We've all heard of and fear the dreaded Freshman 15. While it's mainly a myth, I certainly noticed how difficult it was to eat nutritious meals  and keep a healthy dorm room during my first full year away from home.

Considering the dining hall food I encountered was greasy and flavorless, I had to find healthy dorm room options I could make in my "kitchen."

For a food to fit in with dorm life, it had to have a long shelf life, be relatively compact and easy to store, and be microwaveable. Here I've compiled a list of the products that saved my life and kept me from getting too hungry last year.

1. Oatmeal

oat, porridge, oatmeal, wheat, corn, cereal
Gabby Phi

Oatmeal was a staple in my diet last year. I liked to keep both a large container of plain rolled oats as well as individually packed cups that were easy to take on the go.

When shopping for single-serve packets, try to avoid the brands with a ton of added sugar. My go-tos were unsweetened brands like Purely Elizabeth, and I would add my own agave or stevia.

Top your oats with nut butter, berries, chia seeds, or get crazy with some dark chocolate to make a filling breakfast for those early classes.

2. Protein Powder

tea, coffee
Malia Budd

I had a NutriBullet in my dorm first year, which I highly recommend, given the endless possibilities many of the ingredients in this list provide for smoothies. Protein powder, whether flavored or unflavored, is a must-add to smoothies, as it will keep you fuller longer.

Flavored protein powder is also versatile when you don't have as much time or don't want to wake up your roommate with the sound of a blender. Simply throw it in a to-go cup with some almond milk and shake it up for a healthy dorm-made meal or snack.

3. Frozen Fruit and Veggies

ice, blender, smoothie, orange juice, chia seeds, frozen strawberries, strawberry
Caroline Ingalls

Like I said, many of the items on this list go great in smoothies. Keep some frozen bananas for a thick, creamy base, berries for flavor, and spinach for vitamins. You won't have to worry about them going bad.

I also found frozen fruit, especially grapes and pineapple, to be really satisfying when the cravings for something sweet hit or I was up late studying and in need of a snack.

4. Greek Yogurt

coffee, sweet, cream, dairy product, milk
Kathleen Lee

The probiotics in Greek yogurt helped keep my stomach happy when it had to be exposed to dining hall food. Also, it's the perfect vehicle for a little parfait. I liked to add a scoop of nut butter, chia seeds, and some blueberries or raspberries to mine. Similarly to oatmeal, if you get the plain kind and add your own stevia it's just as satisfying without all the added sugars.

5. Popcorn

Lea Walsh

Sure, microwave popcorn is a perfect compliment to a movie night in with friends, but clocking in at 413 calories a bag, it's not great for a casual snack. Low-fat, few-ingredient brands of popcorn are becoming really popular, think Skinny Pop and Boom Chicka Pop, and it's for good reason. I loved grabbing occasional handfuls to get my salty fix.

6. Protein Bars

milk, chocolate, candy, peanut butter
Elena Bailoni

Protein bars can be high in sugar and sugar alcohols, but sometimes you have to make compromises when you're living the dorm life. 

Depending on the size of the bar, they can be meal replacements for days on the go or study snacks. I sometimes even broke half of a bar into pieces and mixed it in with my yogurt parfait for a little something extra.

One of my favorite brands is Nugo Dark, which tastes just like a chocolate bar. RxBar is also a good option, as they contain really simple ingredients, getting their protein from egg whites and their sugar from dates. Also, Epic sells bars that are made from meat, so they're a good option if you love jerky like me.

7. Stevia

Katie Walsh

Stevia is my savior when it comes to my sweet tooth. My personal favorite brand of sweetener is Whole Earth, which includes a mix of stevia, monk fruit and less than a gram of sugar, giving it a less medicinal taste compared to stevia alone.

Use it in your yogurt, oatmeal, smoothie, coffee, tea, or really anything that you prefer on the sweeter side.

8. Rice Cakes

Kelsey Coughlin

Like most freshman living in dorms, I didn't have access to a toaster. Instead, I used rice cakes to make "toast". They're light, crisp, and neutral in flavor, so the toppings become the real star. One of my favorite combos was simply peanut butter, banana, and agave.

If you can get your hands on an avocado, you can also make a substitute for beloved avocado toast with just a little salt.

9. Berries and Apples

pasture, sweet, berry, strawberry
Becky Hughes

The shelf life of berries, apples, and fruit in general isn't as long as the other things I've mentioned, so I tended to get them in smaller batches and enjoy them as special treats.

Whether I was slicing them up to add to yogurt and smoothies or just eating them plain, having something fresh and natural to nibble on was always a plus.

10. Almond Butter

Nut butter, Crunchy, almonds, spoonful, almond butter
Julia Gilman

Almond butter is one of my favorite things in the entire world. If I had a lapse in self-control, I could probably eat a whole jar in a matter of days. Almond butter, or another nut butter if you prefer, is a delicious ingredient that adds some substance to your other meals, but it's also heavenly to have a spoonful as a snack.

11. Frozen Meals

vegetable, pepper, cheese, tomato
Taylor Villanueva

You shouldn't be eating frozen meals 3 times a day, but when you have so few options and so little time, they're the best way to get a hot meal quickly. Try to pick brands with wholesome ingredients for your healthy dorm dinner, like Evol, Trader Joe's and Amy's.

Some of my personal favorites are Trader Joe's Organic Pesto Tortellini and Evol's breakfast sandwiches, but you'd be surprised at the variety of options out there. Try a bunch and see what you like.

Your diet is likely to change big time when you go to college. Having some simple, easy options ready to go in your dorm can save you from overdoing it on french fries and ice cream in the dining hall.

Trust me, you'll feel so much better if you keep a steady intake of nutrient-dense foods.