When you're riding the post-Christmas high and revelling in the New Year sales, winter has the potential to be a blissful season. That is, until you realise that it's exam time and you need to cram as much as possible to get through this academic hell. 

While it's fairly comprehensible that the only thing your mind focuses on is studying, neglecting other aspects of your normal life can become a threat for your health — both physically and psychologically

I know — and I really do, trust me on this — that take away or delivery food seems the perfect option to not waste any time (whilst ignoring your negative bank balance). There's no need to leave your house — or even your desk — and you can get whatever you crave for. Unfortunately, this survival technique does not always provide you with the kinds of nutrients that your brain needs to work well.

This article will show you what you could do with a small budget and little time to help you to get the most out of revision and out of food — without compromising on flavour!

The Star of The Recipe

egg, flour, egg yolk, dairy product
Mun Ling Koh

Eggs: these magnificent, white-and-yellow cells are the perfect source for a lot of nutrients. They're full of proteins, vitamin D, A, B2, B12, folate and iodine. They are not as expensive as meat — which, considering our measly student budget can only be a bonus point — and can give you a fair amount of long-lasting energy.

#SpoonTip: to discover the nutrients and properties of the ingredients you use, it's always better to count on a reliable source such as the NHS.

They can be cooked in various ways and brought along in a lunch box or consumed as a snack in between study or work sessions. 

The Champion's Breakfast

egg, egg yolk, fried egg, omelet
Msu Spoon

Whether it is just another day of revision or the morning before your exam, getting a good breakfast can be the changing factor of your performance. Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of the ever-so-fashionable avocado and egg toast, so you won't find it here — sorry not sorry.

What I always go for in the morning are two simply sunny side eggs — perhaps accompanied by two bacon rashers if I'm feeling particularly fancy. Take note: you do not need to add salt to eggs as they're already flavourful enough. However, if you want to get that little extra kick, you can sprinkle them with a little bit of pepper or spices of your choice — ground ginger and sesame seeds are my go to.

Lunch time = relax time

salad, vegetable, lettuce, tomato, pepper, cucumber, onion
Sydney Toth

The idea behind this meal plan is that the next meal should be prepared while preparing the current meal. That's to say — you'll cook lunch while making your breakfast! (Sounds exciting, I know).

Since it will probably be consumed in a library, this lunch needs to be pretty silent — everyone hates having noisy chewer in the same room (and the silence in the NHH library is quite literally deafening). 

First of all, boil the eggs. For this recipe I recommend that you hard boil them because you'll be cutting them (and probably carrying them for a few hours before actually eating them). Once the eggs are cooked this recipe is both quick and simple.

Cut the eggs into slices and put them in a container with spinach leaves. To add the crunchiness we all crave (and boost the nutritional value of your lunch), add all the seeds you want — sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, linseeds... The more the merrier! Having eggs, spinach and seeds will guarantee you all the proteins, iron and vitamins you need to keep your brain sharp. The other ingredients depend on your preferences. I usually go for a full veggies intake and add some red bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, carrot — whatever I can find in my fridge. If you're craving some more proteins try adding some canned tuna and using its brine instead of a dressing to mix everything up. 

#SpoonTip: try to think and balance the flavours of the ingredients you are putting in the salad. If you have something crunchy and fresh like cucumbers, try pairing it with something softer and hearty — for example, some sweet potato.

Last but not least, tea time!

omelet, frittata, spinach, omelette
Rose Wong

This is one of my favourite recipes ever. It takes a little bit longer that the other two — around half an hour — but it's totally worth it. I usually prepare it for dinner so that I can prep it for further meals the next day. 

This glorious dish is called a frittata and is essentially the Italian version of a crustless quiche. The most traditional versions use either spinach and pulled meat or peas and tuna. 

Since you'd probably like it to last for at least three meals, you'll need a carton of half-a-dozen eggs (two per meal). The preparation is more or less like the one for scrambled eggs — but stuffed with fancy ingredients. 

Eggs, Scrambled eggs, cooking eggs, pan, skillet, girl, happy, smile
Julia Gilman

First of all, pre-heat the oven at 180° and be sure to have a roasting pan handy. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. You want the yolk to break and to completely mix with the whites, creating a thick, yellowish liquid. After this, add a can of tuna — don't forget to strain the brine out first!

After the tuna, add cheese. This will delicately melt in the oven, adding that soft, velvety texture to the slight crunchiness of the frittata. Cheddar, emmental, goat's cheese... Whatever kind of hard cheese takes your fancy. If you do want to try something alternative you can try and use some Feta — it's quite salty but has a very distinctive flavour that perfectly marries the tuna. After that, I simply add some plum tomatoes, but feel free to let your fantasy — and taste buds — guide you. Shredded courgettes, carrots, peppers, onions... They all make a good pairing with eggs.

Kate Donald

Now that you have added all of the ingredients that you want, mix it a little more and season with salt and pepper. To get a more exciting flavour you can add some ground ginger; if you're looking for that extra, unexpected kick go for some smoked paprika. Once satisfied, pour the mixture into the roasting pan and place in the oven, where it will cook for about 20-30 minutes. It's ready when the brownish crust begins to form

Now you can enjoy your nutrients-and-flavour rich dinner, with the comfort of knowing that (if you want) you have breakfast and lunch ready for tomorrow. This way, you won't waste much time cooking and you'll also keep a healthy lifestyle that will help you nail your exams. Remember: having a good night sleep and a nice meal is as important as studying when it comes to academic performance. Don't neglect yourself and have your best revision session thanks to eggs!

#SpoonTip: if you're not as keen on the idea of having eggs for 3 meals in one day, split these meals up throughout a single week. Frittata slices can be kept in airtight containers in the fridge for 3-4 days (#mealprepfordays).