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It's too expensive and unrealistic for a college student to be primal :(

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  • It's too expensive and unrealistic for a college student to be primal :(

    I posted about this here a while ago, but never got any clear cut answers. How do you guys stay 100% primal? Its so expensive buying all nat. Meat, eggs, etc. etc. It seems like all the healthy stuff, minus the vegetables, is expensive. Im getting ready to go off to college, where they do have a salad bar, but as far as everything else I'm screwed. Eggs and salad everyday .

  • #2
    will you be on a meal plan when you are away at school?
    it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live

    at just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up


    • #3
      I think you can get 90%+ of the benefits of a good diet just by cutting out crap (processed foods, seed oils). Grassfed/pastured meats are ideal but I think from a health standpoint, you will be fine with conventional meat. I may change my tune after this week; I'm finally getting my half a cow!


      • #4
        Yes, it ties in with my aid package


        • #5
          like yodiewan said, you don't need to buy the expensive meats. i'm on a budget, so i don't get grass fed, pastured, organic, etc...i buy conventional. that's my 20% (please please please...let's not turn this into another 80/20 thread).

          meals on a college campus can be tricky. but, you can always count on them having plenty of eggs, salad, veggies, burgers, etc. You may not be getting the best quality food, but there will be primal options and a half-way decent variety. if not, you can usually bring up dietary suggestions and the college will try to do something about it. with gluten insensitivity becoming more well known, they're probably already headed toward having more primal options.
          to supplement those meals, you can also get great supplements for cheap, keep some fruits, veggies, eggs and meat (conventional is fine) in your room. and, stock up on things like tuna and sardines that will keep for a while without refrigeration.


          • #6
            That sucks.
            Cafeterias are awful. I'd just try and do the best you can do. Look for things like chicken breast and get creative- maybe get a burger and salad, ditch the bun. But yeah, it's probably going to get old. The good thing is that at least when I went to college the cafeteria food wasn't even tempting- even the junk was crappy tasting. LOL, they made spaghetti with green peppers.

            Maybe invest in a microwave, crock pot and a mini fridge. A crock pot can go a long way to making good meals. Some beef, stock, and cut up veggies and you have a good meal for days. Hell I was far from primal in college and all of us used the crock pots, hot plates and microwaves to eat.

            Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


            • #7
              What yodiewan said. Do the best you can and don't sweat it. The meat, fish, veggies, and even rice and potatoes (unless fried, cuz they're sure to use nasty oils) should be perfectly fine. Not ideal, but if you stay away from sweets and grains you should be well within the 80% and far ahead of almost everyone in your age group.

              I'm not sure what percentage of people on this forum stick exclusively with grain-fed meats and all organic everything, but I sure don't. As you say, it's expensive, and I for one can't afford it. But the benefits of the primal way of eating have been amazing anyway.

              Best of luck to you.
              Live your life and love your life. It's the only one you get.


              • #8
                The junk food at my college is actually pretty great. They have muffins, cakes, blueberry pudding, pork roast, burgers, etc. etc.

                The only thing I go to is the salad bar, and breakfast was like heaven, cheeeesy omelettes with sausage links.

                The foods actually pretty good, just not healthy. What really sucks though is I'm at my best when I'm primal.
                My whole life I've had ridiculous allergies, and my nose only cleared up when I ran. Since going primal, I've lost allergies, had much more energy, and just felt so much better.

                Id hate to go back to my old ways, but I think if I stay on eggs and salad, and then have my mom bring me a home cooked primal meal on weekends (home is an hour away from the university) that I might be fine.


                • #9
                  Just ditch wheat, sugar/HFC, and seed oils. After that eat whats left for now. As a tip, I would buy my own olive oil to take to that salad bar though


                  • #10
                    Along with the great advice above, I'd recommend choosing leaner cuts of meat when available, only because it's safe to assume that cafeteria food won't be high-qualify stuff, so remove chicken skin/cut off visible fat on meat, etc. when you eat on campus. (And even if you don't do that, you'll still be better off than most of the other people in the cafeteria.)
                    F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

                    **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

                    **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**


                    • #11
                      Sausage and cheesy omelettes and salad doesn't bad. Surely they have some plain chicken, fish or burgers you can take off the bun. Sweet potatoes are pretty cheap and you can microwave them in 3-5 minutes.
                      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                      • #12
                        Also, maybe if you qualify for college aid, you might qualify for food stamps? (SNAP is I think what they call it now.) Also, see if any organizations give out free food boxes. You can give away the stuff you don't want to eat (lots of rice and cereal in those boxes) and keep the veggies, meat, etc.

                        Good luck to you!
                        "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


                        Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


                        • #13
                          As yodiewan said, just cut out the really bad stuff. It's ok if everything isn't organic/grass-fed/pastured. The important thing is to avoid the pasta/pizza/bread, etc. Now that I'm "all growed up" and not on such a restricted budget, I do buy organic/grass-fed/pastured, but I've also found that my grocery bills are much smaller. I try to hit the farmers market, and I bought into a Beef CSA with a friend of mine. In general, because I'm eating cleaner, I found I'm not hungry all the time like I used to be, so I eat less, and have to buy less. At first I thought it would be crazy expensive, but it hasn't been all that hard.
                          GW: No clue since I have never been thin. I'm "big boned" frame-wise so I'm shooting for 170-ish, but I'll see when I get there, I guess.
                          CW: 268
                          SW: 316

                          As of 7/17/12 Down 48 pounds!


                          • #14
                            I second all the advice given on here. When you're using the meal plan and eating on campus... do the best you can. Cut out the crap and go with what's left. As for what you're purchasing yourself...

                            I'm a college student on a pretty tight budget as well but have managed to make Primal eating work by rearranging my shopping priorities (and luckily I've been able to do the grass fed/free range/wild caught etc. etc. thing).

                            First and foremost: cheap cuts of meat are your friend. Ground beef and chuck roasts (bone in is even better and usually cheaper) are your BFFs. I buy marrow bones and roast them for the marrow, and then boil the bones to make a stock (same with whole chickens and chicken carcasses. NEVER THROW THE BONES AWAY and always buy your meat with bones when you can)! Stocks and soups make everything stretch hella far and you can't beat the nutrition of bone broths... and include that offal, baby! You can get some darn good grass fed suet or pastured pork fatback and render your own tallow/lard for some fresh, amazing fat since pastured butter can run on the pricey side.

                            Don't forget your fish! You can get some nice wild-caught canned salmon for $2-3. Or humanely farm raised for even less. Canned fish = awesomeness for a college budget. Mix that can with an egg or two and seasonings of your choice and fry it up in some of that home rendered tallow and BAM - delicious salmon patty. Throw it on top of some salad greens or vegetables of your choice and you have a great meal for less than fast food """meal""".

                            Sorry, we're in college, so forget milk, yogurt and cheese since they're $$$ for your calorie/nutrition need if you still do dairy. Making your own yogurt is pretty awesome and I still do the occasional homemade yogurt of kefir batch but it's kind of a treat now that meat is taking up so much of my budget. And unless there are some nice berries on sale I barely do any fruit. Veggies are better anyway and you tend to get more bang for your buck.

                            Learning what's in season is innnnvaaaaluable (*slow read* since it's that important). And I'm going to reiterate the bone-in/whole chickens/BONE BROTHS since nothing makes for a cheaper and delicious Primal/Paleo meal than homemade soups and stews.

                            Last but not least - take advantage of sales. Fruits/veggies/meat, they all freeze like professionals. Waste not, want not and all that sh!t.

                            Go team Primal University!
                            Live Clean, Love Hard. Or vice versa.

                            Female! Height: 5'10.5" HW: 161 SW: 135 CW: 124 GW: Whatever number my body wants to be when I'm eating and moving well - trying to get that muscle mass up.


                            • #15
                              When I was on the meal plan in college, I practically lived on sugar-bomb cereal and low-fat milk. Terrible. No wonder I couldn't stay awake in my afternoon classes.

                              If you just cut out the sweets and grains, you'll be in much better shape than most of your classmates. Optimal, top-shelf Primal isn't feasible for you, but this WOE is totally scalable. Do as much as you can within your limits and ramp it up later when you have more financial flexibility.