Back-to-School Roundup: Kickstarting a Healthy Semester!
I’d be a big liar if I said I wasn’t a little jealous of you collegiates heading back to school in these coming weeks. Ever since pre-school, I love being a student. Starting fresh new courses, with new groups of people, figuring out a new teacher with their new system. Learning a new subject, a new challenge. Not to mention making your own schedule for homework and study sessions in the comfort of your room. It sure beats the monotony of a desk job. Although there is that whole aspect of making money rather than spending money which is pretty nice.
I’m trying to tell you to enjoy it while you can! Because even though you may feel overwhelmed or stressed with classes and exams (or worse, group projects) once you graduate and you experience bills, unexpected medical situations, 40-hour works weeks, commuter traffic and these weird things called “taxes” and “insurance policies” you will be as nostalgic for back-to-school days as I am right now. ;)
When I started this blog three years ago, I didn’t have a specific vision or theme in mind. My daily life has a pretty consistent focus on eating nutritious foods as well as finding balance with being a social student and a training athlete. Overtime, Strong Like My Coffee naturally evolved into a “health and fitness for college students” blog (even though most of the content is applicable to anyone, college or not!).
Several blog posts from the past three years are so appropriate for this back-to-school season we’re in, so I’ve compiled a list here for you! *Each link will open in a new tab :)
While I’m writing this, there are several other points I want to hit on about setting yourself up for success in the first few weeks of school that are unrelated to health, nutrition and fitness. I’m thinking I’ll write a whole separate post on this later this week :)
In other news, I’ve been called an “expert” by a fellow blogging site. A few months ago, a PR and online media executive reached out for some healthy snack ideas to add to an article on a gaming website. The Empire City Casino online gaming site has a blog with a wide variety of content for it’s users, including this health and nutrition piece. I happily offered my insights and I’m excited to share a link to the finished product with you:
Power to the Brain: Stimulating Gaming Snacks
This weekend I visited one of my college buddies for a beach trip and had my first experience with surfing, acai bowls, and cold brewed coffee. Full recap coming up on Wednesday :)
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! :)