As a self-proclaimed food snob, and a person with a multitude of dietary limitations, life at a rural college has not been the easiest food-wise. Over the course of my first semester I have slowly turned the shelves in my closet into my own personal pantry. Shoutout to my awesome roommate for making my life easy by providing both a mini-fridge and a microwave. Here is my how-to guide for stocking up on all the necessities: 


If I was country, oats would be my staple crop. I have consumed oatmeal in some fashion virtually everyday since I have been a college student. For a classic and sweet breakfast,  I am a fan of Quaker brand cinnamon pecan instant oatmeal with 50% less sugar (beware of low-fat foods, as they generally increase the sugar content to compensate). If you are a more adventurous eater, I highly recommend VivoMeal instant oats. Their instant oatmeal flavors include: spicy lemon, green tea, Italiana, and Indian spiced. I am a big fan of savory oatmeals as a lunch option.

Nut Butter:

Ok, so this one takes discipline if you are anything like me, and are prone to nut-butter addiction. I personally like to have a box of nut-butter packets in my room that I can either ear in my room, or more frequently, take on the go. I like the portability aspect, and the fact that the portion is set for you. I have tried virtually every brand out there, but I have to say that Justin's is ultimately the best. My go-to breakfast is a nut-butter packet swirled into oatmeal (you are probably starting to see a theme here). 


Having a protein-rich snack on hand is useful tool to curb hunger, without accidentally eating a whole family-size bag of Skinny Pop. I am a huge fan of Vermont Smoke & Cure meat sticks. They are only 80 calories at max, and come in a wide variety of flavors (all delicious). Despite being small in size, and low in calories, these meat sticks are quite filling - and do a great job at curbing those afternoon cravings.

Microwavable Meals:

There are those days when having lunch or dinner at the dining hall is just not in the cards. Whatever the reason may be, dorm-room snacking appears to be on the horizon. I can only speak from my experience, but when I snack, I tend to lose track of how much I am eating...and a handful of trail mix can suddenly morph into an unspeakable number of Doritos. To combat this pattern, I always have a couple instant soups in my closet. So far I have tried two vegan and gluten-free soups by Dr. McDougall's Right Foods - black bean with lime and split pea. Both are delicious and filling options!