It’s Crunch Time 

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Finals week can be a very difficult time for students and can often lead to burnout if not handled appropriately. Typically, when we look for ways to survive finals week, we focus on strategies for studying, getting enough sleep, or taking breaks for self-care and meditation. While all these techniques work marvelously, one factor that is often overlooked is our eating habits. It’s really easy (and tempting) to munch on some chips and candy bars or chug down multiple energy drinks to keep us going. However, these foods often don’t provide the proper fuel we need to thrive through finals. We’ll be looking at some quick, easy, nutritious, and delicious snacks and dishes that leave us feeling energized and confident as we approach the end of the semester.   

Let’s start with breakfast, the most important meal of the day. After an all-night study sesh, our bodies can’t wait for that first bite, so let’s make it a fresh one. A great suggestion for an on-the-go breakfast is toast! Not just bread and butter, but rather protein toast! There are endless ideas: peanut butter toast with chia seeds and banana, avocado toast with an any-style egg, Nutella toast with berries, and cream cheese toast with salmon! All these ideas are satisfactory and have tons of protein to keep us full and energized for a great morning start.   

Rather than stopping by Mcdonald’s, eating a frozen pizza from 7-Eleven, or skipping the meal as a whole, try some of these cold lunch ideas: a tomato, mozzarella, and spinach sandwich with a side of popcorn, a homemade Caesar salad, or even create your own bento box filled with fruit, nuts, cheese, and crackers! These lunches are easily mobile, cold, and can be used as a light snack that’s quick and tasty.   

After a long day, the last thing we want to do is make a time-consuming meal. However, here are some simple dinner options to consider that’ll help end a long day on the right note. Some pre-made turkey meatballs with 90-second rice and microwavable broccoli are not only super quick to make but financially helpful as well. Another healthy suggestion that’s quick and easy is protein pasta with some sauce–marinara or pesto. If you’re in a rush and even want something to eat while doing laundry or studying in a tight space, a simple quesadilla with mushrooms, peppers, spinach, tomato, and lots of cheese can be the perfect nighttime meal that perfectly hits the spot.   

As we wrap off the final stretch of the semester, let’s not deprive our bodies of the fuel it needs to push through successfully to the end. We need to be at our best selves when taking an exam, giving a presentation, or submitting our last essay, so let’s feel our best, give our best, do our best, and fuel ourselves in the best way possible to relieve stress, boost confidence, increase focus, and victoriously flourish into the summer season.