Saturday, 03 December 2011
For those of you in college, you know what's coming up. We all dread it, yet it comes to us faster than we can even begin to imagine: finals week. For me, it's almost here and I can't begin to tell you just how stressed I am. I would bore you with my workload, but the truth is, I know you're probably in the same boat (perhaps worse).
When finals roll around, I do my best to stay extra on top of things, extra healthy, and extra alert.
Here's a list of the foods I consume leading up to my finals (and during finals week):
- Espresso beans: I don't eat a lot of them and I don't eat them often. I think they're a great thing to snack on (just a small handful) when I'm really trying to focus. They taste great and they give me that little extra boost I'm sometimes needing, without the shakes. I buy Trader Joe's dark chocolate covered mint espresso beans.
- Tea: All teas are really great, except perhaps chamomile because it makes me sleepy. Tea is so good for the body and there are so many to choose from. I never tire of drinking tea during finals week.
- Bananas: Bananas are such a great thing to eat (all the time) because they're filling and extremely healthy.
- Plain pasta with butter: This is the marathoner's meal. Great complex carbohydrates provide long-lasting energy. No crash later.
- Cottage cheese: I love cottage cheese all the time, but especially when I have a long day to get through. It's filling because it has slow-release proteins, keeping me fuller longer.
The kinds of foods I like to (especially) avoid during finals week:
- Chips: I love me some chips, but they lack any real nutritional value. Snacking on them when I'm doing work doesn't really get me anywhere.
- Coffee: This may come as a surprise to you, but I do my best to avoid coffee during this time. It's really easy to just go for cup after cup after cup when I'm spending the day at my desk, but in fact it's a terrible idea. Too much coffee and I stop feeling the positive effects. I get jittery and dehydrated. If you're the kind of person who just can't do without your coffee, try iced coffee with lots of ice. Even drink an Americano, but put even more water to your one shot of espresso.
- Ramen: I know for a lot of college kids, finals week means skipping going to the dining hall all together. If doing that means you're eating Ramen in your room, rethink your plan. If you're adding too much of that sodium crap to your Ramen, it's not just plain pasta. It's so much sodium that you'll dehydrate yourself.
A couple other tips for finals week:
- Eat breakfast! A balanced breakfast is, as you probably already know, a fantastic way to start your day. If you feel like you can't afford to miss a minute of studying, take your work with you. You'll feel so accomplished.
- Don't skip out on exercising. Go to the gym. Go for a run. Go do yoga! These are wonderful ways to relax your body and your mind. Really lose yourself. Trust me, your 8 page paper will thank you later, despite the hour you deserted it to go to yoga class.
- Do NOT pull an all-nighter. This is just stupid. I have too many people telling me they've pulled so many all-nighters throughout college. I've pulled maybe 2... in my life (and one was when I was 15). Your body needs rest. I somehow doubt that you're doing your best work at 4am. I also doubt that you're making healthy eating choices at 4am. Get some rest. Get up early and do your work when your body is refreshed.
Good luck, everyone! If you're at all like me and you stress like I do, these are all pretty great ways to keep yourself in check.