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Healthy Eating Tips for Busy College Student

You can Eat Healthy in College


Hectic schedules are inevitable for a college student. But studying hard doesn’t mean you forget to eat. Remember, your brain needs fuel. It is extremely easy and tempting to grab a cup of ramen or a pizza with a sprite and call it a day. However, this is neither feasible nor healthy. Great news!  It isn’t an impossible task to incorporate healthy meals into your busy routine.



Healthy Eating Tips for Busy College Student



Basic Nutrition


The basic food groups are something everyone is aware of. This will help you determine the amount and types of food you should consume to stay healthy. Eating healthy can be challenging, however, the consequences of unhealthy eating may be slow to occur but devastating in the long run. 


With issues like fatigue, depression, menstrual irregularities, gastrointestinal issues, and low immunity, “you truly become what you eat”. 


Most people are familiar with the classical food pyramid, however, in 2014 this was replaced with the plate. This showcased not only the recommended nutritive foods you should consume but also gives an idea about portion size.


However, keep in mind that the portion sizes vary greatly depending on your age, gender, and physical activity. For example, a college athlete will need far more calories compared to a chemistry undergrad spending their days in the lab. 



Recommended Daily Intake


Typically, a college student needs about 4-8 servings (3-5 for females) of carbs of which at least half should be whole grains. Protein intake of 45-55g per day is enough whereas curbing your dairy cravings to no more than three cups a day. 


Vitamin and fiber-rich fruits and veggies, thankfully have no strict restrictions, but the recommended minimum for 2-3 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruits daily. Always keep various types of brightly colored fruits and veggies in your routine, because all these are packed with all the correct vitamins.



How Unhealthy Food choices Affects Us


College and caffeine are a tale as old as time. Deadlines, gruesome assignments, early morning lectures, or warm nights surrounded by friends, caffeine is a constant companion. However, constant caffeine intake is linked to insomnia, anxiety, poor concentration, and performance. 


Instead, try to sleep at least 7 hours (get off your social media past midnight!). Limit those caffeine cups to 1-2 per day and try to keep those all-nighters, only occasionally in emergencies and spaced apart.


Even though this is akin to beating a dead horse, fats are deadly when eaten excessively, it is a major culprit for cardiac diseases and stroke. Nonetheless, cheat days are allowed and moderate intakes are encouraged.


Whole grains are the better choice when it comes to carbs. Excess sugar is converted to fat leading to weight gain and is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Low-fiber refined sugar doesn’t trigger insulin which stores away the excess sugar, the pancreas is unable to deal with the sugar rush, hence you crave sugars only hours after that delicious pasta.

 

Salt and preservatives, rich processed meats, canned food, and packed meals are at risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and some cancers.



Dining Hall Tips to 


Planning is the best way to avoid giving in to your sugary urges. Browse through the dining halls menu online and decide your breakfast before going to bed, so you don’t buy meals with your craving eyes. Some college dining halls provide calorie counts for their meals. 


Keep an apple or some granola bars to your snack on your midday cravings and avoid the vending machine. Many healthy lifestyle snack options, like nut butter, crunchy seaweed snacks, and protein bars.


Try to keep a protein source on your plate as well as a fresh item. Salads are a great option and mind you, there is way more to salads than just lettuce. Choose grilled instead of fried chicken. Replenish your plate with veggies and choose brown rice over white rice.


Desserts can be fruit instead of sweetened yogurt. Replace your sodas with freshly pressed juices and water. Try different items on the menu regularly instead of sticking to a single item. Avoid lingering in the dining hall for long, don’t use the hall for group studying and projects. This will distract you and tempt you to eat more than you need.


There are many ways to make small changes to your diet which will make a world of difference only if you put your mind to it.



Dorm Room Cooking


Many dorms may not have adequate facilities for cooking meals regularly. In such cases, stock up your pantry with items like fruits, dried fruits, bagged salad greens, can tuna, whole grains (oats), yogurt, and popcorn. 


However, there are many ways to whip up easy meals for college students on the budget and drowning in deadlines. From baked salmon to chicken avocado, many easy weeknight dinners are great and take little time to make.



Microwave Meal


Microwave meals can also be healthy and quick to make. Scrambled eggs, lean cuisine, potatoes, can soup, single-serve quinoa, or brown rice cups can make simple, quick, and delicious meals. Top with seasoning and wash down with some freshly blended smoothies to keep you full for the day.



Eating Well on a Budget


Money is always tight for college students. The stress of college work can be so overwhelming that budgeting meals while keeping them healthy is the last thing on your mind. To help you here are some tricks to save your money and your health:


  • Make a shopping list for each meal during weekends and only stick to that.

  • Avoid buying expensive snacks like chocolates, chips, and packaged frozen meals too often.

  • Shop for fresh produce and meats on sale. Not expired.

  • Buy one or two expensive items like dressings and spices one at a time during each shopping trip to stock up.

  • Always keep cheese and salads, greens on hand to whip up a quick salad with any leftover meat or fish.

  • Stock your pantry with items that have long shelf lives to keep eating healthy. 



Establish an Eating Habit 


Two to three solid meals are a must, daily. Eat while you are slightly hungry and at specified times if possible with small intervals between snacks and meals. 


You are likely to eat more while starving, but frequent small meals will keep you full and functioning. Even if you can’t sit to eat because of classes or sleep, keep a snack to munch on the go.



Portion Control


Easier said than done. We all know that all college students are perpetually hungry. However, try to eat slowly and wait 10-15 minutes before the next round. Drink plenty of water and eat on a small plate. 


Furthermore, keep in mind that you can always have seconds later, so don’t pile your plate with everything in the dining hall or give in to that discount buffet.


A balanced meal of carbs, lean proteins, and heart-healthy fats with a rainbow of fruits and veggies is ideal. Try to incorporate this as much as you can, at least daily if not every meal.


Smart Foods for Quick Nutrition

Adding a healthy item or two to your meal will not only improve the nutritive quality of your meal but also elevate its taste. Here are some smart foods to add to your meals or to snack on throughout the day.


  • Beans

  • Blueberries

  • Dark Chocolate

  • Dark green vegetables

  • Oats

  • Salmon

  • Walnuts 


These tasty items also happen to be brain foods. So fuel your brain and get your gears working for that organic chemistry assignment.



Eat breakfast, even if you wake up at lunchtime


Running late for classes or oversleeping, we have all been there. Nevertheless, skipping breakfast for that isn’t the answer. Numerous studies have reiterated the importance of a healthy breakfast on classroom performance. 


On-the-go breakfasts like single-serve oatmeals, greek yogurt, hummus, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, and fruits are highly packed with nutrients.



Make sure you take exercise 101


Yes, we have all heard this advice and we hate it. But this advice is repeatedly drilled into people’s minds for a reason: it works. Incorporate exercise into your routine, like your classes you shouldn’t miss. 


Set up a workout corner in your room, walk to class, join a gym or join the college sports team or local fitness centers, the options are endless once you put your mind into it. Improved mood, sleep, and good memory will help you gain better results. 

 


Limit alcohol intake


The one beverage with absolutely no nutritional benefits and is detrimental to your health is alcohol. The occasional light drink during parties is acceptable but indulgence is a recipe for disaster.



Loss weight sensibly 


Starvation is never the answer to losing weight. You run the risk of developing eating disorders with fad diets and diet pills. Studies found no link between certain food combinations with weight loss. Instead balanced meals with exercise are the surest way to maintain a healthy weight. Remember health is not measured by the models and celebrities on social media and magazines.


Enjoy your pizza with half the cheese, baked potato, a regular size roast beef sandwich, or green salad. Forego the tasty trio: French fries, fried chicken, and fish sandwiches which are loaded with fat. This way you can enjoy fried food guilt-free.



Conclusion


The best advice for healthy eating is to take things easy. Keep your bones healthy with calcium-rich foods, stay hydrated and please try to sleep. All of these steps work in tandem to keep your mind and body healthy. Enjoy weekends thoroughly.


Gauge how your body reacts to different foods and adjust accordingly. Armed with the correct knowledge, tackle your next semester with a healthy body, sharp mind, and less stress. Remember, you can consistently score high as long as you are healthy.



Recommended:


CLEP Exam List for Homeschoolers


Preparing Teens for College 


College Care Package Ideas




Trip to Sheffield with Family

Visiting Sheffield With Your Kids



Thinking of traveling outside the United States? If you're looking for places to visit in the UK with family, Sheffield is a great option. In Sheffield, there are numerous indoor and outdoor activities for children and families. We've highlighted a few to help you plan your visit to Sheffield.





Kids of all ages are offered a wide range of fun activities and hands-on learning experiences at Sheffield's museums. At places like Kelham Island Museum, families can learn about the city's history via interactive displays. If you head a little out of town, you can also find animals, birds, reptiles, and insects from around the world. Families will enjoy an excursion to Sheffeld.


Cafes offering snacks and sandwiches at city parks and gardens and in most museums are family-friendly. Except for some, not all restaurants and bars in the city are family-friendly. Seen below, children will enjoy a trip to Our Cow Molly, Dairy Desserts.



Family Friendly Sheffield Cafes and Restaurants


Many people are choosing Sheffield as an excellent place to raise children and settle down. Many foreigners to the UK also prefer Sheffield to settle down. If this sounds like something you may want to do in the future, you should contact immigration lawyers in Sheffield and get started on the immigration paperwork and application process. The UK is very welcoming to highly skilled professionals and families.



Fun Facts about Sheffield:


As you can see, Sheffield has a rich history and plenty of green spaces where you can find many activities and places to explore with your kids.





The UK National Video Game Museum is in Sheffield.




The Rivelin River

The Rivelin River is historic and has an excellent pathway to take a walk with your child. You can follow a trail that leads to old mills. There is a water park near the café to have some fun. Herons and other wildlife can be sighted here.


The Botanical Gardens

The Sheffield Botanical Gardens are very well-manicured green parks. The 19-acre Sheffield Botanical Gardens are home to more than 5,000 different species of plants. It's easy to roam around with your children and babies as the paths are made of tarmac, making it easy to operate a pram. Admission to the Botanical gardens is free, and you can also relax at the café once you're tired. The best times to visit are spring and summer when the flowers are in full bloom. 





The Winter Gardens

Winter Gardens is a tropical oasis situated in Sheffield city centre. This Garden is amongst the largest temperate greenhouse in the country and is home to nearly 2,500 plant species. You can enjoy nature while your kids can safely walk the paths around the tropical trees.


Weston Park Museum

Weston Park Museum can teach you about culture and history. Founded in 1875, the main collections in this museum are free, and the displays are spectacular. There is a gallery that displays facts about Ancient Egypt. The Weston Park Museum is also known for being the home to Sheffield's social and natural history and archaeology. 


Some of the notable highlights in this museum are the Bronze Age armor and art. Apart from this, you can also visit exhibits from other more prominent museums in the area. The museum has many guided tours to help your family understand the historical importance. 


Weston Park 

Weston Park is in the vicinity of Weston Park Museum. You can relax while your kid runs around in the park. It is a perfect place to have a post museum picnic.


Tropical Butterfly House Wildlife & Falconry Centre

The Tropical Butterfly House Wildlife & Falconry Centre houses a vast array of free-flying birds of prey, owls, reptiles, parrots, meerkats, farm animals, lemurs, and more. While the name does signify butterflies, you can also see the incredible falconry. Animal lovers can learn about otters (from the keepers), feed farm animals, pet a few lemurs, see the meerkats, and photograph as many butterflies as you want. 


National Emergency Services Museum

Sheffield is home to the National Emergency Service Museum – the largest of its kind in the world. There are more than 50 vintage vehicles – police cars, fire engines, and ambulances with uniforms and gear and equipment for different eras. Families with kids can also avail the kids' fire engine rides (included in the ticket admission). If you're in the mood for a treat, you can also rent some of the vintage vehicles and take a tour of the city.




Recommended:


Vacation Tips from The Adventures of Kids Creative Chaos




Get Fit with these Fitness Gift Ideas

 Gift Ideas to Stay Fit and Healthy


Here I am again, out of shape. This time, I'm not alone. Covid isolation wasn't kind to many of us. So, once again, I have to get fit. The last time, I really thought I'd kicked it, I had maintained my weight loss and healthy habits for over five years. Sigh. Life is a constant battle. I thought you might want to join me on the journey this time. Are you ready to get fit with these fitness gift ideas? It's okay to buy them for yourself! We all deserve pampering after the past year and a half.


                        This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links for your convenience.



Get Fit with these Fitness Gift Ideas



It's July 2021 and I'm kicking off my fitness routine-  Again.  You can follow along on Instagram. Step one, buy cool fitness products to keep motivated!


Fitness Gift Ideas List:


  • I've had these Jenn Ardor walking shoes for over two years now. They are lightweight, sturdy, comfortable, breathable mesh. This makes them perfect for hot summer days. 

What I love about them: They just slip on and off, they're comfortable, and they're easy to clean.

Hop over to Instagram to see the shoes on my feet! 

Since then, I've walked in them (you know, back in 2019.) I even mowed the yard in them. Don't you do that, they're a thin mesh, you should mow in boots to protect your feet. Anyway, the point is, these are durable, inexpensive, walking shoes!


affordable comfortable walking shoes




What I like about it: The sweetener is derived from beet juice. Beets are rumored to lower blood pressure. No idea if that works with this powder, but you can read about it, beet benefits.



Here's the blurb about Nakedade:

Nakedade starts with Palatinose™ (isomaltulose), a low-glycemic smart carb derived from sugar beets. We isolate the sucrose from sugar beets, and remove any potentially harmful fructose and glucose. Palatinose™ improves fat oxidation and provides a steady supply of energy to increase exercise endurance.* 285 mg of potassium in Nakedade helps you stay hydrated and replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.



Electrolyte Lemonade Drink Naked Nutrition


My thoughts:  

  • I wish I'd tried Blueberry Lemonade too. It sounds so good. Next time!
  • I had to use scissors to open the packet, maybe I'm just a weakling?
  • Play fair. Don't drink this after you've had hardcore sweetener like regular juice or soda. Cleanse your  palette with water first. 
  • Don't drink it warm. Pop it in a cooler or the freezer for a special treat after a work out. 
  • It's a great alternative to those other electrolyte drinks with sugar and artificial sweeteners.
  • It's good, especially if you aren't a sugar addict. If so, it may take some getting used to. 


How can you stop consuming sugar? Try these tips.

As always, remember, you can do it!


  • I don't know if this falls in the category of fitness gift ideas, but a really good way to help rid your body of sugar loving yeast is to take a daily probiotic. This affordable probiotic from Amazon works well, but it gave me some unpleasant side effects when I used it daily. 

Everyone seems to react differently to different strains. There are many types of probiotics so try a few options before you give up on them. My favorite is the Align generic from Target. My Gastroenterologist actually recommended Align. The Target knock-off is much less expensive and works just as well for me. 



Good affordable Generic Probiotic Target Up & Up Align


Tip: If I take too much of it without eating properly I get shaky and emotional. You're supposed to take probioitcs with a full glass of water.  Start slowly with one probiotic a day or even every other day.  As you begin to succeed with Candida die off you can get Herxheimer syndrome. A Herkheimer reaction can make you feel tired and cranky. Once you work past the yeast die off, life on the other side of too much yeast and sugar over indulgence is so much better. Just remember Stevia can be your best friend. Learn more about the downside of probiotics.


What I like about it: It keeps thing moving.


  • Stevia is a great replacement for sugar. Like the Nakedade above, replacement sweetener can take some getting used to. There are several Stevia based drinks and Gift Packs available.


What I like about it: Stevia comes from a plant that you can grow yourself!


Stevia sweetened chocolate




What I like about it:  This fitness wear is comfortable and well made.


Comfortable Womens Workout Gear Joy Lab Target

 




What I like about it:  No struggle to turn it on, step on the scale and your weight appears. Connect the Bluetooth app to track you weight loss and bmi.





Recommended:


More on my weight loss journey

Quotes about weight loss






Summer Messy Play Activities for Preschoolers

Fun In The Sun - 6 Tips For Creating A Mud Kitchen For Your Kids


Kids love mud! And as dirty as they may get, it’s time to advocate messy play so they can learn new skills the fun way. The fastest and easiest way to encourage your kids to get outdoors is to build them a mud kitchen.They'll be tripping over each other to get outside

Building your own mud kitchen is a creative, cost-effective way of enabling messy play for your kids while saving money on an expensive play kitchen

You can build your mud kitchen in your own way, and in the end, your kids will have the perfect environment in which to get their hands dirty anytime.


This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.


Summer Messy Play Activities for Preschoolers

Photo: Jelleke Vanooteghem/Unsplash


Six tips to create your own mud kitchen


  1. Use What You’ve Got

Poke around your garage and see what you can recycle to save money on your mud kitchen. You can use wood, recycled pallets, and old timber for the construction. Old cookware and bakeware, utensils, and decorations can also be used to finish out the kitchen,

Remember, the idea is to ignite your child’s imagination, so your DIY mud kitchen doesn’t need to resemble a brand-new toy kitchen set. 


  1. Stove Tops Add to The Fun

While it’s great to leave some things up to the imagination, it’s a good idea to make your play kitchen resemble a real kitchen by creating a stove top. You can paint the burners on a piece of timber or wood, and you can even add broken or thrifted appliances to your outdoor kitchen to enhance its appearance. You can also use good, old cardboard to create a play stove.


  1. Bake Mud Cakes

The fun part of having a mud kitchen is that your kids get to play with mud and get as dirty as they want. All you need to make mud cakes is some sand or soil and water. You can use old cookware and bake ware to contain them and shape them like cakes and cupcakes.

Parents can get involved by showing kids how to create funky-shaped cookies with cookie cutters and molds or add colored pasta to the mud for added texture. This kind of sensory play is an important part of childhood development, but above all, it’s a whole lot of fun.


Pistachio Pudding Play Dough


  1. Set the Table

A mud kitchen is a fun way to teach your child table manners. Guide your preschoolers through setting a table and laying out the dishes. Show them the way to arrange cutlery and allow your children to bring some garden leaves to create napkins for a rustic table setting.


  1. Add a Sink

Since you’ve introduced messy play to your preschoolers with colored pasta and mud cakes, it’s a good idea to take care of the cleanup. The most logical way to do this is to add a sink to your mud kitchen! To create your sink, use a silver or grey bucket and fill it with water or a big flower put with the bottom plugged works nicely too.

Add a hose in the bucket so that there’s an accessible faucet. This is a great way to teach children how to clean up after themselves. Add some dish washing liquid and a sponge so you can wash all the cookware the kids used before bringing it back into the house!


How to Make your own Dish Washing Soap


  1. Dress For The Occasion

Every chef needs a chef’s hat and apron, so make sure to get these for your child. They will love it! Plus, the apron will offer some protection from mud splatter while playing. Rubber boots are a good idea too. Preschool age kids and toddlers love to wear galoshes!


How to Make your own Chef Hat

 

Have fun with your kiddos and their mud kitchen. You may want to wear some rubber boots yourself! Encourage your children to enjoy free and imaginative play, and you can bet they’ll learn tons of kitchen tricks in the process. Pretend play is the best way to learn!


Recommended Reading:

Pretend Play and Play Date Ideas from Adventures of Kids Creative Chaos

Fun Books about Galoshes from Amazon