Effortless ways to eat more healthily at university

Published in The Student Journals

One of the dishes I made for my family this summer in preparation for more adventurous cooking back at uni!

One of the dishes I made for my family this summer in preparation for more adventurous cooking back at uni!

This September my sister and I are both going to uni. She is starting undergraduate study whilst I will be doing a postgraduate degree. Recently, we have been discussing how we can try and eat healthily at university – my sister wants to get a good routine going from the start and I am desperately trying to think of ways to break bad eating habits from my undergraduate self-catered days and replace them with practical, healthily and quick solutions. So I have come up with a list of suggestions that will hopefully make healthy eating at uni realistic, varied and fun.

1. Draw up a practical plan

From past experience, I know it is easy to fall into the trap of eating the same old things thus restricting your intake of different vitamins and nutrients. To combat this, i recommend making a timetable of what you plan to eat each evening. The idea of making a timetable does seem a bit regimented so I suggest just keeping it as a sketch or guideline in your head. This will make you more conscious of whether you are getting enough variety in your meals as well as making your food shop more focused and therefore cheaper. You will not be buying or wasting food.

2. Indulge in window shopping

As students we definitely can’t always afford to eat out at cafes, but I recommend browsing several to gather ideas for how to make sandwiches, or quick hot meals such as jacket potatoes, more exciting. This could be in terms of the type of ingredients, their combination, or even the presentation of the meals themselves.

3. Pick those portion sizes

This is very important for healthy eating and reminds us that it is not just what you eat, but how much of it you are eating that matters. Particularly for new self catered students who are about to buy their cooking equipment, make sure the utensils, especially bowls, are not too big. I fell into the trap of buying huge breakfast bowls and before fully realising this was constantly on fused why the cereal kept running out so fast.  Continue reading

Graze: A snack for summer

Published in The Boar, July 2013

Helen Cobby samples a Graze snack box and shares her thoughts…

Graze – the snack sensation sweeping the nation – is definitely the way to go. You can order and customize your own lunch box, filled with healthy and delicious snacks, and it will be delivered to you in a matter of days. It is a creative, quirky, and deliciously tasty collection of snacks guaranteed to put a smile on your face. It redefines mail as magnificent and modern. Who wouldn’t like a surprise present popped through their letterbox every now and again?

Graze is perfect for all of us busy people constantly on the go. And it is a saviour when you need something to keep you going during those long afternoons in the library.

But one of the most important things (and reason that I am such a fan) is that Graze is FUN. Continue reading

What to do with The Parents

Published in The Boar 16th July 2013

Helen Cobby shares her tips on how to entertain your family on a quick Warwick university visit.

When ‘The Parents’ say they are coming to visit does that send you into a panic? How to keep them occupied all day? What to do with them? How to get them out of your hair? Well here is my guide on how to survive and ensure you all have a good and harmonious time in Leamington, whether you are going to be entertaining the family as a Fresher in October or during Graduation this summer.

There are many unique and unusual independent cafes in Leamington with the right ambience and high quality boosts of caffeine or sugar to put everyone in a good mood. If the weather behaves, Bar Angeli is my number one recommendation with its outdoor seating in the cobbled courtyard of Regent Court. Their hot chocolate is the best in town, and their pastries and muffins would be perfect for a morning snack or a late, indulgent breakfast. Bar Angeli is Italian run, making for a vibrant yet chilled atmosphere, complete with unique rustic décor. Keeping with the Italian theme, Café Corleone also does amazing hot chocolate and superb coffee, and is of the same high standard as Bar Angeli, being owned by the same people. Alternatively, Gusto Ricco can make for a fun experience. It has several higgledy-piggledy floors with odd furniture. Watch out for their delicious carrot cake. Lastly, Blueberry Hill Patisserie on Chandos Street is a cutesy option with a fresh feel to it due to the simple, open décor. I’ve yet to try any of their cakes, but they all look invitingly homemade.  Continue reading

Ready… Steady… Cook!

Published in The University of Warwick Student newspaper, The Boar, in November 2012

Great excitement! The homemade food shop COOK has arrived at Leamington Spa. Located on Warwick Street in the heart of the town, this authentic and bordering-on-gourmet food outlet is not to be missed.

As well as providing authentic, genuine home-cooked ready meals, this trendy parlour comes equipped with extremely friendly staff who are always ready to offer you tasters and nibbles whilst you browse.  Continue reading

Leamington Spa’s taste of Little Italy

Published in The University of Warwick student newspaper, The Boar, in March 2013

Looking for an escape from the limited restaurant selection on campus and the generic chain restaurants out in the real world? There is no place quite like La Coppola.

Whether you live on campus or in Leamington, La Coppola will make for a unique treat out with friends or an unforgettable date. It provides a refreshing restaurant experience that goes beyond  the food.

Family owned and with all Italian-speaking waiters, it immediately feels like a special place. As you open the door you are greeted with warm smiles. Your walk to a table will be lit up by fairy lights draped among blossom branches running along the ceiling.

Murals on the walls depicting rural Italian scenes add to the feeling that you have stepped out of cold, wet England and into a delicious holiday. Even the outside of the restaurant is full of promise, stimulating the imagination with lavish displays of colourful fruit and vegetables – a beautiful display with the promise of healthy eating.

The menu is refreshing, with choice ranging from brochette starters, pizzas, risottos, different meat dishes, and they specialize in fish. Even for vegetarians, there is plenty to choose from. My favourite is Melanzana Parmigiana, which is baked layers of aubergine and parmesan in a rich tomato sauce, topped with buffalo mozzarella. There are many side dishes available, ranging from chips to some healthier options.  Continue reading