Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Foodie-in-Training

Walking around campus today is somewhat depressing. Only the sad stragglers who still have one more final to go are left, looking exhausted after two weeks of nonstop studying and Butler-squatting. It is eerily empty, with the happy, finals-are-over(!) people packing up and heading home.

As I am one of the stressed-out stragglers, I cannot achieve my goal of turning Cosmo Shane into an amazing second-hand culinary experience as I taste my way through my final week here. However, I can plagarize from the article that I ran in the Spec the other day as a preview of the food writing that I plan on doing in the next couple of weeks when I have nothing but RELAXING to do!

Your Final Chance to Eat Well This Semester
By Shane Ferro
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 17, 2007

Walking through the annals of Butler Library is enough to make anyone sick at heart, but for a foodie, it’s an absolute tragedy. So, all you hopelessly stressed pre-meds, listen up—making it through finals does not mean your body has to deteriorate from a diet of Red Bull and late-night snacks. Have a little water. Maybe some green tea. A banana.

According to the American Dietetic Association, the majority of a person's diet should be made up of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fat free or low fat milk. Lean meat or other protein sources such as eggs and nuts are important in smaller quantities. This is not always achievable in the hectic life of a college student on a finals schedule, but it is not impossible.
Surprisingly, caffeine should not be overlooked in the diet of any college student. A cup of coffee or two a day may actually be good for your heart, and Red Bull does contain several functional ingredients, such as pantothenic acid, an antioxidant, taurine, which helps to boost metabolism, and three kinds of B vitamins. Yet neither coffee nor Red Bull has any actual nutritional value. Vitamins and minerals are essential to your body's functioning, but supplements can never make up for actual food.

If the thought of drinking water sounds like a sleeper, try the bubbly kind. Both Morton Williams and Westside Market—as well as various vending machines on campus—carry flavored seltzer water. "Rather than popping open a can of soda, which is packed with empty calories and sugar, which can send you on a downward spiral of mood swings later, opt for sparkling water. You'll feel like you're getting a treat, and your body will, too," says life coach and Mensa member Elizabeth Scott.

The basic fact of the matter is that you’re going to crash at some point, and the better you take care of your body, the more likelihood that such a crash will happen after your last final and the ensuing party. Here are some basic study-types that could use a bit of nutritional guidance.
If you are:

The Butler camper — Go out to Westside or Morton Williams and buy yourself some decent food, since you obviously think you’re entitled to leave your stuff everywhere and have it be there when you come back as if you paid rent on the place, anyway. Invest in some apples, which are natural energy boosters, some sliced deli meat or Tofurky for some protein, whole wheat bread, carrot sticks, hummus, and some yogurt. Maybe even some granola. Please avoid anything with onions or garlic for the sake of those around you.

The vegan — Hit up the greenmarket, and stock up on fruits and vegetables. Go and buy yourself some mixed nuts. Red Bull is vegan, as well as Kosher and Halal.
A kid who never leaves his or her room — Look up some decent takeout menus online. Order yourself some sushi from Suma or a sandwich from Subsconscious on Campusfood, and you never have to leave your building. Attempt to get something more than red meat and cheese on white bread for an even more balanced meal. Skip the coke and go for an orange juice.

A hipster who doesn't eat — Take a break from starving yourself for a week just to get through finals. Eating celery or cucumbers and salsa has about 10-20 calories per serving. Crystal Light makes energy, immunity, and hydration powders. Try Snapple Noni Berry or Asian Pear. Go for 2% milk in your coffee. Have a cracker.

A food snob — order from Westside Market. They deliver.

Hungry — This is the time when you should just suck it up and head to John Jay. Invest in a couple of large plastic containers, and go to town. Fill 'er up, then take the food back to your hole in Butler and hoard.

One of those people who eats out of vending machines — Go for a little balance. Have a granola bar, and maybe some juice instead of soda once in a while. Choose the pita chips over the Lays. Splurge for the tiny bags of dried fruit.

Eating exclusively out of the Butler CafĂ© — Go for something more substantial that a cinnamon roll, a bagel, or a Pepsi. Try a juice and a Clif bar. Or, better yet, a salad and one of the delicious Eli Zabar sandwiches. And get some green tea rather than coffee every once in a while.

Determined to keep yourself awake for 72 hours without thought to your physical state — By all means, drink 5 Red Bulls per day, live off simple sugars, surround yourself with empty cans and Blue Java cups, stop showering, stink up an entire room in Butler causing everyone around you to relocate, and become a complete hermit with no friends. But at the very least, drink some water, invest in some gum and deodorant, and promise yourself a big salad with vegetables and protein after waking up from your post-finals comatose state.

Bored and unfocused — Try chewing some gum. Not only does sugarfree gum freshen breath and help prevent tooth decay, new research suggests that it may also help relieve nervous tension, as well as help keep you alert and focused, according to the American Dietetic Association. Just be sure not to be one of those annoying people who chomp away with their mouths open while other people are attempting to study. Keep your mouth closed while staying minty fresh.

Looking for even more advice, or just another way to procrastinate? Try some of these helpful websites:
http://startcooking.com/blog/303/10-Tips-for-Healthy-Eating-During-Examshttp://www.eatright.org/http://stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifestyle/a/stayingfit.htm
Editor's Note: For those living on the Amsterdam side of campus...we owe HamDel our lives.

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