Today, we welcome another great guest post from our intern, Frannie Monahan. The resource she references is definitely great for college students, but their parents should check it out too! Lisa
There’s no question about the fact that healthy diets equal healthy brains and bodies. No matter your age or occupation, it’s important to eat well so that you can feel and perform at your best on a daily basis. However, in your late teens and early twenties, you’re developing lifestyle habits that will stay with you for a very long time. So as a student or young adult, learning how to eat healthy is one of the best commitments you can make for future you.
Unfortunately, it is extremely hard to maintain a balanced diet, and wallet at once. Sometimes there have to be sacrifices. In comparison to affording books and rent, eating healthy can seem a bit far down the list of priorities. But a good diet doesn’t have to be this hard. As little of them as you think you might have, you do have the funds for healthy eating...you just need a little help learning to use them.
The other day, I stumbled upon the perfect resource for anyone wishing to improve his or her diet despite of budgetary restrictions. “Good and Cheap,” by NYU Food Studies graduate student Leanne Brown, is a cookbook designed to make healthy and wholesome eating possible while on a food stamp budget. Containing a colorfully diverse collection of recipes accompanied by beautifully and tantalizingly photographed examples, “Good and Cheap” is available online at Brown’s website for free download. The well-written instructions and thoughtful tips in Brown’s cookbook provide the reader with the skills necessary to make anything from “Lightly Curried Butternut Squash Soup” (pg. 28) to “Banana Pancakes” (pg. 18) for around $4 per recipe. Also, with recipes for every meal of the day, including snacks, desserts and a few extras such as sauces and drinks, it’s pretty much impossible to get bored. Brown also includes tips on how to shop for and maintain an efficient pantry, like choosing ethnic grocery stores, which often have great bulk sections, or investing in items that go a long way and can be used in a variety of recipes, such as olive oil and spices.
“Good and Cheap” is also a great learning tool for new chefs, as its recipes are simple, yet interesting and encourage creativity and improvisation. In her introduction, Brown states that “kitchen skill, not budget, is the key to great food.” A common struggle for college students and newly fledged adults is inexperience in a kitchen setting. For someone with little cooking experience (no, Top Ramen does not count) “Good and Cheap” can help build a basis of healthy and efficient cooking skills that a home chef can reference throughout his or her life.
“Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures,” says Brown at the very beginning of her introduction. I could not agree any more full heartedly, as eating is unabashedly one of my most favorite things to do. But as fun as it is, don’t ever forget that eating is also one of the most important things we do. So do yourself a favor and make yourself a bowl of “Fast Melon Sorbet” (pg. 118.) Pretty sweet deal, isn’t it?
Your Turn: Do you have any favorite cheap and healthy eating tips or recipes?
Franziska Monahan is journalism student at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. She is a member of both the production and news teams at the University of Oregon campus radio station, KWVA. She also contributes and produces stories for the new UO radio show, This Oregon Life.