By Loren Humphreys
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 1 of VARSITY News.
For many students, the food we eat is the way we enjoy the freedom that comes with moving out, living by ourselves and cooking for ourselves. The latter has infamously become synonymous with student life, i.e. unhealthy food consumption: two-minute noodles, late night snacks and on-campus fast foods.
Healthy food on UCT’s campuses should be as big a priority as their banning of tobacco. However, judging by the lack of healthy food options (that are often expensive) this is not the case. Here are a few tips and tricks for eating healthily on campus, being conscious about your food and healthy “frugal” living.
Taking a walk on Upper Campus, I came across a few healthy food stalls. Firstly, we have Higher Taste Cuisine in Leslie Social who offer hearty homemade vegetarian meals. Their standard: brown rice, tasty soya meatballs and a tomato broth brimming with flavour. They have a variety of sizes and a large bowl goes for an affordable R35. Second is a personal favourite: the fruit stall in the cafeteria. Arraying an abundance of seasonal fruit at prices that makes my pockets sing for joy. The quantity of fruit that is packaged is enough to last you throughout the day.
Lastly, there is Panda Land. Their Mediterranean tramezzini, salad, or butternut and feta wrap are all healthy and tasty. When looking for healthier options it’s important to stay away from dressings and sauces as they often have hidden calories and oils, so you might want to avoid their saucy options and leave your salad without the dressing.
Being conscious about healthy eating is difficult. Ironically, where food should be centred, many of us disregard its importance. But what’s important to ask is: what are you putting in your body, processed junk or nutritious food? Here are a few tips and tricks that are affordable ways to bring you closer to healthy living.
- When grocery shopping, have six to ten pantry staples such as: brown rice/whole-wheat pasta, choice of fruit, frozen and fresh vegetables (spinach bunches last quite long), onion, eggs (vegan alternative: tofu), canned tomato and onion mix, mushrooms, white meat (chicken), beans/lentils/couscous (grains & coconut legumes are healthy, keeps you fuller for longer and are cheap) and olive oil. You can also add a healthy treat like dark chocolate in there – you deserve it!
- Buying bulk = better for your buck!
If you’re new to healthy eating, try it once a week, if you’re used to this, keep it going. Every little adjustment is a little step forward and will keep you feeling great in the long run!