Emma’s (Declassified) School Survival Guide: Eat Healthy First

Ideally, we would choose every meal based on what foods provide the best nutrients to fuel our bodies. But when you have a paper and two tests due on the same day, you probably aren’t craving a grilled chicken salad or an egg white omelet. The overwhelming stress is more likely to pull you toward the pizza station or have you ending your dinner with a coffee mug full of ice cream. Now, I won’t tell you to resist every single one of these urges because then I would be a hypocrite. What I will suggest is eating healthy first. By that I mean, before you grab that satisfying stack of carbs and fat, head to the salad bar or grab some vegetables first. It might not be what you want, but it gives you the nutrients your body needs. If you are still eyeing that pizza, go ahead—at least you can say you ate your greens. However, you might find that after eating food that actually fuels your body, the craving monster isn’t holding you, hostage, anymore. The beast tightens its grip the longer you go without eating, so curbing your hunger with fibrous, vitamin-rich vegetables can in turn help curb those cravings. Instead of dying for melty cheese on bread, you might feel just as satisfied with melty cheese in a turkey sandwich or an omelet. Maybe you fill up on these protein-packed foods and no longer feel compelled to get three scoops of ice cream. (Just get one scoop; you do have a paper and two tests due after all.) The point is, eating healthy first puts you in a better position to make healthier choices for the rest of the meal. Your mind and body will thank you for eating for energy, not comfort.