Struggling college student
I've been dappling in the paleo/primal sphere for about a year now, since my brother-in-law introduced me to the lifestyle. I am completely sure that this is the lifestyle that I want to lead, and have seen great results when I manage to stick to it. My problem is that I am a college student living in a dorm and eating on a meal plan. There is a very small amount of literature out there for living primally in college, probably because it is extremely difficult. The meals that I get in our eatery consist of about 80% grains and a tiny amount of meat/veggies. It's all economics - grains are cheap. I am struggling with what to eat because my choices are so limited. Only choices for fruit at school are apples and bananas, which I really shouldn't be eating anyway because of the high carb content.
I'm moving off campus in May, and I will be able to buy and cook all my own food (thank goodness) but I have 4 months left eating this food, and I really want to be able to stick with it, and gain back my health.
four months isn't that much time. put it in perspective.
do what you can right now, maybe get some coconut oil and take it straight from the spoon in the morning. this will add fat, then maybe fast a day or two. little things like that to chip away at the negatives.
but you won't die if you ride this out for four months then go full primal when you are away from the meal plan.
your objective right now is to blunt the corrosive effects of the meal plan diet. you're in management mode right now. go raw balls when it's your time.
and what are you studying?
I am in a very similar situation here at college. A small campus in the city with a required meal plan is really not ideal for primal living. While i'm here at school I have to just do the best I can. I'm not sure what options they have for you but just keep it as clean as you can.
At the school cafeteria I stick to HB Eggs, the salad bar, and any meat I find that isn't covered in sauces. Unfortunately I don't know what sort of crazy oils stuff has been cooked it but for now its the best I can do.
In my room I keep a supply of canned tuna, salmon, and sardines. Also some coconut oil, coconut butter, pemmican (doesn't last long), dark chocolate, and nuts. I am dairy free and limit my fruit greatly but just find what works best for you.
There are definitely more and more resources out there for people in our situation, just keep your eyes open Good luck!
Right now I find it hardest to avoid the constant crap people try throwing at me. Most of my friends/peers are being to think i'm crazy but I have just said that sugar and gluten makes me sick. But even saying that isn't enough to convince people. Hopefully you don't have to deal with that as much.
I can't move off campus for 2 more years but you are in an ideal situation once you can!
Last edited by evertastica; 02-26-2012 at 09:36 AM.
I am studying Decision Science and behavioral economics actually - how and why people make decisions, with emphasis on economic decisions.
I am counting down the days until I move off campus, and you're right, 4 months is not that long, but I would really like to take the opportunity now to build up fortitude. College is like the epitome of everything that is not primal - no sleep, tons of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and grains grains grains. It is literally everywhere.
Peer pressure is probably the hardest thing for me, trying to say no to other thin students who eat like crap and don't gain any weight and don't understand when I try to say that that food literally makes me ill!
Is there a grill at your cafeteria? When I was on the meal plan, there was a grill where you could get chicken & burgers, or whatever else they had that day/week. I have a hard time imagining your caf doesn't have a salad bar and some veggie sides. Does it have a vegetarian section?
Anyway, it's not ideal, but I bet you can find dishes you can mix and match from to make decent meals. And if you can afford it, keep some non-perishable items in your room (unless you have a fridge, then get dairy if you tolerate it, esp. yogurt and/or cottage cheese) like nuts or quality jerky so you have some other options.
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