Tag Archives: college

Cheap and Healthy Eats: Snack Edition Part 3

This post is the third and final post of my favorite cheap and healthy snacks I usually enjoy (for now!!)


Goldfish Snack Crackers

Goldfish Snack Crackers 25 count mini snack bag
Goldfish Snack Crackers, Image Credit: Adashia Franklyn

Goldfish were always a part of my life of snacking, starting from when I was very young. They were a staple in the lunchroom and were always the hot item to have in yor lunchbox. These snacks became notorious because they taste great and although they are not he healthiest snack ever (they provide little nutritional benefit), they are generally healthier than their other snack options, like potato chips, corn chips, etc. They are packed with carbs, have 150 calories per serving, and are a good snack to hold you over until the next meal. They are also good for filling you up if you are hungry before athletic activity, but you don’t want to have a meal or eat too much. Again, I prize these snacks more for their taste, but they are indeed nutritionally better than your average junk food selections. They can be found for $2.50 at your local store. 

Whole Grain Cheez-It Snack Crackers

A box of Cheez-It Snack Crackers
Whole Grain Cheez-It Snack Crackers. Image Credit: Adashia Franklyn

Similar to the Goldfish Snack Crackers, Cheez-It Snack Crackers have always been a part of my snacking experience. I always used to eat the orginal type of Cheez-Its (opposed to the Whole Grain kind shown above), and they also had very little nutrional value. When I came to college and went food shopping for my self for the first time, once I entered the store, I bee-lined into the snack aisle (must be the inner kid in me). I went to get Cheez-Its, and amidst all of the varieties of the snack, I noticed that there was a new whole grain option to my favorite snack. The whole grain junkie inside of me couldn’t resist. I put the Cheez-Its inside my shopping cart, prayed that they did not taste different (or even nasty) compared to the original flavor, and continued food shopping. I’m glad I took the risk! The Whole Grain Cheez-Its taste exactly the same as the original, with a better nutritional benefit. They pack 5 grams of whole grain per serving, which contributes about 5% towards your daily recommended needs for whole grains. It may not be a lot, but every little bit of whole grains helps toward the daily goal. These can be found for around $2.50-$3.00 at your local store.

Sunbutter and Jelly Sandwiches

A picture of Sunflower Seed butter and jelly.
Trader Joe’s Sunflower seed butter and Welch’s Concord Grape Jelly. Image Credit: Adashia Franklyn

I personally have many food allergies. Two of which include peanuts and tree nuts. Before realizing my food allergy, eating a pb&j was routine for school lunches and midnight snacks. Peanuts and tree nuts are a fantastic source of protien, and after I discovered that I was allergic, it became harder and harder to get that protein without having my daily nut butter sandwich. When I entered high school, my mom and I found sunflower seed butter in the grocery store. It looked and smelled very similar to peanut butter, so I gave it a try. Not surprisingly, by itself it tasted like sunflower seeds, but once I put it in a sandwich with some jelly and ate it, it felt just like eating a pb&j. The texture and taste with bread and jelly is all similar to original.

Once I got to college, I found that I liked Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed Butter the best. It is a bit pricey at around $5, but in my allergy-specific situation, it is worth it.  It has the most consistent and smooth texture compared to peanut butter and it also has the best taste out of all the sunflower seed butters I have tried. Also, I always eat my sun-butter sandwiches with Concord Grape Jelly on toasted Whole grain/Whole Wheat Bread (toasted bread has less calories and tastes better to me). As a lighter snack, I put the sun-butter and jelly in between Ritz Snack crackers and I usually eat about 4-5 mini sandwiches (they can be very filling). Welch’s jelly can be found at your local store for around $1.50-$2.00. Continue reading Cheap and Healthy Eats: Snack Edition Part 3

Delivery Downs Dollars

Photo via Wikipedia

Ordering takeout can be your best friend and worst enemy. How easy can takeout get? You order the food you want, and it comes to YOU. Most times, plates/and or containers, plastic wear, napkins, and your occasional condiments are included. That can be a top luxury and convenience to the busy college student athlete. Sometimes, after a long day of class and practice, you don’t feel like going to go get or make something to eat, so ordering food is an easy answer. So what’s the big deal?

Ordering takeout is a surefire way to burn a hole through your wallet. All of the conveniences of ordering takeout come at a price. Your meal itself may only cost so much money, but after the additions of the delivery charge, the included taxes, and the gratuity, you are subject to paying almost double the price of your actual meal. In addition, once you find a place you really like, you are subject to ordering from them time and time again. In my freshman year, I wasn’t fond of the cafeteria food, so Dominos and Grape Leaves Grille (a local Mediterranean restaurant) was was my go-to. I ordered from Dominos and Grape Leaves Grille so much that every time I called to place an order, they greeted me by my first name and even knew what I want to order!  Again, the meal you want is usually not that expensive, but after all of the extra charges added, your transaction is twice as big as originally projected. Also, the majority of companies that deliver food make you order at least ten dollars worth of food, so if what you want costs less than ten dollars before all of the extra charges, you have to order another item off the the menu, which is another unnecessary fee. I did not notice the heavy impact of  ordering delivery had on my wallet until I began looking at my bank statements. Almost $20 various times a month began to add up! All of my money was quickly going down the drain.

Chicken Carbonara Pasta Bowl  via Flickr

The other downside of ordering delivery is that it sets you up for unhealthy eating.  The food selections when ordering out will not always be the healthiest. For example, the food selection in the image above was and still is my favorite selection to order from Dominos. It’s delicious; it is Chicken Carbonara Pasta, filled with tender grilled chicken breast, onions, bacon, the most savory blend of seasonings, and an Alfredo-like cheese based sauce all put into an edible bread bowl that is evenly baked to perfection. Sounds fantastic right? Well it was. Extremely rich and tasty food like this will make it more and more easy to overeat. As a college athlete, you have to consume at least 500-2000 more calories a day than the average person, so you can afford to have a little extra on you plate, but it feels like it is twice as easy over do it by eating takeout, no matter what type of food it is.

So what is the solution? First, instead of ordering food for delivery, try to pick up the food yourself. Yes, that will make it a little less convenient on your end, but that will eliminate the delivery charge, gratuity, and you can order something that costs less than the delivery threshold because you are the one retrieving the food from the place. It is extra work, but your wallet will thank you in the end. Also, look into cutting down your consumption of fried foods, and look into more low sodium, whole wheat options, or options that include more fruits and/or vegetables. As more information is being given on nutrition facts, and the law that most food companies have to show the amount of calories in each entree, these food companies that you are ordering from are continually trying to integrate healthier options into their menus without compromising taste. Sometimes all you have to do to get a healthier version of what you want is ask!

The best solution would be cutting out delivery completely, unless you are having a party or having a special occasion. I have not ordered takeout since my freshman year, and I have seen the dramatic difference in my spending. I am able to save more, and by making my own meals, I  cut my food costs more than 75%. Along with saving more money, I have gotten a little bit more slimmer since I have stopped ordering out. When I was ordering out all the time, I was about 5-8 pounds heavier than I am. I did not gain a crazy amount of weight because I was constantly working out, but I definitely feel the difference being a little bit lighter. My face also cleared up, because I am not consuming as much foods that are high in fat, sugar, and sodium. Overall, cutting out ordering takeout positively effected me.

Top 5 Ways on How to Make the Most out of College Cafeteria Food

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Either it is a hit or miss with the quality of cafeteria food, and every student, not just student athletes can relate to that. My personal experience with the cafeteria food here was definitely a miss until I found ways for it to work in my favor. The cafeteria food when I use to have a meal plan was horrible; either the food tasted good and created a war on terror in my stomach, or the food looked and/or tasted nasty, or the food would cause breakouts on my face. In addition, almost none of the hot food there was even remotely healthy. I stopped eating in the cafeteria, and I found myself spending a lot of money on other food while still on meal plan. After a while, I got tired of wasting money, and went back to the cafeteria and made some changes in the way I approached the food. I had lemons, so I made lemonade. Here’s how you can too:

Cut down on fried food!!

from Pixabay
from Pixabay

 

Load half your plate with fruits and veggies first.

from PIxabay
from Pixabay

 

If your dining hall doesn’t have the greatest selection of healthy options (or if you have a food allergy), make a special request.

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from Flickr

 

Let Tupperware become your best friend.

from Flickr
from Flickr

 

Bring your favorite water bottle and fill it up at that unlimited drink station!

from Pixabay
from Pixabay