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Healthy eating habits

“I am in a rush. Quick, what can I grab to eat? Never mind, I am going to be late for class, I will just skip breakfast.”

Sound familiar? I am sure that most university students have experienced this hectic morning rush as they embark on their day. And if this is true, I can almost guarantee that they did not have time to prepare a lunch, a snack or supper either.

Students typically survive on any piece of food there is, no matter how gross or how odd it seems. We consume the food that costs the least and that is fast and easy to prepare. A box of Kraft Dinner, a pizza, French fries or a six pack of beer – sounds like typical student supper menu to me.

University students’ food choices leave much to be desired from a health perspective. Factors contributing to poor nutritional habits among students include lack of knowledge about proper nutrition and recommended serving sizes of specific food groups, perceived importance of a healthy diet, the taste of healthy food, time constraints and convenience.

More often than not, students report time management and convenience as the most common barriers to healthy eating. Students may want to sleep longer in the morning instead of taking time to eat or prepare proper meals for the day. As a replacement, we prefer eating at fast food establishments because the food is served quickly. Not to mention that there are vending machines all over campus, making it relatively simple to grab a quick snack on the way to class.

As a student, I behaved in the exact same manner until recently. I always found myself feeling faint during the day, I lacked energy and I was always fatigued. I began to think it was a serious health issue, and then it suddenly struck me that perhaps I was not getting my proper nutrients. As we get older, our bodies rely on proper nutrients for energy to get us through the day. If we do not eat properly, our bodies will become drained, exhausted, weak and will eventually eliminate our mental capacity to think logically and coherently.

How are we supposed to perform to the best of our abilities if we are unable to formulate our thoughts? Students have to take it upon themselves to watch their eating habits and care for their well-being. I do not know about you, but I was so frustrated with feeling like a zombie wandering aimlessly through the hallways at Memorial that I decided to do something about it.

It was a wise decision. By altering my eating habits and ensuring that I am consuming the proper daily nutrients, I have never felt better. I no longer long for those extra five minutes of sleep, I no longer feel as though I am in a daze and I always have ample amounts of energy throughout the day.

It shocked me to learn that by simply making the time to prepare meals ahead of time, how much better I feel, both physically and mentally.

I feel like a whole new person.

It is a relief to not have to rush home after class to squeeze in that 20-minute power nap, and by 20 minutes I mean three hours, to get you through an endless night of piles of homework.

It takes time, work, dedication and motivation, but once you obtain a healthy and balanced diet, there is no going back – it makes such a difference. It may take several attempts to become adjusted, but do not give up, you will find the right recipe.