How to Eat Well During Finals Week

Hello everyone! I wrote this post because I know that eating well, particularly during finals weeks, is something that a lot of people struggle with in college. I get it – you feel stressed, tired, anxious, and have the idea that a slice of pizza or some fries will cheer you up.

Unfortunately I am here to tell you what you already know – not only will that pizza not make you feel any better, it can make you feel worse! With a little bit of planning, you can give your brain everything it needs to focus and perform during one of the most important weeks of the semester.


  1. Go to the grocery store. Buy the fruits and veggies that are on sale. Buy a mix of ripe and unripe produce (for now, and for later). Frozen is always a good option! Also get some basic things like whole wheat bread, pasta, oatmeal, and other grains. DO NOT buy things you suspect you won’t eat. I repeat: DON’T buy things you won’t eat. Also buy whatever proteins you like to eat, and any spreads you might want (hummus, pb, etc). Stay away from the chips & desserts aisles! These will not benefit you – they will not help you focus or do well. Just pick some healthy foods that you enjoy, and you’re all set! (I have included a grocery list that can be adapted to suit your needs at the bottom of this post – check it out!)
  2. PROPERLY STORE YOUR GROCERIES. I cannot stress this enough. No one wants to eat something that has gone bad halfway through the week, and it’s no good wasting money or food.
  3. Cultivate an attitude of laziness toward leaving your house/apartment to buy takeout. It’s too cold/hot/rainy/windy/far anyway. Plus think about all the money you are saving. Maybe you can put it towards a vacation or some new shoes or even a night out. Plus, aren’t you trying to study? Yeah, I thought so.

Cooking & Eating

  1. When you do get hungry, think about what items you bought that are currently ripe, and eat those first. It really is that simple. Accompany them with healthy proteins and whole grains and you’ve got a healthy and balanced meal. Meal Ideas:
    • Salad of spring greens, quinoa, almond slivers, and dried cranberries or apple chunks accompanied by pan-cooked tofu on the side
    • Brown rice with sauteed bell pepper and onion, shredded romaine, black beans, tomato chunks, seitan, salsa of your choice, and avocado or guacamole
    • Whole wheat toast with hummus or peanut butter or refried black beans, with some soy sauce-marinated tempeh on top (OK i am drooling a bit at this one)
    • Snacks: fruits and veggies like apples, bananas, and oranges or carrots, peppers, and celery.
  2. Stand while cooking and eating. If you’ve been sitting on your bum all day studying, you body will thank you for the break.
  3. Listen to you body – eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full.
  4. Avoid binge eating and mindless snacking. This will make you feel sick and distract you from studying.
  5. When you are craving sweets, try to go for the fruit instead of the triple chocolate brownie. Again, your body will thank you.

I just want to add that I feel absolutely AMAZING when I eat this way, so I hope that this helps you 🙂 Please comment if you have any feedback or any tips of your own that you would like to share!

Other tips

  1. STAY HYDRATED. Shoot for at least 2 L of water a day. I like to start each day with warm lemon water to wake my brain up.
  2. Don’t forget to sleep. You brain needs to recover from studying so much.
  3. Accessorize with coffee as necessary.
  4. Exercise (lightly) when you need a break. This can mean walking, stretching, etc. Do what feels good for your body and doesn’t add mental stress.
  5. Light candles or take a nice bath or shower when you want a bit of relaxation.
  6. Last but not least, try your hardest to focus. Imagine how good you could feel walking out of your finals, or how bad you could feel if you don’t spend enough time studying. You can do this. You just need to put the effort in.

Much love… Madeline ☼

Shopping List for Finals Week Success (Printable!)Snip20160517_19


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