As a working student, you undoubtedly find yourself running short of three things: time, money and energy. If you develop the habit of bringing easy, healthy meals along with you rather than hitting the nearest fast-food outlet, you’ll give a boost to both your stamina and your budget.
Here are some smart ideas for on-the-go meals that will energize you to achieve those all-important goals you’re working towards:
Wrap It in Whole-Grain Pita
Using pita instead of bread has two great advantages: First, pita is less porous than bread and it won’t get soggy from sauces or mayo. Second, it works as a pocket to contain any sort of filling. Try filling a whole-grain pita pocket with last night’s leftover bean and cheese casserole, or with a fresh green salad and some cubed, cooked chicken pieces. Pita makes almost any type of food into an eat-with-one-hand meal.
Fill Your Thermos with a Smoothie
Your blender and thermos can team up to provide you with good-quality portable nutrition. Blend some fruit and vegetable juices together with protein powder and yogurt for a high-protein snack that you can drink on your way from one class to the next.
Expand Your Idea of Salad
You might not think of salad as being substantial enough to satisfy that growl in your midsection when it’s 7 pm and you still have three hours of labwork left to do. Salads based on grains like farro or quinoa, however, provide complex carbohydrates than will energize your body for long hours of mental exertion. Add in some lean cubes of cooked chicken or turkey and some zingy sliced peppers and radishes, and dress it with an herbed vinegar and pop it into a handy plastic container.
Spice up a Trail Mix
If you have memories of bland trail mixes from past hiking excursions, where it seemed as if you and the squirrels were enjoying exactly the same diet, it’s time to revisit the concept. The bulk aisle of your grocery store or natural foods market has a gorgeous assortment of dried fruits and assorted nuts, but the key ingredient for bringing any trail mix to life is a zingy spice rub. Try out a few different brands until you find your favorite, and you’ll benefit from all the handfuls of heart-healthy nuts you consume.
There are plenty of challenges built into the busy student life, but you can build your strength to meet those challenges by always keeping some healthy snacks within reach. Simple basics like fresh fruit and string cheese, along with a few tasty home-made treats like the ones mentioned above, will go a long way toward helping you reach your educational goals!