A couple of weeks ago the entirety of my year 12 cohort and I (along with our gracious parents) were all invited to a compulsory (yes, I wrote that irony myself) year 12 meeting whereby study techniques, support, dealing with stress and simply ‘playing the game’ of year 12 were all discussed.
First of all, I don’t like thinking of experiencing year 12 as a game in which everyone else is my competitor and you’re trying to win. It seems almost like the Hunger Games, studying style!
But, what actually got my attention was the small, almost insignificant, briefly mentioned topic of food. This ultimately grabbed my attention and then resulted in the annoyance of such a major, helpful factor being left out of the meeting’s topics of discussion.
Good nutrition and consistent healthy snacks were probably the only pieces of advice given to my fellow students as we sat and listened to multiple study techniques, stress managing tips and how to create a study plan to organise yourself through the year. Oh, wait, I lie- they also told us to eat lots of blueberries because they are good for the brain (I will not kid with you people, I have noticed people pulling out a punnet of blueberries for recess on more than one occasion following that meeting!)
It pains me to think that nutrition is being overlooked once again in order to ensure we all have our priorities right. I was comforted by the fact that they drilled into use how important adequate sleep is, but nutrition- come on people! I don’t have to teach myself how important and how much impact a good diet holds over a person. I’ve experienced it first hand, from dramatic weightloss, insomnia and extreme fatigue, to a bright, bubbly and energetic girl, I know what miracles diet alone can achieve!
Too often I hear my friends foregoing eating because they feel their bodies are not worthy of the food, or they woke up and didn’t like what they saw in the mirror, so it’s water for the meal plan today! This not only annoys me, but it scares me too. Watching way too many of my classmates come to first form with a greasy brown bag of some form of fried food either from our very own canteen or the shops across the road and continue on to eat and label this ‘breakfast.’
And then you wonder why your brain is foggy all the time. Why you don’t have the energy to focus in class or pick up your books to study at home. Why you simply cannot fathom the thought of exercising and why sleep is suddenly becoming increasingly addictive and yet increasingly ineffective for your energy levels.
Eat something. And eat something other than McDonalds for breakfast. Be kind to your body.
As teenagers, we require a heap of energy. We are growing, moving, developing, learning, 10000 things are happening to our bodies and at the same time we are dealing with all the stresses and pulse raising events that come with our final year of school.
You need to eat. And you need to eat a lot. Carbohydrates producing the bodies preferred source of energy should enter our bodies at around 6-11 servings per day (depending on energy outputs). Protein needs to be consumed to ensure our muscle growth and repair keeps us happy, healthy and moving. Good fats to insulate our bodies, keep our skin smooth, again raise those energy intakes. You wonder why there’s no energy in the body? Because there’s no food in the body. Or perhaps the wrong kind of food!
This was the topic missing in that year 12 meeting and this is the topic that holds such importance in a studying year 12’s life.
Food is essential. Good food is essential. A good diet can change a life, trust me I know, and this message needs to be preached more at schools- at uni’s at workplaces- all over the world!
Because when one feels extreme fatigue, exhaustion, inability to sleep, focus, concentrate, carry out daily tasks, the first person we seek out is a doctor for that magic little pill that is going to make everything instantly better. And when that ‘works’ we carry on. But does it work? In the long run are you healthy? The only solution is a revamp of the one medicine that can truly perform miracles- food.
Ok, little rant over, now over to you!
What do you think?
Do you think nutrition should hold greater prominence in schools?
Have an epic experience with nutrition that changed your life?
Do you/ did you eat well when you were a teenager?
I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I got an adrenaline rush from writing it! Have an absolutely awesome day, smile, do something you love and as awlays; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS! (Feeling some blueberries now!!) Bye for now friends! :D