Mid-term munchies don’t have to include pizza

(Photo by Cristina Rucchetta)

During this critical time of year students are plagued with the outcomes of mid-terms.

Although we don’t always realize how much our health is affected by the choices we make and the adjustments to our diet, we want quick, easy meals and snacks that will satisfy us in the moment.

But do we stop and think about how these foods will carry us through our long nights of cramming?

To find out some alternatives to our usual favorites we asked Laurier’s educational nurse Marilyn Nieboer for some helpful tips.

“It takes a little bit of planning,” said Nieboer. “It’s easy to go grab chips, but its about making your healthy choice and taking a look at an alternative.”

Now it is time to fess up to our bad habits.

Our pick: Chewy’s Chocolate Granola Bars / Nieboer’s replacement: Kashi Bars   

“Kashi bars, and make sure you read the labels; they make a difference because they are whole grain, as opposed to chewy chocolate bars or rice crispies. Natural sugars will hold you over after your energy from breakfast has faded,” said Nieboer.

“Kashi bars are a healthy boost on your sugar and if you don’t satisfy that mid-day low, then you tend to grab a chocolate bar and after an hour or so you’ll be hungry again.”

Nieboer added that natural sugars are a way to give you long-lasting energy, instead of sugary, chocolate-coated snacks.

But what other snacks can we carry around to help us gain energy?

Nieboer replied with the option of a fruit cup, but beware of the ingredients.

“Fruit cups packed in water, rather than syrup, are definitely a good choice,” she said. “The natural sugars are a healthy alternative to grabbing a chocolate bar and it will give you a boost of energy.”

Our pick: Pizza / Nieboer’s replacement: Roasted Chicken or Beef

All students love the convenience that is ready to eat pizza, but will this meal hold us over during those long nights in the library?

“Pizza is just going to make you more sluggish,” said Nieboer. “Look for a lean protein. Roasted meats for the day; the protein will give you that long lasting energy you need to hold you over”.

Our pick: Coffee / Nieboer’s Replacement: Scrambled Eggs

Nieboer revealed that our go-to energy booster brings along some dangerous side effects for our over-all health.

Not only is caffeine a “quick fix,” when we consume too much of it we face the risks of increased blood pressure, sore stomach and inability to sleep.

Nieboer describes this as “not a good feeling that will not help you study. Sleep will keep you up the following day, you need sleep before an exam so you can read it clearly, being exhausted you won’t do as well.”

“The problem with coffee is it is a drug, caffeine is a drug to our system, use it wisely in moderation,” said Nieboer.

As a replacement to our midnight booster, Nieboer suggested the easy preparation of eating scrambled eggs.

“Make yourself scrambled eggs, they will carry you through the night,” she explained. “It’s cheap and the protein will give you energy for about three hours.”

 

By: Vanessa Tharen

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