Meal Plans

7 Tips for Eating Paleo While in College

This collegiate CrossFitter lives a paleo lifestyle. Follow her seven useful tips for sticking to a paleo diet while in college and you’ll be the leanest student you know.

bbq chicken
bbq chicken

The Paleo lifestyle has been growing in popularity recent years as more and more people are looking to go “back to the basics” to get their health in better order. In short, Paleo focuses on eating the real foods that our caveman ancestors ate and avoiding chemically-loaded processed foods, grains, dairy, legumes, and processed foods.

It’s possible to go Paleo without going broke in your college years. Here’s a complete guide to clean-eating on the most frugal of college budgets. And yes, it is possible. In fact, I did a “Whole 30” my junior year of college, where I went strict paleo for 30 days!

For On-Campus Students


1. Get Creative in the Dining Hall
Getting all your meals from the salad bar will become so boring that you might end up sneaking over to the cookie line. Stay excited about eating healthy by mixing it up a bit and don’t be afraid to wander around the hall. For example, take some plain chicken or steak from the grill station, and then put it over some brown rice from the burrito line, top off with salsa, guacamole, and lettuce and it’s a burrito bowl that didn’t run you $9 at Chipotle.

2. Know What to Avoid
With the florescent lights and seemingly endless options, the college dining hall can easily become sensory overload. Have a plan and don’t go starving. This way, you don’t get suckered into standing with your friend on the pasta line or justifying a not-so-nutritious binge. The plan doesn’t have to be strict, but knowing that you’re going to get the meat and veggie option or snack on a piece of fruit will prevent wandering and non-clean eating.

For Off-Campus Dwellers

3. Invest in a Slow-Cooker. 
If you live off-campus or if your dorms will allow it, buying a slow-cooker is 100% worth it. Really affordable ones can be found at places like Target and Wal-Mart and they’re so simple to use. Just throw in some ground beef, a can of beans, some seasoning, and frozen peppers and onions (this step takes about 2 minutes!) and by the time you get home from a long day of classes and club meetings, dinner will be waiting for you! No more “I’m too tired to go to the dining hall, I’ll just order pizza”!

4. Split Meals with a Roommate.
If you constantly find your roommate munching on your food, turn that problem into a solution by agreeing to split meals. For example, the slow-cooker chili mentioned above can definitely feed two, with room for leftovers! As long as there is a solid agreement that one roommate will not eat most of the meal and leave two bites for the other, this can chop costs in half!

For Everyone

Fit young man

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