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Brain food recipes by alumnus Jamie Spafford at Sortedfood

Jamie Spafford

As a BU alumni (BA Hons Marketing, 2009), I’ve struggled through my fair share of revision hell and exam stress.

What I wish I’d known when I was going through all those different exam periods, from GCSEs and A-Levels to uni dissertations and exams, was how much food could have helped me get through it… Turns out my diet of crisps, chocolate, energy drinks and other assorted junk food wasn’t the best fuel to keep my brain and my body running at top speed! In fact, the sugar highs and crashes were actually having the opposite effect!

Since leaving uni, I’ve co-founded SORTEDfood with a group of friends - it’s a YouTube channel and social media brand based around learning to cook and exploring food from around the world with our community of 2.5 million food lovers.

It’s really opened my eyes to how much food can affect your performance in all different areas… But seeing as it’s coming up to exam time, with lots of late nights revising, I thought it would be best to concentrate this post on tips for foods that can keep you on top of your game for longer!

Breakfast

Poached egg and avocado on toast

Not everyone is a fan of breakfast, but believe me when I say that a good start to the day is incredibly important!

Something like these really simple Smoothie Bowls take no time at all, contain TONS of goodness to keep you going and can be completely customised to flavours you like or what you have in the cupboard/fridge… Plus, they’ll look great on your Insta!

Or if you fancy keeping it classic, you can’t beat good old poached eggs and avocado on toast - the eggs are full of protein and contain energy boosters like choline, vitamin B12 and vitamin D, and the avocado has tons of good fats that help with healthy blood flow to the brain… But also, it’s just delicious.

Snacking

Snacking has to be one of the best things in the world - food in between meals? YES PLEASE! But the snacks that we reach out for can have a massive effect on our energy levels… Piling away mouthfuls of crisps or chocolate isn’t going to do you any good, but these tasty little Bliss Balls will give you a similar taste but far better outcome. They are low GI and release energy slower, so you don’t have sugar highs and crashes, and will help maintain your energy and concentration levels throughout the day.

Dinner

Spicy squash satay

You really have two options with dinner… Either something really quick that doesn’t take you away from your revision for too long (maybe something like this Chicken and Mango Salad?) or, my preferred option, use cooking as a break away from the books for a little while and cook up something really great. This Spicy Squash Satay is a really favourite for me - it’s rammed full of nutrients that will give you a boost, keep your immune system in check and has a great bit of spice in there to keep you on your toes!

Hopefully these tips and recipes help you through this time - as always, if you have any questions about food at all just tweet @SORTEDfood and someone will answer you as soon as possible. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel for 2 new videos every week that are packed full of recipe inspiration and fun around food. Good luck!