‘Food for Thought’
With exam season around the corner and the final deadlines approaching, cooking and meal prepping is sometimes one of the last things on a student’s mind. For this blog, I’m going to share with you advice on how I manage to eat well during this time and some of my go-to meals.
1) Write meal-plans. This can take just a few minutes and can save lots of unnecessary wandering round the supermarket looking for inspiration (trust me, I’ve been there!) Having a set meal written down can make you more likely to have that meal and prevent you from picking up an unhealthier option. Planning can also stop wasting both food and money because you can plan meals around the ingredients that you will already have. For example, you can cook unused vegetables like broccoli and carrots in a stir fry.
2) Make meals in batches. Have the meal over 2 days and then freeze the rest. Examples of things I make in batch are chilli con carne, Bolognese sauce, tomato and vegetable pasta sauce, white bean and vegetable soup, lentil dhals and vegetable chilli. Spending some time one evening making a tasty and nutritious dinner for 5 other days is definitely worth it. When you get back from a day in the library, hearty and filling meals are really appreciated.All you need to do is hear it and serve – it can be on the table in 10 minutes.
3) Try to make your own lunch a couple of time a week. I often make a sandwich the night before, as this takes all of 5 minutes and is really cheap, with a loaf of bread costing 75p. If you’re not into sandwiches, lots of people bring in leftovers and heat them up in microwaves in many departments, including at Gibbet Hill. Couscous salads are also a good idea because you can prepare a batch and keep it in the fridge for a few days. I cook couscous, add cinnamon, turmeric and cumin, chop up salad items and put in some protein such as cooked chicken or cashew nuts. But for when you don’t have time to prepare, there are loads of places on campus to buy some lunch, ranging from Rootes grocery store where you can pick up a wrap/ sandwich, to the Library café which has hot food options as well as cold. For Life Sciences students up at Gibbet Hill campus, fear not- there is a great café there selling both hot and cold items.
4) Snack on fruit and nuts. Fruits like bananas are filling and provide slow release energy and contain vitamins, so are a good alternative to chcolate bars which can make you feel drowsy a bit later. I tend to have a banana late morning, apple with lunch and some fruit after dinner. Nuts are claimed to have benefits for memory and concentration – but bags of nuts are often rather expensive.
5) Do remember to treat yourself with snacks you enjoy to get yourself through revision. I like to have cereal bars, oatcakes and chocolate digestives. Avoiding taking a multipack with you, as before you know it, you may have demolished the pack!
I hope this was helpful and given you some inspiration! Until next time 🙂