I was a terrible snack artist at uni in my early twenties. I had the luxury of buying donuts on ‘Donut Day’, fried rice on ‘Chinese Day’, and pancakes from the college breakfast in the mornings. The list goes on.
When I was studying in Melbourne, I was spoilt for choice. It was like living in a snack factory. If I had a long day at uni my snack breaks would involve a visit to the bakery, consisting of falafel wraps and the BEST chicken-schnitzel-sandwich-and-soft-drink combo deal going around. A trip to the 7-Eleven would have also involved M&Ms and Pringles.
I guess it’s fair to say my diet at uni really didn’t help my concentration levels at all, nor my waistline. But studying does make you really quite hungry.
Don’t get me started on timetables either. If your timetable is all over the place, this too can have an effect on your appetite and your ability to concentrate. So having access to healthy snacks is vital, as well as the occasional treat, which can boost your spirits.
Grabbing a curry at 4pm before my night classes was another habit of mine. It also turned out to be a saviour too, keeping me satisfied until I got home, which usually wasn’t until 8 or 9pm.
Moral of the story: plan for success, plan what you’re going to eat and make it fabulous. That way you’re not starving yourself the entire day and ending up grabbing four chocolate bars on your way home.
Don’t get me wrong, chocolate bars can be great. Especially if leg day has collided with three essays due in one day. Then my friends, you have permission to consume several chocolate bars.
Anyway, it is hard to find the right balance of eating healthy at uni, so here are some of my top tips.
- Plan for your long days at uni: If you know you’ve got a full-on day at uni with minimal time to prepare something, then bring some trail mix and your own keep-mug for tea and coffee. The surroundings of the CSU campuses are quite ergonomically friendly, so there are lots of spots to park even in the rainy weather. Enjoy the scenery and do not eat at your laptop.
- DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST: I was travelling a lot at the start of the year and let me tell you, muesli bars were handy, but they’re full of sugar. Plan the night before, make yourself breakfast such as overnight oats. To make these you soak some oats in a little yoghurt or milk of your choice and leave them in the fridge overnight and they should be ready by the morning. Pop some fruit or spices or honey on top and go! (You can also do this with chia seeds and other gluten-free varieties).
- Eat for success. You want to be functioning at your best, right? Well, consider this when you’re making a meal choice. Healthy foods make you feel the best, something we all know. Let common sense fall into play!
By Katrina Ginnivan