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It’s a bittersweet time of the year! As students, we have finals to study for and our schedules start filling up during the month of December… but, on a brighter note, the end of the semester is near and so is the winter holiday 🙂
Since finals and some level of stress are in students’ inevitable futures, why not learn how to best cope with them?
Here are three practices to do while studying for finals:

1) Roll with the chaos. Finals are going to happen whether you’re pulling your hair out or calm and collected. Which sounds better? Keep a positive perspective in mind if you become negative about finals week. Get enough sleep, eat regularly and be sure to make time for yourself over the weekend so when you do study, it’s more tolerable!

2) Eat balanced. Sorry, as a dietetics student I had to put this one. Although I know part of it is likely a placebo effect, I tend to eat what I think of as “brain foods” before finals. Eggs keep me fuller longer and contain choline which is good for cognitive function**. Therefore, I like to switch my morning oatmeal to eggs during finals week. Walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and salmon have omega-3s, which fight inflammation and has been linked to brain health*, so I incorporate these foods in my meals and snacks if possible. Lastly, if you’re a coffee drinker- be sure to drink your coffee this weekend! The caffeine will help keep you alert and focused. If you don’t drink caffeine, just remember to stay hydrated! Dehydration can lead to a feeling of sluggishness aka brain fog!

3) Take frequent breaks. You might be tempted to study for hours at a time, but you will actually retain more information if you take a break at least once per hour! Stand up, make coffee/tea, have a snack, take a walk or do a mindless Buzzfeed quiz… Whatever it is… Give that brain a rest! You deserve it. One easy way to schedule breaks is to set an alarm on your phone, that way you don’t have to watch the clock which can be a huge distraction to effective studying.

Currently taking a break from studying? Read Buzzfeed’s 33 Stages of Finals Week 🙂 Good luck to everyone on finals & Happy Holidays!

References:
*http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil-alpha-linolenic-acid/background/hrb-20059372
**http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2782876/

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In the past year there has been a lot of hype around “coconut” infused items. While I admit to being a fan of coconut-y things like coconut yogurt and the versatile coconut oil, I want to emphasis that just because something has the word coconut on it- doesn’t mean it’s inherently the healthiest thing for you. This rule of thumb applies to other “superfoods” advertised for being miracle cures for weight loss, making you younger or washing your car for you (Overall, health = balance. There’s no one miracle cure.).

That being said, this post is going to share with you my favorite ways to use coconut oil. For starters, you can use coconut oil to cook, it stands up better to heat than olive oil…but my uses will be some you might not have thought of. If you enjoyed my last post about Money-Saving Tips for College Students, this post is for you. Using one product for a variety of things saves money too 🙂

1) As a hair mask. If my hair feels dry I’ll rub a few tablespoons of coconut oil through my hair and twist it up in a bun while doing homework. When I’m done, I’ll rinse it out in the shower, as usual. My hair always feels great after this!

2) As a moisturizer/lotion. I often put on coconut oil as lotion after my shower because my skin soaks up the oils better. With this, don’t use too much. A little goes a long way and you want your skin to feel soft, not oily.

3) As makeup remover. I learned this trick when I forgot make-up remover when spending the night at a friend’s house. Coconut oil takes makeup right off and moisturizes the skin in the process.

Interested in more coconut oil uses? Watch this video to find 26 uses for coconut oil !

-Katie

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Fontbonne University

Why Fontbonne, huh?

by Fontbonne University on September 21, 2015

in Academics

I think I’m becoming what you would call a professional student. I went to college straight out of high school, got my bachelor’s degree from UMSL in communications 4 years later, then continued to go back and take random classes because I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Eventually I found out what my true passion is…FOOD! I love cooking and have had my mind set on culinary school the past 2 years. After running into some health problems I did some research on diet and exercise and figured a slight lifestyle change was worth a shot. I changed my diet, joined a gym, and 8 months later I lost 25 pounds and was in the best shape I had ever been in a long long time. More importantly, my health improved dramatically! Since then I have been fascinated with what great things good food and exercise can do for your body.

I pondered long and hard about what I could do with my life that involved the two things I now love most, food and exercise. My mom is a diabetic educator and works with a lot of dietitians. One day she sent me a text saying, “Hey, I know what you can go back to school for — dietetics!” Just like a lot of other people I replied, “Ummm … what’s that?” Then I pulled up my trusty Google homepage on my iPhone and figured it out. Dietetics seemed absolutely perfect for me so I began researching some of the schools that offered the major. Sadly I’m 26 and still get homesick, so I knew I wanted to stay in St. Louis. I stumbled upon Fontbonne and SLU and had a decision to make. I decided I should probably attend any open houses or welcome opportunities at both schools to make my decision. I registered for Fontbonne’s open house last November, and that was all I needed — decision made. Not only was the campus beautiful but every single person I spoke with was extremely nice and all of the current students had nothing but positive things to say about Fontbonne. I was sold, and here I am now! 4 weeks in and loving it!

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Only one month left until school starts back up again. For me, fortunately it will be my last semester 😀 For dietetics students, our education does not end with a 4-year degree. After graduation the goal is often to land an internship or graduate school (or both) and then become a registered dietitian working in either the community, clinical setting, or in food service management. In addition to that, registered dietitians are required to have a certain amount of continuing education every five years. In the nutrition world, scientific research leads to a continuation of new information every day, so it makes sense to require those in the nutrition field to stay up to date.

For me, the continuing education excites me more than it scares me. I love staying up to date with the latest trends (even without following the trends, I like to know what others are up to so I can challenge misinformation). I’m looking to work in the community setting of dietetics because I love one-on-one interaction with people, and that’s where my heart truly goes. Although I love science and the clinical case studies in Medical Nutrition Therapy, I feel that there are so many current and future dietitians that have a huge passion for that area, that if given the chance, I’d prefer working in the community where my true passion lies. That being said, I’m open to new possibilities and am fully aware that internship/time may steer my choices in the dietetics world.

Fontbonne’s dietetics program isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s for the most passionate future dietitians out there! The instructors give you a great background of each different area of dietetics so you get a feel of where you want your career to land you in the future. My favorite projects included nutrition counseling with different clients. Once we did one with a registered dietitian role playing as a randomized client, another time we did with an actual client from Fontbonne’s campus. I can almost guarantee it pushed everyone in the classroom’s comfort zone at first, but it was a great way to learn!

For any perspective Dietetics students, I strongly suggest you talk to anyone in the FCS department and ask questions about the dietetics program to see if it’s the right choice for you. 🙂

-Katie

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North Carolina Trip

by Alumni Posts July 27, 2015

On Tuesday I caught an early flight from Raleigh back to Saint Louis. I was in Raleigh, NC for a week visiting my boyfriend’s family and spent some time exploring the area. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I loved Raleigh! The city had a small-town vibe with the excitement and entertainment of a […]

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Protein Pancakes!

by Alumni Posts June 29, 2015

Hey everyone! This week I’d like to introduce my new favorite thing to make for breakfast (and sometimes even for dinner!) – Protein Pancakes! To many of you out there that may have tried protein pancakes in the past that left a bad taste in your mouth… I encourage you to give these puppies another […]

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National Nutrition Month has hit Fontbonne!!

by Alumni Posts March 6, 2015

This week marks the first week of March! You know what that means?! Well… yes, March Madness… BUT! Also, National Nutrition Month®!!   National Nutrition Month® is sponsored by The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics to help promote awareness of the importance of a healthy diet and to advocate for the profession of dietetics. This […]

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“I had no idea…” – National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

by Alumni Posts February 23, 2015

“I had no idea that the ‘perfect’ images I see every day are digital illusions.” “I had no idea that my passion became my problem.” “I had no idea that bullying can trigger an eating disorder.” “I had no idea that my quest for health was making me sick.” “I had no idea that eating […]

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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Oatmeal

by Alumni Posts February 18, 2015

    In honor of Valentine’s day, I thought some Valentine’s Day themed oats were in order!  This recipe was made on a whim, because of how much I love conjuring up new oatmeal recipes.  I’m thankful for our snow day this Monday, which gave me extra time to work on homework and study, and […]

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Tips to Stay on Top of Assignments

by Alumni Posts February 13, 2015

One of the most important concepts to master in college is time management!  No matter if you’re a freshman or senior, you have experienced what it feels like to have responsibility for how you use your time.  Here are a few tips I follow to stay on top of assignments: 1) Prioritize by listing Lists […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.