One more exam....too stressed to eat....

One more exam....too stressed to eat....

One more exam....too stressed to eat...

Maddie: Mom! My English final is today and I haven't studied enough. I'm freaking out!

Mom:  Ok, calm down.  Where are you now?

Maddie:  I'm at Blue State Coffee.  I skipped breakfast.  I'm not really hungry.

Mom:  I hope you're eating something healthy. You need energy and focus for the exam.

Maddie:  Well....just coffee and a chocolate chip muffin.  

Mom:  Hmmm.  Do they have eggs or yogurt? You won't be able to think clearly without some protein to keep you going.

Maddie: Really...is it that important?

Mom: Of course it is!!

Maddie:  Ok, then I'll find out.

Mom: Your brain isn't going to work well if you don't take care of yourself.  That includes eating--even when you don't feel like it.

Maddie: Got it...why are you always right?

Mom:  I just have more experience than you...Isn't that why you text me when you have a problem?

Maddie: See....you're right again!  Thanks mom. xo

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If you find yourself answering similar texts from your children, chances are they don't realize how important it is to eat healthy and not skip meals. Food is fuel for the body and it simply won't work well if it's not getting the nutrition it needs. At exam time, in particular, it's essential to eat well and feed the brain. The brain needs the energy from food to work effectively.

Here are some tips for eating well during exam week:

1) Eat protein to improve brain function because protein gives the body sustained energy. High protein foods include meat, fish, eggs, dairy and beans. 

2) The brain is 60% fat. Eating healthy fats like nuts, nut butter, seeds and avocado are good for the brain.  Nuts and seeds, alone, or in a protein bar, are a great snack.

3) Fruits and vegetables are always a healthy option. They will give the brain steady energy because they are complex carbohydrates. If they aren't easily available in the dining hall, purchase carrots, celery, apples, bananas and other produce that can be easily carried and eaten raw.  

4) Avoid foods that make the brain sluggish. Foods made from white flour like cookies, muffins and cakes are highly processed and have little nutrition value.  Foods high in sugar, like candy and soda, will cause spikes in blood sugar and impair brain function.

5) Don't forget to drink water throughout the day.  Water is needed to carry the nutrients to the brain. The rule of thumb is to divide your weight by two, and use that number as the number of ounces of water to drink daily.

Most students have some idea about what it means to eat healthy, but few are focused enough on what they eat.  They may not see the connection between academic performance and what they are choosing to eat.  Healthy eating is one part of my Crush College Stress program.  If you would like to learn more, check out my website right HERE.

I'm going to fail this exam...

I'm going to fail this exam...

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