We get up early, go to school and think til we sweat (hopefully...), and then we go home and think some more while we study. And if you're like a lot of us, you work part time as well. On TOP of that, you also may have some time to add physical activity into that tight schedule...and you think there is no way all that leaves you any time whatsoever to plan your healthy noms, right? Wrong! First of all, having more on your plate and requiring more energy for your mind and body give you all the more reason to eat smart. Cheap, quick, processed "food" (I use that term very loosely here) keeps you full for a little while...then you're hungry again, craving more junk. Why? Because your body is deprived of nutrients, and the more you keep eating crap, the more it wonders "Hmm, I keep eating and eating, but I'm not getting much outta this stuff...I guess I need to eat more". So, my friends, do your body and mind a favour and feed them some nutrient dense power food, and I guarantee it will give so much more back to you than downing pizza pockets and drinking Red Bull ever will.
But I'm busy!
I know you are. So am I. You think I'm slaving away for hours in the kitchen making gourmet masterpieces? I wish I had the time! During the week, quick food is my go to. Here's how I plan my food for on the go:
1. Do a quick brekkie: Smoothies with filling ingredients - either 1/2 an avocado, a scoop of protein powder or some coconut milk for example - will keep you satisfied well into the lunch hour. I did this cute little number the other day - I cut a gala apple in half vertically, cut out the seedy middle, and spread PB on one half and raw manuka honey on the other and topped them with raisins. YUMM!!! Accompany with a hot cup of tea or maybe an organic coffee and it's just splendid. (Yea, the pic was taken after I took a few bites...guilty as charged lol.)
2. Lunchtime is the best. As someone who is active, I am just always hungry, and it feels like right after my first class my stomach is just aching for some brain food! Some great lunch ideas to pack on the go are, of course, diverse salads (add beans, nuts or seeds for extra protein!), nori rolls (either sushi or rolled into cones), gazpacho (doesn't need to be heated :)), or a grilled veggie wrap with tempeh. Notice how I try and pack cold stuff...I can't stress enough how bad microwaves are. The radiation is taking nutrients away from your food, guys. Steer clear at all costs!
3. Spend an evening cooking a lovely and QUICK dinner. Here is some lovely mashed cauliflower I made by steaming 1/2 a bunch of cauliflower, mashing it in a processer with approximately 1/4 cup of soy milk and 1-2 tbsp of Daiya cheese, and adding about 1/4 cup sauteed leeks and 3 cloves garlic, and maybe a pinch of sea salt. This serves 2 as a main, and takes about 20 minutes or less!. If you're gonna bring this out with you for lunch the next day, keep it in a Thermos. Don't use a microwave, it will denature all those beautiful nutrients in your food, and make it taste like crap!
The art of smart snacking - fuel your brain and bod all day!
Like I mentioned before, we are constantly using energy to fuel our brain and our bodies during the school year. Consistently eating small amounts will keep your blood sugar regular and keep your tummy happy and your mind sharp. Here is a list of QUICK and healthy snack options:
1. Lavash crackers with PB - OMG, my fave. Light and simple ingredients - and I'm not a huge fan of wheat or crackers, but if you're not gluten sensitive, try em.
2. Chopped veggies. Dip? Perhaps. But I like 'em just as they are! Carrots, broccoli, cucumber and sweet peppers are your munchy friends.
3. Make your own trail mix with organic, sulphite-free dried fruit and raw mixed nuts. This is an amazing study snack! Your brain loves nuts.
4. Pop your own popcorn! I have just joined this bandwagon. Buy some organic kernels (conventional corn is notoriously high in pesticides), get a big pot and heat on medium approximately 1 tbsp of oil appropriate for high-heat cooking (avocado, coconut = great choices) and add 1/2 cup of kernels...top with the lid, leaving a bit of room to vent, and pop for about five minutes, shaking the pot every once in a while. Then, add some more oil, maybe some nutritional yeast, or some crushed up roasted nori...whatever sounds good to you! Or just eat it plain. Yum.
There you have it, kiddies. Please go out there and enjoy some healthy food for the school season. :) Cheers!