It’s time to eat! Making time for healthy eating during your PhD

Hi gang! What a beautiful day! I want to take a second to thank you all for the messages of support that I’ve received since announcing that I quit my PhD. Thank you all for being so understanding and I hope you’ll come along with me on whatever adventure life throws at me next!

I have a couple of guest posts still to get out about how to make time to eat healthily while dealing with all of the demands of a PhD. This seemed to be a subject that got you all talking so I wanted to get them out there. You all shared loads of really helpful tips with me so I have Storified them for your perusal. Unfortunately I can’t work out how to embed it but you can get to it by clicking right here! I am also delighted to introduce this guest post from @HJPolyglot about making time to cook and eat well. I have just realised that am I writing with while eating a massive bowl of cold pasta and watching Lie To Me. Looks like even ex-PhD students need these tips!

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Doing a PhD is an exceptionally strenuous activity and in order to do it well you need fuel. Unsurprisingly, however, good eating habits are hard to maintain amidst the temporal and financial constraints of PhD study. With an eating disorder this can be even harder: the constant pressure and stress of needing to do your best and the long hours working alone can foster an environment where disordered eating flourishes. I know that this is something I’ve struggled with, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. Luckily I feel like I’ve learned ways to cope with these anxieties and issues, and here’s my top 5 tips.

1.)    My number one tip is: get into a routine of planning your meals. Yes it seems boring and annoying, but believe me, it saves so much time, money, and frustration. Once a week, or once a fortnight, sit down, make a list of meals (including breakfasts and lunches!) and do your shopping list. If you don’t have a car – get it delivered. You’ll save the £4 delivery fee by not popping to the shops several times during the week and buying whim food. By planning a menu you also get the chance to try out new and exciting recipes rather than eating the same old pasta dishes night after night. And think how much nicer it is when you come home from a day working and you not only know what you’re gonna cook but you also have the ingredients ready.

2.)    Cook extra. Double your lentils/beans when you make a dahl/chilli/cassoulet and freeze the leftovers for a lovely quick meal another night. Or just add an extra handful and have the leftovers for lunch the next day.

3.)    Enjoy food! This is so important, but food is not a chore. If you stop thinking that doing the menu/shopping/cooking/eating is a slog then you’ll have a much nicer time doing it. It’s easy to say, but try and enjoy cooking – it’s a great opportunity to do something creative, take your mind off work, relax, and try new things. Similarly, cook and eat the food you like.

4.)    Pack your lunch. Prepare & pack your food in the morning, or even the night before if you hate mornings. If you have your food with you you’ll save money and eat better.

  1. Bonus extra point: If possible have a hot lunch/brunch at uni. If you have access to a microwave or even just a kettle, I find hot food is a lovely pick-me-up. I often have porridge for elevenses (you can make this with a kettle if you use ‘readybrek’ style instant porridge oats, sugar, & powdered milk) and soup for lunch (a great way to use up left over veggies). My all-time favourite uni hot food, however, is a baked potato. Cook these at home in the oven, split open and whack in a tupperware, add your topping of choice, and bingo. Couple of mins in the microwave and you have a prize lunch right there.

5.)    Finally, don’t deny yourself the treats! We all need a bit of cheering up every now and then on a rainy day during that afternoon slump. Sometimes a cuppa and some biscuits works wonders. And buy your own – a pack of teabags, bottle of milk, & pack of biccies will cost the same as a fancy Starbucks and will do you for a week. Plus if you allow yourself to have the little treats regularly, you won’t go crazy when you do eat them.

2014-03-02 20.23.00-1Thanks @HJPolyglot for the tips! Remember to show her some love and make sure you eat something delicious tonight. You deserve it!


2 responses to “It’s time to eat! Making time for healthy eating during your PhD

  1. Thanks for the nice post. Eating healthy is the primary factor in losing weight yet it is not easy; it is a life long commitment. I have put together a website on Paleo lifestyle & food which might interest you! Please keep up the good work and good luck to whatever you do …….. continue or quit 🙂
    Laura Stevens

  2. Pingback: About this project | PhD and an ED·

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