Pens Down, Forks Up: Food trumps Homework, Health trumps Grades

The weather – hot and sunny yesterday, cold and rainy (slash torrential downpour-y) today – is a perfect reflection of my being these days: I’ve been happy and sad, busy and bored, full-of-energy and exhausted, and so on and so forth, from one hour to the next. Perhaps it’s the hormones, the fact that graduation is too close for comfort, or that I’m bathing in papers and tests, but I’m struggling to maintain a mental and physical equilibrium, and it’s messing with me… big time.

Throughout my undergraduate career, I’ve been consistently studious, but this term my motivation has taken a turn for the worse – ironic seeing as I’m taking a class on motivation and emotion to polish off my psych degree – and I feel uncompelled to knuckle down every waking moment. I’m driving the struggle bus, to say the least.

That said, food, surprisingly, has stayed the same. Despite my history with anorexia and how I used nutritional deprivation as a coping mechanism, restriction has not been an issue during this trying period: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks have proceeded as normal, as I have sworn they will through thick and thin; Being underweight may seem to take a load off my back (no pun intended), but I know that in the long run, malnutrition will do nothing for me. 

To testify, here are Tuesday’s eats:



Cottage cheese topped with granola and pumpkin seeds.



Tempeh sandwich with a side of leftover vegetable stir-fry.


The miniest of mini oranges with milk chocolate SunDrops

The miniest of mini oranges with milk chocolate SunDrops.


Bean salad, brown rice with salted pumpkin seeds, and sauteed vegetables

Green bean salad, brown rice with salted pumpkin seeds, and seasoned sautéed vegetables.


Homemade white chocolate chip cookie with a side of tropical trail mix.

Homemade white chocolate chip cookie with a side of tropical trail mix.

Along with my mood, my appetite has been all over the show, but fresh and appealing ingredients, and fun treats, ensure that I do not fall off the wagon; I’ve worked too hard to let this side of myself slip. Health trumps grades, and it’s as easy as that.

In the past, my main concern during term-time was not feeling worthy of a vacation because of not working hard enough, and although I still worry that I will regret taking a more casual approach to my education this term, I guarantee I will not feel guilty about putting my body first. By no means am I being lackadaisical about the seriousness of school – I do all assignments to the best of my ability, sporadically attend my professors’ office hours, and participate in class discussions – I am simply not sacrificing sleep for projects, or food-prep for test-prep. What, you’re in the kitchen, cooking, when massive exams are looming, you’re likely thinking, but the truth is that peace of mind is what I need right now, and unlike formerly when slaving away at the books gave me unparalleled peace of mind, these days, my peace of mind comes through knowing I am tending to my body needs. My current, semi-serious motto: Pens down, forks up.  

What is most important to you at this point in your life? What brings you peace of mind?


2 responses to “Pens Down, Forks Up: Food trumps Homework, Health trumps Grades

    • Why, thank you! I’m actually not very camera-savvy at all – I pretty much just point and shoot – so it must come down to the Samsung WB150F that I use. It’s not a photographer’s dream machine, but it’s simple and has fun instagram-like settings, and that’s what matters most to me. And, yes, excusable playing with your food is definitely one of the biggest perks of being a blogger 🙂

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