Upon embarking on my journey in my first year of college, I made sure to steer clear of the Freshman 15, or should I say the sophomore 30. As I enter the doors to living on my own as a transfer student, what do I see in the horizon? My friend was telling me “good luck” eating healthy at USC with two yellow upside down “U’s” in the distance, a yellow star with a happy face, and a red box.. McDonald’s, Carl’s Junior, and Jack in the Box.

How on Earth am I supposed to eat healthy with this around?! Well let me tell you how I did it, and have so far survived my college years while crushing this stereotypical monster and replacing it with a healthy diet.

I began meal prepping many nights and am very mindful when making my meals, ordering at restaurants, purchasing food at the market, or having study snacks, drunchies, or pre or post workout snacks prepared. There are also so many alternatives to eating healthy that are delicious. Get it baked instead of fried, replace that butter with a different spread, eat more of the greens and veggies, and have dark chocolate or dairy free desserts! I also include healthy carbs and fats, like dried cranberries, sweet potatoes, and my favorite eggplant hummus or avocado instead of loads of fatty dressing as a spread.

There are so many cheap options. Prepare to eat healthy. Make it fun and make your meals colorful. Fill your body with awesome rich nutrients. You can make healthy foods cheap and affordable.

But.. don’t deprive yourself! If you want it, have it in moderation because the second you deprive yourself .. No bueno. Eat moderately but mostly choose healthy. You will feel better both physically and mentally. Oh! And you’ll escape that stereotype that we all know exists. 😉

Originally published at fitfoodjunkies.com