Mrs. Kip, Phillips Academy’s nutritionist, recently met with some of the Health editors to talk about ways students can make the most out of Commons.
If you have just woken up from an all-nighter, make sure to respect the power of caffeine. Only take some if you feel like you absolutely need to. Green tea is recommended: the caffeine in green tea is much longer lasting than the caffeine in coffee and it has some health benefits, like the fact that it is loaded with antioxidants. Make sure to eat a breakfast that includes complex carbs, fruit, and protein. Complex carbs are in foods like oatmeal, apples, smoothies, and skim milk. They are broken down in your body slower and make sure that you have energy the whole day. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Staying hydrated will keep your mind alert. Finally, sugary candies and energy drinks DO NOT help. They will work for a short period of time, but you will be even more tired in the long run.
After a hard workout, as well as after a hard exam or any other kind of exertion, you need to make sure that you replenish the glycogen that you used up in your body by eating carbs. Chocolate milk has a great ratio of protein to carbs, so it is a fantastic recovery drink. Other great recovery snacks are ones that combine protein with carbs, like bananas with peanut butter, or granola with yogurt. At dinner, try to eat a meal that contains meat with veggies and a little bit of whole grains. A new idea for recovery that a lot of olympic athletes are beginning to do is to eat some protein before your workout so that you are recovering while you work out. Eating is easy and it makes you perform well. Make sure to give yourself the edge now so that you can be the best version of yourself all of the time.
During finals week, make sure to eat a lot of the same foods that you were eating when you were sleep deprived. Load up your Commons plate with fruits and veggies that have deep colors, some complex carbs like quinoa, some lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish. You need to look for a combination of protein with carbs as well as fresh veggies whenever possible.
If you want to lose weight, include protein with every meal, because it mitigates the effects of carbs. Also, make sure to eat when you are most active. This means eating the most in the beginning of the day and less in the evening when all you have to do is study. Try to eat enough during the day so you don’t have to snack at night. Take a light, healthy snack from Commons at dinner to have a snack in the dorm if you need one later. Most kids eat the calorie equivalent of what they eat during the day at 10 pm with all of the unhealthy snacking options that are provided in dorms.
To make the most of the salad bar, focus on veggies that are deep in color, like purple cabbage, kale, tomatoes, and carrots. Hummus is also great because it is very filling at it contains many complex carbs. Olives are often overlooked and they are very healthy: they are rich with antioxidants. Cottage cheese is great for recovery because it is absorbed very slowly in the body. The homemade dressings in the silver containers are much fresher than the ones in the plastic bottles. Sometimes with the toppings there are fresh herbs: sprinkle them on your salad for some fresh flavor. Your salad doesn’t need to be huge – it can be a side salad with one or two veggies. Finally, you can take a few veggies from the salad bar for later snacking!