Dealing with exam stress

Hellooooo!

So just to start off with a little splash of irony for you; I started to write this blog as I had been sat at the kitchen table, all my revision splayed out in front of me like a good little Hermione Granger except my eyes were glazed over, the fear and stress were rising inside of me and my head felt like it was going to explode as I stared off into the existential void.

I reckon I am 100% the ideal candidate to write a post on dealing with exam stress as someone who clearly handles this problem so well (lol NO).

I am terrible at dealing with stress. Simple as that. I let it completely take over and drive me to insanity to the point where I had a dream that my best friend set my revision on fire as a method of sabotage. Seriously it’s insane.

But there are a few things I do that honestly make the revision period a little less painful and seem to work for me to make the revision material stick in my brain (fingers crossed; proof is in the pudding and that).

Sooooooooo, my list

1. Going to the gym:

So I know the gym can occasionally feel like torture while you’re there buuuut no denying you always feel good after a sweat! I find it wakes you up makes you feel energised and once I get my blood pumping my revision is so much more efficient! It’s also a super good way to take an hour and do something productive but also you can switch your brain off for a bit! It’s usually my go to revision break. 

2. Sleeeeeeeeeep!

Now I don’t know about you but I seem to slip into full blown psychosis when i don’t get enough sleep which as you can imagine does not make me feel any less stressed. Personally when I’m sleep deprived I can’t rationalise my stress and then I start to stress about stress. My point is, sleep is often sacrificed by people during exam periods but its so so important!

I guarantee if you allow yourself a decent nights sleep, (or at least go to bed at a reasonable time and rest), you will feel so much better the next day and hopefully be able to work better.

3. Nourish to flourish sweeties:

Ignore the cheesy rhyme coz this is an important one. So as a nutrition student I’m probs (defo) a bit biased BUT proper nutrition during revision periods is another doozy and something you should be mindful of. Make sure you’re eating 3 square meals a day. Make sure you don’t go super long periods of time without eating.

Also I know it’s a sad sad time and you wanna treat yoself and I’m not saying you shouldn’t, (you deserve choccy whenever you want) buuuuut you should also aim to keep them just as treats and not live on chocolate and junk because you’ll find yourself having a big sugar rush and then a big sugar crash and overall they don’t feed your brain and don’t really make you feel good. Instead, if you feel the need for a sugar hit make sure you’re prepped and have things like fruit and nuts to hand (walnuts specifically are fabby brain foods).

4. Venture outside!

This is another fave of mine when you’ve been stuck inside all day and you start to feel like your brain is melting, grab a friend or stick your headphones in and go for a walk outside! It clears your brain and is a great way to switch off for a bit! Similar to the gym it gets your blood pumping and you’ll be more efficient at your revision when you sit back in front of it.

5. Take regular breaks:

I don’t mean procrastinate the day away by doing sweet f.a. but make sure you don’t sit stewing in stress for prolonged amounts of time! Give yourself a breather every once in a while!

So really, the exam period is a crappy time. It’s super boring whatever way you look at it but also its only for a short amount of time and then you can switch of your brain and enjoy the summer! Just try your best to not get wound up in stress; you can only do so much!

Give yourself time to relax as well as time to work, and basically just think of the end goal!

I BELIEVE IN YOU!

You’re doing amazing sweetie x

Grace 🙂

 

Accidental Veganism – Grace O’Neill

As a non-vegan myself, and a serious Nando’s enthusiast, I too have previously voiced my skepticism on veganism. I live at home where none of my family are vegans or vegetarians, and as a recovered anorexic I generally don’t want to put any form of restriction on my diet.

I am a firm believer in food love and freedom. However from my (almost) whole day as an accidental vegan, I have learned that veganism doesn’t have to mean restriction and despite cutting out some aspects of the average diet, the love of food can still prevail!

So basically, my day started with me waking up late and having to make a quick decision between a shower and breakfast…considering I actually like my classmates and didn’t want to drive them away from me, I chose the shower. I know I made the right decision but my two absolute necessities in the morning are COFFEEEE and food. In that order.

So after speeding out the house, jumping on the train (then falling asleep on the train), and finally arriving at Piccadilly Station, I stopped off at my usual morning location; Pret!!

Initially I needed caffeine. So I went for my usual filter coffee…but instead of skimmed milk I went for a little splash of coconut milk. I’m not really sure what made me make this decision but it was a good choice! I could barely taste the difference as I only have a thimbleful of milk anyway, but just can’t quite hack black coffee on account of the fact that I’m not a psychopath.

Next I jumped quickly onto the breakfast stage. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced Pret porridge but I’m telling you now…it is the QUEEN of all oat creations. I would usually opt for the standard milk porridge but for whatever reason this particular day I fancied a change, so I went for their vegan coconut milk porridge. I was not disappointed.

And here you have my first phase of the accidental vegan process. Also cheeky side note about porridge; the reason it’s a super breakfast choice is that not only do oats keep you feeling full, but the slow release carbs will set you up perfectly with energy for a delightful 9am lecture AMIRITE.

So now I was nourished and ready to flourish, fuelled and caffeined and ready for the day.

My first class of the day was Carbon Literacy training where we’d covered everything on the topic of global warming and sustainability. We also had learned during this session about how environmentally friendly veganism and vegetarianism can be! Super interesting stuff!!

Halfway through we had a little breakie for lunch so I dashed off to get some beloved MMU soup (highly recommend) and some popchips; a daily fave!! So quick little bit about MMU soup if you’re not already on board with this…its sOO good. Not only is it souper healthy (lol) its a great way to get in a load of nutrients from veg in one meal, and its also super sustainble as it creates minimal food waste!

Also there’s 2 different soups everyday and as we know variety is the spice of life. Anyways, I digress but this my friends, is the point in my day where I made the realisation that so far all day I had in fact been an Accidental Vegan. SHOCKK!?!

So for the sake of an experiment (even though I was now aware of my accidental veganism), I decided to carry on the theme for the day to see how available and easy it was to make vegan choices.

Fast forward to the end of the uni day and I’m heading back towards the train station to go home. I grabbed myself a snack for the journey, which consisted of some popcorn (stuff of the Gods and a much healthier alternative to crisps!) and some mango; both of which are vegan and again another usual set of nibbles for me!

Here is where I ran into a hurdle…

So I live at my Aunty’s house (yes like Sabrina the Teenage Witch), where I am fortunate enough to have my own chef a.k.a. my aunty. As great as this is it meant I couldn’t continue my day of veganism because she’d made chicken stir-fry for tea. The end.

Psyyyyyyych.

But here we come to the moral of this short story. My overall point is that one common misconception is that veganism is super hard, time consuming and a major lifestyle change for people who are always on the go and live busy lives. And while the latter may be true, it is a lifestyle change, it seems it doesn’t actually have to be super hard.

In a world where more and more people are opting for the vegan lifestyle, vegan options in restaurants, cafes and shops are fast becoming more readily available! And the day I’ve just described is a prime example! I unconsciously made vegan choices because they were right there in front of me.

Even if you don’t want to be a full time vegan or vegetarian, having one meat free day a week can be super easy and do wonders for the environment without you even really noticing a difference. PLUS, I guarantee you some of your favourite snacks are already vegan!

So even if you do something as super simple as maybe opting for a plant based milk in your morning coffee, I challenge you to make one small vegan change in your day even if you only do it once!

Grace x

A taste of the final for Jas Smith in The School Chef of the Year

Our very own MetMUncher, Jas Smith, is currently on a working placement with Manchester Fayre, Manchester City Council’s catering service, which supplies over 27,500 great value, nutritious meals in nursery, primary and secondary schools and social care facilities across Manchester each day.

Jas has been working alongside Cheryl Allen, one of Manchester Fayres Unit Managers based at St. Mary’s C of E Primary, Moston. Together they worked on an entry for The School Chef of the Year 2019. This is a national competition designed to show off school catering and the skill of our school chefs. Entry included designing, preparing and cooking an imaginative, two-course menu suitable for school children, compliant with the School Food Standards, costings, and other competition rules.

Their main course is a Beef Scone Whirl with vegetable accompaniments and meaty gravy.

The second course is a Peach Custard Tart, with a Fruity Salsa and Edible Flower Decoration.


Dishes were based around providing a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, and to ensure even the fussiest of eaters don’t miss out on health protecting nutrients, locally sourced fruits, and vegetables were finely chopped to disguise them in the Whirl to help ensure all children achieve a nutrient inclusive diet.

Jas and Cheryl made it through to the National Final but unfortunately they just missed out on top spot. A huge congratulations goes out to the creative pair as this is a great achievement and one they should be very proud of!

#SCOTY

MetMUnch brought their Soup-erheroes and Meat Free campaigns to Man Met Uni!

MetMUnch have been on a mission to showcase sustainable, meat free food that is both delicious and nutrient dense. From the start of January, MetMUnch joined forces with the University’s catering team to bring its ‘Soup-erheroes’ and Meat Free Monday campaigns to the Business School.

Soup-erheroes launched on Wednesday 16th January before returning a fortnight later, bringing superhero vegetables and their nutritional powers to the University. Soup is an amazing way to get all kinds of vitamins and minerals into your diet; they can keep you warm in the winter months and help lower food waste, as veg at the back of your fridge can be transformed into super-soups.

MetMUnch have also been making healthy meat free vegan food more accessible on campus. On Monday 21 January, they collaborated with the University catering team to hold a ‘meat free Monday’, and had all kinds of delicious food on offer including vegan chickpea, broccoli and spinach curry, chilli falafel burgers with salad and vegetable and lentil lasagne.

As the UK’s greenest university with top marks in the People & Planet award for environmental sustainability, the University has an important role to play in raising awareness of healthier eating, meat free meals and low carbon food production.

Our global population recently hit 7 billion and we’re on course for 10 billion mouths to feed in 2050. The world urgently needs to find a way of producing enough food for all these people and reducing our dependency on meat will play a major role.

The campaign got the backing of the official MeatFreeMonday campaign, started by Sir Paul McCartney, and has had some sensational feedback on social media. Here are some of the tweets:

This was the first trial of its kind at the University and was a huge success. Both staff and students are now waiting to see what delicious, healthy and imaginative food will come next.

For more information, follow MetMUnch on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

#Souperheroes #MetMUnchMeatFree #WeDontDoOrdinary

Faddy Diet Cultures

Faddy Diet Cultures – Dr Kim Kardashian BSc MSc RNutr RD?

“COME GET YERRR APPETITE SUPPRESSING LOLLIPOPS, GUV’NOR! – They’ll make you skinny, rich, famous and devoid of all integrity…”

I’m paraphrasing Kim K here, but that was the essence of the message from the bootylicious one back in summer, when she was (most likely) paid millions of dollars to peddle some naff “diet” sweeties. She was quite rightly derided for this endorsement, as well as labelled “toxic” and “a bad influence”.

I have nothing against Kim K, btw. If she wants to get her bits and bobs out for attention and money, good for her! – However, profiting from disordered eating is grotesque and immoral in the extreme. Unfortunately, there are a proliferation of examples from the social media pages of reality “celebrities” – *detox teas, wonder pills, juice cleanses, meal replacements etc etc – and they’ll be many more in January 2019; when faddy diet culture reaches its annual peak.

*spoiler – none of these actually work and you’ll probably just end up on the toilet for the majority of January*

Now, some of these dodgy claims get removed or altered, but not before they reach thousands (if not millions) of impressionable young people. This isn’t only an issue in the celebrity social media realm; it permeates every town, city and western country. An online buy/sell site based in a town local to myself is besieged by crappy diets, detoxes and empty promises (all of these could be yours for only £200).

I should emphasise that I am NOT blaming the individuals unlucky enough to fall for these scams. However, I AM blaming those that choose to profit from the common misunderstandings pertaining to nutrition, healthy eating and dieting. It’s so incredibly easy to be misinformed in regards to what’s best. There’s so much nonsense floating about on the internet and then it inevitably reaches the playground, the uni, the staffroom, the office:

“cut out bread”,

“carbs make you fat”,

“oh my god, you can’t eat after 7pm”,

“you need to detox your body of sugar”

and so on and so on…

What do we do if Barry from the chippy offers us an eye test? We say, “Just the chips today, please Barry”. If Kerry Katona offers to perform a much needed tooth extraction, do we say “Oh, yes please, Kezza and whilst you’re here, please can you check the mole on my shoulder”, or do we say “On yer bike, Katona! I know better from the last time!”.

What do we do if Alan down the pub offers us a smear test? We slowly back away and call the police, thats what! We know where the line is for these issues, so why not nutrition? If we listened to these unsubstantiated claims, we might as well be wired up to a vitamin drip for the rest of our lives. Who wants to live on meal replacement shakes? Yes, you may lose weight initially, but are you planning on using them for the rest of your life? (Please don’t). Who wants to spend hundreds of pounds of weight loss products, when we could just eat a little bit less?

There are plenty of ways YOU can eat all of your favourite foods, drink your favourite drinks and enjoy life! How, you ask?? Well, we must all become a little better at sifting through the nonsense.

Just because someone has a lot of followers on social media, that does NOT make them qualified to give nutrition advice. Just because someone is a PT, that does NOT make them qualified to give nutrition advice. Just because someone did a 5 month nutritional therapy diploma, that does NOT make them qualified to give nutrition advice. Just because something apparently worked for Julie’s husband, that does NOT mean it will work for you.

We need to question things – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  There is no magic ingredient in that Herbalife drink that will make the weight drop off. The only pounds you will be losing are from your wallet/purse. There are no magic pills, short cuts and potions in nutrition.

Where to turn? – Well, luckily there are thousands of QUALIFIED individuals out there just waiting to help you:

Registered Dietitians (RD) – they have at least a 3 years bachelor degree or 2 year postgraduate degree. You can find a RD near you at https://freelancedietitians.org/

Finding a qualified nutritionist is a little bit more of a minefield. This is because the term “nutritionist” is not protected. This means Aunty Susan is technically allowed to call herself a nutritionist. BUT, you can find good quality, well educated and evidenced based Registered Nutritionists (RNutr) or Registered Associate Nutritionists (ANutrs) at http://www.associationfornutrition.org/.

These nutritionists have at the very least a 3 year bachelor degree (and most have a MSc degree). Take any other person offering you nutrition advice with a pinch of salt.

I hope this was helpful.

If any angry Kim K fans want a chat, tweet me @samfornutrition

Eat lots of yummy food at Christmas/New Year!

Sam BSc (Hons) ANutr

MetMUnch – Beyond Graduation by Emma Green

When I decided to join MetMUnch back in 2015, I had no idea what use my experiences with the enterprise would do for me almost four years later when I am soon to qualify as a Registered Dietitian. This is how MetMUnch has influenced me beyond graduation…

I joined Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) back in 2014, where I was studying for a degree in Nutritional Sciences. My first assignment was set by Haleh, the wonderful founder and leader of MetMUnch, for her Nutrition 21 unit. The first university task required us to write two, 500 word blog posts, and whilst this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it in fact re-sparked my love of writing. I was encouraged by Haleh to take up blogging for the MetMUnch enterprise, which then led me to get more involved, from volunteering at events to promoting nutrition on social media.

Since leaving MMU, I’ve gone on to study Dietetics at the University of Chester, but my time at MetMUnch hasn’t gone unnoticed. I thought today I’d give you a little summary of all the ways MetMUnch has helped me since my graduation:

  • Writing

MetMUnch encouraged me to start my own blog and write for pleasure. I’ve written numerous pieces for MetMUnch, which gave me so much confidence to see others reading, learning and enjoying my work. Earlier this year, I decided to put a stronger emphasis on my blog and created my own domain called ‘Emma’s Food Stories’, where I have started to build my own little business from a passion project.

In just 8 months, I’ve had over 1000 unique visitors, met and networked with fellow nutritionists, dietitians and bloggers, been to my first blog and business event and got on to the National Student writing scheme where some of my work is being sponsored by none other than the Cooperative Food. Still to this day, I get support and love from the MetMUnch gang!

  • Sustainability

I didn’t know much about sustainability before I joined MetMUnch, but the enterprise taught and encouraged me to think and change the way I utilise my food and products. I now donate to food banks, advertise the ‘love food hate waste’ message amongst my work AND I’ve made huge life changes to help save the planet a little bit more. I try to eat as many locally sourced and plant based foods where I can, I recycle a lot, I reuse products that have still got life and I now try my very best to only purchase cruelty free produce. The health of both the planet and people is at the heart of MetMUnch’s ethos and that is something I have definitely carried with me.

  • Community Work

MetMUnch do a lot of events with the community. From events at Hulme Community Garden Centre to the Museum of Science and Industry, you get to meet people from far and wide, all from different backgrounds and all with different experiences, and each person has a story to tell. People come to the events eager to learn and have a chat with you! It also opens the opportunity to network, as there will always be visitors from your profession coming to pay a visit.

These events also develop your communication, teamwork, and organisational skills. They’re all crucial skills you carry through life, so why not develop them in a fun, MetMUnch way? Not only did my community experience with MetMUnch help develop my CV and personal attributes, it helped me obtain a place onto my future Dietetics course and still to this day, I use my experience at job interviews, applications and real life scenarios. I urge you to go to an event and get involved! Not only is it an amazing experience for your CV, you are able to practice your communication skills outside an educational setting AND you are guaranteed to have so much fun!

Join metmunch 🙂

So what are you waiting for? Whether you’re a nutrition student, passionate about nutrition, food and sustainability OR you just want to join a group to have fun and make a difference, JOIN METMUNCH! It was one of the most useful and fun things I did at university and I’ve not only made a network, but friends for life.

Check out MetMUnch on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more food, health and sustainability inspiration!

MetMUnch – Brain food to smash university!

As the new academic year begins, fear not! MetMUnch is here to give you advice on what brain food you should be eating to give you a boost, and the advantage.

First things first, eat breakfast! It’s a no brainer!

Research shows that students who eat before exams perform better than those that skip the meal. So get up and get eating brain food!

But rather than just vaguely recommend you eat things that contain slow-release carbohydrates or foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, we’re going to showcase five foods you’ll all recognise that can help you merit that distinction 😉

Oats

The primary fuel for your brain is glucose, which comes from carbohydrates. The fibre present in oats keeps your brain sharper for longer, as it provides your brain with a sustainable level of glucose release. Oats also contain protein to help you stay full of energy for longer.

To jazz up this brain food and enhance the nutritional benefits, just add a slice of banana or some blueberries.

Oats

Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein and amino acids. They are also one of the best sources of vitamin B-12, which helps regulate brain function. Eggs also contain choline, a precursor of acetycholine, which plays a key role in memory and learning.

Make yourself a nice omelette for breakfast in the morning and you are bound to feel more focused in your lectures.

Egg

Salmon

We love salmon! It’s not only delicious, but it’s also great brain food. It is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which will improve your memory during revision and exams.

Salmon is also one of the best sources of vitamin B-12, and an excellent source of protein. All things you need to boost your brain!

Salmon

Chocolate

Yes, you heard us right…chocolate! The polyphenols in chocolate increases blood flow to the brain, improving brainpower and help to protect against age-related memory loss.

Before you rush out to buy a bar though, make sure it is dark chocolate, 70% cocoa or more, as dark chocolate has high levels of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, copper, magnesium and iron.

Chocolate

Avocado

Ahh…avocados! Now these beauties not only contain folate, which helps lower stress, but they also contain lots of protein, healthy fats and antioxidants, which are vital for optimum brain function.

Make sure you add some avocado slices to a salad or add them to your wholemeal sandwich to keep you cool, calm and collected.

Avocado

Check out MetMUnch on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more food, health and sustainability inspiration!

How you can get the most out of university!

It’s Welcome Week! We know that most of you will be moving out for the first time and we definitely know the the first few weeks will be a little crazy! But once the dust has settled and you start uni in earnest we have some great bits of advice from our students about how you can get the most out of university!

Here we go:

  1. Don´t Skip Breakfast

Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. But research shows the opposite is true. Eating a good breakfast will give you energy and help you curb hunger throughout the day. Try a filling breakfast like eggs, fruit or wholegrains.

A good breakfast will make you mentally sharp too – helpful for those 9am lectures.

  1. Go For The Fruit

One thing you’ll quickly notice at uni, quite often you won’t have much time between lectures and seminars. If you’re darting between classes and need some food on the go, go for the fruit. It’ll fill you up, give you some energy, and tick off one of your five portions of fruit and veg a day.

There’s fruit available across Manchester Met, and it’s cheap, accessible and healthy – all you need!

  1. Buy A Wok

This will be the most versatile weapon in your cooking arsenal. Short on time? Got a load of
ingredients you need to use? Get them in the wok!

You can flash fry a stir-fry in a matter of minutes – and you’ll feel like a pro as your ingredients sizzle away. Make a good protein your stir-fry star, and support it with a wide variety of veggies.

Woks aren’t just good for stir-fry either. They’re great if you’re cooking eggs, making a healthy filling for a Mexican dish, or just tossing some salad!

Buy a flat-bottomed wok to maximise the surface area, and make sure it’s big enough to get all your ingredients in.

(One other thing: watch out for the smoke near your fire alarm!)

  1. Have A Routine

The lure of takeaways is always strong, especially if you don’t have any food in. How do you fight the temptation? Try having a routine.

Plan every day for breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner, and an evening snack if you fancy it. Try eggs or wholemeal cereal for breakfast, salad or a wrap for lunch, something high protein like salmon, chicken or tofu with veggies for dinner, and snack on fruit and nuts in between. They say it takes twenty-one days to form a habit – give it a go for three weeks!

It’ll help you manage your money too: planning a weekly shop when you know what you’re eating in advance means cutting out impulse buys. And remember: try not to shop when you’re hungry!

  1. Budget, Budget, Budget

Be mindful of your money when shopping for food, and have a budget in mind for your shopping. Sticking to it for a few weeks will see you right for the whole term.

Try doing a big shop one day a week instead of nipping out to the local shop for bits and pieces. Convenience stores may be convenient, but they’re also way more expensive. Try to shop in a group and share costs. Processed food tends to be pricier too, so go for basic ingredients and make your own meals.

Eating seasonally is another good tip. Out of season fruit and veg will have flown from around the world just to get to your plate, and that bumps up the cost to you. Try local, seasonal produce. It’ll cost less, and it’s good for the environment!

One super tip is to check out supermarkets in the evenings – they’ll often reduce prices on stuff close to the sell-by date. Just find the reduced section and pick out the things you like. Even if you don’t eat it that night, a lot of food can be frozen and eaten later – just make sure to read the guidance on the packaging!

  1. Get Social

If you’re moving into halls, chances are you’ll have a shared kitchen. Pitching in for food and sharing cooking with your new housemates is a great way to bond, and the kitchen will quickly become the hub of your hall.

Splitting the costs of everyday items is a great way to cut your budget, free up space in your cupboard and reduce food waste. You can learn new recipes and skills, try foods you’ve never tried before, and mix with your new housemates. And if you cook in groups, it means you don’t need to cook every day!

  1. Be Active

Being active doesn’t have to mean hours at the gym, you can find ways to fit more activity into
your daily life. Try getting off the bus one stop early, or take the stairs instead of the lift.

If you’re exercising, try to include some carb-rich foods before and after. Things like bananas,
pasta, rice and noodles are all good.

MMU Sport offer a great range of activities for everyone – from introductory sessions to sport teams and societies – so check them out!

  1. Stay Hydrated

We need to drink about 1.2 litres of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated. This is in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat.

An aluminium water bottle is a great investment – you can fill it up in the morning and carry it around lectures with you. This will save money (Manchester Met has free water fountains across campus), save the environment, and help you stay hydrated throughout the day.

  1. Keep Learning

Key to making the most of university is using every opportunity you can to learn. Manchester Met doesn’t end with your course – there are loads of events, guest lectures, displays and talks going on all the time.

Why not take the chance to educate yourself about your diet too? Not just what goes into your food, but where it comes from and how it’s made. A sustainable diet is often a healthy one, and you’ll quickly learn what foods work for you.

MetMUnch runs fun, pop-up events across the campus all year-round, and membership is open to any Manchester Met student. Our trained nutritional scientists can answer any questions you might have about diet and nutrition!

  1. Expand Your Horizons

Scroll through your Instagram feed. Everyone’s sharing pictures of what they had for tea. But what if your feed is full of healthy, nutritious accounts? We find inspiration from what other people are trying, including unusual and fashionable foods. Quinoa was unheard of a few years ago; now it’s taken the food world by storm, and with good reason: it’s meat-free, gluten-free and high protein.

Kale and popcorn have been big recent hits with various health benefits. Now everyone wants to be on the next food hype. You’re in charge now, so try things out and see what you like! Home-made will always be more healthy, and food gives everyone an easy, accessible and creative way to learn a new skill.

Check out MetMUnch on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more food, health and sustainability inspiration!

Fun, food and fresher’s flu – Sam Harrison

Hello Freshers! (and returning students!) This is it!

The start of the academic year, with nothing but fun, friends and hangovers in front of you (plus, hopefully a few lectures). Chances are, before you arrived you gave the following (admittedly, extremely important) things some serious consideration:

  • The colour scheme and theme of your new bedroom (I personally recommend just scattering a few cushions around the place). *I’d advise against asking your parents to do multiple trips in a car full of candlestick holders, trinkets and ornaments (I definitely didn’t do this. Not at all. Nope. No. Ok, maybe)

  • Some new outfits (studies suggest looking stylish at 9am lectures helps retain additional information (MrIMadeThisUp, 2018)).
  • If you’re going to get along with your course mates and flatmates (I’m pretty sure you will!)

But how much consideration have you given to your food, your health and the prospect of being the best, healthiest you possible?

We all neglect aspects of healthy eating from time to time, and MetMUnch certainly won’t advise against going out with your new friends, drinking, dancing and having the time of your life! – The social aspect of university life is incredibly important!

That being said, here are a few tips to balance out all the booze and late nights, so you can reach your full potential in the coming weeks and months, keep your bank balance healthy and keep fresher’s flu at bay;

  • Drink water, even on a night out! – Alcoholic drink, water, alcoholic drink, water. Your head and your bank balance will thank you for it in the morning. Booze not only dehydrates you, but tends to be high in calories and lacking in nutrients. By drinking water every other drink, you’ll rehydrate your body and save some calories for the following mornings yummy breakfast (we all need an amazing breakfast after a night of drinking, right?). For more tips on avoiding horrendous hangovers, please read this great blog by lovely Emma https://metmunch.com/blog/

  • Speaking of breakfast – eat breakfast! Everyday, especially on university days. Your body has been fasting over night and needs to replenish its stores to allow you to thrive and stay alert. Early morning lectures can be tricky enough without falling asleep and hitting your head on the desk in front of you. MetMUnch recommends oats, oats and more oats! So versatile, so filling and so nutritious. Add fruit, nuts or seeds. Why not add a few squares of dark chocolate in there? This breakfast will give you slow releasing carbohydrates to power you through until lunchtime.
  • Plan ahead – This ultimately saves time and money (things we tend to take for granted when living with our parents). Make a shopping list, stick to it and cook your meals in advance. What could be better than a yummy, nutritious meal waiting for after a long day at uni? This also reduces the risk of feasting on junk and takeaway food. We also recommend visiting supermarkets in the evening, as this is when they tend to reduce the prices on various foods and you’re bound to bag a bargain. So many healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, can be frozen, which locks in vitamins and minerals and allows you to eat them at your leisure.

  • Try not to get caught up in food fads and “superfoods”. The majority of the foods we know to be good for us have always been good for us, and will continue to be good for us. Make sensible choices – swap the white bread for brown bread and the Frosties for muesli (you get the idea).

There you have it – a few simple tips to help you through your first weeks and months of the university year. Squeeze every last bit of fun out of your time at uni and be good to yourself; you’ve worked hard to get here and you deserve to thrive.

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MetMUnch are buzzing about their new bee collaboration!

MetMUnch has teamed up with a sci-artist to develop some bee-utiful materials for their exciting To Bee or Not To Bee event at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Kelly Stanford creates art themed around scientific concepts, and uses it for science communication purposes. Kelly is currently involved in is the STEM Bee sculpture, which will be located at Manchester Oxford Road station from July 23rd to September 23rd. The bee sculpture is embellished with science facts, imagery from research publications, poetry and portraits of famous local scientists.STEM BeeKelly also started the John Dalton Garden Project after noticing how much diversity in plant and insect species there was in such a small-enclosed urban space.

She said: “Having started the John Dalton Garden Project I was surprised to spot Ashy Mining Bees burrowing in the wooden planters – a species which isn’t recorded as being present here on the NBN Atlas. This inspired me to go ahead documenting and illustrating what I saw. I’m hoping to build a visual guide of all plant and insect species in the garden to raise awareness of what can potentially be found in an urban environment such as university campuses.

Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 16.25.03 “I feel that small-scale studies such as these are really important in highlighting the fact that species that were once pushed out by urban development can now be successfully
reintroduced, even with minimal space and resources.”

Continuing with the bee theme, Kelly has now teamed up with MetMUnch to create bee-utiful materials that highlight the diversity of food that bees help to produce, and dangers they face as numbers continue to drop. MetMUnch will be at the Bee: Late event at the Museum of Science and Industry is being held on Wednesday 25th July, which will have lots of fun and interactive bee-themed activities. Visitors will be able to see first-hand what the collaboration has developed in what promises to be a great evening.

Bees

For more information go to – https://www.msimanchester.org.uk/whats-on/bee-late

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