Staying Healthy During Exam Season

I apologise in advance if this frightens you but alas, we have hit Week 11 and we are in the home stretch towards summer exams. We can almost smell end-of-exam ice cream and sleep in celebrations. I don’t know about all of you, but I tend to forget how to be healthy when studying and when exams are on my mind. It’s like my brain becomes a reservoir of words, numbers, library times, and nothing else. Sometimes, I forget to eat because study has consumed me and sometimes, I eat way too much because I’m starving and feel like I deserve it after a long day in college. Even though my brain doesn’t seem to believe it, it is possible to achieve a healthy balance! Here a few little tips you might find helpful in the next few weeks!

  1. Don’t start your day with study immediately. Give yourself time for your mind to clear, whether it be a walk, yoga, meditation, or the mandatory scroll through Instagram or reddit.
  2. Meal prep for a few days. Having your dinner already prepared will prevent you resorting to quick and unhealthy foods.
  3. Have snacks at the ready! Personally, I love to munch on grapes while I’m trying to cram some bit of knowledge into my brain to prevent that painful hunger from setting in.
  4. Give yourself sufficient break times. You can wear yourself out very fast by ‘powering through’ one day, and not having the ability to open a book the next day.
  5. Know whether you work best at morning, afternoon, or night. Not everybody is going to wake up at 7am to work. Night owls need just as much admiration as morning people! Avail of when you work best and be that productive student you wish to be!


The most important thing to remember is that exams are not everything, and if you feel that your mental health is suffering, you need to priortise being happy. Not only do we need to look after our physical health during stressful times, our mental health is just as important.

Stay beautiful, stay smiling

Anna : )


Chocolate chip cookies!

Hey guys, so this week I’m sharing with you the recipe for delicious chocolate chip cookies. All you need is …….
1 cup white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips (i used a mix of milk and white chocolate)
4 tbsp milk
2 tbsp oil
dash of vanilla extract
2 tbsp peanut butter

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.

2. Form a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients and peanut butter add 2 tbsp of milk at first and add more gradually as it is needed.

3. Mix until it becomes a cookie dough consistency, as shown below.

4. Roll into a ball and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

5. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
6. Separate the dough into smaller balls and place on a lined tray.

7. Bake for 15 minutes remove from oven and leave them to set for another 15 minutes.



Hey, guys so this week I’m sharing with you my go-to recipe for cupcakes. What I love about cupcakes is that they are so versatile and taste great.

4 eggs
225g self-raising flour
225g sugar
225g butter
2 drops vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

2. Mix all ingredients together using a hand whisk until they are a smooth consistency like shown below.

3. Spoon out the mixture into cupcake cases.

4. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

5. Enjoy the deliciousness!

optional extras
– Add 3 tbs of cocoa powder to make chocolate cupcakes.
– Add 1 drop of lemon extract and the zest of 1 lemon to make lemon cupcakes.
– Melt 2 tbsp of peanut butter and add it to the batter to make peanut butter cupcakes.


Energy balls

Hey guys, so this week I’m going to share with you the recipe for energy balls. They are super simple to make and taste great:) all you need is…….
1 cup of dates
1 cup of oats
1 tbsp of coconut oil
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp peanut butter

1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor

2. Blitz ingredients until they look like the picture below

3. roll the mixture into balls

4. enjoy!

adapted from:


Super easy homemade granola

Hey guys, so this week in honour of it being study week, I’ve got a straightforward recipe for you guys that contains omega fatty acids which a great for your brain! And it takes less than 15 minutes to make. All you need is………..

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbs cinnamon
1 cup oats
1 cup seeds and nuts (I just used sunflower and pumpkin seeds because I had them on hand)

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Mix the oats and nuts together using your hands.

3. Add cinnamon and mix it in. I may have gone a bit over the top with the amount because I love cinnamon but feel free to add extra or take some away.

4. add coconut oil and melt in with the heat of your hands, so it coats the mixture this gives the granola its crunch.

5. Cook in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or till the oats and cinnamon become fragrant.
6. Enjoy!

Motivation in Fitness

I could embellish the whole meaning of this piece by declaring that my own motivation arises from inner will-power and determination. I could fabricate reality by stating that my own motivation stems from my soul and personality. I could distort the truth and express that I do not experience slumps in my own motivation. But; that all would be a colossal lie.

When following my own healthy lifestyle, I always decide what truly motivates me. What deters me away from taking a second biscuit and what encourages me to endure a sweat-dominant workout on a Monday morning? Boiling down to the psychology aspect of things, I have both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators.

Intrinsic motivation can be defined as any internal stimuli that drives an individual to adopt a behaviour for their own internal satisfaction or fulfillment. It took me a long time to come to grips with this meaning, as I only incorporated intrinsic stimuli into my life quite recently. I have learned that this kind of desire arose between the relationship between myself and my attitude towards fitness. I no longer perceived fitness as ‘dieting’ and ‘abs’ and ‘calorie counting’ but through the lens of what emotions exercise and healthy eating made me feel. My intrinsic motivators include

  • Experiencing the high levels of happy hormones during and after a workout
  • Feeling productive rather than sitting at home doing nothing
  • Feeling full and not wondering when my next batch of calories could be eating
  • Possibly not a shared motivator among people, but I fall in love with the burn and muscle fatigue EVERY SINGLE TIME


Extrinsic motivation can be defined as any external stimuli that drives an individual to adopt a behaviour. This used to be my only motivator, which was very dangerous as it contributed towards my unhealthy perception and relationship with fitness. My sole focus was appearance and aesthetics, and what opportunities this ‘perfection’ could open up for me. Before truly falling in love with fitness, these were my extrinsic motivators

  • Seeing numbers drop on the scale when trying to lose weight and seeing numbers increase during times of muscle gaining
  • Being able to see lines for abs or bicep muscles
  • Believing that if I was a size smaller, I would be more confident


I can say that now, my motivation is intrinsic and I have never been happier. My newfound self-esteem has stemmed from my attitude and belief in my healthy lifestyle, not from the way I look. And, it is THAT confidence, that has allowed me to fall in love with the world around me, grab opportunities as they fly by me, and truly become the person I am happy to be.

Are you intrinsically or extrinsically motivated?

First, you dream. Then, you do.

Stay beautiful, stay smiling,


10 Things to Do in Galway at Christmas

1. Go Ice-Skating at Leisureland in Salthill

Student tickets are only €13, so get down to Lesiureland in Salthill between November 18th, 2018 and January 6th, 2019!

More info:


2. International Potluck Party at the Hub


In association with the International Student Society (ISS), we’re hosting an International Holiday Party here at the Hub on Friday, December 7th from 5pm to 8pm! Bring a traditional dish to share and enjoy a little study break on us!

3. Lunchtime Recital at St. Nicholas’ Church

On Tuesday, December 4th at 1:10pm the St. Nicholas Church is holding the From Europe with Love: Czech Republic classical recital. Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated!

4. Christmas Day Swim – Blackrock

An annual Galway tradition, the COPE Christmas Day Swim down at Blackrock in Salthill always brings a crowd. It takes place Tuesday, December 25th from 10am to 1pm. Registration is €10 and goes to COPE Galway to support vulnerable and isolated men, women and families.

More info:

5. Galway Christmas Market – Eyre Square

Already well underway, the Galway Christmas Market takes place from November 16th through December 22nd, 2018. Get down to Eyre Square to see all the festive sights, snack on all the delicious goodies, and see Galway from a different perspective from the top of the Ferris Wheel!

6. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony –Human Biology Building

Join students, staff, retired staff and friends from the community outside the Human Biology building in the South Campus on Wednesday, December 5th from 3.30pm to 4.15pm as we switch on the Christmas lights. Food and festive fruit punch from our campus caterers, with entertainment from our choir and student societies. Wear your Christmas jumper! Bucket collection in aid of COPE Galway and Galway Rape Crisis Centre.

7. Connacht v Ulster Rugby Match

If you’re sticking around Galway for the holidays, Connacht plays Ulster on Friday, December 28th, 2018 at 7:35pm at the Sportsground in Galway. Student tickets are €22.

More Info:

8. Festive Afternoon Tea – Hotel Meyrick

Get down to the Hotel Meyrick with your friends for afternoon tea served in their stunningly-decorated dining room.

More info:

9. Fields of Athenry 10k

Only a 20-minute train journey from Galway, the annual 10k Fields of Athenry race will be held on December 26th, 2018 at 11am. Registration is €20 and will hopefully inspire you to get training during the holiday season.

More info:

10. Christmas Lights on Shop Street

Check out the festive lights on Shop Street and get started on your Christmas shopping with a hot chocolate!

Easy lemon drizzle cake

Hey guys, so this week I’m going to give you the recipe to my favourite type of cake lemon drizzle cake. It’s super easy to make and tastes amazing. All you need is……
225g softened butter
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self-raising flour
zest and juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
40g icing sugar
40g caster sugar

1. Preheat the over to 180 degrees and grease a baking tin with butter
2.Beat together butter and sugar until pale and creamy add lemon juice3. Add eggs one at a time beating slowly

4. Sift in flour and add lemon zest and mix

5, Bake for 45-50 minutes to check if its cooked insert a fork into the middle if it comes out clean the cake is made.

6. For the icing add the juice of a lemon and icing sugar and caster sugar mix together and pour on the cake once its cool.

7. enjoy!

adapted from:


Discipline in Fitness

“I’ll start tomorrow” turns into “I’ll start next Monday” turns into “I’ll start on the 1st.” I can admit that I was, and still am undoubtedly a slave to this mindset. This attitude does not contribute to a healthy perception of fitness whatsoever. It constitutes the concept of fitness to be a chore; a negative task impeding on the things and activities you enjoy. Trust me, it does not have to be this way. It has taken me months and months to come to the one and only useful conclusion about health and fitness. Being fit is all about discipline.

I confess that I am weak in terms of avoiding binge eating and all the emotions attached to it. I decide that tonight will be the night that I am allowed to binge on EVERYTHING that I crave, every sweet, every bar of chocolate, every grain of sugar that my budget will allow me. Tomorrow will be the day I resume eating healthily. This never, ever works for me, both emotionally and physically. I feel ashamed and guilty, and want to pretend that that night never happened. My confidence is inevitably low and I begin to dislike the way I look. The next morning, my body is groggy and lethargic in every action in takes. More than likely, I’m starving the next day because for some strange and inexplicable reason (for me, anyways), I become a ravenous human once I overeat.

The one true piece of advice I reiterate to myself on a severely regular basis is that being healthy is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. A lifestyle is all about habits and discipline, it does not have to be encumbered by restrictions and unattainable goals. Every single person on this planet is different, they harbour their own quirks and traits. But every single human, can be attuned to the art of discipline.

Discipline is about setting goals, and staying true to what needs to be done in order to attain them. Discipline is about being self-aware and knowing what you can and cannot do. Discipline is understanding when self-reward is needed. Lastly, and in my opinion, the most dominant definition, discipline is about habit. Once our bodies succumb to a habit, discipline follows.

Again, we are all different but here are some of the following habits I introduced to my lifestyle, which allow me to (nearly always) be disciplined in terms of healthy eating and exercise.

  1. On Sunday nights, I schedule my week in regards to what days I will go to the gym, and what workouts I will perform – this habit improves my discipline as I have to factor in time constraints. I am obliged to stick to these schedules or my workouts will not be completed.
  2. I plan my meals for the week, and only buy the ingredients accordingly – habitual planning and purchasing of meals allow me to be disciplined in the food I eat. I would not have bought food that deviated from my plans, and hence, it is not available for me to eat.
  3. I allow myself treats, without being accompanied by the feelings of regret and guilt. The most important meaning behind this tip is that having one or two treats does not set you back in your healthy lifestyle whatsoever. Restricting myself from all treats contribute to my frequent binge eatings, whereas this cures my cravings (without the consequences that I mentioned in the first paragraph).


A habit takes 30 days to make or break, you have the choice of which route to take.

Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.

Stay beautiful, stay smiling,