Helping Students Succeed With Nutrition (Ottawa U)

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For most students what and when to eat is not always a top priority. While other things may seem much more pressing than proper nutrition, eating well can often make all the difference.

As the health trend continues to grow, more universities and students are taking a stronger interest in proper nutrition.

Eating well can help boost productivity, mental capacity, motivation, and overall success. While eating well is just one piece of the puzzle, it is often a missing one.

Developing healthy eating habits as a student means developing healthy habits for adulthood. I am so happy to see that Universities are stepping up with helping students develop some of these healthy habits. This can have such a huge impact on the rest of their lives.

I was thrilled when the Health Promotion Manager from uOttawa Health Services contacted me in the fall about doing a smoothie/healthy eating presentation for students at the University.

The Health Promotion Resource Centre staff and 60+ student peer educators strive to educate the campus community about healthy lifestyle choices they can make while at university to ensure optimal success both academically and personally.  The department hosts a number of fun and free student-led events including vegetarian cooking demos, pet therapy, free yoga and other physical activity initiatives to help students incorporate healthy lifestyle habits into their daily routine. If you’re in the Ottawa area, why not check out their Facebook page & website, and drop in to one of their events!

The presentation took place in December just before exams started. Being properly fed is important all the times, but especially during exams when students need to be particularly sharp.

Unfortuantely, students are even busier than usual during exams, and have less time to focus on what they eat.

That is where smoothies come in.

Why smoothies for Students?

1. Provide a quick boost of energy. Without the crash that comes after eating a snack made with refined sugar.

2. Can help improve memory. Being properly nourished can help improve brain function and provide us with a clear head.

3. An easy way to increase fruit and vegetable intake. Something a lot of sudents need help with.

4. Boost immune system. With pressure comes stress, and students know all about that. Stress can be detrimental to our immune systems. Smoothies can help strengthen the immune system, reducing the effect of the stress, and helping to prevent sickness.

5. Easy and fast to make. Most students don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing meals, but a smoothie only takes a few minutes to make.

Smoothies are one of the quickest ways to provide your body with some healthful ingredients.

Smoothie Making Tips for Students

1. Double up. Make one smoothie for the morning (breakfast), and another one to bring with you to school or the library for later on. When you use frozen fruit, a smoothie will stay cold for hours, even when not in the fridge. A mason jar seems to be the popular container for the smoothie.

2. Go Green. Try adding leafy greens to your smoothies, like spinach, kale and swiss chard.

3. Blend the Greens and water first. This will give your blender a chance to really blend the greens properly before adding the fruit.

4. Add some healthy oil for brain power! Add flax, hemp or chia to increase the amount of omega 3s in your diet which is great for the brain. You can use the whole seeds or add it in oil form.

5. Find someone with a Costco membership and a car. Costco has great prices on several ingredients that are great for smoothies. Frozen fruit, hemp seeds, almond butter, as well as other healthy ingredients.

6. Get your friends into green smoothies and see who can make the best one. This is a great way to get new smoothie ideas so you aren’t always drinking the same one. Keep it interesting!

7. CHOCOLATE! Who doesn’t like chocolate? Try using some raw cacao nibs or powder in your smoothies for a healthy breakfast, snack or dessert.

Chocalate, Almond Hemp Smoothie Recipe
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
Chocalate, Almond Hemp Smoothie Recipe
  • ¾ cup almond, hemo or coconut milk
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
  • 3 tablespoons hemp hearts (hemp seeds)
  • ¼ cup almond butter (raw if possible)
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth.


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