‘You get out what you put in.’
I’ve never associated this quote with the food I consume and my entire wellbeing until quite recently. That is, until my body started sending me clear signs that the way I’ve been eating and living so far needed a change. It’s true, our bodies send us signals all the time, although most of the time we ignore them until it is already too late.
As students we are faced with many deadlines including finishing research papers, creating presentations, and several exams within a single week. During those moments we don’t usually pay much attention to what and when we eat. I found that I was replacing my primary meals with very unhealthy snacks. Snacks do offer some stress relief, so we often turn to them when overwhelmed with stress.
However, most of these snacks can contain a lot of unhealthy ingredients.
Here’s some healthy tips that can help you to snack smarter:
1. Replace the crisps with nuts and seeds.
You can also roast them with salt and/or spices to get different tastes!
2. Combine lighter foods with high in healthy fat ingredients.
An easy one is peanut or almond butter with rice cakes or a slice of apple.
3. Combine protein and carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates will give both your body and brain energy, and the proteins are good because they fill you up as they break down slowly in the body. Try any nuts with grapefruit, blueberries or a banana. Or try roasted chickpeas; you can spice them according to your taste. They are a good natural mix of protein and carbs.
4. Always go for the fruits or veggies.
Make your snacks count. Consider having an apple, banana or celery and carrots or your favorite veggie or fruit. You can make them tastier by dipping them in nut butter or adding some spices like cinnamon (try this one with apples!
5. Go for healthier dips.
Consider hummus, homemade guacamole or Baba ganoush.
6. Avoid processed snacks.
Snacks that are high in unhealthy fats, sugar or just contain ingredients with long names that can’t be pronounced.
Here’s my simple recipe for spicy sweet potato wedges. They are slightly crispy on the outside, but soft and tender on the inside. The spice mix goes amazingly well with the natural sweetness of the potatoes. These spicy sweet potato wedges go great with an avocado dip or as a side dish to the main meal.
The sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium (which is an anti-stress and relaxation mineral), they are also a great source of potassium which is important for regulating blood pressure, heart and kidney disorders as well as anxiety and stress.
This recipe is perfect for students because it requires very little time and very basic ingredients.
For more simple and healthy recipes head over to Stefani Weiss.
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 3 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1 Tbs Cumin seeds
- 1 Tbs Paprika
- 1t tbs cinnamon
- ½tbs sea salt
- ½ tbs black pepper
- ½ tbs chili powder
- ¼ tbs garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 200C
- Wash the sweet potatoes and slice them in thick and even wedges (skin on)
- In a big bowl add the olive oil, salt and the mix of spices.
- Add the sweet potatoes and toss together until all sides are evenly coated.
- Place the wedges onto a baking tray (make sure you arrange them in a single layer)
- Bake the wedges for 40min, until they are golden brown and soft. Flip them over during cooking in order to make sure that they are evenly cooked.
Photo courtesy of Stefani Stefovska