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Struggling with eating paleo at college

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 25, 2013 at 2:36 AM

I started eating paleo about a week ago (I know, it's not very long) and so far it's been exhausting. I can't seem to find the right things to eat on my college campus. With my meal plan I can only eat in the dining hall once a day (which is usually dinner, if I can find the time to go), buying fresh fruit cups in school stores is so expensive, and vegetables are practically non-existent when not in the dining hall. I feel like I'm eating too much fruit (2-3 pieces a day) but it's the only thing that will fill me up and give me energy. I take them from the dining hall from dinner the night before, but they only have apples oranges and bananas.

I don't have a kitchen in my dorm, and need I remind you I'm in college... so I'm basically broke. I need some encouragement and feedback on how much fruit I can eat because I'm trying to lose weight. I workout 5-6 days a week with heavy cardio. I've always been pretty fit and active, but I would like to lost about 10 lbs. I've lost a few pounds over the week but I know it's just water weight.

Are there any inexpensive, paleo foods I should be looking for instead of always turning to fruit? I'm totally new to this.

4739dfc454ee7d5b4a6c232984fb9fb9

(70)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:10 AM

Quick breakfasts: Canned fished mashed up in avocado with hot sauce. Add a banana on workout day. Nuts as an afternoon snack (good sized handful, don't go crazy). Lunch - Meat with big salad dressed in olive oil/vinegar. Dinner - lots of meat at dining hall. Starch and real butter if possible. You may not even be hungry for lunch.

Dbf5b572fc40a21d7252a1db039676bc

(5)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:55 AM

I never thought of the canned fish before! That's a good idea. How often should I eat nuts and how much? And do you have any suggestions for a quick breakfast?

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5 Answers

1
5f678ffff153bfc8a17ac1ee438c054f

on March 25, 2013
at 06:25 AM

I am also a college student, and I have learned the ins and outs of my dining hall in order to stay paleo, but it has been rough.

I also take fruit from dinner the night before and bring it back to my room, it is good, but it makes me tend to eat a lot more fruit as well, so try and limit your fruit to pre/post workout meals.

You said your dining hall has fruit cups, but do they have cellery/carrot cups as well? I get those a lot on my campus. I also keep a jar of coconut oil in my room to eat a spoonful of when I need more fat for the day. One jar should last you for awhile, and it does not need to be refridgerated or anything.

What I do in the dining hall specifically though, is usually eat A LOT of greens based meals, since most of the time they are serving pasta or something I can't have, so I stick with spinach and the sliced deli meat they keep at the salad bar. I am not sure how your dining hall is, but just try and have simple meals of things always available to fall back on when they have pasta night or whatever. And when they have meals served that is safe, don't hesitate to feast!

I hope this was helpful! Just stick with it, paleo on a meal plan is possible!

1
24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 25, 2013
at 03:34 AM

Fruit purchased, washed, sliced, and neatly placed into a bowl by others, for your convenience, is like, the most overpriced item in the university cafeteria.

1
4739dfc454ee7d5b4a6c232984fb9fb9

(70)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:45 AM

Hey Michele,

I am also a college student and was on a meal plan in the dorms for a year. This is what I would recommend based on your restrictions: Dorm meals: Canned fish (sardines, salmon, tuna), avacados, veggies, microwaved potatoes/sweet potatoes are all good and nutritionally dense and easily attainable if your meal plan can be used at a store. For dinner, perhaps use this as your largest meal of the day and do more meat/veggies. The fruit is better post workout. Snacks - nuts can be found at most campus stores.

4739dfc454ee7d5b4a6c232984fb9fb9

(70)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:10 AM

Quick breakfasts: Canned fished mashed up in avocado with hot sauce. Add a banana on workout day. Nuts as an afternoon snack (good sized handful, don't go crazy). Lunch - Meat with big salad dressed in olive oil/vinegar. Dinner - lots of meat at dining hall. Starch and real butter if possible. You may not even be hungry for lunch.

Dbf5b572fc40a21d7252a1db039676bc

(5)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:55 AM

I never thought of the canned fish before! That's a good idea. How often should I eat nuts and how much? And do you have any suggestions for a quick breakfast?

0
3b031bce7c181c10452ee202e2b54dc6

on March 25, 2013
at 05:24 PM

I would do a lot more research into the paleo lifestyle first. Ive found it is much easier and cheaper to eat paleo than before. Especially once you figure out the marketing tactics corporations use to sell you on buying certain kinds of foods.

There is nothing wrong with using your allowance and skipping a night out with beer to go buy some on sale fish and a bag of mixed greens. Even trader Joe's has a power greens that is kale, spinach, and chard for like $2.96 that will last me a week eating a small salad with protein every night for dinner. Adjust that for tax and regional price factors, plus the protein and you can average that out to $1 a salad for 5 nights.

You dont need to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner religiously. Intermittent fasting may help. I did a whole article on how Intermittent fasting saves you money because you end up not snacking, then throw in paleo and you end up realizing that packaged Clif bars are just another ingenious way to sell an "idea" when the bar itself is just a bunch of wheat, soy, and oats mixed with chocolate and marketed as "healthy"

As for encouragement on how much fruit you can eat? Eat as much as you want, especially if you're transitioning from a high grain, high carb diet diet. Once you get the hang of it and you want to lean out even more, just cut out fruit. When youre in an off time you have more fruit, but the scale will probably go up, just as with nuts, like almonds etc.

Focus on understanding the paleo lifestyle first, you will learn about safe foods. A great resource is Marks Daily Apple and Robb Wolf. After you get the gist of things then you can start worrying about macronutrient ratios and caloric partitioning.

This whole thing is a rabbit hole. make sure you're ready for the trip first because there's no turning back.

0
B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:02 AM

Do you have a refrigerator in your dorm room? If so, you could buy higher quality pre-cooked meats (like deli meats) and fresh vegetables to keep in your fridge (maybe take a bus to the grocery store on the weekends?). If you have access to a microwave in your dorm somewhere (mine had one in the lounge), you could do scrambled eggs in the microwave which are cheap and very healthy. Also, hard-boil some eggs to take with you to classes to snack on. Canned water-packed tuna or salmon (or tuna in those foil packs) would also be do-able whether you have a fridge or not. If you can tolerate dairy, some hard cheeses might also work or full-fat yogurt. I wouldn't go crazy with fruit or nuts if you are trying to lose weight, but with your activity level 2-3 pieces of fruit a day doesn't seem like too much to me, especially since they are the easiest options for you. If you don't lose a pound or so a week though, try cutting back.

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