Well guys, we did it. We made it through the nine circles of finals. And we’ve got the baggy eyes, snuffly noses and um, insulated waistlines to prove it. Personally I’d like to thank the calorie bombs that kept me company during these hard times – y’all the real MVPs (lookin’ at you, caffeinated chocolate bar).

#Science says that during times of high stress, our adrenal glands (adrenal cortices, to be exact – thank you, PSYC 160) secrete more cortisol, which in turn causes our stomachs to secrete more ghrelin, the “hunger hormone.” As a result, those salty, sugary, crunchy packages of comfort become all that much more appealing.


Photo courtesy of someecards.com

But hey, sometimes you just feel like eating your feelings and that’s completely, humanly okay. Still, if you’re reading this, chances are that being healthy means something to you, something that you don’t wanna just throw out the window when things get tough.

Health and stress are not mutually exclusive. It’s possible to stay healthy even during the hardest, most stressful of times, aka finals period, which is teeming with papers, projects, exams and – how could I forget – study breaks.


GIf courtesy of giphy.com

While all those soft brownies, warm cookies and milk provide great stress eating fodder and are excellent solvents to dissolve our sorrows in, moderation is key, right? It’s always refreshing to treat our bodies with the healthy love they deserve.

We at Spoon Yale are all about that. So, this past finals period, SpoonU teamed up with healthyU to present to U…a healthy taste-test study break.


Photo by Kristina Kim

And, just for kicks, we didn’t tell people which foods were “healthy” and which weren’t. Instead, we asked them to tell us whether they thought the foods were “healthy”, and also to rate each food on a deliciousness scale from 1-10. Here’s what went down:

Zucchini Bread


Photo by Sarah Strong

Healthy? “I can’t tell!”

Taste: 7

“Mmm…spongy. Tastes like cake.”

“I would def eat this.”

This sweet n’ healthy treat was a hit and we had several peeps request the recipe.

#SpoonTip: To make the (even healthier) version that we served, try substituting 2.5 bananas and 1 tbsp oil for 1/2 cup oil, water for milk and 1/2 cup brown sugar for 1 1/2 cup white sugar. We also left out the nuts to accommodate allergies.

Black Bean Brownies


Photo by Wendy Sun

Healthy? Yes

Taste: 6

“Satisfies my brownie craving.”

“The more you eat, the better it tastes.”

People were shocked when we told them these were gluten-free. Yup, that’s right – no flour, just black beans.

#SpoonTip: To make this gluten-free, try substituting 3 tbsp flax meal for oats. We also used 1 banana and 1 tsp oil instead of the 1/4 cup oil that the recipe called for. The consistency was a bit runny so we advise using honey for sweetener.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Photo by Kristina Kim

Healthy? “For sure.”

Taste: 5.7

“Definitely healthy, but I’d eat this.”

Despite the lower taste ratings, these cookies were the first to go. People appreciated the coconut-y (from the coconut oil), quinoa-y (from the oats), chocolate-y (from the dark chocolate chips) flavor of these healthy substitutes for a classic comfort food.

#SpoonTip: Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the cookies for the baking sheet – this makes them all the same size and packs the dough together well so the cookies don’t crumble.

Store-bought Chocolate Chip Cookies


Photo by Sarah Strong

Healthy? “Nah.”

Taste: 8

“Just your ordinary chewy chocolate chip cookie.”

Gummy Worms


Photo by Kristina Kim

Healthy? “Nope.”

Taste: 7.3

“Lemme guess, these *aren’t* healthy.”

The Moral

Surprisingly, all of the healthy, home-made treats were consumed before their store-bought counterparts. Many people expressed their thanks for providing healthy (but still yummy) sustenance to help them escape from unfinished papers and untouched practice problems. So there you have it – it IS possible to satisfy your stress-induced cravings with healthy options.

Keep calm and health on, folks. We at SpoonU believe in U.


Photo by Sarah Strong