Head in the books, heart with the planet

23 Oct 2018 Head in the books, heart with the planet

Studies show that tertiary-level study is associated with specific risks to health and wellbeing, and many students struggle to cope with the additional demands / stress. It can become easy to get caught up in the pressure of meeting deadlines and achieving great marks, but this does not mean you have to sacrifice your wellbeing or sustainable journey to do so! As University students settle into study mode, Fair Food Forager acknowledges that staying well hydrated, well-nourished and well prepared with the best sustainable tips is key to creating a positive exam period! 

Fair Food Forager hot tips for book worms

1. Staying hydrated

Sufficient water intake is crucial to maximise brain health and function. Water supports the brains ability to perform neurological transmissions, therefore poor hydration affects the brains ability to transmit and receive information … to learn! Slight dehydration slows mental performance by 10 percent – negatively impacting memory, attention and concentration. On average, students should be drinking between 6 and 8 glasses of water throughout the day to prevent the cognitive impacts of dehydration. 

The best way to do this? Bring your own reusable bottle. Having your own bottle near you will be a physical reminder to maintain fluids, but also a great way to reduce single-use plastic consumption! Water from the tap is free – make the most of it. If you are sick of plain water, add orange, lemon and lime slices – it will look beautiful and is a great source of Vitamin C.

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2. Snack attacks

Your body craves wholesome food! Nutrient-rich foods contain specific vitamins and minerals that are key players in brain growth, development and learning. While healthy snacks may seem hard to find and often overpriced – they do not need to be. Buying in bulk is always more economic. The best way to do this is; using a jar or container, wash and remove the label - pour your own trail mix in! Combine nuts, dried fruit and maybe a few small pieces of chocolate. Nuts are a great source of healthy fats “brain food” – Nibble on these for hours without feeling guilty. Seasonal fruit and vegetables only have skin as packaging, bonus! Need a bigger meal?  Don’t be afraid to cook an extra serving at dinner. Leftover meals will help avoid the price of ‘eating out’, reduce your plastic consumption and limit time lost finding and ordering your meal externally!

3. Seriously helpful tips

Always pack your own utensils from home – simple cutlery set; knife, fork and spoon wrapped in a small tea-towel takes up little room and weight in your bag. We are all capable of taking that extra step – invest in a reusable straw and coffee cup. Research suggests that 75% of Australians drink at least a coffee a day, and 3 or 4 cups if they are consuming instant coffee. Tea and coffee is a life line for many students during stressful periods, therefore this number increases during exams. Carrying your own coffee mug/cup or borrowing a cup from a local café will dramatically reduce the amount of single-use waste reaching landfill and our oceans. (You can also reuse your snack jar for this!)

Finally, treat yourself WHILST caring for the environment. Use the Fair Food ForagerApp to source local cafes and restaurants that uphold their social and ethical responsibilities. ‘Eating in’ can act as a wonderful study break, time to socialise, a space to relax and regroup, an opportunity to move your body and of course, a means to avoid unnecessary and dangerous take-away plastics or Styrofoam packaging. Sit, breathe and enjoy your meal.  

Emma Ralphs - Fair Food Forager / UOW intern

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