3

votes

Stoveless College Paleo

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 14, 2011 at 2:43 AM

I don't believe this has been asked quite in the specificity of my problem, so here goes, briefly.

I am currently in college and have been paleo since may (the beginning of summer). Being home and trying it out for a few months made be feel awesome and i loved it. But now i am back on campus in a room where i have a kitchen but only a sink, refrigerator, and microwave. I have a meal plan that allows me to eat at the dining hall once a day where i can do a pretty solid job of being kosher.

I take a multivitamin, fish oil, and b-12 (i have a deficiency).

So the question is: How can i eat paleo (or an approximation thereof) for dinner in my room without the ability to cook food?

I have done lots of salads for this first month and although i make a pretty delicious & loaded salad, i just don't see it as sustainable. It is expensive (remember, i'm in college) and i don't think i can eat the same thing for dinner every night until May 2012.

Part of me thinks i should just be strict for lunch (at the dining hall) and then be pretty loose for dinner. Atleast until i graduate, which isn't too far off.

All else in check by the way. No sugar, no dairy, lots of sleep, and exercise. I am 6'1 and 160lbs, just had a physical and i am clear on everything else. The only scary part of introducing grains back into my diet is fluctuating energy levels and depression returning.

Thanks and i appreciate any feedback in advance!

------EDIT------

Crap! i forgot a pretty critical element. The place i live has really sensitive fire alarms. I tried cooking with a hot plate for awhile and even turning the damn thing on would set it off. I also got busted putting for turning the fire alarm off. So the only appliances i've found that work out are crockpots and rice cookers.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on September 15, 2011
at 01:42 PM

Dorms don't usually allow hot plates of any kind and are often pretty strict about other appliances, as they take fire risk very seriously (or maybe it's just my school).

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 15, 2011
at 07:46 AM

Wow, that's why people can't wait to get out into an apt.

361e96d70d6d3b91d63f6ad975e60ab6

(840)

on September 14, 2011
at 10:36 PM

Crockpot is the way to go!!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 14, 2011
at 09:42 PM

most dorms do not allow this

E075ba9f0b45a81579cd3a6768ee680f

(110)

on September 14, 2011
at 01:40 PM

If you want to drill more in depth on how to implement a paleo lifestyle in college, the best may be to try and get college students to share the tips as well. I've just created a groups for college students here: http://healthylivingtribes.com/group/13 , if you want to have a look and maybe use it. The site's in alpha and just live, so it's empty and bound to have a few bugs, but the platform should be interesting (I did the site btw, to be clear). Let me know if something like this can help!

34d0dfe6cb1a477bd2b5f984c2af29a9

(493)

on September 14, 2011
at 10:49 AM

Take some meat at each meal and put it in a ziploc.

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 14, 2011
at 09:23 AM

Hot plate, that's the word I was thinking of -- can you have a hot plate?

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on September 14, 2011
at 06:40 AM

Yeah, blend up 4 eggs, a bunch of frozen blueberries/blackberries/raspberries, an avocado, and some optional butter and you'll be happy and full for hours.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 14, 2011
at 06:09 AM

I like the raw egg blender idea!

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on September 14, 2011
at 03:47 AM

I would buy a small cheap induction hob, they have many safety features, and dont heat up if theres no pan. And most of them have timers etc. They also do not create much excess heat.

51b472fa449ab0e5433f27dcd799fedd

(1091)

on September 14, 2011
at 02:52 AM

Will the dorms let you have a crockpot or toaster oven?

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18 Answers

5
0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

on September 14, 2011
at 03:55 AM

You are about to become sick of canned fish, I predict.

3
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on September 14, 2011
at 03:12 AM

Eggs. Yeah, microwaved eggs aren't always as good as cooking on the stovetop but you can buy various microwave egg cookers that allow you to make poached or boiled eggs in the microwave.

Tinned fish

Sweet potatoes (and regular if you eat those, since they're cheap) steamed in the microwave. Obviously you can steam any veggies in there.

Those three things are what helped me the most during my first year when I was living in the dorms. And if you shop at the right stores (at least over here, I don't know where you are) none of them are expensive at all.

2
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on September 14, 2011
at 12:44 PM

Not sure you'd be able to get a crock pot but would be a big help to be able to toss in a hunk of meat or whole chicken with veggies.

Potatoes and bacon microwave well.

If you buy nut you can chop them up and make your own nola ( nut granola) to mix with fruit and Greek yogurt

Do you go home often? You could ask mom to ( or do yourself at a friends home) batches of individual broth portions, apple sauce, a healthy version of a Lara bar or protein bar, precooked meatballs, patties, bags of cooked ground beef...etc all pre portion to stick in the freezer.

If you can get away with one burner and a pot you have even more options. Is there a dorm common kitchen? Or bbq? Again bulk cooking

How about a foreman grill? Then you could just prep burgers and freeze uncooked and cook as needed.

A small toaster oven is also an option....I use one when I'm just doing small things and don't want to heat a ful oven. Stuffed baked tomatoes, grilled veggies, potatoes

2
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 14, 2011
at 04:54 AM

I lived in grad student housing my first two years of paleo with absolutely no cooking facilities. So much for encouraging students to be healthy...you can microwave pretty much anything. I can't guarantee it will taste good, but it will work. Microwaved sweet potatoes with kerrygold were a staple. Fish microwaves well. I also microwaved sausage and eggs, it was not very appetizing...but edible.I also bought a blender to make smoothies with and never got in trouble for it. You can make some great filling smoothies with things like raw eggs, frozen fruit, and nut milk.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 14, 2011
at 06:09 AM

I like the raw egg blender idea!

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on September 14, 2011
at 06:40 AM

Yeah, blend up 4 eggs, a bunch of frozen blueberries/blackberries/raspberries, an avocado, and some optional butter and you'll be happy and full for hours.

1
128bf5cb59be2fa3e4724fb5253cd9fa

on January 11, 2013
at 06:08 AM

these people have clearly never lived in a dorm room ..

1
Aa69579f867333b08158c70e25f7daf1

(1826)

on September 14, 2011
at 10:35 PM

Make everything in your crockpot like I do! :-) It works so well for plopping things in for dinner and wandering off to class all day.

www.mypaleocrockpot.blogspot.com

Happy crockpotting!

--Sarah

1
F773996aa412bd93fd316159c5c785db

on September 14, 2011
at 09:36 PM

The link below is for a makeshift sous vide cooker. I haven't tried this out yet, but I'd be really surprised if your college disallowed it. You'd have to get an electric kettle, though.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/cook-your-meat-in-a-beer-cooler-the-worlds-best-sous-vide-hack.html

1
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on September 14, 2011
at 01:09 PM

I suspect you don't have a lot of space so minimal equipment is best for you. I think an induction burner would be the way to go. Prices range from low to high so it would just be whatever your budget would allow. The one I used in the test kitchen was big bucks, but Cooks Illustrated reviewed several and one of their top picks was the Max Burton 1800w and it's $125. Actually just looked on Amazon and it's "on sale" for $65.

Other than that all you would need is one or two cutting boards, maybe one for proteins/the other for fruit/veg, 8" chef knife, one paring knife, one fry pan, one pot with a lid. If you size things somewhat close you could use the same lid for the pot/pan. Very little space taken up, you could even do a little rack on the wall to hang your cooking supplies so they're out of the way.

There's nothing you can't do with this setup + the microwave, so have fun! Your little kitchen is going to be awesome :)

1
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on September 14, 2011
at 12:02 PM

I would highly recommend getting a $20-30 electric hot plate (basically a standalone burner) http://www.iofbonehealth.org/patients-public/about-osteoporosis/prevention/nutrition/calcium-rich-foods.html. It's the only way I was able to make my espresso in the hotels my b/f and I stayed at when we were on vacation!

I would avoid propane ones, as the gas & open flame might pose a safety issue in your dorm room. When you're not using it, you can tuck it away in a cabinet or drawer so it's out of the way.

Also, a good convection oven. Smaller than a microwave, cooks faster and more evenly than a regular-sized oven and uses a lot less electricity.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on September 15, 2011
at 01:42 PM

Dorms don't usually allow hot plates of any kind and are often pretty strict about other appliances, as they take fire risk very seriously (or maybe it's just my school).

1
8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

on September 14, 2011
at 09:13 AM

Are you allowed to have a 2-burner stove? That's all I have and I do fine. an oven would be nice, but I'm new to the whole meat thing anyway.

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 14, 2011
at 09:23 AM

Hot plate, that's the word I was thinking of -- can you have a hot plate?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 14, 2011
at 09:42 PM

most dorms do not allow this

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 15, 2011
at 07:46 AM

Wow, that's why people can't wait to get out into an apt.

1
7e36094a0f7a2fbad24290225405220b

(2064)

on September 14, 2011
at 08:39 AM

I tbsp butter into the microwave until melted (20 - 30 seconds), add eggs and stir well. Microwave until set. Not quite scrambled, not quite omelette but tasty and filling.

0
705e66484ed64fe8e188123de398413e

on January 11, 2013
at 06:23 AM

Sounds like a good opportunity for 1-meal a day intermittent fasting?

I can't believe I survived college. I think most of what I ate was double cheeseburgers, milkshakes, and pizza.

0
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 14, 2011
at 01:42 PM

Avocados, eggs, raw meat and canned fish. Those could already help you out quite well.

0
E3267155f6962f293583fc6a0b98793e

(1085)

on September 14, 2011
at 08:44 AM

Electric skillet and crockpot. There is a microwave egg cooker that makes hard boiled eggs in 9 minutes. I use it at work sometimes. I got mine at Walmart.

0
41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 14, 2011
at 06:36 AM

Are you allowed to have a dehydrator? You could stock yourself up pretty decent with homemade jerky. I have this one and I got it on sale for about $30, so it can be done at a decent price.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 14, 2011
at 06:26 AM

It would be along the lines of intermittant fasting if you were to mainly 'feed' at your lunchtime dining hall session and sometimes use the microwave to supplement with 'as paleo as possible' choices. I'd avoid wheat like the plague no matter what. Beware the eggs in the microwave- hard to clean up!

If a cooking device was allowed in your dorm room I'd vote for an American Harvest jet stream oven. They cook foods amazingly fast using convection/hot air and they actually brown meats. Potato pieces cook in 10 minutes.

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 14, 2011
at 06:14 AM

One meal you can do Whey and Coconut milk and (on the side) some veggies and butter.

You can always find a burger joint that will sell you two patties and real cheddar cheese without a bun.

Butter is your friend. Also veggies in the micro. Potatoes in the micro (sweet or even white).

I would try hard to avoid bread....

0
93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on September 14, 2011
at 04:16 AM

Go to garage sales, if convenient, look for for cheap little cooker thingamabobs. I just recent found a Sears Jiffy Burger cooker from the 1970's. $2.00. greatest purchase I've made all year. Kinda messy, with all the drippings (it appears designed to stay clean in theory, but not in practice), but a tinfoil tray under it is enough to compensate. I've done burgers, sausage patties, eggs, liver & onions - and guess what? I just popped a rice cake in it, to sop up those drippings, and it worked pretty good! Delicious rice cake dessert!

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