The Cure for the Freshman 15: Healthy Cooking

Our intern Brittan tries her hand at some healthy home cooking…and it looks pretty delicious!

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The ingredients started out like this…

Coming to college holds different excitements for everyone. But there’s one thing about college that pretty much everyone is excited for, new freedom. You decide when you wake up. You decide when you go to bed. Want to watch Netflix until 4 in the morning? No mom to tell you no, so why not? There’s also no mom to cook you your dinner.

Food is pretty much everywhere. Pizza, sandwiches, ice cream. This may seem like heaven, and, at first, it definitely is. You can skip the vegetables and go straight for the waffle fries. But I’m here to tell you a sad truth: filling up on chicken nuggets and pizza actually does catch up to you. I’m sure you’ve heard of the dreaded Freshman 15 but think there’s no way that can happen to you. Reality is, it can and it probably will. It happened to me, this “new freedom” proved me to be completely helpless in the face of unlimited pasta bowls and chocolate cake.

This is not to say that UMBC doesn’t have healthy options, there are plenty. It just took me and mostly everyone I know a year of indulgence to learn the strength to limit ourselves. Okay, fast forward to junior year, most students by now are out of the dorms and into the apartments or, in my case, in houses off campus. So when you finally grasp how to eat properly on campus, you’re thrown into a whole new adult challenge: cooking healthy food without burning a hole in your wallet. It is easy to buy a pack of ramen or Easy Mac and call it a day, but Junior 15 doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

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…and became these delicious, healthy red pepper and avocado bites!

Considering that, in the beginning of this year, I had to look up “How to cook chicken”, so you might say I started off this adult thing pretty slowly. I want to share with you my crutch in the hopes that it can soon become a crutch for you too.

*Cue the trumpets*

The Healthy College Cookbook!  Essentially this little guy teaches you how to make pretty much every meal, breakfast through dessert, on a college time schedule while also keeping in mind the college bank account falls down to $2 pretty much every month. Don’t worry, it’s not the only one of its kind. You can pick up an array of healthy cookbooks for college kids at the local library (located 2 minutes from campus) and all groceries at the Giant right down the road.

The meal I made this week was roasted red pepper and avocado bites. It cost me 7 dollars, took me 35 minutes, and was a real crowd pleaser. Doesn’t look like 160 calories does it? Yum!

— Brittan Gibbons-O’Neill ’17

Previous posts by Brittan:

Meet Your Student Bloggers
A UMBC Love Story