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If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

5 Tricks to Healthy During College

Ah, the life of a college student. Between working hard and partying even harder, we don’t generally have time or money to make it out to the grocery store and to cook. Instead, we tend to rely on cafeteria pizza and pre-packaged meals. And during the stress of finals, gorging on these treats seems even more appealing. But most of these foods are loaded with carbs and saturated fats and don’t exactly have the nutrients we need to help improve mental alertness, concentration, and memory. How is it possible for those of us who care about improving our health to stay healthy during our stay in the ivory tower? Here are some suggestions: 1. Drink lots of water! Dehydration contributes to a slew of physical ailments including tiredness, migraines, and irregular blood pressure. Thirst is also commonly confused with hunger. Invest in a water bottle to save the cost of buying bottles from the cafeteria.

2.  Carry an insulated tote bag with lunch. Who cares if you look dorky? You are in college, so grow up! Pack a healthy sandwich and take it with you. You will be less tempted by fast food and you’ll save money in the cafe. Put a cold pack in your container to keep your food cool.

3. If you know that you are going to purchase food, bring an empty Tupperware container with you! If you have a way to save some of your meal for later, you will be less inclined to gorge at lunch. If it is hot outside, figure how long your cold pack will keep your food cool and be wary of ordering dairy or meat products.

4. Eat from the salad bar. The cafeteria salad bar usually has tons of delicious, healthy veggies such as lettuce, broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Don’t use too much cheese, more than a scoop of croutons, or multiple tablespoons of dressing!

5. Snack on fruit, not cookies! Snacks can serve as a lifeline for students who must wait a few hours before they can sit down to eat a meal. Bring an apple or a banana with you – they are usually less expensive than baked goods, and will keep you full longer.