Revision: healthy habits to help your results
For many of us, the early summer months don’t mean lazy evenings and hot days in the sun- rather stuffy libraries until the early hours of the morning, trying to remember the impossible amounts we’ve been taught over the last 9 months. It’s around this time when we seem to tear up the rule books of life and throw them out of the window-we stop sleeping sensible hours, relaxing properly, and become overworked minions scurrying from bed to library to bed again. Or maybe I’m the only one constantly feeling like there’s an irritating amount of hard work just around the corner!
The thing is I’m really quite sane when I have lectures to go to and a daily routine to follow. There’s just something about the revision period that’s incredibly unsettling. I imagine it’s similar to how Robinson Crusoe must have felt once he realised he was all alone on that island. Crucially, the one thing we all seem to let slip is the way we eat. I realise some of us have never had a particularly good diet (cue pointed look at fellow housemates), but I’m sure we can all confess to a comfort food dependence around this time of year, trying to keep ourselves going longer and longer. We don’t seem to understand that it’s more important now than ever to take better care of ourselves.
Remember, the quick calories we get from a Mars bar means nothing in the long run up to the very last exam. Maintaining our well being is the key, and the answer lies in the way we eat. We’re all intelligent people, it’s why we are here, but now we need some wisdom. We need to start asking ourselves- what happened to the good dinners like the ones we have at home?
So I propose a revolution, an eating revolution. A good breakfast, maybe banana, bacon, eggs, cereal, it gets you moving. In fact a recent study suggested the most effective breakfasts combine protein and carbohydrates, and if you’re not going to try my recommendation of porridge and yoghurt- it’s good- stick to eggs and bacon on brown. Stop for lunch! Don’t kill yourself. Good homemade soup, some cheese, an omelette, chicken, or all of them! Lunch is a second breakfast, or first in the case of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who probably only eats as many calories as there are in her IQ anyway.
The best meal comes once you’ve finished for the day, and are ready to relax and unwind. A dinner of carbohydrates, vegetables, fruit and a small amount of protein keeps it simple but keeps your brain healthy. I realise time minimisation is a consideration, so make things to put in a pan or the oven and leave; chilli, pasta, rice, meat, stewed fruit etc. The best dinners are sometimes the ones that cook the longest, letting all the flavours truly combine and balance out. Alternatively, cooking fish, sauces, or vegetables gives you dinner in minutes.
An absolute favourite of mine for times like these, is some slow-cooked lamb, the best thing about it being the soup made with the leftover gravy the next day. Have green beans alongside, they take just 5 minutes.
Brown a floured lamb shank in a hot saucepan (with a lid) with a little oil. Add some water, balsamic vinegar, wine, rosemary, red onions and garlic. Put a moist piece of baking paper over the pan and then replace the lid. Leave for two hours at 220C et voila! The juices should be reduced on the hob to a third of their original volume at which stage they have the consistency of gravy.
Lastly, if you don’t agree with a word I’ve just said I know a website you should go on; pimpmysnack.com… you’re probably beyond help. For my part however, whoever said “an apple keeps the doctor at bay” knew what he was talking about.