by Caitlin Hart
Full disclaimer: I don’t believe in calorie counting. You won’t see me pulling out my calculator trying to decide if that muffin will put me over my daily calorie intake. I practice what I call the 80/20 rule. This means that 80 percent of what I eat is healthy and the other 20 percent is food that brings me joy, but may not be the healthiest.
Because what is the point of life if I can’t have my beloved Pringles?
The way I see it you are going to go over the number of calories you should have in a day sometimes and that’s okay. I do notice that when I eat all unhealthy greasy food, that’s how I end up feeling: greasy and unhealthy. But, at the same time I would be miserable if I had to stick to a strict diet and being a student I have to make sure the food I eat is easily accessible. So, what’s a student to do?
The best solution I’ve discovered as a student is to meal plan. I started to meal plan after one too many nights where I would come home and eat a grilled cheese sandwich. I do love grilled cheese sandwich, but I need a bit more sustenance, not to mention other food groups.
So I sat myself down at the beginning of each week and looked through recipes to make. Then it was off to the grocery store and voilà. I was able to feed myself good meals for the week. This took a lot of the guesswork about what I was going to have for dinner, which not only saved me time, but also money. It also meant that I was not as tempted to go out since I had nothing edible for dinner.
I found that once I got into the habit of doing this I generally just felt better. I was able to prepare better meals that were tasty and satisfying, not to mention healthy. Because when I’m hungry and strapped for time I usually go for the thing with the most bacon.
Now I still do eat the thing with the most bacon just not all the time. My thinking is that as long as most of what I eat is healthy and homemade it’s fine to have a milkshake or bagelwich every now and then.