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Thread: Easy Primal Eating Strategies for College Students page

  1. #1
    Callister's Avatar
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    Easy Primal Eating Strategies for College Students

    Primal Fuel
    Hello everyone! I am a third year college student and I've recently taken up the challenge of paleo eating. My problem is that all my life, I have eaten whatever I wanted in whatever quantity it took to get full and as a result, I know very little about nutrition. For the last month, I have been trying to follow a paleo eating style but there are a couple challenges that I have. First off, I must say that, while I have the luxury of having an apartment with a kitchen and refrigerator and am no longer required to eat at the dining hall, (unlike those living in the dorms) I have the dilemma of having a non-primal roommate that cooks very well and tries very hard to tempt me away from my eating strategies. My second problem is that I have no cooking experience or skill and a very limited supply of most cooking ingredients beyond simple meats and veggies. I purchased the Quick and Easy Primal Cookbook but I lacked most of the ingredients and skills necessary to make most of the meals in there. The only one I have taken from it is the tuna salad, which is usually what I make for lunch. It takes almost no time, no cooking, and no fancy ingredients. The structure of my day is usually scrambled eggs for breakfast, the tuna dish for lunch, and for dinner, I normally just throw a couple slabs of some kind of meat on the George Foreman grill (the definition of quick and easy) During the day, I eat apples and bananas between meals to manage the hunger. That has gotten me through the last month, but a person can only handle a certain amount of repetition before breaking down and calling upon Domino's to take over cooking for a while

    What I am hoping for is that maybe some of you have ideas about how someone in my position could structure their eating a bit better. I'm looking for things similar to the tuna dish that are quick, simple, inexpensive, and difficult to mess up. Especially the kinds of things you can make in a large batch, then throw in the fridge to get through a couple more meals (like the tuna salad, or a soup or something). Many of the things I have come across call for herbs, spices, and/or other ingredients that I don't have and usually can't make use of in the quantity that some of them are sold in (e.g. I purchased cilantro for use in a recipe and ended up throwing out most of the bag after it sat in the fridge too long) so fewer ingredients are appealing as well. I apologize for the novel-length posting and thank those of you who made it through it. My hope is that by improving my own food routine, I will not only find it easier to stick to the eating style, but possibly convert some of my friends as well!

  2. #2
    Velocity's Avatar
    Velocity is offline Senior Member
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    Okay.

    1) Load up your spice/herb cabinet. I don't care what you say. Just do it. From thyme to chili powder to garlic powder to rosemary to cinnamon to nutmeg. You can omit the more expensive items like saffron and whole vanilla beans. Just go to the spice aisle and load up. It doesn't have to be all in one fell swoop, load up over the course of a couple months.

    2) When it comes to meats, go for what you can afford and can fit in the shared space of the fridge/freezer. Ground beef is extraordinarily versatile -- there are several threads in here regarding how to utilize ground beef (or other ground meats - pork, buffalo, turkey...). For instance, mix beef with a couple spices and herbs, and a large egg, and you have options for burgers, meatballs, meatloaf...

    3) Purchase chicken thighs, drumsticks, and whole legs: again, there are plenty of great recipes and varieties of preparation techniques. Save the bones, throw them into a slow cooker with mirepoix and herbs and let it go all day for stock that can be used in soups and stews. You can buy skin-on or skinless, bone-in or boneless, whichever works, and the recipe possibilities multiply further.

    4) Corollary to #3: If you don't have a quality, and sizable, crock pot / slow cooker, BUY ONE. You can put in roasts w/ veggies, soups/stews recipes, chili, etc., and have things ready to eat for when you're home from class.

    5) Buy whole animals if you can: for example, fryer chickens, frozen duck (or other birds like pheasant or quail if available), larger roasts (pork shoulder or butt roast, beef roasts, things 3+ pounds). For bone-in roasts, again, save the broth and make stocks/soups/stews.

    6) Get coconut products -- milk, flakes, shredded, OIL. Tropical Traditions and Nutiva both have outstanding products. Great for snacking and in recipes.

    7) Make sure to have sufficient cooking materials, including cooking fats (coconut oil, butter, and EVOO preferred; other fats like ghee and tallow if possible). Cooking dishes and utensils are also necessary, as well as storage for larger meals that are prepared and have a multi-meal lifetime (e.g., big pot of chili).
    Are you a college student, trying to navigate college while being Primal? Do you know any other PB college students on a tight budget? Heck, for that matter, are YOU trying to live Primal on a budget? Enroll at Primal University!

    For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either.
    -- Blaise Pascal

  3. #3
    belinda's Avatar
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    Second the urging to acquire a crock pot. Run, don't walk, to the store!

    I buy cheap beef or pork roasts or ribs.

    Beef: Chop up some carrots, onion, celery and lay in the bottom of the crock. Add half a cup of water, a bouillon packet, put the beef roast on top (buy whatever kind is cheap or on sale), sprinkle on s&p, garlic powder, a dash or two of worcestershire (optional). Cook on high for an hour then lower heat for another 5-6 hours. Nom. Nom. Doing this, a $10 roast will last DH and I for approx. 4 days worth of hot meals, diced in salad, etc.

    Pork: pretty much the same as the beef.

    Ribs: When ribs are on sale, I buy one or two racks. Slice them up between the bones. Boil in a pot of water for 10 min. or so. Put half a bottle of bbq sauce and a diced onion into the crock. Add the ribs. Pour more bbq sauce, garlic powder, etc. on top. Cook on high for an hour, then on low for another 4-5 hours. Nom. Nom. We did this yesterday. I got 2 racks of back ribs for $7. We had them for supper last night and have enough left to have them again tonight.
    Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!
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  4. #4
    Velocity's Avatar
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    If you're wondering about spices and herbs, not knowing how to combine them, the beautiful thing is that you can experiment. That's how you learn. Try out specific combos first to get an idea of a good harmonious mixture, then you can start branching out to discover your own style.

    Examples:

    Herbs, Spices & Seasonings
    Popular Spice Blends
    Cooking with Herbs/Spices - free Suite101 course - Page: 1
    Herb & Spice Chart
    Spice Mix Chart
    Are you a college student, trying to navigate college while being Primal? Do you know any other PB college students on a tight budget? Heck, for that matter, are YOU trying to live Primal on a budget? Enroll at Primal University!

    For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either.
    -- Blaise Pascal

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    Callister's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pointers! I have a small crockpot (about 2 servings for me) but maybe I will have to invest in something larger. I love the idea of throwing some stuff into a pot and not worrying about it for 6 hours. Plus you get leftovers? Win-win in my book. As for the spices and seasonings, I don't mind stocking up on things that I will actually use(chili powder and garlic powder sound safe), it's the stuff that I might use for one recipe, then never touch again that I am a little worried about. I am a fan of coconut. I have yet to try the flakes or oil, but I have coconut milk and dark chocolate almond milk on hand, both of which I enjoy so I have no problem adding other coconut products to my shopping list. I look forward to creating my first dish tasty enough to share (but perhaps not want to)!

  7. #7
    Velocity's Avatar
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    Well first off, thanks honeybun for the recommendation of my site...

    Secondly, Callister, I'll tell you right off the bat what is in my spice cabinet. A * marks the items that are not commonly used.

    Allspice (ground)
    Anise seed*
    Arrowroot starch*
    Basil
    Bay leaves
    Black pepper
    Cayenne pepper
    Chili powder
    Cinnamon
    Cloves*
    Coriander*
    Cumin (ground)
    Cumin (whole seed)*
    Curry powder*
    Dill*
    Garam masala*
    Garlic powder
    Ginger (ground)*
    Nutmeg (ground)*
    Nutmeg (whole)*
    Onion powder
    Oregano
    Paprika
    Peppermint*
    Red pepper (crushed)
    Rosemary
    Sage (ground)
    Sage (whole leaves)
    Tarragon
    Thyme
    Turmeric
    Are you a college student, trying to navigate college while being Primal? Do you know any other PB college students on a tight budget? Heck, for that matter, are YOU trying to live Primal on a budget? Enroll at Primal University!

    For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either.
    -- Blaise Pascal

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    Callister's Avatar
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    Ok, you have convinced me. I went out and bought most of the spices on that list; now the key will be to learn how to effectively use them!

  9. #9
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    As someone only a year out of college, I can tell you that the best way to use those spices is follow recipes or just muck around with them. Smell them and mix and match! If it tastes horrible, you IF or suck it down anyway. After all, you are foraging! Best of luck
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  10. #10
    Velocity's Avatar
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    That's how I progressed. Follow recipes for dishes and marinades, then start to branch out and try my own mixes. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't! But that's the fun of it!
    Are you a college student, trying to navigate college while being Primal? Do you know any other PB college students on a tight budget? Heck, for that matter, are YOU trying to live Primal on a budget? Enroll at Primal University!

    For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either.
    -- Blaise Pascal

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