University life is just around the corner for both new and returning students. A healthy body means a healthy mind, so here’s an easy DIY guide to a wholesome student diet.
Professional nutritionist, life coach and holistic health expert Geeta Sidhu-Robb shares with TLL her 5-step guide to being a healthy student and recipes that won’t break the bank.
5 top tips
Less of the added sugar!
Added sugar provides no nutritional benefits and is actually said to contribute towards behaviour issues. The over-indulgence in sugary snacks (such as fizzy pop, cookies, sweetened yoghurts, chocolate and sweets) can make people hyperactive and reduce concentration levels – bad news for studying.
Whole fruits and fibre
Try to eat as much fruit as you can. Fruit is rich in fibre and the high water content helps to keep the calories low. Juices are particularly dangerous as they are silent culprits; although disguising themselves as fruit they are, in fact, pumped full of refined sugars and additives to make them taste nicer. It is so easy to guzzle down too many calories from juice without even realising. Instead, opt for water or low calorie flavoured water. This and some ‘brain fruit’ (apples, bananas or grapes) are much better options.
Calories are calories. You can over-eat anything – no matter how healthy it is, it will carry calories. So just because it may be healthy, that doesn’t mean you should fill your diet to the brim with it.
Always add veg
Cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, cucumber, celery and peppers all count towards your five-a-day. Adding a small pot of reduced fat hummus or other dips may help with the enjoyment of the food.
Keep processed foods to a minimum
Give up eating processed food and replace with a well-balanced diet. Eating lots of fibre can aid with cleansing your gut and with hormonal imbalances. Adding fruit to your daily diet is important for a healthy complexion, as well – but these should be whole fruits not juices. Consuming less sugar is also very beneficial and so are balanced doses of vitamin C.
Tuna taco wraps
½ tin tuna
Leftover veggies – red pepper, cucumber, carrots, tomato
1/8 tsp cumin powder
2 x tomatoes
1 x small onion, finely chopped
2 x lettuce leaves
- Flake the tuna into pieces
- Slice your leftover veggies into lengths
- Take half an avocado and mash up with a little salt and 1/8 tsp of cumin powder
- Dice the tomatoes and mix with the chopped onion to make a salsa, add salt to taste
- Take a lettuce leaf in your hand; add tuna chunks, and some of each veggies, top with the avocado and the tomato salsa and serve
1 x cauliflower
Leftover veggies – broccoli, corn and peas will work well
1 x red pepper, diced
1 x tbsp coriander leaves
1 x tsp cumin powder
- Take the cauliflower and blitz in food processor until small to make cauliflower rice
- Take all your leftover veggies and steam or boil
- Add the veggies to the ‘rice’
- Add the diced red pepper followed by 1 tbsp of torn coriander leaves
- Sprinkle 1 tsp of cumin power on top and mix well
- Add salt to taste
Chickpea and kale curry
230g chickpeas, precooked
2 x 200g bags curly kale
1 x tin coconut milk
½ onion, chopped
1 x garlic clove
½ tsp turmeric
- Fry garlic and onion in a tsp of salt until soft
- Add turmeric and stir until absorbed
- Add chickpeas and fry gently for a couple of minutes
- Add the kale, coconut milk and ½ a tsp of salt
- Stir, lower heat and cover
- Leave for 5 minutes or until kale is softened
- Serve with quinoa or brown rice and a green salad
Tips and recipes courtesy of holistic health expert Geeta Sidhu-Robb from Nosh Detox, the UK’s first home delivery service of non-pasteurised juice diets and meal plans with clients including Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow.