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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Finals Food w/ Smart Snacks

I am happy to announce that you are currently reading a post-graduate's blog! This past Friday I proudly accepted my diploma verifying that I, Cindy Huggins, met all of the requirements to earn a Master's Degree in Human Nutrition. Leading up to that memorable moment was a stressful streak of papers, projects, comprehensive exams, and more exams. In all honesty, I didn't think I was going to make it. Over the past two weeks I spent every moment I could in the library. This meant little time to stop, eat, sleep, and exercise. Planning out my days helped to keep me physically and mentally focused so I could push through. My study sessions had to be scheduled out in ink or I would spend a tremendous amount of time on one subject and forget to break and eat. Below was my study day dedicated to comprehensive exams.

When I take the time to go to the library I want it to more-than count so, I pack up to spend the whole day on campus. This means: layering clothes to ensure temperature comfort, study essentials like pens, paper, lap top, high lighters, sticky notes, and note cards, and lastly food! During "dead week" and finals week it is nearly impossible to find a table at the library so taking the chance to leave and eat means you may not return to an empty table. I think I was mentally racing someone the other day. As I walked to the "silent section" of the library my eyes were scoping 180 degrees to catch a table. At the same moment I spot someone packing-up to leave I lock eyes with someone else who was after the same table. We both ignored the look and headed toward the table quickening our pace step -by-step. A sly cut across the room gave me the right a-way. Now having a table, I was locked-in for the day. First let's rewind to before I hit the library. It's a process of planning and packing up for a day of studying. Below are meals and snacks that are simple, quick, compact, cheap, and easily transportable!

Spinach Ice Cubes
Wonderful way to prepare a quick morning or afternoon (or midnight) smoothie. For the week, blend a fresh batch of spinach with your choice of liquid (I use water). Poor over ice trays and freeze. Add ice cubes to your favorite smoothie or juice recipe! Looking for great smoothie recipes? Check out my favorite here!

Big girl cereal with blueberries
Yes, I said Big Girl! It’s time the cartoon cereals go back on the shelf and we start thinking about nutrition! This one is Kashi GoLean !

Tips for choosing cereals:
  1. Read the nutrition facts label!
  2. Aim for greater than 3 grams of fiber per serving
  3. First ingredient should say "Whole Wheat" or "Whole Grain"
  4. Ingredients list should be short.

Salad in a Jar
    Layer from bottom:
    Spring Mix (or greens of choice)
    Red Grapes
    Apple slices (sprinkled with lemon juice or diet lemon lime soda)
    Small handful of almonds
    ¼ Cup of reduced-fat Feta cheese
    Drizzle top with light, raspberry vinaigrette dressing (I like Newman's Own!)

Mediterranean Veggie Pita
    Whole Wheat Pita Loaf cut in half
    Spread hummus of choice inside both halves
    Pack in spinach leaves or greens of choice
    Pack in sliced red, orange, yellow, and green peppers
    Sprinkle with reduced-fat feta cheese

Cinnamon Banana Oatmeal
    1 pack of cinnamon spice instant oatmeal
    1 Banana smashed

English muffin Pizza
    Whole Wheat English muffin
    4 T Marinara/Spaghetti sauce, divided by 2
    ½ Cup Reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, , divided by 2

Simple Salad
    Spring Mix
    Apple slices
    Small handful, Honey glazed walnuts
    Reduced-fat feta cheese
    Drizzle a small amount of honey on top

Mediterranean Greek Wrap
    Whole Wheat Tortilla
    Spinach leaves
    Chopped Black Olives
    Variety of sliced bell pepper
    Reduced-fat feta cheese
    Drizzle with small amount of olive oil and vinegar
    Or substitute with your favorite Greek Dressing

Apple and Almonds

Frozen Peanut Butter and Banana Bites
    Slice bananas and lay flat on baking pan covered with parchment paper
    Add 1-2 t of peanut butter
    Top with another banana slice to sandwich the PB!
    Place in freezer and let the magic happen

Greek Yogurt with Kind Blueberry Granola

Chocolate Coconut Breakfast Bars

Fruit Snacks: diced apples, seedless red grapes, and walnuts

Fresh Strawberries

Popcorn, light

Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Banana Bites

Yum yum yum! Please, share your favorite go-to portable healthy meals/snacks! I’m always looking for ideas. For those of you who still have finals…good luck….For those of you who are done…Congrats!

Wait! Are you ready for this: Cindy Huggins, MS, RDN, LD! Ekk!! 


  1. Congratulations! A great achievement!

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