The Collegian
Monday, April 15, 2024

Keep hunger, busyness at bay with small meals and snacks

Whether you are a stressed-out student, an absent-minded professor or a desk-jockey in one of the Richmond cubicles, play it safe with some sound nutrition principles throughout the day.

Just in case you have been under your rock for too long, I think the next word that we should throw under the bus is "busy." The word is often used in conjunction with not eating healthfully. Since 1976 my alma mater (Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, MI) has released a list of words that should be banished and I think "busy" should die an early death!

The list garners national attention every year and I invite you to visit to see the 2010 list.

Follow this sage advice to keep your metabolism active throughout your "busy" (sorry ... last time I will use it!) days at work or school:

\0x27A2 Healthy hydration. More often than not, thirst can be mistaken for hunger. We should consume about 10 cups of fluid daily, which can come from fruits, juices, soups and vegetables.

\0x27A2 Go nuts. Fill small bags with almonds or walnuts to help keep hunger at bay! Nuts are high in calories but they are loaded with heart-friendly mono- and poly-unsaturated fats that will keep you satiated.

\0x27A2 Peanut butter. A little protein punch will keep you going -- purchase the little "Jif-to-go" containers, which can be paired with apple slices or celery.

\0x27A2 Low-fat string cheese. Easy to tote around and will give you a portion of dairy for the day!

\0x27A2 Fiber "101" Lesson Plan -- Attention Students: Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet and nutrition experts suggest eating between 25 and 35 grams daily. Start your day with a cereal containing at least five grams of fiber per serving. Adding fresh berries will give you an additional three gram boost. A handful of nuts will provide about three grams. A fresh pear can add 4 grams of fiber. A bean burrito or black bean soup may leave you sitting by yourself at lunch (due to flatulence) but a \0xBD cup of beans has about eight grams. Try popcorn instead of chips. Three cups will add another four grams of fiber. Finally, a potato (with the skin) can provide five grams of fiber and a \0xBD cup of cooked carrots will provide an additional three grams.

\0x27A2 Late for class? Bananas, yogurt, fig cookies and granola bars offer convenient fuel at a fraction of the price of energy bars. But if you prefer energy bars, try Planters NUT-rition. This energy bar has honey roasted peanuts, almonds and chocolate as well as B vitamins. Excellent taste!

\0x27A2 Speaking of chocolate ... Researchers have found that chocolate contains flavinoids, which are chemicals that thin the blood and help prevent clotting. Cocoa also contains antioxidants that help stave off disease. Consuming darker varieties, which have more pure cocoa, are recommended. Thus, when you get to that 3 p.m. marker and start feeling a little sluggish, go ahead and indulge!

So there you have it: Fill up, not out. By consuming small meals (or grazing healthfully) throughout the day, you can keep your metabolism in check. Remember, three square meals is OLD SCHOOL. You should consume five to six small meals per day. The aforementioned bullet points will give you some nutrition "intell" and keep your spider-sense on full alert -- "BUSY," BE GONE!

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