Busy schedules don’t have to be unhealthy ones

Courtney Dickson, Roving Editor Ω

The stereotypical student lifestyle doesn’t allow for much nutrition. Running between classes, meeting with groups at weird times and staying up late writing papers makes it easy for students to grab a bagel and an extra-large, extra-hot, extra-calorie cappuccino.

How much did that fancy coffee and gourmet bagel cost you? Probably at least $5. Students are always concerned about how much money they (don’t) have and yet they are shelling out money left and right for a meal here and a snack there, just to save time.

Organic markets are often pricier shopping destinations, which scares many students away from purchasing healthier options. How can we students, save money, eat healthy and maximize time?

Buying a boatload of fruits and vegetables is not that expensive. I recently paid $2.50 for a box of spinach at Superstore. It went into four smoothies and made three salads.

By planning my meals ahead of time and knowing I would want to throw some fruit into the same smoothies and salads, I was able to purchase a $4 basket of strawberries that would add some flavour to my food.

Getting up 10 minutes early every day to make a smoothie isn’t the end of the world. That’s how long I would spend waiting in the line-up at Tim Horton’s, anyways.

Mental health is always a concern for students as we are under pressure all the time to perform intellectually. A big part of maintaining that is how we eat.

Dr. Drew Ramsey is an American psychiatrist and author of The Happiness Diet. He has spent most of his career researching and teaching others about the links between mental health and nutrition.

“Your brain is made of food, and that’s why meal choices are so increasingly linked to depression,” Ramsey said, in a video on his website.

Ramsey said one of the most important nutrients that students (and people in general) are lacking is magnesium.

“Your brain burns a tremendous amount of energy,” he said. “20 per cent of the calories you eat go towards the thoughts and feelings and the actions that stem from your brain”

If we want to keep our brains healthy, we need to be eating more foods rich in magnesium, such as leafy greens, whole grains and beans, as opposed to inhaling a box of macaroni and drinking an energy drink for breakfast, skipping lunch and having pizza for dinner.

Our nutrition shouldn’t be based on how much time or money we have. We need to base our eating habits on how much we care about our bodies, minds and ultimately our ability to learn.

I’m not perfect. I grab a muffin between classes when my tummy is growling and I enjoy a beer or five on the weekend with my friends. But I do take my overall health and wellness seriously. You probably should too.