Healthy eating is not exactly the biggest of priorities for a number of you at university. It certainly wasn’t for me. I took most of my nutrients from about six different daily vitamin/mineral/magic ingredient pills. I rattled a lot.
Later on during my degree, I realised there were a couple of my mates who probably ate more fruit and veg than my other uni mates put together! And when I went to visit my girlfriend, she loved making me some of the healthiest meals imaginable. I won’t lie…I wasn’t good enough to make any changes until approaching the very end of my degree. But I wish I’d started sooner. So to help you before it’s too late, here are some pretty simple changes you can make to start getting more fruit and veg in your diet. Don’t be a wally like I was. Love your body and your body will love you back:
1. Yoghurt – Don’t eat yoghurt from the carton. Instead, pour it into a bowl and cut up some fruit with it. You won’t need to think about the fruit quite so much that way. This won’t work if you don’t like yoghurt ‘with bits in’. If you don’t like yoghurt ‘with bits in’, you’re just wrong.
2. Add loose salad leaves to a ready meal – Don’t be content with an instant meal on its own. Just buy a bag of peppery rocket, some spinach, or lettuce leaves to go with the food. You don’t need to add a salad dressing or go to any elaborate lengths. Just chuck ’em on your plate and tuck in to a little added veggie goodness with your microwave meal…sorted!
3. Make a veggie stir-fry – For the little more adventurous, buy some stir-fry veg at the supermarket and whack it in the wok! If you’ve not got a wok and your housemates don’t have one (or won’t let you use their one), plonk it in a pan. Either way, give a quick stir-fry a go. They are very quick to make and taste very good with a sauce and a dash of soy sauce. Loadsaveg!
4. Pudding – Grab some tinned fruit or fruit salad and treat yourself after your meal. Hey, it’ll go toward your 5-a-day.
5. You’re bananas – Eat a banana if your energy is low in the afternoon. If it works as a boost for tennis players…
6. Think SIDE – Whatever the meal you make, consider some extra bits to accompany your food on the side. A few slices of cucumber, a tomato, half a tin of (hot OR cold) sweetcorn. It all helps.
7. Don’t go straight for the Jaffa Cakes! (even if you go for them afterwards…) – If you want a sweet bite, try and eat an apple, or an orange. Carry one with you if you’re out and it won’t get in the way. If you’re still in the mood for something a bit more naughty, do it then. At least you’ll have had some fruit at the same time and contributed to your 5 (OR MORE!) a day.