If you go to a college or university then you are well aware how much of a challenge it can be to eat healthy. If you go full-time and have a job then you don’t have a lot of time on your hands.
This does not mean it’s not possible. There are hundreds of foods out there that are delicious, healthy and simple to make or handle. The following list includes 13 of my favorite animal foods that are fine staples while going to school.
If you want a clear mind that enables you to do well in school, you need to eat real food.
Grass-fed ground beef: This is my go to meat. You net more calories per pound than any other standard meat and it’s the cheapest “cut” of meat. That’s a huge win for those of us who are on a tight food budget. Ground beef is crazy easy to prepare as well. I enjoy boiling veggies (usually potatoes) in water (so it just covers the veggie) and then cooking the ground beef in that veggie water. This is the healthiest way to cook and is the most efficient. I then drain the water into a mug and drink it later. It’s surprisingly delicious. That water will be loaded with nutrients, especially Vitamin C!
Grass-fed beef hot dogs: I buy Applegate Farms hot dogs from Meijer, a regional supermarket in Michigan. They are 100% grass-fed and contain only beef and spices. They are high in heart healthy saturated fat and are a good source of protein to boot. They are pre-cooked which adds that convenience that college kids need often. Cook them in water for a few minutes, in the microwave for just a minute or so and enjoy them however you like. I will sometimes just add mustard on top. Other times I’ll make a bowl of hot dogs and veggies (mostly tubers). They are not available everywhere but it’s definitely worth checking your local grocery store.
Grass-fed beef or pastured chicken liver: Liver is the most nutrient dense food on the planet and is the best source of true Vitamin A. Even one ounce goes a long way. It’s also the cheapest cut of meat! I attempted to prepare beef liver without following a recipe a few different times and failed miserably. Most recently I made chicken liver pate and have fallen in love. I add it to Ramano cheese from sheep’s milk (I seem to tolerate this more than cow’s milk) and it is actually one of my favorite snacks. It’s good with carrot sticks or celery too. I follow the recipe from Practical Paleo.
Grass-fed beef chuck roasts: I don’t use the crockpot often but if you have one then buy some chuck roasts. This is another cheap cut of meat that provides a decent amount of fat. This means your dollar is going further and you are nourishing yourself more! It’s as simple as braising the meat with your favorite fat and then throwing it in a crockpot with water and veggies and letting it cook on slow for up to 8 hours. This is when you get extremely tender meat. Pork shoulders are awesome for pulled pork.
Eggs: Find the best quality eggs you can buy. It does make a difference but a lot of the labels are a bunch of crap. If you can find eggs from a local farm then you are golden. Just ask the farmer questions to find out the lifestyles of the chickens and what they eat. If you are unable to do this then go for omega 3 enriched eggs. These eggs come from hens that are fed flax. This allows these eggs to be way more nutrient dense over a standard, cheap grocery egg which is still a superfood.
Pastured bacon: I don’t eat a lot of bacon. I prefer butter. If you enjoy bacon then by all means eat it. I would recommend that you only eat bacon from a trusted source. Bacon goes great with eggs of course!
Pre-cooked rotisserie chicken: This may not be the best quality chicken but you just need to do the best you can. Sometime a rotisserie chicken from Costco, Sam’s club or other grocer that is pre-cooked is your best option. If this is the case then enjoy it. It’s better than anything you will get from the vending machine!
Beef or chicken bones: You can buy large bags of bones at the farmers market, Costco, Sam’s Club or most grocers. Make bone broth for soups or to just drink from a mug. I enjoy doing the latter with added butter!
Kerrygold grass-fed butter: At my Costco I am able to buy 1.5 pounds of Kerrygold grass-fed butter for $6.79. That’s about $4.50 per pound which is a crazy awesome deal. Butter is nearly pure fat so you are getting a lot of calories for your dollar. It’s also a rich source of vitamin a, k2, e and minerals like selenium. I usually cook with butter (if not water) and add it to my meat or veggies most of the time too! I am able to buy grass-fed butter from my farmers market for $4.25 per pound but I prefer the kerrygold’s packaging and it’s readily available.
Frozen chicken breasts: Animals store toxins in their fat. So if you are unable to eat the best quality animal foods 100% of the time then it’s best to eat super lean cuts of the poor quality meats. Chicken breasts are perfect examples. You can buy a huge bag at Costco or Sam’s Club and most grocers. Bake a few breasts at a time and then add them to salads, make fajitas, or many other easy dishes.
Canned Wild Planet albacore tuna from Amazon: This is one of the most respected brands of seafood I have ever come across. One can has about 3.2 grams of omega 3 fatty acids which is awesome. Tuna is extremely nourishing and canned tuna is as convenient as it comes. The cans are BPA free and you don’t even need a can opener! Learn more about Wild Planet Tuna here.
Canned wild Alaskan salmon: Just like tuna but with different vitamins and minerals. Wild planet is a great brand and so is Bear Wolf from Costco. There are dozens of others. If you find one that you think is legit then do some research to make sure. Consider even calling them.
Canned chicken breast from Costco or Sam’s club: Just like frozen chicken breast where if you are not able to be perfect then canned chicken in a pinch is great. I have been eating Paleo for more than 2.5 years and still enjoy salads with canned chicken from Costco. I usually add avocado for fat.
What about plant foods? Come back next week for part 2 which discusses my favorite plant foods that are delicious, healthy and easy to make or handle.
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I live a primal/paleo lifestyle and am a truth seeker, adventurer, minimalist, writer, entrepreneur, smoothie artist, cook, walker, discoverer, educator and learner. You can find me at PrimlToad.com as well as all the major social media websites with the username PrimalToad. I am the author of Toadally Primal Smoothies (also available as an app) and Primal Dining with Toad.
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