Food. It is the age-old issue during the time of exams. So entirely focused on organizing and studying, writing out cue card after cue card, flipping through pages of scrawled notes and sifting through extensive lists of practice questions, we forget something that is fundamental to our success. Food! Food is an essential element of every part of our lives, one that is often taken for granted. It is food that gives your brain and body the energy it needs to succeed in your classes. Without proper nutrition, our focus will drop, and our retention will shrink. So why is it that more often than not, we rely on bags of microwave popcorn and Yerba Matte to get us through exam season? Is it because that is what we know will assist us in performing well in our classes or is it merely because the average student has no idea where even to begin when it comes to fueling their mind? Tired of second guessing, exhausted from feeling lethargic and sleepy as you sit down to a day of duteous studying? Look no further! Below are 10 of the best snack foods that I have found on campus to help me focus on my lessons while still satisfy that comfort food gives us all in times of high stress.
1. Justin’s Almond Butter and Apple: If you have ever wondered what to do with those two serving almond butter packets they sell around the grocery stores on campus?! Here is the perfect snack. Grab an apple, cut some slices and its the ideal afternoon fuel. Almond butter is filled with healthy fats and antioxidants which will keep you full and contribute to long-lasting health. The apple will provide a boost of energy from the sugars! This combo will have you covered until the next meal! Side-note any nut butter will work I just have a slight obsession with Justin’s.
2. Harvest Chia Seed Pudding: One of my favorite campus snacks, chia seeds are full of fiber and healthy fats (particularly Omega-3 fatty acids which are hard to come by). Eating them in pudding form makes it feel more like a dessert than health food, however; you still get all the benefits of chia seeds. The Harvest one is a favorite of mine: sweet and creamy, its everything I need for an after dinner sweet-tooth craving!
3. Harvest Hummus and Veggies: Simple and easy but so underrated! Again, a balance of fats, carbs, and protein is essential in every snack and hummus and veggies is the epitome of this. Hummus is an excellent source of protein, iron, and fiber as well as essential fatty acids! Combined with some crisp baby carrots and celery and its the perfect tide over snack!
4. Roasted Almonds: So simple and yet so, so delicious! Roasted almonds are full of flavor and fat! Again, just a small handful will keep you full for hours! They provide protein and fat as well as reduce blood sugar levels to keep you focused and shake the morning coffee jitters. Either plain, roasted, salted or flavored they are always a go-to of mine.
5. Prana Chocolate Bark: The absolute PERFECT snack when all you want to do is sit down to a pint of Ben and Jerrys and watch an episode of the Office, but you have to grind. All Prana products are primarily cocoa (dark chocolate is an excellent source of antioxidants and natural coffins for energy). You can get flavors such as Maca or Matcha as well as added chia seeds and roasted nuts. Absolutely delicious, and so versatile!
6. Banana: Though it may seem simple, bananas are incredibly beneficial when studying! They are full of potassium, a mineral that helps your nervous system function! They are also a perfect starch to make you feel full and prevent snacking. Aside from the nutritional benefits, bananas are easy to transport, and they cost practically nothing! Side-note: you can also use them with almond butter instead of apples
7. Liquid Nutrition Smoothies: Though all smoothies are often thought of as being the healthiest, most versatile snack, they aren’t always. Often smoothies are filled with sugar and fruits that spike your blood sugar and make you feel more hungry than you were before. This can be avoided, however, with the right ingredients and some balanced food groups! Hit up Liquid Nutrition and get a balanced smoothie with some hidden vegetables, lots of healthy fats and of course an extra scoop of protein to keep you full!
8. Green Tea: If your full and bored and want something to do, green tea is the perfect solution. A much more stabilizing form of caffeine, some afternoon green tea will fuel your brain for hours after drinking it. Caffeine is proven to improve concentration and memory both of which are essential for dedicated studying. There are also several other unrelated health benefits of green tea including burning fat, boosting physical performance and aiding digestion. You can always add a pump of honey for some extra sweetness!
9. Go Macro Bars: These are a personal favorite of mine! Filled with healthy fat and protein to keep you full, Go Macro Bars are the perfect snack when 4:00 pm rolls around and you need some sustenance. The ingredients are all natural and whole, but it still satisfied that craving the all you can think about is a Snickers. My personal favorites are the peanut butter chocolate chip, but in all honesty, they are all unparalleled in goodness!
10. Three Farmers Roasted Chickpeas: Lastly, roasted chickpeas. Though they might not be for everyone, roasted chickpeas (my favorites are the Salt and Vinegar from Three Farmers) are a great snack. They’re crispy and flavourful like your favorite potato chips, but unlike a bag of Lays, they won’t leave you craving more! After just a few handfuls, the protein will fill you up, your salty need will be satisfied, and you’re for the rest of the afternoon!
Best of luck with exams and enjoy!