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It’s back-to-school time and, as a student, you live a busy life. I know I do! Somewhere between back-to-back classes, late nights, due dates (and attempting to fit a fitness class in between breaks), the last thing you should have to worry about is what you’re putting in your body. Choosing—and living—a beneficial plant-based diet can be simple and easily achieved.
Here are some of my favorite tips and recipes that can help you embrace a healthy plant-based eating regimen, giving you that much-needed energy boost to sprint across campus.
Mixing up a filling and nourishing smoothie in the morning will keep you focused throughout your school day. I like to use a Nutribullet—you can quickly take the blender cup to class with you.
- ½ cup granola*
- 1 cup hemp milk
- 2 spoonfuls of hemp protein powder
- 3-4 leaves (purple or lacinato) kale
- 1 banana
- ½ green apple
- 2 ice cubes or a handful of frozen berries
*I like to use granola made with oats, dates, and sunflower seeds. I avoid granolas with added oils and sugar.
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth, sip and enjoy!
Tip: If you’re not in the smoothie mood, steel-cut oatmeal served in your school’s cafeteria is a great option, too. Pair it with berries or a banana, and you’re good to go.
For lunch and dinner, the salad bar is your best friend. You can make your own salad and top it with some nutritional yeast, black pepper, and olive oil. Try pairing your salad with a plant-based soup or special the cafeteria is serving. And don’t forget to check out the plant-based options your school is serving—like vegan pizza and veggie burgers.
Have a kitchen in your dorm? Roll up your sleeves and make dinner! Living a plant-based diet can be a lot of fun when you’re looking for new recipes to try and improving old ones.
- 2 Siete Almond Flour Tortillas
- 1 spoonful of black bean hummus
- ½ cup of pico de gallo
- 2 handfuls of chopped kale, spinach or romaine lettuce
- ½ avocado
- 1 handful sprouts
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the tortillas on a large non-stick pan for 4 minutes on medium-high heat. Remove the tortillas and spread the hummus on them. Place tortillas on plate and add the rest of the ingredients (in no particular order). Fold and enjoy!
- ½ sweet potato
- 3 handfuls of your favorite kind of leafy green
- ½ of an avocado
- 2 tablespoons of hummus
- Salt and pepper to taste
Peel and chop the sweet potato into small cubes and place into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes (or until tender). Remove sweet potatoes and let cool. Thinly slice avocado, and set aside. Place leafy greens, sweet potatoes and hummus in a medium-size bowl, adding the avocado on top. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
Feeling hungry throughout the day? Some good mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacks include fruit and veggies, such as carrots, celery, cucumber or plant-based yogurt (like coconut or almond yogurt). My must-have snack is a handful of blueberries with ¾ cup of coconut yogurt—it’s full of probiotics. Plus, blueberries are one of my favorite fruits.
After a long day of classes, I am usually in the mood for a sweet treat. My oh-so-satisfying plant-based dessert option is a few pieces of 72%+ cacao dark chocolate. If I’m feeling more adventurous, I’ll break up two dark chocolate almond butter cups and add them to ¾ cup coconut yogurt. Yum!
Eat better, feel better. That’s my mantra. It’s important to stay focused and plan what you want to eat for the week so you don’t get caught off-guard and indulge in something that might not make you feel good. Surround yourself with people who value living a healthy lifestyle. Get inspired about how much your body will appreciate the nourishment you give it!
Even if what you eat is not entirely plant-based, the most important thing you could do is add greens to your meal to make it more nourishing. Think of a plant-based diet as what you can add to your diet more than what you take away from it.
Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.
With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."
There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.
Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:
When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?)
TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra.
Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.
If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.
Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.
There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.
We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.
If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.
These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.