Fuel for Finals: Sleepy Snacks

Welcome back to our Fuel for Finals series! In our last article, we told you about 10 super foods that will keep you energized during those late-night study sessions. But what about when it’s time to finally go to sleep?  Most of us have trouble turning our brains off.  We’ve been wired with caffeine and studying all day, and the last thing our mind wants to do is relax.

Sleep is an essential part of keeping your brain in tip-top shape for finals week.  Sleep deprivation impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and even problem solving—All crucial skills you need to pass those finals!  However, catching those elusive Zzz’s can be harder than it seems.

So when you’ve turned off the lights but can’t seem to turn off your brain, look to these 5 snacks to lull your mind right to sleep…

  1. Fish

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Treat yourself to a fancy fish fillet—you deserve it! Fry up some salmon for dinner over brown rice and veggies. Salmon is filled with vitamin B6 which is needed to make melatonin (a sleep inducing hormone).

  1. Yogurt Topped w/ Granola

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Dairy products can fix a calcium deficiency you didn’t know you even had. This type of deficiency is known to significantly hinder your ability to fall asleep. Add some crunch and flavor to your yogurt with some granola!

  1. Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

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Yes, your childhood favorite (made w/ whole-grain bread) is more than just a fun snack your mom made you! The magnesium in whole grain breads has been proven to help you stay asleep longer. Deep sleep prepares your brain to problem solve the next day.

  1. Banana Pops

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Warning: These are addicting day or night! Start by coating a sliced banana with yogurt, then sprinkle your favorite (sugar-free) cereal on top and freeze. Bananas are filled with the vitamin B6, and the carbs in cereal help sleep-inducing amino acids reach the brain quicker. Don’t forget the benefit of the yogurt too—This one’s a triple threat!

  1. Fruit & Nut Trail-mix

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The essential ingredients to add to your mix are almonds and walnuts. Walnuts contain their own source of melatonin, while almonds contain magnesium which will provide you quality sleep. Both form a powerful team that will help you fall asleep AND stay asleep. Remember: Use fruits instead of chocolate to add sweetness to your mix!

These snacks may help out your restless brain, but there is no cure-all. You have to develop a lifestyle which supports a good night’s rest. Eating the right foods is just the tip of the ice berg. Creating a routine before bed, putting your cellphone away, and breathing deeply are some great ways to fall asleep in no time.

So you’ve studied with our super foods and fallen asleep with our sleepy snacks.  Now it’s time for what we’ve all been preparing for—FINALS. Stay tuned for our top breakfast picks to help you ace those finals!

Fuel for Finals: Super Foods

Yes, it’s that time of year again.  Everyone is over caffeinated, sleep-deprived, and ready for break.  Unfortunately break is still a week away and finals just around the corner. This is not the time to give up!

As studying replaces sleep and gulps of coffee replace water, you may notice some changes.  Your reading assignment takes longer, you start to get the sniffles, or the vocab you just studied for hours can’t be recalled.  These symptoms are a sure sign of your body shutting down. This is the last thing we want to happen during the most crucial weeks of the semester.

But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Through a three part blog series we will show you how to keep your body healthy, happy and ready for finals week.

First, let’s look at some super snacks that will get you through late night study sessions…

  1. Cucumber Sandwiches

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A great way for you to get that cracker crunch without the carbs and crumbs- Put cheese, ham, or any number of protein packed foods in between.

  1. Spicy Popcorn

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Wake up your taste buds and brain with some spicy Sriracha sauce on your popcorn.  It’s easy to make and portable!

  1. Toasted Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds

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Pumpkin seeds are loaded with Zinc which helps with memory- lengthy vocab sheets will no longer be a problem!

  1. Hummus and Veggies

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Hummus is filled with protein to give you power while veggies keep your immune system happy- it’s easy to take with you as well!

  1. Yogurt Covered Blueberries

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When you’re craving sweets just coat blueberries with some Greek yogurt and freeze!

  1. Avocado Toast

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This a great starter snack- Mash up some avocados on whole wheat toast with olive oil drizzle for an immediate energy boost!

  1. Fish

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The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish have been proven to increase neural functions in the brain.  Fry up some salmon for dinner before tackling the rest of your studying.

  1. Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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So you’re craving a dessert?  Glaze your favorite fruit with the darkest chocolate you can find.  The darker it is the more blood flow it allows to the brain.

  1. Chili

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The best thing about chili is the short prep with a 2 hour simmer. Use the 2 hours to study while you wait for your delicious meal.

  1. Water

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Water is extremely important, but more often replaced. Take a water bottle with you at all times. You’ll notice yourself unconsciously drinking more.

The most important thing to remember these next few weeks is to eat.  Five to seven small meals a day will significantly increase your brain power. We all get busy, but remembering to eat healthy and filling foods could be the difference between an ‘A’ and a ‘C’.  So go on and eat your way to those awesome grades!

*Look out for Part 2: Snacks for Sleep in our Fuel for Finals series!

Scary Sweet Treats

Can you believe Halloween is right around the corner?! Little kids will be pouring down the streets all dressed up, filling their bags with absurd amounts of candy.

But what about us ‘older kids’?  We dress up in costumes yet are not young enough to receive candy as a reward for our efforts.

Reward yourself this Halloween… With some Scary Sweet Treats!

1. Dracula’s Dentures

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2. The Alcoholic Pumpkin

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3. The Witch Broom

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4. The Poison Apple

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5. The Melon Monster

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6. The Mummy Dog

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These treats were discovered from our Pinterest—now it’s your turn. Post some of your favorites from Pinterest, Google, or even share some of your own creations. We would love to hear from you!

Happy Halloween & enjoy your savory treats 🙂