I used to be a pretty healthy eater, but with busy schedules and the convenience of junk food, most of my culinary standards have gone out the window. However, I’ve found that while chips and soda might satisfy my craving for flavor in the moments that I am drinking and eating them, I feel awful afterwards and my body is left in an even more sluggish state than prior to consumption. Being in a state of physical and mental clarity is more important than ever for finals, so for finals week, I am determined to reverse those bad eating habits and take on some good brain food. Here is what I’ve been drinking/eating:
- OJ – Sometimes I want an alternative beverage to water and milk. Replacing soda with orange juice is the answer. OJ is naturally sweet and is much better for the body than any carbonated beverage. Some dining halls on campus even offer a press to allow students to freshly squeeze their own orange juice! If you’ve ever done that, you know that it takes at least 4-6 oranges to extract a decent glass of juice, so think of how much equivalent fruit you are consuming just by drinking a glass of OJ. Not to mention, ’tis the flu season so Vitamin C is very essential for a healthy immune system.
- Yogurt – Cornell loves Chobani and I do too. I didn’t always like yogurt, but something about the promise of probiotics in a cup grew on me (My apartmentmates are both sick right now, so strengthening my immune system is very important to me.). If you ever find yourself in a dilemma of wanting to “stress eat” but should not eat any more (sounds like a First World Problem, I know), try eating some yogurt. Its enzymes help promote digestion but also leave you feeling fuller, meaning you’re less likely to “stress eat” again.
- Beef Jerky – Beef jerky is not exactly the healthiest snack in the world, but I do view it as better than a quarter-pounder burger. It’s convenient to pack for an extra dose of energy for long hours of studying. My only complaint is that the packaging is quite wasteful compared to the amount of meat in each bag.
- Pumpkin Seeds – There are many health benefits to eating pumpkin seeds but my reason is simply that my apartment had a pumpkin leftover from Halloween, and I did not want to waste it. Thus, after gutting the insides of the pumpkin, I roasted the seeds (250F, overnight) and had a nutritious snack. Otherwise, pumpkin seeds can be found in trail mix, already unshelled and salted. Pumpkin seeds are not filling per se, but can be good supplements to a healthy diet — like natural vitamins!
- Edamame – The introduction of edamame (soy beans) to the frozen isle (in the grocery store) was an amazing moment in freezer space history. Cooking edamame is a simple 2-step process (dump and boil) that leads to deliciousness. Again, there are a lot of health benefits, but what I personally like is the ease, convenience, and efficiency in making the beans: the entire procedure is 20-minutes maximum, I don’t have to watch over the stove while it’s boiling, and there’s no such thing as over-cooking. As with most beans, edamame is also very filling, making it a very effective snack.