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The Healthy Study Snack List

For those of us lucky college kids, its Mid-term time again! Do your brain and body a favor and snack smart during those late-night study sessions, hours of Facebook homework and pages of papers. ;)

Stress really does make you hungry, but if you eat yourself into a Hot Cheeto food-coma, your grades and your waist-line will suffer. Here is my list of the top Healthy Study Snacks for whatever you are craving:

1. Popcorn – Great snack instead of chips! They now make 94% fat-free Whole Grain popcorn, which is just 20 calories per cup. Paired with a tart green apple, it’s a perfect salty/crunchy healthy alternative

2. Low-fat string cheese – I just learned today that Kraft makes string cheese in ‘Sweet BBQ,’ ‘Tomato Basil,’ and ‘Cracked Black Pepper’ flavor. For only 60 calories, I’d try all three! Portion control makes string cheese a great snack.

3. Steamed Edamame – the shelled soybeans will be the perfect replacement for nuts or trail mix. (Trail mix and nuts aren’t unhealthy but if you’re like me, it’s hard to stick to the 3 Tablespoon serving size.) These things are addicting but with only 60 calories per 1/4 Cup of edamame and a ton of protein, snack on!

4. Non-fat Yogurt – Add fresh fruit for extra credit : ) It’s a balance of protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. Your body will thank you.

5. Something Caffeinated: Skinny Latte’s or Non-fat Cappuccino – the worst thing you can do to your body when it’s already in a heightened state of stress from school is chug an energy drink. Seriously – those things have more sugar than a regular soda, not to mention chemicals that are in no way natural or beneficial to your body. Skinny latte’s are the perfect non-fat, sugar-free pick-me-up.

6. Something Hot: Oatmeal – if it’s a cold night and you’re looking for something comforting to go with reading your textbook, don’t underestimate the power of a bowl of oats :P It’s not just for breakfast! I’ve made oatmeal for dessert plenty of nights, but go for a low-sugar variety.

7. Something cold: Popsicles! So many fruity flavors, even chocolate. The sugar-free kinds are just as delicious and usually under 50 calories. Have 2!

8. If you absolutely must go to the vending machine: Nature Valley Granola Bar – They do have a decent amount of sugar, which could leave you hungry again after an hour or two, but they are 382 times better than a King-Size candy bar or bag of cheese puffs (who wants orange dust all over your keyboard anyways?!).

If you are as big a fan of Pinterest as I am, Pin this Study Snack List here:

And I’m a college girl with mid-terms myself so share your own study tips/healthy snacks! :)

Group Fitness: Pilates!

With so many group fitness classes, intramural sports, active clubs, and beautiful scenery, it’s pretty difficult to not  get in some form of exercise at my school. Amazingly, though, there is a large portion of the population who doesn’t take advantage of all these great opportunities, and they are truly missing out. Fitness is proven to be beneficial in academic areas too because it improves mood, memory and brain function. Just do it!

One of my friends Chelsea is an instructor for a fitness class here on campus– Pilates! Monday night I grabbed a friend to come with me and headed over after dinner. I honestly have never taken a Pilates class. I’ve done yoga, zumba, spin, boot camp, body works, step, and kickboxing class but never pilates. One more thing I can cross off the list!

These classes are fun because there’s always other newbies and beginners there. You shouldn’t feel self-conscious about your athletic ability because everyone is there to have fun and enjoy their workout!

(I only got the giggles once!)

This was a mellow-style pilates with lots of breathing and stretching, and some Jack Johnson music playing in the background. I liked it, and I plan on making it a weekly thing! I felt like I stretched my whole body while working out individual muscles in the feet, legs, and core.

Since this class is only once a week, I tried to remember some of the things that I could do on my own a few more days a week:

  • Hip Bridges
  • Hip Bridge with alternating leg lifts
  • Superman (back hyper-extensions)
  • One-leg circles (lay on your back, one knee bent; draw large circles rightward and leftward with your straightened leg)
  • SLOW bicycles with inhale/exhales

If you’re on a college campus, I bet they offer these same classes. Honestly, you won’t regret finding one hour of your time to try a new workout class :)

 

Cafeteria Cuisine: Balanced Breakfast Challenge

Breakfast isn’t a typical cafeteria meal for me, because I prefer to make my own fruit-filled oatmeal or smoothie in my room. But this morning I met a friend for breakfast in our all-you-can-eat style cafeteria. It was a little challenging finding healthy and filling options amid the donuts, biscuits and gravy, french toast and waffle maker. I just gotta laugh when I see fellow students piling their plates high with tater tots, sausage links, bacon, pancakes, chocolate chip muffins AND a bagel….you didn’t eat like that at home, so why would you here?! If you want to avoid the freshman/sophomore/junior 15 you have got to drop the “I have to get my money’s worth” attitude! Or else you’re “money’s worth” meal will cost you a new pair of pants in a couple months…..

Fear not – I created a balanced breakfast with a sweet parfait!

A fruit n’ yogurt bowl is an easy healthy go-to breakfast. Options were limited to canned peach slices and pineapple, and I would’ve preferred to add a banana but in the cafeteria setting it’s all about working with what you’ve got! I topped the fruit with a little Raisin Bran. I know Raisin Bran still has a considerable amount of sugar but look at my options!

Breakfast with a side of diabetes?

Taking out the Froot Loops, Coco Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Kellogs Granola leaves good ole’ Raisin Bran looking pretty good! And of course I have to commend the cafeteria on their surprisingly delicious coffee. To round out the meal, I small serving of eggs with diced peppers and some salsa left me full through the morning and into my “Stretch & Relaxation” class!

The pancakes and muffins may look appetizing for an instant but I always feel heavy and full after such a bread-y breakfast. This light and fruity bowl was the perfect start to the beautiful day and kept me sitting tall in a summer sundress through out class!

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