Welcome back, Badgers! With the new school year come two new columnists for Low-Fat Tuesday. Jenni Wolf and I will be working together in bringing you healthy-living tips and delicious recipes. We welcome any questions you might have on the topic of food and nutrition and will do our best to get you the answers you want.
In order for our readers to get to know us, we wanted to share a little bit about ourselves. My name is Ellen Rusch. I’m from Fort Atkinson and I recently transferred to the University of Wisconsin. I’m currently studying dietetics, and after graduation I would love to work with kids to teach them the importance of eating healthy. When I’m not busy studying or working, I enjoy cooking, running and exploring the great city of Madison. Jenni is from Menomonie and is studying dietetics and life sciences communication. She is very passionate about nutrition, health and wellness and is excited to share her knowledge with readers. In her free time she likes to shop local, go hiking and try new foods.
Starting a new semester is exciting but it can also be incredibly stressful. After a fun-filled summer, learning how to balance your time and adjust to a new routine can be a challenge. Here are six tips to help you have a successful semester.
Get enough sleep.
For our bodies and minds to function properly, we need adequate sleep. It is difficult to concentrate on schoolwork – let alone retain information – when you’re struggling to keep your eyes open. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. To make your nighttime routine a smooth one, go to bed as close to the same time every night as best you can. Try to wake up around the same time every day and avoid using electronics for at least a half an hour before bed. Keeping your room dark, quiet and at a comfortable temperature will also help you fall asleep more easily.
Eating balanced meals helps ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal and include a wide variety. Be sure to choose whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein. Keep sugary treats, including juice and sodas, to a minimum but don’t be afraid to treat yourself once in a while. Along with eating well, it is important to stay hydrated. Carrying a refillable water bottle with you is easy on the environment and your wallet.
Keeping your school, work and extracurricular schedules organized is crucial. Write down important due dates, exam schedules and meeting times as soon as you find them out. Put reminders in your phone so they don’t show up as a surprise and you have plenty of time to prepare. Organizational methods are not one size fits all. If you benefit from writing things down, invest in a student planner. Maybe you’re only able to keep track of your schedule on smartphone apps. Figuring out what works for you personally is key.
Starting out the day with a stressful morning sets a bad precedent for the rest of your day. Have things ready to go the night before and you can save yourself a headache in the morning. Putting your lunch together at night will not only save you time before class, but it’s also healthier and often cheaper. Doing things like packing your backpack ahead of time and even picking out an outfit before you go to bed will give you more time in the morning to enjoy a balanced breakfast.
As important as it is to stay on top of your studies, you also need to have some fun. Give yourself a break when you feel it’s necessary. It’s important to relax and recharge in order to reduce stress and help improve your performance at school. Go out to dinner with friends, stay in and have a movie night or get out and try something new. Trying new things once a month will get you out of your comfort zone and give you something to look forward to when you really need it.
Exercise not only helps to control weight and prevent diseases, it also supports mental health by improving your mood and boosting energy. It can be fun, too. Find exercise activities that you enjoy and invite a friend to tag along. Whether it’s running, practicing yoga or playing tennis, something is out there for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first year student or you are graduating this winter, sometimes we need a few pointers to get us back into the swing of things. Here’s to a happy and healthy semester!
Since it’s a busy time of year for students, this week’s recipe is quick and simple. We’ve all heard how important breakfast is, especially with days packed full of class, meetings and work. Smoothies are a great option because they are so versatile: Everyone can find a combination they enjoy.
” ? frozen banana
” ? cup frozen berries
” 1 cup milk (can be substituted with almond or soy milk)
” 1 large handful of spinach or kale
” 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter
Starting with the milk, add all ingredients together in a blender. Mix until completely combined.
If you happen to keep ground flax seed on hand, feel free to add one or two tablespoons to the smoothie as well. Flax seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids (the “good” fat) and fiber, which helps keep you full.