We’ve all been warned before leaving home about the “freshman fifteen” – and before you say “that won’t happen to me”, just remember: the freshman fifteen is actually a thing. Since your diet and routine will completely change, you have the risk of gaining or losing weight. Living in Italy has amazing benefits, and there is nothing better than its delicious food, pizza, pasta, and gelato; I can never get enough. But we also need to be careful of losing control, so here are some tips of how to stay healthy, eat well and stay within your budget in Trastevere.
Learn to cook for yourself
If you already enjoy cooking, you’re set. But if you don’t, try something new and learn to appreciate it instead of going every single day to a new restaurant.
Cooking is therapy
Like drawing or reading, you can use cooking as a stress relief from studies and other activities; there is nothing better than taking a break from all the hard work and cooking a delicious meal.
Follow professional chefs and food bloggers on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat
You will see so many delicious recipes that you’ll just have to try making them yourself.
Follow health and exercise bloggers, too
You will find tips on how to make your meals healthier, such as recipes for health smoothies or replacements for oil and butter.
Cook with your friends
Organize a night for you and your friends to create a special dinner; it will be more fun and less expensive than going to a restaurant.
Eat more salads
If you are not really fond of salads, create salads that won’t taste like, well, salads. Use unusual ingredients (tuna or hard-boiled eggs is a common salad topping in Italy) and create dressings that go beyond just oil and vinegar.
Drinking water is the best way to lose weight; sometimes when you think you are hungry, you are just thirsty! Always carry a water bottle with you. Rome is known for having great tap water and around Rome there are water fountains everywhere where you can refill your water bottle instead of buying a new one.
Get a good night’s sleep
While you sleep, your mind and body rest from all the hard work. Plus, being regularly sleep-deprived has been proven to give you the munchies. Try to set aside a few days from late-night studying and going out to get a good night’s sleep.
Campo dei Fiori and other local outdoor markets
Try to go there more often than to the big supermarkets for your produce: fruits, vegetables and other local things are fresher and cheaper here. You can also find spice mixes and other treats that you will love to use in your meals.
Stay away from mini-markets
They are closer to you and usually have what you need, but they are much more expensive than other places. If you need only one thing, it can be convenient – but avoid doing your grocery shopping here.
JCU offers students the opportunity to stay fit by going to the gym and joining the athletics clubs, but if you are not a gym person there are other options. Try jogging along the Tiber River or taking long walks around Rome on the weekends discovering new things.
Read this post in Spanish!
International Affairs Major
JCU Class of 2019
Hometown: Quito, Ecuador