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The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

This Week in Wellness: The importance of healthy eating during midterms



We are in the final week before spring break, and it can be difficult to keep your energy up when the end is nearly in sight. Many students need energy for midterms. This week, I wanted to learn how to construct healthy meals that will help you feel more prepared to face those tests and essays.

The first thing to consider when creating a healthy meal plan for a difficult week is meal timing. Dan Bernadot, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Georgia State University, explains in one article that it’s important to keep your blood sugar up throughout the day to avoid feeling exhausted or fatigued. It’s probably not a great idea to make a major change in your usual meal schedule during a week with especially important schoolwork, so try to make a schedule ahead of time of what time you plan to eat each meal.

In terms of meals themselves, make sure to eat plenty of high-protein foods. Protein provides a prolonged energy boost throughout the day, as opposed to carbohydrates, which cause an energy “burst” that burns out relatively quickly. Examples of protein-rich foods include oily fish such as tuna or salmon, chicken, oats, eggs, legumes like peanuts or lentils, nuts and seeds and cottage cheese. For an easy high-protein meal, check out my salad recipe from a few weeks ago. It incorporates soybeans and eggs, both good sources of protein. In addition, try to eat food that is rich in vitamins and other nutrients. Vitamins themselves are not a source of energy, but they are needed in order for your body’s systems to run correctly. Leafy greens, like spinach and kale, are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Another good source is fresh fruit, especially blueberries and apples with the skin on.

Regardless of what you’re eating, it’s very important to remember to take care of yourself during stressful times like exam weeks, and part of that involves taking some time to eat some nutritious food so that you can keep on going. Nonstop studying is often exhausting, and it can be a good idea to take a break to give your brain a rest. One way to do this is to try cooking something for yourself, maybe with a few friends — the recipe I have included below is a great one to try out if you are not overly experienced in the kitchen, and it is also easily customizable if you want something more complex.

This week’s recipe:

Simple pasta with tomato sauce

This tomato sauce is one of the easiest things I know how to make. In its most basic form, it only takes three ingredients, but it can also be combined with whatever you have lying around. Sausage goes especially well with this dish (try an Irish bread sausage or a sweet Italian sausage), or, if you prefer meatless meals, throw some diced zucchini and green bell peppers in with the onion before you add the tomatoes. Make sure you salt the water well — it should taste like seawater before you put the pasta in. Salting the water will give the pasta more flavor, and it will also negate the need to salt the dish afterward, since you will be using some of the pasta water in the sauce.


½ small yellow onion

One can diced tomato


Olive or vegetable oil

Pasta (any kind)

1. Fill a medium-sized saucepan with water and place on high heat. Salt the water (as stated above, it should taste like seawater) and stir until the salt dissolves. Cover the pan.

2. While water is heating, peel and dice the onion.

3. In a small frying pan, heat up a little of the oil. When the oil flows easily around the pan, put in the onion. Fry the onions until they’re translucent.

4. While onions are cooking, put the pasta into the water when it boils. Cover the pasta, but keep an eye on it in case it boils over.

5. When onions are translucent, open the tomatoes and pour them into the pan. Stir well and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow sauce to simmer while pasta cooks.

6. When pasta is al dente, take ¼ to ½ of a cup of the water and set aside. Drain the pasta but do not rinse it.

7. Put the pasta back in the pan, or in whatever dish you’ll be serving it from. Pour the reserved pasta water back onto the pasta (this helps to thicken and season the sauce). The more pasta water you use, the saltier the sauce will be.

8. Pour the sauce over the pasta directly from the frying pan and stir well. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Serves about three to five people, depending on how much pasta you make.

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