Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fueling for Finals with Food

The end of the semester is coming to a close and with that means final exams. I am sure that most of you will spend the majority of your time this next week studying. Some of you might even be planning on practically living in the library during finals week. We’ve all been there. However,
during finals week sometimes you tend to make poor food decisions because you're too busy with studying. Yes, studying will definitely help you do well on finals, but your health and diet play a role too! Living on extra-large iced mocha drinks and late-night junk food for days at a time is not good fuel for your brain. You should be choosing foods that can help increase your brain circulation, enhance your memory and improve your concentration. Here are some tips on how healthy eating during exams can be easily done:

When you're deciding what to eat, choose:

Grains - all whole grains: whole wheat bread, quinoa, oatmeal, whole grain pasta, brown rice

Fruits - most fruits like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, plums, apples, peaches, avocados, oranges, grapes, kiwi

Vegetables - richly colored vegetables especially dark leafy greens, spinach, romaine, arugula, kale, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, beets, red peppers

Lean Proteins - tuna, salmon, lentils, eggs, lean beef, low-fat yogurt, milk, lean chicken, pork,

Other Beneficial Brain Foods - walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, flax, canola and olive oil, green tea, water
(The dining halls have a wide variety of food so remember these foods when filling your plate at Griesedieck and Reinert)
If you're going to be in the library for a while, consider these options:
Take food with you like -
  • peanut butter on whole grain bread
  • salad
  • turkey sandwich on whole grain bread or as a wrap
  • fruit (with or without a little peanut butter)
  • yogurt parfait
  • veggies or whole wheat pita wedges with hummus
(many of these suggestions can be purchased at locations that sell Outtakes' items) 
Take a break to refuel with food -
  • Au Bon Pain has:
    • a variety of turkey and chicken sandwiches
    • salmon on their menu
    • salads
    • soups with vegetables, whole grains, and/or lean proteins
    • eggs
  • Argo Tea has:
    • green tea
    • a variety of healthy entrees, sides, or snacks (most of their food items are made with lean proteins and whole grains)
  • Ameren has:
    • a create your own salad, wrap, or sandwich option using lean proteins, richly colored vegetables, and a whole grain wrap/bread
  • The Bean has:
    • a wide variety of Outtakes' items (salads, wraps, sandwiches, yogurt, fruit, crudité bags)
  • MarketPlace has:
    • nutritious salads at Earth Table
    • create your own healthy salad, wrap, or sandwich at Grand Deli
    • richly colored vegetables, brown rice, and lean protein (grilled chicken or tofu) at Modern Asian Kitchen
    • whole grain pasta at Laclede Pizza Co
    • grilled chicken and salad options at Chick-fil-A
  • Salsarita's has:
    • create your own bowl that you can add lean proteins like beans, chicken, and pork too as well as grilled vegetables, rice, and salsa
  • Caffe CGC has:
    • salads and sandwich options that contain lean proteins and veggies
    • healthy entrees and sides in their unique menu
    • hummus
  • Subway has:
    • a variety of lean protein sandwiches that you can get on 9-grain wheat or 9-grain honey oat
    • salads with your choice of lean protein
  • DeMart has:
    • a wide arrange of healthy foods that you can eat upon purchase or keep in your dorm for when you get hungry studying
  • Fusz has:
    • healthy salads and wraps at Crisp
    • grilled chicken at Pollo
    • lean beef and chicken at Grill Nation but be careful with the toppings you select for your sandwich
A few other tips to keep in mind:
Stretch it out - After every hour of studying, try getting up and moving your muscles for a couple of minutes. Take the opportunity to refill your water bottle, walk to the bathroom, touch your toes, and/or reach for the sky.

Don’t let stress get the best of you - Many people might not work out during finals week because they are busy studying, but when determining your studying schedule include time to get some physical activity. Swap time that you spend on social media with time spent in the gym. Trust me the gym is a much better stress reliever.

Catch some Zzzz’s to get A’s - Make sure you’re getting 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. It may feel more productive to keep studying rather than sleeping, but the truth is your study sessions will be much more effective after some shut-eye.



No comments:

Post a Comment