Going off to college can be one of the most exciting times in a young person’s life, but this great right of passage can sometimes come with unintended health consequences. Many people know about the dreaded “Freshman Fifteen”, but your student might have much more than weight to worry about when they join a large community of students. College should be a time to learn and grow as a person, not to get sick and feel miserable in their body. As a mother of a college student, I understand the temptations that come with college life – lots of late nights, pizza and beer (for those over 21)… But there really is a way to make your student’s college experience “Wildatarian” friendly. It all starts with setting your student up for success with the right tools to be able to make healthy choices that support their bodies. I have come up with a list of my “wellness” dorm room essentials that you won’t want to forget to pack for your college-bound students this year!
- Can Opener: Sometimes the best tools are the simplest ones. I tell all my college-aged clients that a can opener is their best friend. It can be used to make quick meals in a blender, on a hot plate, or in a microwave- meals such as bean chilli, cooked vegetables, hummus, coconut milk, chia pudding, and many others. Make sure the cans are BPA-Free. Canned foods are easy to store and won’t expire during the school year – and best of all, you can send them to your child as part of a regular care package.
- NutriBullet: This tiny, but mighty blender is the perfect tool for making nutritious smoothies, soups, or drinks in the dorm. It is lightweight, easy to clean, and has a convenient blending cup which can be easily taken on the go to class! Blending fruits and vegetables in the NutriBullet can make the essential vitamins and minerals more absorbable. A “wild” protein smoothie is a great meal replacement when on the run – just make sure to used approved milks and protein powders. These are healthier options that will fuel your student through a tough academic day and allow them to say NO to that latte or the sugary pastry from the cafeteria.
- Electric Kettle: Electric Kettles can be used for more than just tea. Your college student can make a variety of dishes, like your favorite Wildatarian-approved pasta, oatmeal, and hard-boiled eggs in this easy, one step appliance. Just add some water and turn it on to boil for a quick hot meal.
Dorm Room Must-Haves
- Tea Tree Oil: College dorm rooms are often petri dishes for mold, which can cause respiratory problems, hormone disruption, and even digestive distress. Mold can seem inescapable, but all you need is a little Tea Tree Oil to clean up this pesky toxin! You can dilute the oil in a spray bottle with water and spray anywhere you may see mold, including in the bathroom and the closet.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: There are endless uses for this “nectar of the gods” as I call it. Drink it for a great liver tonic, wear it as astringent for acne, or a use overnight as a wart removal treatment. Along with wearing it topically, you can dilute it down with water to spray on surfaces as a household cleaner. If drinking, plese dilute a capful in a glass of water.
- Coconut Oil: The medium chain triglycerides abundant in Coconut oil provide an instant brain boost – they don’t need to be broken down like other fats and are immediately available for the body to use. Your student can place coconut oil in their morning smoothie or use it in place of butter on toast or pasta. It can also be used topically as a moisturizing lotion or hair mask to save money while replenishing your skin. Oil pulling is a great practice to do in the morning, especially after a late night of bad food and alcohol.
- Charcoal: As a college student, there is always the risk of coming into contact with pathogens that could cause digestive distress. When your student feels the slightest queasiness coming on (or if they experienced a heavy night of drinking for those over 21!), tell them to pop the miraculous charcoal to bind it all up! Our emergency rooms commonly use it in cases of poisoning and overdose, and water treatment systems use charcoal filters. Make sure this is a part of your college student’s first aid kit!
- Arnica: Let’s face it: your college student might not always make the smartest decisions when it comes to their physical health. Whether it is that intramural sports game or running across campus in the rain, there is always the chance for physical injury. Arnica is a natural healer that can speed up recovery from bruises or injury, like a concussion.
It is never too early to teach your child how to be healthy, so why not give them every opportunity by sending them to school with these essentials (and maybe even a copy of “The Wildatarian Diet” as some extra reading!). Happy back to school!