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Eating healthy while studying in the US

Arriving in a new country can be confusing in so many ways and the last thing you want to worry about is your most basic necessity--food. But simple food plans and grocery lists can help guide you through an American grocery store.
First come up with with a healthy meal plan at the beginning of each week. Not only will this save you valuable time throughout your week, but it will also save you a lot of money, as you will only spend money on food that you need. Planning your meals will also minimize wasting food. Your meals and snacks should have an emphasis on fruits, vegetable and proteins like meat, poultry (unless you are a vegetarian of course), dry beans, eggs and nuts. You should also drink water throughout the day. Carrying a reusable water bottle with you will get you to your eight cups a day and will also minimize plastic waste.

Once you have planned your meals for the week, start drafting a grocery list based on those meals and what ingredients and foods you will need for each one. Cooking meals that require similar healthy foods will make your trip to the grocery store more convenient and less expensive.

But which grocery store should you bring your food shopping list to? There are several options depending on where you live, but the same rules still apply everywhere. Try to avoid small convenience stores, which are usually more expensive and should only be visited in last minute food-related emergencies. Bigger grocery stores are your best and cheapest option. They have huge selections of food and a variety of options for every kind of food, but be careful and stick to your list--it’s easy to get carried away in the vast food options and buy items that were not originally on your shopping list. Trader Joe’s is a well-known grocery store that can be found in most areas. They are considered a healthier grocery store, with many organic options, and also a considerably cheaper health food store, compared to Whole Foods, which can get pricey.

You can and should, of course, indulge in your guilty pleasures throughout your study abroad adventure, as there are so many exquisite restaurants that you will definitely want to try, but the key is indulgence in moderation. Indulging in unhealthy food or restaurants in moderation will help keep your US experience within your budget while also keeping it exciting and healthy.

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