Eat to beat the January blues!
Published Monday, 13 January, 2014 by Beth Bradshaw
After the buzz and luxury of Christmas and New Year at home, not all of us are looking forward to going back to our lives at Uni. What’s more – January can be a particularly grim month for everyone with continuous bad weather, flu circling around campus and darker nights closing in. So here are some ideas in the kitchen that will help you fight off the January blues and start feeling good!
The Happy Meal – Reinvented!
Eating junk or fast food won’t make you feel better when you’ve had a bad day, feeling homesick or just feeling glum. In fact, it can even make you feel worse, so why do most of us reach for the takeaway menu when feeling down in the dumps? Let’s kick start this semester with some healthy yet comforting meals and snacks full of key vitamins, minerals and brain chemicals proven to boost your mood on those gloomy nights this month!
Better-for-you Macaroni Cheese: Pasta is an essential in the average student diet, which is great as it’s a good source of carbohydrates which can help maintain our energy levels and keep us smiling. It’s also a low fat source of protein, therefore keeping you full and content for longer! The luscious dairy sauce is packed full of tryptophan, renowned for its mood boosting qualities. In this recipe I have added cauliflower, but you can use another vegetable like broccoli for a nutrient boost.
Banana Oat Milkshake: a great recipe for an on-the-go breakfast! Bananas are full of vitamin B6 which assists the production of the brain chemical serotonin – involved in regulating our moods. Oats are also a mood boosting food, and this recipe will keep our blood sugar levels steady throughout the morning and therefore preventing grouchy energy slumps!
Low Fat Fish Pie: This recipe is full of mood enhancing vitamins and minerals! Not only is it delicious and comforting, but has a fraction of the fat found in your typical fish pies, which are often packed full of cream. Fish is well known for having vitamin D and serotonin, which will both help regulate our moods. We are recommended to have around 2-3 servings of fish every week, as the omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits including preventing depression.
Hearty Beef Stew: Stews always remind me coming home to a bowl of hot stew on a cold winter’s day at home, and this recipe is sure to deliver on both taste and comfort. Try to opt for lean beef mince as it provides you with less fat but also mood lifting tryptophan and B vitamins too. You can custom make your stews and use this recipe as a base, so for example you could always add barley, lentils, beans or vegetables to your liking.
Oaty Berry Crumble: The stewed fruit in this crumble not only contribute towards your 5-a-day, the oats will stabilise your energy levels and serving it with some yoghurt will give you a vitamin D boost which has been linked to improving our mental health.
Coming back after what was hopefully a lovely Christmas at home and settling back in isn’t always easy for everyone, so for those of you feeling like the January blues have really kicked in, why not give a few of these recipes a go and see if they can cheer you up. Have you got any tried and tested mood-boosting recipes? Don’t forget to upload them to the Student Recipes Website!
From The Blog
Staying in touch whilst away at university or taking your gap year
The summer has almost ended and thousands of you are about to embark on the journey to university in September to start a brand new chapter. But while leaving home can mean that you are leaving behind your family and friends for the first time, it does not mean you can’t keep in touch. Even […]
Eat well, study hard and party for less! – Part 3
Here we are again... and it’s the first week of November already! Where has all the time gone? Fresher’s Week seems like many moons ago now (or, it’s all just a bit of a blur to you!). Hopefully you have all settled in, had fun, made friends, attended lectures and are coping with your new student lifestyle. Whether you have made a real stab in the kitchen just yet now that might be another story...
Remembrance Day – Food from a bygone era
Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to live in an era where food was rationed and supplies were scarce? 2014 marks the centenary of the First World War and Remembrance Day is a perfect way to remember the people who have been lost in wars, and to reflect on a generation affected by wars.
Top tips on saving money!
It is already getting to that time of year when the realisation kicks in on just how far you have to stretch your student loan, if you are lucky enough to have any left after rising accommodation costs. It’s important to learn how to be frugal with your money and learn where the best deals are, here are my top tips on saving money...