By Demii Niles 
BELLEVILLE – Alexis Devries, a registered nursing student, said she works up to 30 hours a week at her part-time job and has a hard time eating healthy.
“It’s hard but it’s do-able, you just have to be organized,” she said.
Devries is not alone. Other Loyalist students who spoke to QNet News say it’s hard to strike a balance and a busy week can can take over their healthy eating habits. Students said it’s hard when there’s little time to make healthy meals.
“It really affects how you eat, because you are not eating healthy if eating at all. A lot of days you will go all day without eating until night. I learned you have to plan things in advance, but it’s really hard to when you are going for 13 hours a day,” said Devries.
Jenna Forestell, who is in an accounting program, said she works while going to school but picked up quick tips.
“I pick up tips from friends and family. Granted, I reuse the same recipes over and over, I probably have about seven quick meal ideas that I use regularly.”
Some of the quick meal ideas she talked about were smoothies with frozen blueberries and bananas and nan bread made into a little healthier pizza.
According to a QNet poll on Facebook – in which 80 students took part in – 33 percent of students are struggling with eating out more than eating at home. Less then two percent of students polled say they manage to make a healthy lunch.
“For me, it’s just a matter of sticking to my budget and trying to eat healthily and not gain the ‘freshman 15,’ ” Said Forestell.
The freshman 15 is a term that is commonly used for first-year students in Canada and United States who had gained that extra 15 pounds.
According to Health Canada, men between the ages of 17 to 30, should be eating 3300 calories a day depending on their activity level. Females in the same age category should be consuming 2400 calories a day.
First-year community and justice services student Erin Hardy said, “I found myself not eating enough or healthy because I had so much on my mind, with trying to pass classes and go to work on time.” And she found that she didn’t have enough time in between classes and work to maintain that healthier eating style.
If you’re struggling with what to pack for lunch, Health Canada  has grab-and-go lunch ideas:
- Ready-to-eat veggies like carrots and cucumbers
- Fruit like apples, bananas, or oranges
- Fruit cups (fruit salad packed in juice, applesauce, mandarin oranges, pears, peaches)
- Single servings of lower-fat milk or 100% fruit juice
- Lower-fat yogurt
- Small packets of dried fruit like raisins or cranberries
- Whole grain crackers or mini-pitas
- Hard-boiled eggs (they keep for one week in the fridge with their shells on)
Forestell says she eats healthy, simple meals but would like to have more fun in the kitchen.
“I would like to get into more advanced cooking and meal preps in the future.”