Non-Negotiables: Food

Coming to graduate school has been a big change.  Sure, I was only out of school for one year after my undergraduate when I worked a pretty tedious full-time job doing digitization, but coming back to school and readjusting to the schedule and the workload has been kind of a challenge.  At this point I’ve gotten the hang of it, except for one thing – I always forget to eat.

My mother is probably shaking her head at me.  When I first came to school she gave me this advice – identify what your non-negotiables are and never forget them.  Non-negotiables are the things that you cannot live without, the things entirely essential to your sanity and health.  For some people that is their morning workout or their evening glass of wine.  For me, right now in this stage of my life, my non-negotiables are food, sleep, the occasional beer, and chill time with C.  These are the things that I am entirely unwilling to sacrifice despite the fact that I am a crazy graduate student.

Food, however, has been easier to forget than I had originally thought.  My classes all start at 1PM or later, so I jump on the bus around noon to get into town in time to grab a quick coffee.  So to adjust to this schedule, I’d have to either grab lunch before class or eat around 11:30 before I get on the bus.  I really despise eating so early because sometimes I’ll be on campus late into the evening and not get home until 8 or 9PM.

After a few weeks of wondering what to do about this dilemma, I looked around at my classmates and finally noticed something – graduate students are always snacking!  During the mandatory break in all of my three hour lectures I would look around and my peers would produce bags of granola, soup warmed up in the student lounge, carrots, Chex mix, and even the classic PB&J.  Genius!

So, in order to keep myself from getting so hangry (hungry+angry) during the day, I’ve started packing snacks in my already stuffed (and stylish!) commuter bag.

Here’s a few of my top picks!

  • Clif or Luna Bars – Full of protein and always delicious, these bars are a fast fix for a cranky attitude.  I love the White Chocolate Macademia and the Peppermint Stick (seasonal flavor) bars.
  • Veggies – Carrots can be dangerous to eat during a lecture, but during the break they’re a healthy way to fight off the hunger.
  • Bag of Cereal – Sure, sometimes I feel goofy snatching a bag of Cheerios or Golden Grahams out of my purse, but these are a good way for me to mix things up and actually get to eat a lot of cereal, especially since I don’t really dig milk.
  • Bagel – I love a good bagel.  Luckily for me, there’s a toaster in the student lounge and I’m thinking of investing in some cream cheese packets.

I’ve also learned that I am much more likely to pack some food (and not splurge on a fancy sandwich in town) if I plan ahead and portion out some snacks the night before.

I always keep my eyes open for more snacking ideas when I’m wandering the aisles of the grocery store.

What’s your go-to snack?




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