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Primal foods for college kids?

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  • Primal foods for college kids?

    So, like a lot of people, I'm new to Primal living. I've always been a Carb Queen, so making the switch isn't easy, and being in college doesn't help. I know it'll be worth it in the end, but right now I'm having a tough time.

    Mainly, it's from lack of options. Growing up in a family of foodies, I'm used to a lot of variety. Eating out of a dining hall two meals a day limits what your options and being primal, even more so (we happen to be in an agricultural center but specialize in pizza, french fries, and ice cream. go figure...)

    So, to cut to the chase:

    I've been trying to keep good, healthy primal foods in my dorm room to snack and munch on when the dining hall just isn't enough. Right now I've got carrots, celery, eggs, and fruit.

    I've been wanting to try some of the cool recipes I've been seeing on this site, but my main problem is price. I'm on a budget and coconut oil, almond flour, etc. are quite expensive and I have to save up for textbooks next semester.

    Does anybody know any recipies that are relatively low-budget (like flax meal ($3.50) vs. almond flour ($13.50)) that someone with basic culinary knowledge could cook up? (especially baking, i LOVE to bake!) As much as I love eggs, they're getting repetitive...

    Thanks so much!

  • #2

    Hi MissMagenta! It looks like you've got a good start with what you have available. I understand the whole college thing...I'm just getting out of it myself. What I am finding is that I need to experiment substituting stuff. As for cooking oils, if you have access to a Costco or something like that, you can stock up on EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) for relatively inexpensive - or you could just stick to butter for your cooking fat.

    Another thing, if it's near you, Wal Mart is your best friend. Yeah I know it's the bane of all evil, but when you're in college and need to save money, it is your best friend. They even have some organic produce.

    You could even try finding a local food bank (although they might try to push a lot of grainy stuff on you).

    So that's what I have to offer, sorry I'm not much help in the recipe department.


    • #3

      I'm also a college student, and although my father is generous enough to buy my food every week he keeps me within a budget...Do you have a cooking space? For awhile, I just worked with a variety of vegetables (Walmart=cheap produce,) cooked in butter and covered in pepper. Talk about cheap! Eggs can take on a variety of tastes when combined with the right things..If you're keeping dairy in your diet, I'd suggest cheese and salsa! And don't forget about the power of onions...They're great with virtually everything.

      If you can't buy a lot of meat (that's usually where dad and I spend the most, even on CAFO stuff,) I'd suggest getting some protein powder. Coconut milk is only a buck a can, get a bag of frozen fruit, and have at it. Also a good suggestion if you're sticking with meat: I started buying a whole chicken each week for only about 6-8 bucks..I finished mine in a few days, but depending on your dietary needs, I bet it could last you a good week. Good luck, it's possible!

      On a mission to help others master movement, build unbreakable strength, & eat MORE food (can't beat that.) Weekly fitness, health & nutrition articles at


      • #4

        Thanks guys! Glad to know I'm not alone.

        Klcarbaugh: I've never actually had flax meal. Does it really taste that bad? I invested in a bag of almond flour because so many recipes on MDA call for it, but it was pretty expensive. Any less expensive substitues that you'd reccomend?

        I do have a cooking space and a fair ammount of basic pots, pans, knives, etc. I am going to keep at least some dairy in my diet for now.

        Do you guys have any tips on dealing with temptation? My willpower gets sapped as the sun goes down. I always do really well until 8pm, when my friends and my lack of willpower get the better of me.


        • #5

          Hey, I am also a student and know exactly what you are on about! I live in England, so our food options may differ. I get a student loan at the start of each term, so i live like a king for the first few weeks of having money, and i try to spend most of it at this organic farmers market we have. Now, Its nearing the end of term and I have to shop at the generic supermarket (ASDA)with a weekly budget of 12.00. I used to spend 40 at the farmers market!

          Anyway,as I'm currently trying to gain muscle, I am eating more than usual so I'm really stocking up on meat and eggs. For the 12.80 I get:

          30 eggs

          40 sausages

          16 chicken breasts

          14 apples

          1 bar of dark chocolate

          bag of frozen veg

          It sucks, and is not ideal for the PB, but its only un till my budget increases in January!



          • #6

            Eggs are very inexpensive and can go a long way, I say eggs are the way to go. Look at the sales when they come out weekly and see what meats go on sale. Ground beef can go on sale for VERY cheap (even at "specialty" stores). I've spent lots of time this year getting by on $10/week of meat and not making an effort to really stretch it too far.

            Also, I know almond flour can be expensive, but if you buy almond meal from Trader Joes (same as almond flour except they grind it with the skin still on), it's only $4/lb.


            • #7

              You should also do only one meal a day. Saves a lot of money and time and it's very healthy.

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              • #8

                Good tips, I agree especially with choosing eggs, roasted chicken and fasting.

                Im on student loans too, and the only primal food that will simply NOT fit into my budget is grass-fed beef. Maybe Im eating too much meat (A whole roasted chicken will not last very long in my fridge), but with the price of CAFO meats, I can only buy 1/3 of the meat that i would normally. I understand the &#39;eat better, eat less&#39; principle, but it still hurts to pay $10 bucks for a small portion of steak that will be half of a meal for me.


                • #9

                  One thing to do is go to the local butcher if you can and make good friends! you&#39;re likely to get a good deal anyway but if you&#39;re friendly and a frequent shopper, small places like that tend to hook you up! Also, almond meal is simply ground almonds...if you have access to a blender or small food processor (you can get 2 cup processors at Target for pretty cheap) then just buy some bulk raw almonds and grind them up yourself....WAY cheaper!While I&#39;m no longer in college I live on a very tight budget in a bachelor pad with a TINY kitchen...I tend to keep frozen chicken breasts, bacon, and fish plus a variety of fresh and frozen veggies and eggs....somehow no matter what i mix together, if i toss it in some EVOO and balsamic (try flavored balsamics) it tastes great, takes 5 minutes to make, and fills me up for hours. Since I usually have about 6 or 7 kinds of veggies and a couple flavors of balsamic vinegar, I don&#39;t get too bored. trust me, when you stick to fairly limited, easy ingredients like that, you&#39;ll find it really easy to get creative with what you make while staying within your budget. After all, necessity is the mother of invention.

                  As far as the dining hall goes...if it&#39;s anything like my college experience (and it sounds like it may be) try and use that to get a good portion of your daily veggies out of the way via the salad bar and save the fun food for your dorm room. and remember....never trust the meatloaf.