunch while all your friends are piling on the plates!

Calcium Rich Foods

Milk builds strong bones, right? Well, you’re not stuck when you’re dairy-free! Here’s 5 foods that are high in calcium! Incorporate these into your diet and you’ll feel great!

Broccoli: One of my all-time faves, this veggie has 47 mg of calcium in a 100g serving!

Almonds: A quick snack for class or along with a sandwich, almonds are a great way to get calcium. With 264 mg in a 100g serving, these nuts will keep you on your A game!

Oranges: One whole orange has about 55 mg of calcium! This is a great deal for the fruit-lovers! Grab an orange before your study session to re-energize and get that calcium!

Spinach: In a 100g serving, spinach has about 99 mg of calcium! Pretty cool right? Pack this into your salad for dinner!

Tofu: Personally, I love tofu, and I’m always willing to turn skeptics into believers… A ½ cup of raw tofu processed with calcium has about 435 mg of calcium! Cook and pair it, and see the magic of tofu for yourself!

The daily recommended dose of calcium for people ages 19-30 is 1,000 mg a day… Are you getting enough calcium?

I’m crediting these sites with my information!

http://greatist.com/health/18-surprising-dairy-free-sources-calcium

http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-high-in-calcium.php

http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/high-calcium-vegetables.php

http://www.bhg.com/recipes/healthy/eating/superfoods-with-calcium/

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/14-dairy-foods-high-calcium/story?id=25245008

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/winter11/articles/winter11pg12.html