Self care with Sarah: Getting back to the grind

Summer break just ended and everyone is trying to get back into the swing of things, whether it be for school, work, a new internship, etc. However, while you are trying to figure out your new busy schedule for the upcoming school year, make sure to pencil in time in your planner for eating.

Going back to school and work does not always get easier for many people when summer comes to a close. Everyone receives a new schedule and is often expected to assume their position in a brand new daily routine while continuing to perform at the highest of their abilities. This can become quite stressful, especially when you add in eating three meals.

Eating may seem like such a normal, everyday task. However, with fully loaded work and school schedules, it is often neglected. A study conducted by Brad Cardinal of Oregon State University published online in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, compares the eating habits of college students both male and female. The results of the study suggested that both male and female students were not implementing the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables into their diets.

People become so consumed with getting their work done, that there is less time to eat in general let alone going to the store and buying fresh produce to cook with. Some college dorms do not even come equipped with full kitchens which makes eating nutritional food that much more difficult.

Consequently, despite the fact that students are neglecting their eating schedules to do their work, they are actually inhibiting their overall success success in school.“Health is an area being neglected, yet all the available research show that healthy habits and healthy kids can lead to better academic success,” Cardinal addressed in his study.

Therefore, students who do not practice healthy eating habits tend to do worse in school. People need a proper amount of nutrients and energy to help them focus and endure long, busy days. Since many students do not always have an adequate amount of time to make food or go to get food from the cafeteria, they often reach for foods that are portable and easily accessible.

These types of food normally contain more fat, carbs, and sodium. Cardinal’s study also stated that students often relied on eating out and consumed at least one fast food meal per week. Eating these types of foods can make you feel groggy and sluggish, and thus, unproductive.

Some students even skip meals altogether and this can hinder your health more than eating unhealthy meals in some cases. You can become light headed quite easily and even pass out if you are exercising your mind all day long without resupplying it with the energy that it needs to function properly.

With these difficulties in mind, here are a few tips for eating with a busy schedule:

1. Use breaks wisely

If you have a break between your classes, make sure you either pack a lunch to have during that time or use it to go to the cafeteria to eat. Greens to Go, Which Wich, and Grille Works on campus even offer options that are portable. You can get a salad or sandwich and take it with you.

2. Bring snacks to class or to work with you

Granola bars, fruit, yogurt, and pretzels are all examples of portable items that you can bring in your backpack to avoid running on an empty stomach. The Pod also has many different options for snacks as well as a Jamba Juice and coffee machine to get a quick fix. Starbucks is also on campus and has several types of drinks and snacks as well.

3. Tupperware

Using Tupperware to bring to the cafeteria to bring food back with you for later or for the next day is a way to avoid skipping a meal as well. You can even use the tupperware to meal prep if you have a kitchen and have enough time

4. Remind your friends to eat too

While you are keeping track of your own eating habits, make sure that your friends and roommates are eating as well.