How to Eat Healthy Without Leaving Your Dorm

By Christine Ascher on January 16, 2017

It’s not always easy to eat right when you’re a college student and constantly trying to balance school, work, a social life, and (if you’re lucky) sleep. It may often be tempting to just stay in and order a pizza or eat junk food when you’re up late cramming for an exam.

However, with an ever-increasing range of food delivery options — often designed specifically for college students — there are now many ways that you can satisfy your hunger while still feeling good about what you’re eating and, importantly, without having to leave your dorm room to do it.

Though you could easily use the freedom given to you by this multitude of delivery options to order fast food, you can also just as conveniently take advantage of these opportunities to order healthier, but still tasty, foods.

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Healthy sandwiches

An easy way to get a wholesome meal when you’re at school is to order a simple sandwich from a local café or restaurant. Choosing whole grain over white bread and choosing a sandwich full of vegetables will fill you up without making you feel greasy or sluggish — in other words, it will make a great study food.

When you order online, you can typically customize your sandwiches exactly how you want them. Stick to lean meats and avoid overdoing it with cheese or mayo, and ask for extra lettuce or other veggies for a healthier option. If you’re given the choice for a side, go for a salad instead of French Fries or chips.

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Sushi is a great option when you’re ordering in and want something healthy and light. In addition to being flavorful, it offers a multitude of health benefits: nori, the outer layer of sushi, provides you with Vitamins A, B, and C, as well as minerals, while the seafood is typically high in protein, omega-3′s, and vitamin D.

Though you wouldn’t necessarily want to eat it too often — the mercury in some types of fish can have negative health consequences if you consume too much of it — it’s perfect for a light snack or a full meal. Given its popularity, you can probably find a sushi restaurant wherever you are that delivers to your campus at an affordable price. Some will even deliver late into the night, so instead of reaching for the junk food, you can indulge yourself in a more nutritious midnight snack.

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If you have a craving for Chinese, skip the Panda Express and look for more authentic Chinese food with lots of veggies. Sautéed broccoli, Bok choy, and snow peas, for instance, are great sources of antioxidants. Given they’re typically prepared with garlic or spices, you’ll be getting the health benefits without missing out on any flavor.

Another way to make your order healthier is to opt for brown rice over white rice; because you produce brown rice by removing only the hull of the rice kernel, it retains more fiber and nutrients than white rice. Miso soup is another nice, light option that offers a range of health benefits, due to its main ingredient of miso paste. It relieves fatigue, decreases cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and lowers the risk of diseases such as cancer.

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Like Chinese, Mexican food is easy to have delivered straight to your dorm when you don’t have time to go out. For healthier options, tend toward dishes stocked with veggies and protein; a veggie taco with a side of beans, for example, is a great option for a filling and well-balanced meal.

Fajitas are also a good choice, as you can fill them with lean meat and vegetables. If you’re in the mood for something small, a serving of rice and beans is simple but nutritious — the beans give you protein and the rice gives you carbohydrates, so you won’t be left feeling unsatisfied.

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When you’re presented with a myriad of options for what to eat, salad may seem like a boring alternative. However, there are many restaurants that offer unique salads that won’t leave you feeling hungry or ripped off. If you like kale, a kale salad is a great option; it is both a “superfood” and fairly filling.

By mixing it up with your toppings and dressings, you can always have a new type of salad delivered straight to you without it feeling as dull as the Caesar salad from your dining hall. You can also toss in grains such as quinoa for extra texture.

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Smoothies and juices

If you have a nearby café that delivers, try ordering a smoothie or juice the next time you’re hungry but aren’t in the mood for a full meal. Especially when made with fresh ingredients, these drinks are an easy way to get the health benefits out of fruits and vegetables. While you might need to watch out for the sugar used in some smoothie recipes, overall they are a great alternative to snacking on chips or going out for ice cream.

What will you choose? Check out Uloop’s food delivery service to order now!

By Christine Ascher

Uloop Writer
Hi! I'm Christine and I'm currently a senior at the University of Southern California, where I study English Literature, Economics, and French.

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