As most of you already know (or will have very soon figured out), graduate students typically run short on two things that are critical to healthy living: time and money. That does not mean, however, that you should not try to make the most of what you have of both.
The likelihood of your being able to stick to the new food guidelines when you are catching most of your meals on the run is low--quite frankly, I find the new guidelines hard to comprehend, let alone stick to, during the best of circumstances. But if you focus your limited time and resources on selecting healthy foods and snacks, you really will have more energy throughout the day and will feel better over all.
Here are some foods that will help keep you going through the day:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables or canned or bottled fruit/vegetable juices are good sources of vitamins and fiber and they survive well in backpacks and bookbags.
- Yogurt, cheese sticks and cheese slices are full of proteins and help keep you going longer.
- Whole-grain bread or crackers with your favorite lunch meat (turkey or chicken especially) give you a solid snack with both protein and fiber.
- Water is essential to health. Make adding a bottle to your backpack or bookbag as much a habit as adding in your laptop.
We all have at least one day during our week when schedules simply do not permit time for a good, sit-down meal. If you feel like you must stop at your favorite McRestaurant for lunch, dinner or a quick bite, stick to the light side--fruit/cereal/yogurt cups, salads and/or chicken.
On a final note, stay healthy by adding whatever exercise you can to your day--chase the kids around the house, let the dog walk you around the block, park in the lot farthest away from your class and hoof it. All it takes is 30-60 minutes of cardio-vascular exercise each day (total, doesn't even have to be continuous) to keep you running in tip-top condition.
For more information on healthy eating, check out the Food Network.