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Boarding school nutrition

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  • Boarding school nutrition

    Hello all,

    First off I would just like to introduce myself and a few vital stats should they be useful to you-Chris, 18 yrs old, 5ft 4in, 122 lbs.

    *Warning* I tend to go off-tangent and ramble a bit, it's more fun that way!

    Anyways, I go to an English boarding school, (Actually, we have warm showers now!...but when I first started...*shiver*) so I have the inherent problem of being at the school 24/7 and while there IS a town we can go to, however the shops just happen to be very expensive.

    Obviously the school provides all 3 meals a day, should I choose to the only meal I can have outside of the school is lunch, the problem for me is that the school really does not offer much in the way of healthy foods and I am very limited to what I can customize my meals with to a few key ingredients. (The school has a 2-week meal rotar, so the meals differ from one week to the next). Persistent features of my school cafeteria is a very small salad and soup bar, as well as a jacket potato with beans, everything else changes on a daily basis so I actually do not have the chance to structure my diet.

    I was just wondering how much a constantly shifting diet of carbs, protein, etc will affect me trying to change over to the Primal blueprint, I am able to buy packets of nuts and other such small things, but don't know really where to start since the school has a dominate control of my diet.

    Any comments and suggestions are always welcome, and nice to meet you all!

    Thank you, Chris.
    Last edited by ChrisS; 01-04-2012, 02:13 AM. Reason: Adjusting the post.

  • #2
    Hi Chris - I have 3 daughters at boarding school in the UK, and 2 of them are trying to go Primal. It is difficult (especially for the youngest who is at Prep school - no cafeteria and less choice, but "fortunately" she's a coeliac so has a special diet overseen by the local hospital), but can be do-able. Do you have a tuck box? My other daughter stocks her tuck box with primal-friendly foods such as beef jerky and biltong, a selection of cheeses, as well as nuts (not ideal, but ...), and I send her supplies in the post, too. She also makes sure that she takes advantage of all meat/egg options in the cafeteria, and stocks up on salads and vegetables when they're on. I would hazard a guess that, as she's at a girls' school, there tend to be more salads! If your doctor is understanding, then maybe you could approach them regarding your diet, and see if they would write to the school as the school would then be obliged to meet any special dietary requirements. My daughter is lucky in that, although she has some serious health problems, they are resolved by a Primal diet and her gastroenterologist and GP have backed a more Primal diet and the school is happy to oblige within certain parameters (no grains, high protein breakfasts, salads/vegetables, and plenty of meat and fish as well as full-fat dairy - but that's about as far as it goes).

    I really do wish you luck, as I know how difficult it can be!


    • #3
      Thank you for the quick reply Olivia that's much appreciated!

      "Eliminate: Sugary foods and beverages, grains
      (wheat, corn, rice, pasta, breads, cereals, etc.),"

      Is stated in the primal blueprint, well, those two lines are pretty much 80% of what the school feeds us, which makes for a rather depressing outlook on how healthy I thought I was, with how healthy I actually am, :L.

      Furthermore our boarding house has a tuck shop where you place money in and can then buy sweets from it, anytime you want, hehe but that is easy to just ignore, it's just strange realizing the school almost puts an effort in to make you eat unhealthy. (and we are a sports school where eating healthy should be a huge issue!)

      "Be particularly careful to avoid conventional sources of vegetables that have
      a large surface area (leafy greens, including spinach and
      lettuce, are treated with some of the most potent pesticides)
      or a skin that is consumed (bell peppers are perhaps the most
      pesticide-tainted vegetable; also avoid conventional celery,
      cucumbers, green beans, winter squash, and carrots)."

      That little extract describes what we have on offer at the salad bar, oh deary me I feel faint! (You may want your daughter's to look at that paragraph from the PB since their salad bar no doubt has many of that as well) This just highlights however, that I need to step up my game to make an effort to eat healthy.

      The only fruits we have on offer are apples, oranges and banana's.-That really is it.

      I wrote this reply to add more explanation to the situation I am in haha.

      Olivia, yes getting a professional to write to the school and perhaps see the catering staff seems like a good first step to take, if they are accommodating, then all is well, if not then a war is to be fought! ;-) Also that's very thoughtful of you to send your daughter supplies, maybe I can get a similar system going as well.


      • #4
        I hear what you're saying! You can make a start on eliminating sugary foods by sticking to water or milk to drink (whilst it's not ideal, it's a start), and it's still better to eat the vegetables rather than the pasta etc., as you can only do what you can with what is available! They also pocket the packets of butter given out at breakfast (are you given a cooked breakfast option? Even if it's battery eggs and value bacon, it's better for you than the cereal option) to put on their vegetables. Have you checked out the Goodness Direct website? My eldest (who does have access to a kitchen, it must be said) occasionally subscribes to an organic salad box, and also orders organic eggs from them which are delivered to school, which she then shares with my middle daughter. It's not an ideal solution, but I give them both a small allowance to fund better food for themselves (youngest is not allowed this at her school - she will sadly have to wait) and I also make sure that they go back with full tuck boxes (which they can't refill from a school tuck shop, thank goodness!). Would your parents help you at all? I also make quite sure that they eat primally at all exeat weekends, half terms and holidays, and they definitely notice and improvement in their health then, so we know it's worth doing ...

        Sadly, most schools follow the CW way of eating for the least possible cost, and whislt you are there, there is little that you can do during the term. But, if I judge correctly, you're about to embark on your penultimate year? Of course, if that's the case, it's the most important year for you to be Primal to get the best possible results at A Level, but any measure you can take - especially the grain elimination - is a step in the right direction.

        Good luck - and let us know how you get on ...