Paleo College Student Help?

Commented on August 31, 2014
Created August 30, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Hi all, 

I'm a first year at my university this year and have been mostly paleo for about a year.  My mile time increased, I felt stronger, more awake.  I slept better.  I love everything about paleo. 

Unfortunately my dining hall doesn't - the only thing I can eat there is the salad bar, and once in a while they have grilled chicken (usually the meat is farm produced and drenched in something sugary though) or vegetables.  I've started to eat less at the dining hall and making more in my room (I have a fridge and microwave).  The problem is, it's far less social than eating in the halls with friends, so I'm trying to make breakfast and lunch and then eat dinner in the halls.  So salad for dinner every day it is! 

I was curious as to if anyone knew some recipes for paleo meals I can make with a fridge and microwave.  I've been microwaving eggs and having avocado, or having yogurt (I know not really paleo but hey I'm 19) with fruit and nuts and seeds, but would love more breakfast ideas.  For lunch I usually just snack on sliced veggies dipped in guac or salsa and have some grass fed jerky with it.  

I miss chicken and steak and cauliflower and sweet potatoes and spices and flavors!  Please help recommend some paleo meals I can microwave. 

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5 Answers



on August 31, 2014
at 02:39 PM

Don't let perfection be the enemy of good. And don't make yourself some social pariah because of an arbitrary diet. 

Load up on veggies. Even sub-par veggies (with who knows what butter substitute) are fine. Eat meat, who cares if it's not pastured/grass-fed/buzzword-filled, just keep it unbreaded and off a bun. Be a normal person, paleo folks fail so hard at that sometimes. Half-assed paleo is still better than chicken nuggets, soda and the sundae bar for every meal. 



on August 31, 2014
at 02:59 PM

Edit, "better for your health" not "better"



on August 31, 2014
at 04:42 PM

Right. Hard to beat a sundae bar. 


on August 31, 2014
at 04:12 PM

I'm currently a sophomore in college, but I basically dealt with the same issues last year. Not all of these options are 100% or ideal Paleo, and I'm not sure what kind of access you have to grocery stores and such, but here are some things I kept in my room that helped me:
Boiled eggs
Fruit / dried fruit
Nut butter
Nut/Seed mixes
Hot tea
Coffee w/ heavy cream & cinnamon (buy a Keurig!!!)
Raw veggies
Rotisserie chicken (seriously a savior, get it quartered at the store)
Canned salmon
Cold cuts
Pre cooked meats at deli counter
Canned soups
Canned pumpkin (microwave, add butter & cinnamon, you can even eat it cold)
Canned butternut squash (same prep as above)
Sweet potato
Steamfresh vegetables
Microwavable rice cups
Dark chocolate
Creamed coconut
Shredded coconut
Almond milk
I eat legumes, so I also found it very convenient to have Fava beans, lentils or black beans lying around for some protein. 
Buy some spices. You can add curry powder to pumpkin, garlic powder to beans, salt to canned salmon, paprika to rotisserie chicken, etc. 
Listen to your body, relax a little about all this, but not too much. If you're drinking, that's all the more reason to be careful with food. Just be as best as you can when you can (aka don't eat a whole bar of 90% chocolate in one sitting bc you're bored/craving) so that you can afford to eat questionable things when circumstances dictate necessary. Also, if your dining halls cooks in icky oils, as most do, that's also all the more reason to eat paleo foods-- the cheat is the oil. Consider investing in a good multivitamin, and be diligent about getting 8 hours of sleep minimum, and if you start to feel like you're getting run down, just stop-- eat your own food for a few days and don't set an alarm. Health always comes first. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right?
Have a WONDERFUL first year!



on August 31, 2014
at 03:04 PM

My college always had some type of "grilled meat" or roast. Choose that. Aim for 4-6oz max. Breakfast is a good time to load up on calories. Definitely going to have scrambles, may even have an omelette bar, bacon, fruit, whole milk. You can get a big breakfast in and be pretty satisfied. 

Lunch should be a big aaas salad from the salad bar. 

For or the dorm I would keep tuna, smoked salmon, jerky, nuts, vegetables, and protein powder. If there no good protein sources that day, have a shake. No good ffat sources, have some nuts. Etcetera 


on August 30, 2014
at 04:28 PM

This is so difficult. I was in your position last semester and the semester before that. Now I live in an apartment style dorm. My dining hall was similar but it wasn't horrible.


I think your best bet is to buy sardines (omega 3), other BPA-free canned, wild caught fish and avocados. While you have these good fats in your diet, I think it'd be okay to eat at the dining hall. I think if you have enough omega 3 fats in your diet, some vegetable oil won't kill you.

This is just what I personally did. I ate meat, veggies, fruit, occasional corn and cheese in the dining hall. In my dorm, I had the really clean stuff occacionally. Your body will do a good job at cleaning out the toxins, especially if you drink tons of water. 

I also bought a lot of tea... i love tea. Green, black, oolong, ginger... but this is a bit irrelevant. 

Don't stress about being paleo in the dining hall. Eat as clean as you can there, whenever you want. You're already eating yogurt anyway.



on August 30, 2014
at 06:21 PM

You can microwave sweet potatoes! I did that all of last year and it worked out great. You can also microwave bacon, frozen veggies, and sausage. If you live near a grocery store you could pick up a rotisserie chicken and have it last you several days. 

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