Finally a junior in college! Yayy! It feels so good to be back and working towards my dietetics degree. Although i’m excited for the semester, I know that making excellent grades will not be an easy task. Between going to classes, working two jobs, extracurricular activities, and studying…I don’t even know when i’ll have the time to eat lol! But it’s imperative that I fit that in; a girl needs her energy! Being a dietetics student, I understand how important being healthy and having a well balanced diet is to keeping high energy levels. I also understand how being a college student can be stressful at times; and makes you want to reach for the pizza, wings, cookies, and other quick comforting foods. That was basically all I ate during my freshman year, and I felt the side effects of it. I was always tired, couldn’t focus in class, and just super sluggish in general. I knew it was the type of food I was eating but I just couldn’t find the will power to turn down the sweets and the greasy foods. Pretty sad right? I was a dietetics student who didn’t really listen to my own advice.
Fast forward to junior year i’m eating cleaner, and I have so much more energy. I’m in a better mood and i’m able to concentrate in class. In this blog post I wanted to include some nutrition tips that help keep me feeling my best throughout the day; and a few things that i’m sure will keep me fueled for the semester 🙂
First things first…(not really a nutrition tip, but it’s nourishment for my soul)
#1 Spending time with God…
In the morning ( and also before I go to bed) I like to pray and just talk to God about the day, about my troubles, about my fears, about anything. I ask him to give me the strength to make it through, to help me to be diligent in the work He’s given me, and most importantly to take anything out of me that isn’t like Him. In doing this everyday I believe I’ve gained a greater peace of mind and i’m able to focus on what’s truly important.
#2 Not skipping breakfast…
In high school, I was really bad about skipping breakfast, and that behavior translated over into my freshman year of college. Skipping meals in general is not a good idea, but breakfast is really important. It gets me moving, and honestly helps me concentrate in my 8 AM classes. If I feel like I don’t have time to sit down and eat i’ll at least grab a banana or something. Low blood sugar can lead to feelings of tiredness. I should also add that the type of breakfast you consume is just as important . I notice when I reach for the grits, the pancakes, the eggs, and the bacon (although so good!) i’m always ready for a nap after eating. Completely not the goal…i’m trying to stay awake! I like something light such as a smoothie, an egg white omelette with veggies, or fruit with oatmeal. There are tons of healthy energizing options for breakfast!
|My favorite…green smoothie! 🙂|
#3 Limiting my sugar intake…
Even though I love my chocolate…and my cupcakes…and my cookies; it’s necessary that I practice self control and eat these things in moderation. Once upon a time I would literally eat dessert everyday twice a day, sometimes more. I would add an unnecessary amount of sugar and cream to my coffee in hopes of staying more alert. But honestly sugar for me does the opposite. My sweet tooth was out of control, and it was actually robbing me of my energy. I was consuming way to many nutrient poor sugar laden foods. My body was craving nutrients. This past week I can say that I only had dessert once, and I feel so much better, all because I nixed the sugar. (Sidenote: If you haven’t seen the documentary Fed Up I encourage you to watch it…it’s very informative!)
#4 Eating Clean (…most of the time)
For me eating clean is limiting highly refined grains, and processed food products. Without a doubt, eating a diet chock full of fruits and vegetables keeps me feeling, light, refreshed, and full of energy. Although I still eat chicken, fish, and occasionally lean beef; i’d say that my diet is 50-60 % vegetables. I LOVE salads! I like trying different ingredients and experimenting with different textures, colors, and flavors. Honestly making a salad is like creating art for me haha! Not only can they be pretty, but salads can be nutrient rich as well! Eating more nutrient dense foods has definitely helped to keep me up beat and focused when it comes to making it through each day walking around campus.
Water is my best friend! It helps to keep my skin clear, and also makes me feel more energized. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, and it also poorly affects cognition. So I try to drink around 2.5 to 3 liters. I carry a water bottle to sip on throughout the day, because studies have shown that by the time you have feelings of thirst you’re already dehydrated. It took me a while to just get into the habit of drinking water regularly, but now it’s second nature.