Health: Eating for Success

Lots of students try to avoid eating breakfast. Often, they roll out of bed and out the door and into school, with parents waving toast at them. Others do eat; but remember that it must be something that gives you energy.

When you skip breakfast and go to school, you will have no fuel for your brain to work properly. Think of it logically: what are your chances of getting anywhere in a car that has no petrol? The same is true for your body and brain. Without food — and good food — it can’t work properly. That slice of toast might just be worth eating. Allow some time in the morning; don’t just zoom out!

Many people don’t want to eat breakfast because it makes them feel tired and sluggish. A good breakfast, though, will energise you and importantly stop you from grabbing that fizzy drink in the shop!

Just as you don’t want a car to be just chugging along and spluttering and wheezing as you try to start it up, you want to cruise along purring and clicking effortlessly into motion!

You may often stop off to buy some snacks in your local service station. People buy fuel for their cars in the same place. Are you seeing the problem? You are not a car! Processed and packaged foods will not supply you with the correct fuel you need as a student to perform at your peak.

Similarly, you must eat a healthy lunch. Some students may bring a packed lunch prepared by their parents, which saves them having to think about it. Others may be content to buy their lunch every day - but the lure of chocolate, crisps, wedges and sausages rolls is often too much. Unfortunately, these are just empty calories and won’t give you enough energy to sustain you in the afternoon — that’s what the sleepy feeling is about around 2 o’clock!

Make an effort to prepare your own lunch. Ask your parents to leave out some things for you and have fun making up tasty sandwiches. Stick in a treat-size bar of chocolate if you must, but add an apple or a piece of fruit to balance it out too.

At dinner, don’t turn up your nose at the vegetables — think of them as brainpower on a plate. Avoid fizzy drinks — they’ll just make you feel tired and sluggish. Red bull, crisps and coffee will gradually drain you of your ability to study at your best. Try eating healthily for just a week as you put all these tips here into practice. You will notice the difference — guaranteed!

Certain vitamins will really help your performance. B vitamins are very good if you are looking for a supplement, and nutrients like calcium and magnesium are your best friends when building stamina and endurance for exams and study. Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are good brain foods, as are fish and leafy green vegetables. Popeye really had it sorted by eating the tins of spinach! Your parents or guardians will be delighted to see you taking a healthy interest in your diet.

Drink lots of water during the day, not in class as that can be a distraction, but with your lunch and at dinner. Remember that you need 8-10 glasses a day. It will all help to keep you refreshed and at your maximum potential for doing your very best!

It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.’
Sir Edmund Hillary

In order to conquer Mount Everest, he must have known what he was talking about, wouldn’t you think? Take care of yourself. Believe in yourself and be good to yourself. Be your own best friend and look out for yourself.