It’s midterm season, a.k.a. the season of sober Saturday nights, ten-pound textbooks (hey, at least our arms will look good in tank tops?), caffeine pills, and all-nighters. And because Penn students equate studying with hell (because, let’s be honest, we’d rather fight flames than the ticking clock at Huntsman), we’re pros at coming up with every possible excuse for why we deserve to eat our way through it:
“If I study for another hour, I totally deserve a box of Insomnia…right?!”
“Since I’m pretty sure I’m gonna fail tomorrow, I might as well eat some chocolate cake.”
“I heard not buying something from VP’s vending machine is, like, really bad karma.”
“New strategy: one chip for every Calc problem I get right…wait, rule-change, make it two chips.”
But midterm munchies don’t have to get the best of you. (Especially, you, freshmen. You still have seven more seasons of ’em.) What to do? Satisfy your midterm alter ego’s cravings with these five foods:
1. You’re craving something sweet. Your lollipop replacement? Watermelon. It’s pink, just like a lollipop, but minus the added sugar, artificial sweeteners, super-sketchy dyes (Red 40), and calories. And watermelon’s super hydrating. A hydrated brain is a happy brain (and one that dominates at midterms).
2. You’re craving something salty. Your rescue? Popcorn. Munch on this: high in deliciousness and super low in calories, popcorn’s also the snack with the highest level of polyphenol, a special antioxidant that protects your body from cell and tissue damage linked to heart disease and cancer!
3. You’re craving something chewy. Your cure? A LaraBar. These anything-but-sinful bars are packed with good-for-you ingredients, like unsweetened cocoa and dates. And there’s more. Each Larabar is equivalent to one and a half servings of…fruit! So, forget apples – a LaraBar a day is much better way to keep the doctor away.
4. You’re craving something creamy. Your quick fix? Coconut yogurt…duh! Not only will it remind you of your last spring break (à la piña colada in hand), but it’ll also help get you ready for your next one by reducing belly fat. You go, Glen Coco(nut)!
5. You’re craving something specific, like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Your “oh-my-gosh-I-can’t-believe-this-is-actually-healthy” snack. Chocolate & Nut Butter Bites. Wait, what? Yeah, you heard us. Dark chocolate = antioxidants. Nut butter = protein. But really, dark chocolate + nut butter = heaven.
Chocolate & Nut Butter Bites
8 1/4-ounce squares dark chocolate
4 teaspoons almond, cashew, or pistachio butter
Top each chocolate square with 1/2 teaspoon nut butter.