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I am a freshman in college. My college, however, does not offer traditional housing. We are only given the option of living in houses or apartments (school owned), but no traditional dormitory life. This, of course, is crucial for them, since they offer no meal plan. We need kitchens to prepare our own meals, because the cafe at school only offers breakfast and lunch.

So now, we college students without meal plans, are given a few options.

one, eat out every meal. cons: expensive, unhealthy, expensive.

two, learn to cook. Granted, I came in already having a basic knowledge of cooking since my mother payed me to cook dinner three times a week my sophomore year of high school as a result of her being afraid I’d never learn any domestic skills. (This of course, is a gross overstatement because She’d been waking me up every Saturday morning since I was 7 to help her clean the house, and in the process, teach me how to clean).
Many, many students, however, have a much more basic knowledge basis than I did coming in. The kind of thing where boxed food with instructions is key. This lends to a diet of canned, boxed, preserved foods, otherwise coined non-parishables. Because they last forever…unlike your body when eating them every day.
Under this option also comes the stereotype of college students preserving themselves on ramen noodles and shells and cheese.

Three, you know or learn how to cook and run with it, making it a good escape from homework and help build a routine around it, something that at least with my schedule’s differences from day to day, it needs.

I tried option two. I tried a mixture of options one and two. Both of these, however, led to a very unsatisfying, unhealthy, and generally hungry lifestyle.

I forgot that a meal is not one item on a plate, but many to most of the times has at least three separate dishes. For example, meat, bread, and vegetable. Mine was looking more like pasta with olive oil and parmesan. And, getting tired of eating the same general thing every night, eating out became the more filling and interesting option. Hating fast food, however, meant that eating out was costing me 5-10 bucks a pop, something that my 30-50 dollars a week food budget was feeling very sore about.

Now, to my solution. Eat better. Not just better groupings of foods, but eat more organics, stop high fructose corn syrup all together, and try and actually do what I’d been telling my physician I’d been doing for years when that may have been the case for a day here and there, to eat my daily recommendation of fruits and veggies. And so, finally fed up with the feeling of lack of safety at my local kroger with police stationed in front of it 24/7, I drove to my local Whole Foods, a little further distance, but a drive I have been more than willing to make.

Keeping my budget in mind, this project felt less than capable. Whole Foods (which I’ve heard referred to as Whole Paycheck) seemed like a big jump. But in the past month, I have spent an average of $40 a week on groceries, mostly organic, and have been less hungry, better satisfied, and healthier for it.

So here is the object of this blog. I wish to chronicle my attempt at keeping a healthy and organic lifestyle (starting with food and hopefully moving slowly into the rest of my life) while an undergraduate in college. If I can’t get the correct amount of sleep at night, why get the wrong amount of calories as well?
I will be posting recipes I create, lunches I make, and different thoughts on foods and updates on healthy living. My goal is to make living healthy look (and actually be!!) affordable and do-able on a college budget. Which, being an art student, I can tell you is restricting.

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