It’s Sunday night and you’re just sitting down at a window seat in Tisch to start writing a paper that you tactically avoided all weekend. And then it hits you, “Wow. I’m going to be here for a while.”
In the same way any good distance runner plans their meals to provide maximum sustenance before a big race, you can bring some strategic snacks to the library to fuel your Tisch marathon. Here is a handful of examples to get those creative juices flowing:
1. Comparative Politics: Apples and Cheese
Comparative Politics got you tangled like the rings of a Venn diagram? Instead try comparing salty sharp cheddar to the sweet goodness of Granny Smith apple slices. This snack is a great balance of protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates that will help you sift through all that reading about democracy.
2. Child Development: Ants on a Log
Studying for child development? Channel your inner child and eat some throwback snacks like ants on a log. Peanut butter is packed with protein and combined with the fiber in celery this snack will keep you satiated long enough to finish memorizing those developmental stages.
This study in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrated that the healthy antioxidants, minerals, and monounsaturated fat in peanut butter have been shown to reduce risk of diabetes and heart disease. Also, dried fruits like raisins are an awesome alternative to gummy candies or other artificial treats when you’re craving something sweet.
3. Spanish: Plantain Chips
Spanish class got you down? Plantain chips are super easy to make, cost next to nothing, and will help you imagine that you’re wandering the streets of Puerto Vallarta instead of glued to Word Reference.com. Here’s how to make them:
- Heat peanut oil or other high heat oil in a frying pan (use enough that it will completely cover the plantain) on the stove
- Peel the plantain then cut it into small slices
- Fry the plantain slices in the hot oil for about 1 minute or until they’re golden
- Remove the plantain slices from the pan and put them on a paper towel to drain the excess oil
- Quickly add any spices that you’d like (I usually put salt and pepper and a little bit of lime zest -YUM)
- These stay fresh for a few days and taste awesome
4. I just want to go outside: Banana Oatmeal Raisin Balls
I often find that as soon as I settle into my spot in the library I can only focus on non-academic things. After years of attempting to fully focus I’ve realized that incorporating some of the activities that I would rather be doing into my studying can make things more fun.
These Banana Oatmeal Raisin Balls are crazy easy to make. Also, they look kind of like soccer balls so you can pretend you’re running down the field about to score instead of worrying about the score you got on your exam.
I based my banana oatmeal raisins balls off of a recipe from Whole Foods. I like to use raisins instead of apricots or dates but you can add whatever your heart desires. And they’re vegan so you can share with your animal-loving friends.
5. Plants and Humanity: Peppermint Tea and Blueberries
Plants and Humanity has always been highly recommended to me but I’ve heard that the lack of a textbook can make things a bit tricky. Why not nosh on some fresh blueberries and a travel mug of peppermint tea next time you review your notes? You can find both blueberries and mint growing throughout New England so it’s almost like you’re doing field research.
Studies like this from University of Wisconsin suggest that peppermint can improve memory. Also, a study conducted by researchers at Tufts University found that blueberries can reduce memory loss and improve coordination in aging rats. Sounds to me like this snack will make those flash cards more effective and maybe increase your dance skills for this weekend.
These are only a few of my favorite foods to nibble while studying but their simplicity and healthiness put them at the top of my list. Next time you hunker down for a Tisch marathon you’ll come fully prepared with the best snacks.