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Low Carb Options for college lifestyle? Please help!

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Old 04-02-2014, 11:42 AM   #1
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Default Low Carb Options for college lifestyle? Please help!

Hi all,
I'm currently a college student, I live on campus which means no access to a kitchen. I only have access to a fridge, microwave, and eating out. I also have access to the cafeteria meal plan but let's face it, it's natural and cooked fresh every day but.... It's 90% white carbs!!!!!! And it's killing my diet!
I lose best following the insulin resistance diet of linking carbs and protein, but haven't really found a whole lot of variety of options to eat that are dorm-friendly.

Anyone have any suggestions or ideas? Please help!
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:58 AM   #2
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A few suggestions. Good and easy low carb foods to have on hand: avocado, coconut oil, eaten straight or in coffee and tea. Macadamia nuts. They seem expensive but I eat so few at a time. You have to embrace fat. Remember is is low carb high fat not low carb high protein.

Start wrapping burgers in lettuce. They taste better anyway. I still have plenty of cheese. Salads are great and those are available.

Remember your appetite will be going down. So something hard to avoid WILL get easier. No cereals for breakfast. Only protein and fat. Gets your brain, body, and mood going and sets your hunger back instead of ramping it up with cereals.

Drinks, teas, water, bubble water, coffee.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:53 PM   #3
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Does your school have a salad bar? Most college eating plans do. Just load up a plate with non-starchy veggies and then add protein- nuts, chicken, fish, turkey, beef, etc. Add olive oil and vinegar or some ranch dressing and you'll be sitting pretty.
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by diamondgeog View Post
A few suggestions. Good and easy low carb foods to have on hand: avocado, coconut oil, eaten straight or in coffee and tea. Macadamia nuts. They seem expensive but I eat so few at a time. You have to embrace fat. Remember is is low carb high fat not low carb high protein.

Start wrapping burgers in lettuce. They taste better anyway. I still have plenty of cheese. Salads are great and those are available.

Remember your appetite will be going down. So something hard to avoid WILL get easier. No cereals for breakfast. Only protein and fat. Gets your brain, body, and mood going and sets your hunger back instead of ramping it up with cereals.

Drinks, teas, water, bubble water, coffee.
Hi diamondgeog, thanks for the ideas. I have a nut allergy so those are out. Do you mix the coconut oil in your drinks? How is it eaten "straight up"? What the purpose of eating coconut oil on its own?
I'm not doing Atkins or ketogenic diet, I don't do low carb high fat. I loosely follow the insulin resistance diet way, which is 7 grams of protein for every 15 grams of carbs with no more than 30 grams of carbs per meal. This is how I've found that I lose best. That, calorie counting, no white wheat ever, and trying to as gluten free as possible, are my diet "rules".

What other breakfast options would you recommend? I've been trying to avoid cereal but it seems to be a go-to food since it's so easy. I'm allergic to eggs, so that's not an option for me.
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:09 PM   #5
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Does your school have a salad bar? Most college eating plans do. Just load up a plate with non-starchy veggies and then add protein- nuts, chicken, fish, turkey, beef, etc. Add olive oil and vinegar or some ranch dressing and you'll be sitting pretty.
It does but I tend to not eat from their salad bar because I've had multiple friends get food poisoning from the veggies and fruits before. Do not want to go through that. But salad is something I can keep in my dorm and prepare myself, I'm not a big lettuce eater, but I like trying to find other interesting veggie combos.
Since I've barely used my meal plan in the past since I don't like their options, I decided to just opt out completely this semester. I'm just trying to find things that can be kept in a pantry or fridge that doesn't need to be cooked or can be cooked in the microwave.
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:19 PM   #6
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I'm in college right now too, so i know what your going through. If the cafeteria has a salad bar, eat salads. After awhile if you get bored and tired of salad, go for grilled or cooked chicken, and pile on steamed, cooked, or fresh veggies. If you ever get a chance to go to the grocery store, then buy some brown rice, it's good for you and it's filling too. Beans are also filling, the dark kidney kind though, not the burrito kind. Fruit, is a must as well, keep you hydrated and replenishes fluid. The college cafeteria is bound to have some healthy foods too, so just stick to those, and you'll do fine, hope this helped!
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:36 PM   #7
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I'm not on Atkins either. I started lowering carbs. Along the way learned about importance of whole foods, grains are bad (I feel evidence is overwhelming on this point plus it is spectacular for me personally when I cut them out), and relearned everything about fats.

Fats, especially saturated fats, are good and essential. Almost everything went wrong when Western nation humans stopped eating coconut oil, butter, lard, and tallow. Research omega 6 to omega 3 ratios.

Coconut oil I like straight on a spoon like pudding. Or just mix in coffee and tea. It is our prime cooking oil. Great for energy, protective of health, and crushes appetite. Was 232 on January 2. 198 now. I started coconut oil in January.

Lots of studies showing the average person introducing 200 calories of coconut oil say, eats around 400 fewer calories else wise. So nets a 200 calorie reduction.

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Old 04-02-2014, 04:06 PM   #8
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I'm not a "carb counter" but I saw this thread and had to respond. Hope y'all don't mind.

Can you get a rice cooker? It plugs in with a normal outlet. It might be "outlawed" in a dorm, but I bet you can hide it without getting in trouble. Great thing about a rice cooker is it's not just for rice...you can cook oatmeal in it and steam veggies! I got a half-decent one for 20 bucks. Then, you can cook a big batch of oatmeal for breakfast and portion it out into containers, put it in the fridge and reheat a portion in the morning. Add whatever fruit or sweetening you want to it. Same with veggies.

Otherwise, those steamable bags of veggies are great (do you have a fridge with a freezer, or is it just a small mini fridge?).

For protein, you can buy a rotisserie chicken already cooked, pull the meat off and use it to make chicken salad or put the chicken on a green salad. Lots of other options with that. You could also buy pre-cooked shrimp. I'm not sure how long they last in a fridge, but they keep great in the freezer.

Sweet potatoes keep well and can be cooked in the microwave easily.

Just some thoughts for now. Good luck!

Hmm, I also wonder if you could have a slow cooker...that's probably a bit too much for dorm-room cooking though!

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Old 04-02-2014, 05:13 PM   #9
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Canned or boxed soup works in a pinch, but you have to be really careful of what the labels say. Trader Joe's roasted red pepper soup and butternut squash soup come to mind. I believe progresso came out with a bunch of gluten free soups (I don't know their calorie or carb content), wolfgang, pacific or amy's might have some too.

Pre-cooked grilled chicken breasts, low carb/high fiber wraps (like la tortilla factory, ole wellness, or fiber one - you can make microwave pizzas or quesadillas with toppings of choice), canned fish, string cheese, deli meat/cheese.
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:28 PM   #10
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Canned fish or pouched fish is great. A particular favorite of mine is Starkiss yellow fin tuna in olive oil.
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:52 PM   #11
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Make the best of your food plan - take the buns off the burgers, scrape sauce off chicken, etc. It won't be perfect but it's a start.

I second the canned fish canned salmon is very good. Kale or Dulse chips are a good snack but don't go overboard.

I keep a few cheese sticks around and in a pinch will get some deli meat and just make little roll up wraps with pickles and creamed cheese.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:25 PM   #12
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Chicken wings without the breading and sauces - still pretty tasty. Takeout Chinese (select dishes, of course) without having to pay the dine-in costs. McDonald's/Wendy's/Burger King cheeseburgers (no bun/sauces).
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