Eating Well

With a little attention, you can vastly improve your pleasure in eating (whether you cook for yourself or not), and your mood and energy level as well. Here's how:

Be Adventurous

  • Try new ethnic foods
  • Taste something you've never had before (jicama, Boston baked beans, tangerine juice, feta cheese)
  • Create new combinations of foods (e.g., spread peanut butter on fruit)
  • Experiment with herbs and spices (sweet: cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla; savory: tarragon, basil, cilantro; hot: chili peppers, cumin, curry)
  • Try a different setting (see “Food” in the Stanford Directory for a listing of on-campus eateries)

When you eat with others, notice and enjoy their company. You can both nourish your soul and feed your body at mealtime.

Play With Your Food

  • Fill your plate with colorful foods
  • Arrange food artfully on your plate
  • Notice the textures of a meal
  • Take your time to taste and enjoy what is in your mouth

For Energy and Mood

Eating right – along with physical exercise, adequate rest and relaxation, and a positive mental attitude – can make the difference between just getting by and feeling great. What you eat can have a dramatic effect on your mood, energy and alertness. To improve your energy and mood:

  • Eat breakfast daily
  • For a continuous source of fuel, eat regularly throughout the day
  • Breakfast and lunch should include both protein and carbohydrate (e.g., yogurt, muffin, banana; egg, toast, orange; tortilla, ricotta cheese and a smoothie)
  • Have complex carbohydrates (starch) – especially whole grains and fibrous fruit – and vegetables at every meal
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water a day (really, eight!)
  • Eat foods rich in B vitamins and iron (e.g., greens, grains), or take a multivitamin daily
  • Be aware of your sugar, caffeine and alcohol intake (after the initial rush,they can make you feel sluggish and cranky)
  • During stressful times, eat foods high in antioxidants (fruits and vegetables), and vitamin B (grains, fortified cereals)
  • For better sleep, try a good snack such as tryptophan-rich warm milk; or toast and jam (a combination of a simple and a complex carbohydrate); or a baked potato; avoid spicy and high fat foods right before bedtime
  • For pre-menstrual depression and anxiety, try a high carbohydrate, low sugar, low protein diet

For Snacks

For good energy-packed snacks, try:

  • Whole grain crackers
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Nuts and dried fruit
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Peanut butter and jelly or honey on toast
  • Potatoes and yams (microwave 5 to 10 minutes)

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