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College and Whole30


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Hi everyone! 


A little background: I have lost 60 lbs before on the keto diet, but I gained them all back, because I didn't stick to the plan forever.


I'm trying again with Whole30 (starting Tuesday the 7th), and eventually paleo. It seems a lot less restrictive, but still restrictive enough to stay healthy.


Weight loss isn't my only goal. All of the other energy/sleep/other benefits are things I'd like to have as well.


I'm ready to tackle this head on! However, I have already purchased a meal plan at my university.



Now, they still offer a salad bar, and hamburgers (no bun), which I imagine are the only options that are Whole30 compliant.


I am fine with not going there as much, (I have a meal limit anyway), but I don't want to just throw away my parents money. It's already been paid for, so I want to make the best use of it that I can. They are fully supportive of my new Paleo/Whole30 interest, but are concerned they wasted money on the meal plan.



Has anyone had a similar experience? If so, or even if not, please let me know how you made your situation work in your favor!

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Okay, so I'm assuming this is the standard buffet fare that most colleges have?  I didn't do a Whole30 while I was in college (10 years ago, eep!), but I did do one a couple of months ago when I was stuck 6 weeks on an Army base where my main food option was the dining facility.


For breakfast:  Hard boiled eggs, fruit, whatever breakfast meat looked safest


For lunch:  huge salad with grilled chicken


For dinner:  huge salad with grilled chicken


It was pretty boring, but it was also free.  I supplemented as needed with cans of coconut milk (sipped all day), cans of tuna, and nuts.  If you have a microwave in your dorm, I'd also recommend stocking up on steamfresh vegetables.  Buy some paleo condiments -- coconut aminos, fish sauce, make some mayo if you can -- and bring those along to perk up your options at the dining facility.  Worse comes to worse, if there are no "safe" proteins, just bring your own meat & fat along and use the dining facility strictly for veggies and fruit.


When I was in college, we had a points system rather than a meal plan -- you could spend your points at any location that sold food, including the little convenience store we had in the student union.  I often used my points to buy tuna and soup and stuff -- do you guys have access to something like that?   


Day 1, I'd scope out the options, and make friends with the people making the food.  If there's a grill station, as what oil they're using.  If you can, see if they can leave the butter or whatever off your grilled chicken breast, steak, hamburger, whatever.  If this is college, they're probably going to be used to people making "weird" food requests.  Once you're not doing the Whole30, you can expand your choices to deli meats and some of the other food options.


Honestly, you stay away from the beer and late night nachos (I must've eaten my weight in nachos my freshman year alone), you'll be well ahead of the pack.  :)  As I recall, we also had a bagel place (Alpine Bagels...mmm...) that got a good bit of my meal plan money.  Ah, college. 

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My husband installs dining hall kitchens at several colleges.  Some make lots of food from scratch and some bring in lots of pre-made food that is basically reheated.  You need to find out which college you go to.


I have been out of college for almost 20 years (that hurts), but hubbie has re-done some of their dining halls in the last 10 years and I know they are still a "from scratch" dining hall. So, my suggestion would be to talk to the dining hall manager.  Find out how they are cooking and then figure out how to work with what they have.

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