Coming into college, my cooking abilities relied on one appliance: the microwave. Growing up, I had grown accustomed to having healthy meals prepared for me, and truthfully, I hadn’t considered the fact that avoiding the Freshman 15 might require some workarounds, especially when presented with more than enough indulgences the dining halls had to offer. Through trial and tribulation, I learned that the microwave and mini-fridge right inside of my dorm room were the best ways to help me avoid packing on the dreaded Freshman 15.
First and foremost, packing your dorm’s mini-fridge full of fresh produce can help you stay on track while avoiding the surprising costs that can come with mindful eating at the dining halls. Walking into the dining hall, I often B Lined for the salad bar which was great, but got expensive quickly. Instead of running down the funds on my Wisc account, I opted for buying some fresh produce from the grocery store and/or the Dane County Farmers Market every week, that I then stored in my mini-fridge. This helped me stay on track and save money.
The microwave was my other go-to, because sometimes a salad doesn’t cut it. Whether you’re in a time crunch or feeling a bit lazy, the microwave can be your best friend, but also your worst enemy if you’re not careful. Buying Smart Pop microwave popcorn, soup, tea, and oatmeal can help save time, money, and effort. Just be sure you aren’t buying too many indulgent frozen items that can easily be thrown into the microwave.