I am going to be going back to college soon and am looking at the food plans for my school. I have no problems getting qualtiy and veggies, but my question is getting healthy fat options in. My question also pertains to balancing the omega 3 and omega 6 ratio in my diet. Looking at the options, I will have no problem accumulating omega 6's. But there seems to be a lack of omega 3's. Any suggestions?
Also, just for fun, what would you eat if you had this menu presented to you in an all you can eat format. I am planning to stick to the salad bar and loading up on high fiber quality veggies, and stick to the leaner cuts of meat, with some olive oil on the side since I think that is the only qualtiy fat source that will be there.
Handcrafted- Roast Beef,Turkey Breast,Salami,Ham,American Cheese,Muenster,Swiss,Chicken Salad,Hummus,Ham Salad,Sliced Tomato,Lettuce,BBQ Chips,Pickle Spears
Just For You- Beef Fajita
Tones of Home- Chicken Tortilla Casserole,Refried Beans,Green Bean Casserole,Whole Kernel Corn,Spinach and Noodle
Take It All In- Grilled Turkey and Cheese,Sweet Potato Fries
Hamburger, Hot Dog, Veggie Burger, Grilled Cheese, and Turkey Burger cooked to order daily
Take the Tour- Carbonara,Marinara
Cheese, Sausage, Pepperoni, Canadian Bacon, Cheeseburger Pizza cooked daily.
Of This Earth- Romaine,Spinach/Spring Mix,Iceberg/Romaine Mix,Homemade Croutons,Crackers,Bacon Bits,Raisins,Chinese Noodles,Sunflower Seeds,Eggs,Broccoli,Stick Celery,Squash,Cucumbers,Shredded Carrots,Red Peppers,Red Onion,Green Olives,Dill Spears,Cherry Tomatoes,Banana Peppers,Chicken,Green Beans,Cottage Cheese,Diced Eggs,Cheddar Cheese,Applesauce,Pineapple,Hummus,Pasta Salad with Pepper and Feta,Fresh Apple Salad,Corn Chowder,Cream of Broccoli Soup
When I was in my last semester of college (Spring 2010) and decided to try paleo, I relied largely on the dining hall for my meals for convenience and since I'd already paid for it. I'd moved out of the dorms already so had cooking facilities available but with my course load, a job, and trying to find time for the gym it was difficult to find time to cook. So I understand wanting to stick to the dining plan.
Most of what I ended up eating there was salads, omelettes (our dining hall would do them any time, made-to-order), burger patties (beef or, rarely, turkey), and occasionally they'd have things like steaks or roast beef, roast chicken, etc. That's what I'd suggest sticking to for the most part.
You WILL end up getting lots of seed oils. No getting around that if you're eating there. They will NOT cook with quality fats. However, choose your meals carefully, and you can largely avoid the gluten and sugar, and you can try supplementing with fish oil to minimize the damage from the n-6s.
Honestly, there are probably a lot of hidden ingredients in your cafeteria's food- tons of MSG, hidden gluten, poor quality meat. I remember going to my college's cafeteria, walking in, and then walking out because nothing was appetizing or trustworthy. Is there any way for you to cook on campus? Or, possibly use an older classmate's kitchen? That way, you could purchase grassfed beef, organic meat and veggies, etc. For Omega 3's, definitely take fish oil since you won't have access to (any?) fish. Nuts (but don't overdo it) are good to snack on. If you can get to the store, maybe buy some avocados for MS fats to supplement the olive oil (unless your school is much more wealthy than mine was, their 'olive oil' isn't really legit).
I've been doing Paleo at college for three semesters (going into my fourth soon), and my dining hall sounds quite similar to yours. I also stick to thes salad bar since I really don't trust their cooked foods, so I usually just make myself a bigass salad with a ton of chopped egg, bacon, and sunflower seeds with extra virgin olive oil... A lot of times I take the hamburger (no bun, of course) and cut it up and throw it into the salad as well for extra proteins. I also supplement with fish oils to get those O3s.
Can you have a crockpot in your dorm room? Because that's what I would do if I were you - get a mini fridge and a crockpot and start cooking! I use my crockpot almost every day for a Paleo-type meal:
(just started this blog, but I promise many more recipes will be posted soon!)
best of luck at college!
I agree that having my own meal plan would be the best. However, with time constraints and a small budget myself I think it is better to have the meal plan. I will probably what I see as the consensus here...eat big arse salads with protiens, and be reasonable with the seeds/oils.
I'm not sure what your cafeteria is like, but when I was in college, all of my food came from either the sandwich line or the salad bar. I avoided everything else like the plague.
Become friends with some of the folks behind the counter; I'm sure some of them would be more than happy to cook up something to order for you, like omelettes, since they're relatively fast to make anyways.
You could also consider taking full control of your menu. I was out of the dorms and in my own apartment by my sophomore year of college. Buying groceries and cooking for myself was nowhere near as expensive as I thought it would be. Stick to the kinds of things you can make in bulk and reheat as you go (stews, chili, etc.), buy your veggies either frozen or while they're in-season (easier on the wallet), and get your hands on cheap proteins like tuna, ground beef, and eggs, and you should be good to go. Bear in mind, I was working 25 hours a week on top of going to school full-time, rather than sustaining myself on surplus loan funds alone. I'm not sure what your financial situation is, so you may not have the extra to spare.
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