Super Student Snacking

We all know as students that we like to snack. Those long sleepless nights at the Library can leave us feeling lazy and refusing to cook a decent meal. However, snacking can sometimes turn bad and in turn make you unhealthy. Thus, depending on your exercise routine can make you gain weight and quickly! However, fear not my fellow students. There are a few companies which I have found that has managed to tackle some of those sweet tooth snacks for something else and with fewer calories – score!

PROPERCORN is popcorn “done properly” as they state from their website. They are passionate at creating the popular snack and turning it into something else with a twist, providing some great flavours to suit everyone’s tastes. Every pack of Propercorn is made using the best quality ingredients which can only be found within the home rather than sourcing from all over the place. The corn itself is GM-free and the only corn that is used is butterfly corn which explains its light and airy crunch and taste. The snack itself is gluten-free and is suitable for vegetarians made using the most natural ingredients, so all in all it suit’s everybody!

After reading about Propercorn from a review in a magazine, I set out to try their newest flavour ‘Smooth Peanut & Almond’ and I was not disappointed. Being a sweet tooth lover myself I could not wait to delve into the four packets in my box I was very grateful to receive.

The packaging first off is very bright and colourful and makes it look a lot more interesting than your bog standard packet of crisps. Secondly, the flavour is so intense that it left me craving more even after I had finished the very generous serving from within the bag! Thirdly, at only 120 calories from within the massive bag it made me feel a lot healthier than what I would do after a bag of crisps. They are non-greasy and light making you feel fuller for longer which is mainly what I liked about them, not to mention the mouth drooling smell and taste these were to die for!

Other flavours include; Fiery Worchester Sauce & Sun-Dried Tomato, Sweet and Salty, Lightly Sea Salted, Sweet Coconut and Vanilla and Sour Cream & Black Pepper which are some of my flavours that I shall definitely be ticking off next to eat. The calories vary from pack to pack but all are lower than 130 cals and with the same amount of Propercorn in each bag I think this is great for those all-night student snackers. It’s A LOT healthier than a chocolate bar or a slice of pizza and I even have other people asking me where they can purchase them from as they are such an eye catcher of a snack.

Overall, Propercorn gives your brain the natural boosting energy to be able to study and work hard for longer hours without the sugar rush that a chocolate bar might.

EAT NATURAL CEREAL BARS are “bars made with love and care” and I could not agree more with their unique slogan. With three different flavours to choose from; peanuts and chocolate, almond and apricot and Brazil and sultana (with peanuts and almonds too) they are suited to everyone’s tastes. I specifically enjoy the peanuts and chocolate bar, as this is best suited after or before a healthy workout as it contains more protein than any of their other bars. It provides a combination of delicious crunch and blends that include peanuts, coconut, soya crispies, honey and dark chocolate chunks which is easy to devour in one gulp (although I wouldn’t recommend it!)

Better yet, all their bars are gluten free, perfect for veggies and of course sourced and branded within the UK so you can see that everything is quite locally produced. All their ingredients and information is based directly on their website within easy reach so if you are counting the calories all the information provided is a great way to keep tabs on what you’re eating without the worry.

I find that they are great to snack on during those long hours at the library because they give your brain the healthy natural fuel it needs rather than saturated fats that won’t do your body any good in the long run! Not only are they good for long nights in the library but they are also really well suited for those 9am lectures when you want to stay in bed that little bit longer and fancy breakfast on the go. It provides you with the ability to ‘grab and go’ making sure that you aren’t skipping the most important meal of the day too!

I have spent tons on these healthy little bars and they really keep me going when I need them. I just pop a few in my bag and then I have them there for when I need one throughout the week to give me that extra boost. At least as well it’s putting something healthy into your body rather than something we all know we should be avoiding like crisps, chocolate or fizzy drinks!

BELVITA BREAKFAST BISCUITS are the perfect breakfast snack for when “you’ve got a lot on your plate” (literally). They are the nicest and easiest grab and go breakfast I have come across and I already know a lot of students who are tucking into them on a daily basis, simply because sometimes there just isn’t time to make breakfast in the morning, or, let’s face it, you want that extra 15 minutes in bed.

Not only can they be a great start to the day I have also found that they can be another great snack for those long days full of lectures and study. They are a healthier option to snack on rather than the bad stuff and again, they give your brain the fuel it needs to keep going for longer which has been proven to provide an extra whopping 4 hours of sustained energy release…that’s enough to keep you going until lunch time!

These nifty little biscuits are made with five wholegrains which are rich in cereal meaning it’s a great source of fibre, with no added colours or preservatives and what’s more they have a low glycaemic index (GI). When I was at University I only discovered the milk & cereals flavour, however I have no discovered (through working those long post-graduate hours) they come in 5 other scrumptious flavours too and yes, I have tried them all! Belvita aim to provide you with a decent amount of biscuits per box, 6 wrapped portions with four biscuits in each so they can last up to a whole week and I find sometimes only two biscuits is enough to keep one going depending on how hungry you could be when you get up.

Again, with Belvita all their dietary information is stored directly on their website with easy to find access so you can always check to see what’s in each biscuit conveniently. They also provide information and tips on why breakfast is so important for your body, especially as a student where a life of study can over-rule eating properly and healthily at the right times!

These are just a few top snacks which I felt provided me with the energy at University to keep going. It’s sometimes hard to balance study, sleep and socialising at university, but making sure you maintain the right balance and feed your body the fuel it needs can keep you going for longer whilst still being able to live a happy and healthy lifestyle! Even now as a post-grad I am still using these snacks to keep me going through the longer hours of working life and exercise.

Happy Snacking students!

The top 5 student saver apps

Phone

Being a student means living off a student loan, or maybe a small amount of cash from part-time work whilst you’re studying. This means being careful with your money and budgeting where possible. Therefore, students are forever trying to find deals, money off here, free items there…but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself and be able to buy yourself those shoes you’ve been dreaming of or have the money to be able to purchase a present for somebody on their birthday.

So…I have done some research into the top 5 apps which I think could help students save money. These apps also helped me when I was at university, and I am still using them now as a new graduate! You don’t have to be rich to treat yourself every now and again and can still enjoy being able to buy your most wanted items without breaking the bank as well as having the knowledge of controlling your money.

Vinted – This app is great for finding those second hand bargains. I know a few people out there who are either embarrassed to say they shop in charity shops or are even too sceptical about entering one! But fear no longer. With Vinted you have a charity shop at your finger tips (minus the old people’s clothes). Not only can you find great items from all the top high street stores, you can even find items that haven’t been worn for half the price. Vinted does a range of clothing, shoes and accessories for women, men and even babies/children which is great if you are shopping for someone else. If there is something I have needed in the past I have gone straight to Vinted rather than hit the high street shops first because guaranteed I can get it for cheaper and sometimes not even worn! The app itself protects you just like eBay so you have no worries about someone scamming you and wandering off with your money as Vinted do a job at making sure your money is safe until you say that you’ve received your item. You can leave feedback and even become a ‘Vintie’ and sell items yourself making yourself extra cash for those clothes that you just don’t want anymore.

Unidays – Just like the NUS student card, Unidays offers you great discounts on all your favourite high street stores. In fact H&M are just one of the shops that don’t allow NUS student cards but every now and again they allow you to provide them with your Unidays ID straight from your phone to receive a nifty 20% off your items in store. You can shop online for online stores such as ASOS and Boohoo using Unidays which usually saves you 10% or even 20% for those limited time only offers. It’s a great saver and the best part is that it is FREE, which means you aren’t forking out £20 just to save yourself the money in the first place!

Just Eat, Hungry House and Domino’s – I know, I know, these are three different apps but as a student we are all known for our love of those naughty take aways right?! But why not check out what deals you can blag first. Just Eat and Hungry House usually offer 20% discounts at weekends (when you are more than likely to have those duvet days). So why not save yourself the money and see what you can find first. If you have Twitter, they are usually likely to post what discounts they have on there first so make sure you check regularly to see what you can find. Domino’s also does great deals if you are ordering for more than 1 person and their app is a great way to see what sort of deals they have going first before you order one standard pizza.

Your personal bank app – It goes without saying to have your personal bank’s (such as Natwest or Santander) app on your phone. It’s a very quick and easy way to keep track of your own spending as a student as well as being able to transfer money easily to another account or somebody else. At university I was forever checking my account to make sure I was sticking to my budget and even managed to set up a little savings account online which helped me to transfer my weekly allowance to my main account to prevent me from over spending on my card. You can keep track of your money without having to head to a cash point on the street where others could be prying over your shoulder. With it all being protected and safe with your own unique pin you shouldn’t have problems with anybody else accessing your account either.

Vouchercloud – This app gets a lot of praise and after downloading it half way through my 1st year at uni I started to understand what all the hype was about. The sheer simplicity of the app was a real selling point to me (although it is free to download!). You can search for deals via your location so you can see which shops or restaurants around you will save you the most money and I can honestly say it’s saved me a lot with eating out! I still use it now as a recent graduate as you don’t necessarily have to be a student to use this app. Although, I can easily say it’s probably saved me a lot as a student with the ability to eat in some of the fancier restaurants rather than your local fast food joint. It’s a very speedy app right at your finger tips which can save you a lot of money and I highly recommend it to all students!

So there we have it my top 5 student saving apps. There are so many that I could recommend to help students save but these are 5 which I feel have saved me the most hassle at university with the ability to budget, save and be able to treat yourself too.

Have you tried any of these apps? What do you think? Are there any others you could recommend to students? Comment below!

Avoiding the worst money situations as a Fresher

Money

So, you’ve just started your university journey and are away from home for the first time which also means perhaps for some, looking after yourself for the first time too! For me, when I started university, I was older than the average student so had already gained some life skills away from home and was never too dependent on my parents. But for some, it can be a massive step to really fending for yourself for the first time and that’s where I can help. Saying that though, when it came to money I was never very good at controlling my budgets and when I entered university it was a massive shock (queue monkey covering eyes emoji here…). Yes, you do get a student loan but spending it all in the first few weeks is definitely not what you want to do, especially in the first term when it is the longest of the three in the academic year. I made this simple mistake and I had to call the bank of Dad to help me out. Needless to say, by the time I had finished university I was more in control of my money and I had learnt a very good life lesson.

So here I have some great tips on how to avoid a situation like mine in the first term at university!

Managing your money is the most important thing you can learn whilst being at university, apart from actually gaining your degree of course! If you can’t learn to manage your money it will lead to all sorts of complications, such as not having enough to feed yourself to fuel your brain for those all important deadlines and exams to not being money conscious when you leave university. Plus, if you don’t budget your money, how will you ever know how much you have left over for socialising or shopping with?

Organise a budget for yourself. My best tip would be to work out what you have left to spend at the end of each week (after rent and bills) and then separate that into categories such as: food, going out, clothes etc. then take that amount and leave your card in your room in a safe and secure place. I find this helps because it stops you from spending little bits here and there when you have your card on you 24/7, as each little bit really does add up!

Get a student account. Most banks offer student accounts with some perks for signing up also. They offer interest free overdrafts (which trust me, do come in handy in emergencies) and I even got a free four year rail card too! It’s worth it because the little costs of these also add up.

Saving whilst spending is every students’ dream! As a student you get discount in most retail shops and even restaurants and trust me when I say, take advantage of this. When you head out into the adult world after university and can’t take advantage of the discount anymore it makes you realise just how much it was worth having. It may not seem like a massive saving at the time but adding up student discount over your three or four year course will make you realise just how much you saved on all your shopping and eating out.

HOWEVER discount is great but if you have to ask yourself the question ‘should I REALLY be buying this?!’ then stop right there. The answer is NO. You probably shouldn’t. If the item you want is just too expensive, look for a cheaper alternative. Once I got into the swing of money saving at university my friends were forever asking me ‘where did you get that from?’ and ‘hey! I paid so much more for the SAME item!’

Apps and websites can really help to also make you money. Get rid of those unwanted clothes on apps or websites such as eBay, Vinted, Depop and Gumtree. You can also make money from shopping with Top CashBack and Quidco. Sign up, read the terms and conditions and get started. As the saying always goes ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ and you will be surprised at how much stuff you can get rid of to make some extra cash.

Another tip I will add is for students to make their own budget spreadsheets and write down everything they spend using the categories’ technique explained above. This way you can keep on top of your spending weekly, monthly, annually and review it like I did every month. You can then see where you could cut back on your spending and save it for something else or simply just pop it in a savings account for a rainy day or for travelling after university, the choices are endless if you can become a money conscious student!

The ultimate uni checklist

Checklist

 

So, you’ve just recently found out you are heading off to uni in a few weeks, and now it is time to start getting everything ready to move into your halls or shared student accommodation. Therefore, I’ve come up with a list of everything you will actually need for university that will help you along the way; you can even print it out and tick it off if you like!

The way you need to go about completing this list is to first ask your friends and relatives if they have got anything you can have. This not only saves you a little bit of money to start off with, but also as the famous saying goes ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. Asking can give you plenty of opportunities to grab stuff for free that still has life left in it. This could be anything from an old toaster that your Nan does not need anymore because she has just bought a new one or a frying pan that a friend does not need in their kitchen anymore. After all, the more you save now, the more money you will have to spend in Fresher’s Week.

The next step is to look online and get a vague idea about how much things are going to cost or the other way, is to head to a store with your parents to avoid the delivery costs (unless it’s something big you can’t fit in the car.) The best places to look I’ve found are: Argos, Wilko, The Range and Dunelm. As well as a Tesco Extra, ASDA, Morrisons or even £1 shops. In fact most of my uni equipment was from the £1 shop and some of it lasted me three whole years of my studies!

Furthermore, with the supermarket section of the list it’s best to go with the person who helped you move in to uni that day and go and buy it when you have finished moving everything in. Either that, or pop down to your local shop and get the basics until you can do a group shopping delivery the next day.

So here we have it, the ultimate university checklist:

Kitchen Tech Bedroom Supermarket shop Luxury items (nice to have but you don’t need them) Bathroom Not going to halls?
Cutlery Laptop Duvet & pillows Toothpaste and toothbrush Mini fridge Toothbrush holder Toaster
Plates and bowls Printer (trust me this saves a LOT of money and endless trips to the library!) Mattress protector (although some unis provide these) Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel Speakers Toilet brush Kettle
Mugs and glasses (although plastic ones are best to avoid breakages!) USB sticks or invest in a great piece of software like Dropbox Duvet cover, sheet and pillowcase Washing tablets/gel Fairy lights Towels Microwave
Knives Phone charger A blanket Washing up liquid and sponges Rug Bath mat or non-slip mat if you have a wet room Notice board
Wooden spoons and spatulas   Blu Tac or pins for decorating Bleach Television Bathroom bin (unless a sanitary one is provided) Waste paper basket
A chopping board   Notebook and pens Paracetamol or ibuprofen      
A saucepan and frying pan   Laundry bin Tinned food      
A tupperware lunch box   A dressing gown or onesie (perfect for those late night trips to the supermarket!) Salt, pepper, vinegar, ketchup (condiments of your choice)      
A baking tray   Coat hangers Milk      
A tin and bottle opener   Airer Bread      
Cheese grater   LOTS of change for washing machines Big bag of rice and pasta      
Colander or sieve     Frozen meat and veg      
      Tea, coffee or hot chocolate      
      Loo roll      

These were the items that helped me when heading to university for the first time, I just stocked up the second and third time around. Have I missed anything off? Can you think of anything else students may like to take with them? Comment below and share!

Staying in touch whilst away at university or taking your gap year

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 if you just want to call Dad to ask for that extra bit of cash (because you’ve been relentless with your student loan too quickly) or to let your Mum know when you’re next coming home with a load of dirty washing!

The internet offers plenty of ways in which you can contact others for free, meaning the tightest of student budgets will go a lot further and you aren’t racking up those mobile phone bills with long calls, because for many, university could mean trekking to a new country! And, if you are heading off for a gap year, there’s nothing better than letting everyone know over social networks how hot and warm it is where you are, when everyone else is stuck in cold and rainy Britain.

Jon Blumberg from Sky Broadband commented on students specifically stating that: “Planet Earth may seem like a huge place but over the last 100 years the world has got smaller, no thanks to the major changes in both transport and communication […] now you can speak to someone on the other side of the world for free, using your broadband connection and it’s as if you’re in the room with you.”

So don’t worry students, you don’t need to feel home sick when away at university or your gap year ever again.
He then makes a further comment: “For students heading to university in particular, the internet not only provides them with the means to complete their course, it also ensures that they can stay in touch with their family. Once they have finally got up, that is!”

You can now make telephone calls over Skype, connect to ‘The Cloud’ WiFi zone in various social places in cities that connect to free internet or even upload a blog every day about your adventures so everyone can have a read of what you have been up to. Most services are free and easy to use and provide people with step by step information on how to use these particular services. I found this a great little side hobby when I was at university and have now even turned to Vlogging and documenting parts of my life, new chapters and memories which means I am sharing with friends all the time. It is great for friends back home to see what you are up to without feeling like you are too far away. Not only that, but social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter allow users to upload photos so others can see what they are up to with their new found friends or travels across the globe. On Facebook there is even the option to voice or video call someone now, so if Skype is being a bit flaky (which I often found with the sometimes dodgy university connection) you can use that as only a smaller connection is needed.

If you find yourself beginning to get a bit lonely, there are plenty of free music sites online that can give you a bit of background noise when you can’t get hold of anybody at home. Not only does this pass the time, but it also helps you to study if you’re at uni (or so I found during my time at university) and can change your mood from homesickness to happy in a second. There are some fantastic specific playlists on Spotify that you can pick from to suit your mood and tone and you don’t have to pay for the premium service to enjoy it!

One last tip would be to make sure that wherever you surf the web to keep in contact with others, make sure that you know the connection is secure before sharing personal information online. Make sure that when entering bank details you are in a private location and theycannot be shared with others, especially if you are on a budget or need the money for travel expenses. You don’t want anybody hacking into your account and taking what is rightfully yours!

However you decide to keep in touch with loved ones when you embark on your next adventure, keep safe and happy and don’t let homesickness rule over you!

Do you have any other methods of keeping in touch when you move out of home for the first time? Share below as I’m sure other students would love to gain tips to combat those ‘first flying the nest nerves’!

Seven quick and easy breakfasts to have before 9am lectures

Breakfast

It can be really tough to get out of bed earlier to find those five extra minutes to make sure you eat breakfast in the morning, but trust me it’s worth it. It is actually a lot worse for you (especially students on the go all the time) to skip breakfast. The reason being is because your body needs the energy in the mornings to be productive and feel more awake throughout the day.

Therefore I have come up with seven quick and easy breakfast ideas that you can make so you don’t end up going to a lecture with a soggy and cold piece of toast in your hand, or even worse…a sugary drink!

#1 Oatmeal

Oatmeal is definitely a breakfast classic and you can eat it in so many ways. Cold or hot, with various fruits, or even a sprinkle of cinnamon to give it that extra flavour. Another super quick and easy way to prepare oatmeal in the morning is to make overnight oats. They are full of flavour and can be made extra snazzy in a mason jar so you can eat them on the go and pop the jar back into your bag with lid after you’ve finished avoiding mess, easy!

#2 Pancake apple rings

Trust me on this, once you have eaten pancake apple rings, they will become your main ‘go-to’ breakfast and they are so easy to make. All you need to do is cut an apple into normal apple rings and then dip them in pancake batter (you can look up a simple pancake recipe on Studentrecipes.com if you are unsure what ingredients to use). Once you’ve done that, you simply pop them into a pan and hey presto! You have a delicious and quick breakfast ready to leave your uni flat with.

#3 Breakfast ice-lolly

This is perfect for anybody who prefers a colder breakfast. All you need is an ice-lolly mould, add into it some yoghurt and fruits of your choice and pop it into the freezer. Another way of forming an ice-lolly is to use an old yoghurt container with an ice-lolly stick in the bottom. Ice-lolly moulds usually come with four separate moulds so you have pre-made breakfasts for almost a week!

#4 Smoothie

Smoothies are great for breakfast, especially if you aren’t a ‘big eater’ in the mornings. In this case, an alternative is to simply drink your breakfast. If you prefer your smoothies even colder, you could prep them by cutting up and freezing your fruit. That way, in the morning it will save a lot of time and you can simply pop them straight into the blender. Don’t forget to take that ultimate Instagram smoothie photo once it’s done!

#5 Honey banana

This is simply delicious! All you need to do is cut your banana into slices, drizzle them in honey, sprinkle with cinnamon and heat up in a pan. Not only do the bananas give you that early morning energy, but the honey will cure those late morning sugar cravings too.

#6 Egged muffins

This is another great breakfast. Crack some eggs into a bowl, maybe one or two depending on how hungry you are. Then you need to add other ingredients you like into your egg mixture, maybe a bit of pepper to season or some vegetables. Scramble this altogether in a bowl, however, instead of pouring the mixture into a pan, pour into a muffin tin and bake or microwave until your muffin has your desired texture. Afterwards you will be left with a gorgeous egg muffin that you can eat on the go!

#7 The classics

Peanut butter toast, Nutella or Cheerios. I know these aren’t the healthiest breakfast options but allow yourself to cheat once in a while. I find choosing to eat this on a Friday can be rewarding for getting through all those 9ams! It rewards you for a successful week and as it’s the weekend, you can dance those extra calories off at that party you’re heading to that night.

Do you have any other healthy and energetic breakfasts you would like to share with other students? Comment below! Happy breakfasting!

Going to University? Advice for Fresher’s

freshers

Fresher’s week is the week where you really get the impression of what your university life is going to be like. However, it’s not just a long 3 year party that some people make it out to be. Once your time table is shown, the thought of university work, lectures and study can become a bit daunting all at once! Having been through University and being a newly graduate, I would like to share with you some of my favourite top tips that’s I have learnt on my university journey that I hope will help you fresher’s too!

My first main piece of advice is to look after yourself physically. To have a great mind set, it’s important to look after yourself on the outside as well as the inside. University is a massive step and new chapter in your life and you want to enter it with the ability to have some common sense and get to understand your routines. Eating, sleeping and exercising are all important and vital things your body needs on those long nights and days, especially if your university schedule looks pretty busy. Don’t burn yourself out in the first term. Fresher’s flu is a common symptom among students in the first week, typically due to the late nights, parties and staying up late to meet new people and get to know your surroundings. It can be physically and mentally exhausting and I know it’s exciting but try and balance it during the week. Try and get that 20 minute power nap in if you know you’re going to be out all night partying with your new friends and eat regularly to keep your energy levels up.

For some students, moving away from home can be quite daunting and seeing lots of new faces and new places at once can make you feel a little bit home sick at first. To help overcome this, I found taking loads of photos from home and placing them around my room reminded me that my friends or family weren’t far away and a phone call or a visit every now and again would make me feel better. Being able to contact friends or family back home regularly makes you realise that they haven’t gone forever but you are about to embark on a new chapter in your life and make some more life-long friends along the way. Before you know it, the homesickness has gone and you are excited for new beginnings and ways of life!

Remember to join social events and clubs at university, as this helps you to meet new people and get stuck into to university life. It does not have to be an anxious situation but a more uplifting and exciting experience instead! Another way of getting to know your housemates is encouraging flat meals together or little outings which gives everyone the chance to get to know each other. If you live in halls, keep your bedroom door open when you want that time to socialise, you’ll soon realise just how many people just come in and sit on your bed for a chat with a cuppa at random hours of the day! It also helps to give you regular breaks if you’re studying hard. When your door is open, it’s more welcoming for others to attempt to reach out to you and you will become a more open person.

Focusing on University studies can be really stressful when you have a lot of deadlines to reach. I found during times when I had a lot of work to sit down and do, I would make a checklist of everything I needed to do that week. It kept my mind clear and free of stressful and worrying situations where I would leave everything till the last minute. There are a lot of students at university that DO leave everything till the last minute, but this is not a good idea. Making sure you have everything completed nice and early gives you the chance to proof read back over your work in case you’ve made any serious mistakes or small grammatical errors. Once I had achieved my checklist I would reward myself with social time with my friends such as a night out or a trip somewhere. Even though it may seem hard to do at university, it’s important to keep a balance of study, work, socialising, exercising, eating and sleeping. Remember, if you do feel under too much pressure at any time, there are always people to talk too who work for your university such as a welfare officer or even a close friend. Don’t sit and dwell on your own, there are many of students that undergo stressful situations every day! First year does not count but it’s a good way of practicing good habits and maintaining a routine that is best for you. Get those late lecture turn up’s and mistakes out the way and when the work really does count you are all set to get those top marks.

Remember – going to University is a massive step for anyone but it is an exciting 3 or even 4 years that you will love to look back on. Most people only go through the journey once so it’s best to make it a good one and to the best you possibly can in all aspects. I found going to university built my confidence in many ways, and even though I dreaded them at first those presentations to a big group of people seem like a breeze at the end.

On that note, I wish all of you fresher’s every success and make sure you feel proud of all your achievements on graduation day!

Good luck!

Exercising and feeling motivated over the summer

Exercise

For many students the summer signifies a time of care-free living. More often than not you’ve gone back home to live with your family whilst you under-go the transition in your accommodation and get ready for your next academic year at university. Unfortunately for some students it can mean the long nights, poolside BBQs and those long party holidays can see some students staying out of shape. BUT fear not my fellow students, there are ways of maintaining a healthy life style whilst you continue to have fun, stay healthy and look great all summer long with some of these basic tips.

Participate in community-sponsored activities
Many communities within your home area offer sponsored activities throughout the summer such as long walks, week-long treks and 5, 10 or 15k runs. You can either participate alone or with a family member, friend or even a larger group of people. A great way to get to know your area and community.

Work out in the morning
You don’t need to fully ditch your work out ritual if you can commit to those early mornings and working out before the sun has fully come up where its rays can be more intense on a long run. There are many great reasons why working out in the morning can benefit your body. The fresh air in your lungs, watching the sun rising in the sky and enjoying the peacefulness of your surroundings before everyone is up and about can keep you feeling energised for the rest of the day. Go for a brisk walk with yours or the neighbour’s dog, swim a few lengths or try out a new hobby like rollerblading with a friend. You really can push yourself into new and exciting ways of exercising without it becoming too repetitive.

Stay hydrated with the right stuff
Childhood summer time favourites such as iced-lemonade can seem refreshing but they really must only be consumed in moderation as the sugar in the drinks can leave you feeling more thirsty than when you started and craving more. Plus they add on those unwanted calories when you don’t even realise it. During exercise, especially in the summer months it is more important to stay hydrated by drinking water and the usual amount you should be drinking is measured by your body’s weight. So, for example, if you weigh 120lbs, you would need to drink 60oz of water a day in order to stay hydrated and banish those dehydrated headaches!

Enjoy indoor activities
If exercising in the morning really isn’t your thing, you can still get in a good daily work out by exercising indoors where the sun isn’t beating down on your skin and the temperature remains cool. Head to your nearby outdoor gym, as most are designed to be in the shade where the temperate can be cooler than based in an open field directly under the sun, plus they are free to use! Get yourself a treadmill and run up hill for 20 minutes or so. Power walk through a mall and do some window shopping, or head to your local leisure centre and see what sports you can join there. Why not try some wall climbing to build your strength and tackle those fears of heights? You will be amazed just how much you can do if you try. If the sun is too unbearable, you could always Google your local ice-rink and pretend you’re in those colder months of the year for a good all body work out.

Whatever method of exercising you decide to do when you’re home for the summer share them below so that others can join in your routine. Sharing tips can help and motivate others to become fit and healthy during the best months of the British year!

 

Green Smoothies Galore

green-smoothies

Recently I have been making sure I stick to my goals by jumping on the green smoothie bandwagon. So I thought I would share a few tips with you on how to make the perfect green smoothie that will keep you energised and feeling more vibrant along with maintaining a healthier student lifestyle!

What do I put in to a green smoothie?

This is always the first question! You want to make sure you are getting that pure green colour as well as making sure it’s yummy to taste. The simple recipe is: leafy greens + fruit + a liquid base…and maybe some fancy superfood toppings if you are feeling a bit more adventurous. I promise you that this is not a fad diet to try, once you start drinking green smoothies, you will be just as hooked as I am! And to be honest, what other way are you going to down spinach in a more delightful fashion?!

If you think about it, getting all the high-quality leafy greens into your smoothie will give you: amino acids, important vitamins and minerals and antioxidants which benefit your body in so many ways. These few benefits can help strengthen your body’s immune system and can reduce the risk of life-threatening diseases, leading to a happier and healthier lifestyle!

Now that’s the scientific gobble out the way, these are the reasons why I think students need green smoothies:

  • Natural energy booster – gives you a little pep in your step and keeps you going for longer. Meaning those late nights and early lecture wake up calls can be cured with a mid morning green smoothie rather than a high calorie chocolate bar or a high in sugar energy drink.
  • Natural weight loss – we have all been there. Going to university and getting your cooking skills and eating habits under wraps is hard to maintain. But gulping one of these for breakfast instead of reaching for a packet of crisps for those on-the-go mornings can leave you feeling fuller for longer. Prepare the night before, keep in the fridge for a cool drink and you are good to go for those 9AMs!
  • Stay healthy all-year-long – as I mentioned above, green smoothies boost your immune system and are great for when you need a pick-me-up after catching that dreaded fresher’s flu.
  • Packed with disease-fighting antioxidants – the phytonutrients in leafy greens keep your body functioning properly. So, when studying for exams or writing those long essays, your brain will have the power to go for longer. Plus! It makes your insides feel a lot happier for their functioning needs.
  • Hands down the best fast food – it takes less than 5 minutes to make a green smoothie (and 10 to clean up!). They are super easy to make and when you’re leading a busy lifestyle you don’t want to spend hours prepping something. In fact, it would probably take you longer to queue in a student canteen at lunch time to buy a chocolate bar or an energy drink than what it would take to make a green smoothie.

So there we have it, the basic facts for why green smoothies are good for us students! What will you put in yours? Comment below with your best recipes so that other students can have a go at making your famous recipe. Got a secret ingredient to make a green smoothie that extra tasty? Share below! I personally love two handfuls of spinach, a cup of almond milk, 1 avocado, and 1 apple, a handful of strawberries and to top it off, half a mango! Smoothie your way to goodness!