*not sponsored by Trader Joe's. Believe me, I wish.
The Freshman 15 is REAL, but not everyone goes through it. I definitely did.
Growing up, I was always a smaller kid. I'm still petite, at only 5'3" tall, but you can still be small and gain weight. This definitely was the case freshman year- I gained about 12 pounds freshman year and lost about 10 before my sophomore year (I was not feeling healthy at this time either!). There are tons of people who are blessed with a natural, hyperactive metabolism and the skinny gene and I personally don't think I fall into that group of people.
Now, I feel that I'm the healthiest I've ever been. I try my best to workout at least 4-5 times a week and eat clean. I'm not on any crazy diets, I just try to make sure I'm eating enough protein, greens and limiting my sugar and oil consumption. Of course, there's always room for improvement.
Also, most of these recipes are geared towards those who have a full kitchen, or at least a microwave and minifridge, which most college freshmen have but not all. My freshman year, I was lucky to have a community kitchen but I know that it was a lot easier for me to just eat a few steps away on campus. I promise I'll make a post about a college freshman's guide to eating healthy!
*Remember, this isn't a post about what you need to be eating or one that promotes dieting at all- the most important thing is that you are feeling healthy and happy, and the only person that can validate that is yourself.
You'll start to realize this after you start buying your own groceries, but groceries are EXPENSIVE. That's why I love Trader Joe's so much- almost all of their products fall under their house brand so they can keep prices low and quality high. The most expensive thing I purchased was $4.99. Here's what I bought this weekend & two typical dinner recipes of mine:
Protein for the week
These are some of my favorite entrees to make in my apartment! So quick, easy, and delicious. I like to cook the Mandarin Orange Chicken with a vegetable (sometimes) and Jasmine or Basmati rice. Basmati rice is my personal favorite because there's less starch in it. I use a rice cooker, which cooks rice really well and very quickly. You can buy a decent one for as low as $20, so if you love eating rice in salads or with protein I highly recommend!
The "Just Sauce" Turkey Bolognese is such an easy and delicious meal! I love using the Barilla protein pasta or any organic pasta with it. It takes about 15 minutes to make, including cooking the pasta and you can use the same pot. It's super helpful for when your roommates have 1249804 things in the dishwasher and you want to avoid a landslide. Cook the pasta in the pot first, drain it, then use that warm pot to simmer your sauce on low heat. Simple.
Finally, here's my recipe for a healthy turkey burger! I follow the directions on the box to cook the patty, toast some Ezekiel bread (healthy!!), and add some cheddar, spinach, and avocado when I'm feeling fancy. Again, super easy. I like to spice it up with homemade sweet potato fries, which are easy to make, nutritious, and delicious. This is my favorite recipe to use.
Although I tried to cut out snacking on junk food as much as possible, there is one food I can't get rid of that's not so healthy: cheese. It's a guilty pleasure of mine, for sure. Cheddar is really good if you're slightly lactose intolerant, like me, since it has a low trace of lactose. I like to pair these with Trader Joe's Wheat Crisps or some type of Wheat Thins cracker. If I want something with protein, I grab an Iceland Skyr yogurt. It's not your typical yogurt, with barely any sugar and 16-20 grams of protein in just one cup. Siggi's also makes a really good one!
Favorite Salad Bowl
This is HANDS DOWN my favorite salad, ever. It's a delicious warm salad packed with nutrients and protein- basically everything you could ever ask for from a healthy meal. I first discovered this guy at sweetgreen. If you have one in your area, you may know it as a salad restaurant chain. Sadly, the salad bowls are typically $11-13 and it really adds up. Thankfully, I found this amazing recipe that I use to recreate the bowl for much less! Again, I purchased all of the ingredients at Trader Joe's but I'm sure you can find them anywhere.
My Go-To Protein Powder
Not from Trader Joe's!! I bought this from Amazon but they sell it at a few other places as well. I've used several brands of proteins throughout the years but I always find myself going back to this one. I love this protein because it's organic, grass fed, non-GMO, and TASTES AMAZING. 11/10 would recommend.
Other things I purchased from Trader Joe's
If you have any requests or suggestions please feel free to comment below! Thanks for tuning in and see you next time.