If you’re leaving home for the first time, you’re probably worried about what you’re going to eat. Sure, you’d like to be as healthy as possible but you won’t have much time to cook and money will be tight. What should you do? Worry no more! Here is the handy A-Z guide to healthy food for students that will leave you with plenty of time to get wasted, catch chlamydia and maybe even attend a lecture.
Prepared by highly unqualified experts at Shepshed University, this guide is by no means authoritative and should not be followed by anyone who plans to make it past the age of 25 (don’t worry, we have to say that for legal reasons, now get stuck in!)
A is for Alcohol. In recent years it has become very fashionable for doctors to focus on the negative aspects of alcohol. Yes, it does have its drawbacks like cirrhosis, long-term addiction, brain damage and sexual dysfunction but it is highly nutritious. A diet based solely on beer will give you a massive supply of carbohydrates that will easily cover your daily calorific requirements.
B is for Baked Beans. They’re yummy, they’re scrummy and you can eat them straight from the can! There’s no need for any washing-up whatsoever unless you’re a posh kid who likes to use a spoon. They’re also very versatile in that they can be eaten with or without a sausage. What’s not to like?
C is for Chips. In the entire history of the human race, nobody has devised a healthier foodstuff than deep-fried strips of potato. Simply brimming with carbs and fats, these healthy delights will lead to that athletic physique that you’ve always aspired to. And, best of all, they are, quite literally, as cheap as chips!
D is for Doughnuts. Don’t get hung up on the idea that fried sugar can’t possibly be good for you. Doughnuts rock and if used only as an occasional daily treat, won’t be all that bad for you.
E is for Energy Drinks. These vile tasting, foul-smelling cans of carcinogens often get a bad press. But ask yourself: where else can you find cancer, diabetes and dangerous levels of caffeine all in one place? The simple answer is nowhere! And they can be consumed with or without vodka and/or that weird German stuff that you youngsters are so fond of.
F is for Falafel. This surprisingly delicious vegan snack might sound like a bit of a no-no, but don’t write it off in a hurry. You only have to eat it once and you can spend the next three years espousing your vegan credentials.
G is for Greasy Spoon. However tight your budget, it’s important to eat hot food once in a while. Transport cafes offer just about every conceivable combination of sausage, bacon, beans and toast that you could imagine. If you can afford a particularly expensive one, you may even find some black pudding on offer, too. Treat yourself, you deserve it!
H is for Hashish. If you do get round to baking a cake in the course of your academic career, this will undoubtedly be the reason. Hashish is, of course, illegal in most places and we do not condone its use, However, we are not judgemental in any way.
I is for Indian Sweets. Many centuries ago, Indian scientists developed a method for condensing sugar to a greater density than a black hole. Whilst they may be bad for the fabric of space-time, Indian sweets are wonderful for the human body. Even a small amount can provide weeks’ worth of valuable exercise for your pancreas.
J is for Jerky, Cured meat snacks are absolutely chock-full of protein but they are rather expensive. Don’t worry, though, it can be done on the cheap! Simply extract some of the meat from a beef sandwich and leave it on your windowsill until it becomes chewy. You are advised, however, not to eat it on the rare occasions that it turns green. Or blue, for that matter.
K is for Kebab. Don’t be put off by all those pictures you see of the wine-glassful of fat that can be extracted from a single Donner kebab. People forget that most of the nutrients are found in the salad and chilli sauce, all of which count towards your “five a day”. For extra economy, always go for the naan bread rather than the healthier pitta as you’ll wind up with a whole heap more meat of unknown origin.
L is for Lentils. Lentils are incredibly healthy but a complete pain in the backside to cook. The simplest solution to this age-old problem is to eat plenty of Bombay mix. We have absolutely no idea what the stuff is made of but we’re fairly sure that the little green bits are, in fact, lentils. At least, we very much hope that they are.
M is for Chocolate Bars made by people who could afford to sue us to Kingdom Come. They’re great for you and are even better deep-fried but we’re not daft enough to recommend them by name.
N is for Nuggets. Only the finest cuts of chicken are used in chicken nuggets. Rest assured there is none of that mechanically-recovered meat in there and the whole thing is carefully processed in order to remove any potentially harmful vitamins. We fact-checked that with a bloke that works in the place where they make them.
O is for Onion Rings. A classic convenience store staple that no home should be without. When combined with cheesy puffs, onion rings make a wonderful alternative to the traditional cheese and onion sandwich. Not only does it cut out the labour intensive process of making a buttie, it’s 100% fresh produce free!
P is for Pork Pie. Don’t be fooled by the delicious delicacies that you can find in superior butcher’s shops. The supermarket pork pie can make an absolutely excellent alternative to real food at only semi-ripoff prices. Be warned, though, because of other things being made in the same factory, they may accidentally contain traces of protein.
Q is for Quiche. Strictly one for the ladies. It is a well-known fact that quiche can turn even the most red-blooded male into a lesbian. As such, it should be avoided at all costs by men. At least that’s what somebody down the pub told us. We can’t be bothered to look it up, so we’ll just take his word for it. Either way, it’s not particularly nice but it fills you up.
R is for Rice. Rice is a hassle to cook but don’t worry, you won’t be needing it until your money runs out at the back-end of your first month. From then on, you’ll eat very little else. On the plus side, you’ll get really, really good at cooking rice so you’re guaranteed to learn something at college.
S is for Spaghetti Hoops. A diet of baked beans can become a little monotonous after a while. For a bit of variety, we suggest that you chuck in the occasional can of spaghetti hoops. Admittedly, they’re a bit crap compared to the real thing but the sugar-packed, watery tomato sauce will provide a much-needed reminder that you can’t live on beans alone.
T is for Toast. So good that Paul Young once sang (ask your grandparents). Even the world’s worst cooks can rustle up a bit of toast. It’s simply a case of not actually setting the bread on fire. It works even better with butter. Be sure to snaffle a few of those little packets the next time you’re in the cafe.
U is for Undergraduate Caviar. Sometimes known as sprinkles, hundreds and thousands or chocolate vermicelli, these tiny sugar strips make a fine tasty treat and are great for both diabetes and tooth decay. Don’t waste them on a cake, just get them straight down!
V is for Valpolicella, The worst thing about being a student, unless you have rich parents, is that you won’t be able to afford much in the way of decent wine. Help is at hand, though, in the shape of this cheap and nasty Italian tractor fuel which can be used as a substitute. It will be nigh-on undrinkable at first but you won’t notice after the first couple of bottles.
W is for Water. Stop sniggering at the back and spare me the crack about what fish get up to in it. You’re going to need some of this after a good night on the Valpolicella. When you’re too hungover to get dressed and make it to the fridge, this is the stuff to sort you out. And you’ll be paying for it whether you use it or not.
X is for Xtra Hot Chilli Sauce. At some point, you’re going to get all adventurous and try to cook something. Whatever it is, it will be abominable but you can easily hide its hideous flavour with another one. A few drops of this will obscure whatever you have tried and failed to make. Your rectum will hate you but your taste-buds will be grateful,
Y is for Yoghurt. It’s creamy, it’s tasty and it’s full of calcium. It’s great for your digestive system, too. Everybody loves yoghurt but it doesn’t come cheap. Don’t let the price put you off, though. You’ll buy one tub of it, leave it in the fridge for a few weeks and wonder if it’s still good to eat. Having decided that it isn’t, you’ll spend the next few months watching it transform itself into a science project.
Z is for Zzzzz. Let’s face it, the simplest way to reduce the need for food is to sleep as much as possible. This really isn’t hard to achieve and it will keep you out of all sorts of difficult situations. There will come a time in your life when you wonder what it’s like to be able to sleep at all. So grab the opportunity with both hands!
As a special gift for all freshers and old lags everywhere, here’s a special bonus Mega Trump. If you haven’t yet played the nation’s trading card game of hearts, what are you waiting for?