Geeta Sidhu-Robb is the celebrity nutritionist for Gwyneth Paltrow, Georgia May jagger and Poppy Delevingne, as well as serving as a health and wellness coach. Also the founder of challenger brand Nosh Detox - the UK's first home detox and weight loss delivery service offering a wide range of fresh wellbeing products, from juices to meal programs, and even the latest wellbeing solutions like vitamin infusion drips - we got the innovative entrepreneur to share some exclusive tips with us on how students can go about surviving their years of higher education.
1. Batch cooking
Batch cooking is one of the easiest ways to save both money and effort, and reduce leftovers. Over the weekend, prepare a nutritious, batch friendly dish such as a vegan chili using kidney beans and a variety of seasonings. You can store these in freezer bags and defrost as and when you get hungry. This means there is also less washing up to do throughout the week which you will certainly be thankful for as a student.
2. Invest in seasoning
Stock up on lots of different seasonings at the start of term. I recommend starting off with salt, pepper, garlic granules, crushed chillies, mixed herbs, Italian seasoning and curry powder. This means you can save money by purchasing unseasoned chicken or salmon, for example. It also allows you to be a bit more creative in the kitchen and season depending on what mood you are in.
3. Use leftovers
Use leftovers as much as possible. If you are cooking a roast chicken and have leftovers, don’t throw it away. Use the chicken the next day in a chicken salad, for example. Leftover vegetables can be used for a number of dishes such as omelettes, and will help you achieve your 5 a day.
4. Vegetable alternatives
You mustn’t cut out carbs from your diet entirely, but replacing a few dishes that are carb heavy, such as rice or pasta, with vegetable alternatives will help lead to an overall healthier diet. You can buy lots of alternatives in the supermarket such as butternut squash pasta and cauliflower rice, but also try dishes such as sliced aubergine or courgette instead of pasta sheets for lasagne.
Markets will become your best friend when trying to eat healthy on a budget. Visit the market on the weekend where you can stock up on lots of good quality, low cost fruit and veg and experiment with them.
6. Avoid carbs 3 hours before bed
Consuming carbs before bedtime increases levels of insulin, which actually weakens the body’s ability to repair. At night time, your metabolism also slows down so the carbs have a higher chance of being stored as fat, rather than be properly digested.
7. Keep the bedroom for sleeping
However tempting it is to watch TV for example, in bed, try to keep your bed for sleeping only. If your brain only associates it with sleep, it will help you switch off and get a better night’s sleep. It will also help you engage in more social activities and help you get out and about.
8. No phone 30 minutes before bed
Your phone produces blue light which leads to your body producing less melatonin. Melatonin is part of what lets your body know it’s time to go to sleep. Looking at a screen and images will keep your brain active, meaning it is harder to switch off so try and switch your phone off 30 mins before going to bed.
9. Avoid naps during the day
Taking naps can leave you feeling very groggy, and if you nap later in the day this will make it very hard to fall asleep in the evening. If you are going to nap, make sure you do so at around mid-day and for no longer than 30 minutes.