nutrition blog

Grad 15: Nutrition Tips – A Recipe for Success in Graduate Studies


Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the fast-paced world of academia can often feel like an uphill battle. Juggling classes, research, and deadlines leaves little time for self-care – and proper nutrition is often one of the first things to fall by the wayside. However, understanding the importance of fueling our bodies with the right foods can significantly impact our overall well-being and academic success.

On March 27, The Graduate College hosted guest speaker Professor Maureen McCoy, MS, RD, for their monthly Grad 15. Guest speaker McCoy is a professor of Nutrition at The College of Health Solutions and the Pitchfork Pantry advisor. 

The event started with a presentation on the significance of nutrition in sustaining high energy levels and promoting overall wellness during the demanding journey of graduate studies. In a whirlwind of deadlines and lectures, maintaining a balanced diet often takes a backseat. Professor McCoy emphasized that simple, budget-friendly adjustments to our diets can make a world of difference. Here are some key takeaways from the event: 

Prioritize Nutrient-Dense Foods

In the midst of hectic schedules, focusing on foods that provide maximum nutritional benefit is essential. Professor McCoy stressed the importance of incorporating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats into our diets. These foods fuel our bodies and support cognitive function and concentration.

Plan and Prep Ahead

Time-saving strategies are paramount for busy graduate students. Professor McCoy encouraged attendees to carve out time for meal planning and preparation. By dedicating a few hours each week to batch cooking and portioning out meals, we can ensure that healthy options are readily available, even on our busiest days.

Embrace Budget-Friendly Options

Eating well doesn't have to break the bank. Professor McCoy shared tips for making economic choices without sacrificing nutrition. From shopping at your local dollar store to utilizing frozen fruits and vegetables, there are plenty of ways to stretch our dollars while nourishing our bodies.

Stay Hydrated

It's easy to forget the importance of staying hydrated amidst our packed schedules. Professor McCoy reminded us to prioritize water intake throughout the day, as even mild dehydration can impair cognitive function and energy levels. Additionally, opting for water over sugary beverages supports overall health and helps maintain optimal hydration.

Mindful Eating

In the whirlwind of graduate school, it's crucial to practice mindfulness when eating and understand how foods affect our mood and energy. Professor McCoy, a blog post that provides a breakdown of raw vs. cooked veggies and a list of nutritious snack ideas that are also budget-friendly! Click here to view the resource. 

Overall, Professor Maureen McCoy provided invaluable guidance for navigating the challenges of maintaining a healthy diet while pursuing graduate studies. Professor McCoy's expertise and practical advice left scholars feeling empowered to change their eating habits positively. By prioritizing nutrient-dense foods, planning ahead, embracing budget-friendly options, staying hydrated, and practicing mindful eating, we can fuel our minds and bodies for success in academia and beyond.

If you were unable to join the live event, you can view a video recording here or view the slide presentation here


Written by Roberto Estrada edited by Marjani DeHoff