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Trinity In Twelve Weeks

Week 5 banner

This week we're looking at looking after your body, including
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Sleeping
  • Exercising
  • Illness
  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
Find out more about all of these from the Health Promotion Officer, the Health Centre, Sports and Student Counselling Services

Food & Nutrition

Healthy Eating

Some basic tips on how to eat healthy from SafeFood here.

  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – They are packed with nutrients and help to reduce your risk of developing certain health conditions. Try have 5 portions a day and your body will thank you for it!
  • Eat plenty of starchy foods – These are full of energy and fibre. Whole grain varieties are best and examples include rice, pasta, potatoes and bread.
  • Eat protein-rich foods – Important for development and growth. Sources include poultry, red meat, fish, eggs, beans and lentils.
  • Get your omega-3 fatty acids – These are found in oily fish like salmon and mackerel, nuts and seeds, and are important for keeping your heart healthy.
  • Get your daily dairy intake - This is really important for students as it’s a source of calcium, which contributes to the development of healthy bones and teeth. Food like milk, yoghurts and cheese are all sources of dairy but try choose low-fat varieties as they are kinder on the ol’ waistline.
  • Don’t skip breakfast – Breakfast is so important. Not only will it keep you full during those early morning lectures, but it also kick-starts your metabolism. My go-to breakfast is a bowl of porridge topped with fruit and nuts.
  • Cut down on saturated fat and salt – It’s ok to have a takeaway every once in a while but usually they’re full of saturated fat and salt so it’s important to know the facts about which to choose and which to avoid.
  • Cut down on sugar and caffeine and drink plenty of water – Drinking fizzy drinks, energy drinks, and eating sweets and treats affect your teeth and will leave your energy level yo-yoing. Avoid energy drinks and fizzy drinks and stay hydrated and alert by drinking plenty of water.

More tips from SafeFood

What to buy

No matter what your tastes, having certain (cheap!) things in your cupboard/fridge/freezer will allow you to make any number of different meals. Keep your cupboard stocked and buy fresh food weekly when you need it. Find your local butcher and see if they do student deals on meat, you can freeze meat for up to 6 months. Just leave it in the fridge the night before you want to use it.


  • Cooking oil
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Beans (baked and kidney)
  • Soup - cans & cup-a-soup
  • Tuna
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Onion & garlic
  • Soy Sauce
  • Coconut milk
  • Potatoes
  • Chilli flakes or powder
  • Mixed Herbs
  • Stock cubes - vegetable or chicken if you're only buying one type
  • Curry powder or paste
  • Tea & coffee
  • Porridge
  • Sugar

Fresh food

  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Meat - if desired
  • Cheese
  • Bread

Frozen Food

  • Vegetables - peas/mixtures
  • Potatoes - waffles, chips, wedges

What to cook and how to cook it

The ingredients above will give you the base to make a wide variety of meals, but you also need to know what to do with them! Follow the links below to some basic recipes for students, that will ease you into cooking healthy meals for yourself and when you've gained some confidence there branch out and browse online for thousands more. You'll also need some basic cooking implements:

  • A non-stick frying pan - never use metal implements or scourers on a non-stick pan
  • A pot
  • A spatula - plastic so it doesn't ruin the non-stick pan
  • A large spoon - plastic or wooden
  • A few good sharp knives for chopping
  • A chopping board
Student recipes


Why is sleep important?

A good night's sleep makes everyone feel and look better, and it's worth it for that alone, but there are other benefits to getting good sleep regularly. It improves your memory, sharpens your attention, lowers stress, can help to improve your grades, your athletic performance, and manage your weight. That's a lot of benefit from something you do every night!

How to get a good night's sleep

  1. Keep to a sleep schedule
    Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day (even weekends!) will help regulate your body clock to make it easier to fall asleep
  2. Bedtime rituals
    A relaxing bedtime ritual - meditation, reading, stretches - can help separate your sleep time and prepare your mind to rest
  3. Avoid naps
    If you are having trouble sleeping at night it can be tempting to have a nap during the afternoon to help deal with the tiredness from inadequate sleep. You are better off waiting as the afternoon nap can make it more difficult to sleep that night
  4. Exercise Daily
    Getting some exercise during the day will make it easier to sleep at night, but not too soon before bed
  5. Make sure your sleep environment is appropriate
    Your room should be cool and free of light or noise that will disturb your sleep. If your charger light is lighting up the room, consider using a sleep mask, or earplugs for noise
  6. Comfortable mattress and pillows
    Make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable and keeping your body and neck properly supported. If you often wak with a sore neck or back, experiment with different pillows, foam toppers for mattresses or a new mattress (if possible)
  7. Relaxing Music

    If music helps you to sleep, try to find relaxing music like the one below

Healthy Sleep Tips


Tips for getting exercise for non-sporty students

Exercise doesn't have to be training with a team or going to the gym every day. Those of you who do those things, that's great and remember to take care of your body while you do. For the rest of you, all you need is a minimum of 20 minutes exercise a day. Some easy ways to do that are:

  • Walking - skip the bus and walk into college, or just part of the way
  • Get a bike or use Dublin bikes
  • Download a 7 minute workout app you can do from the comfort of your own room
  • Try a Couch to 5K program
  • Take the stairs instead of a lift
  • Do the housework!
Active Living Tips

The Sports Centre

You have at your fingertips a fantastic Sports Centre, with a gym, pool, climbing wall, fitness classes, tennis courts, you name it! Activate your membership by bringing your student card to the main reception and explore what the Sports Centre offers. If you're nervous about going to the gym for the first time, make an appointment with one of the personal trainers for a free fitness consultation.

Trinity Sport

Sports Clubs

If club sports are more your thing, you can contact the Sports Clubs at any time to enquire about joining. You'll find details of all the clubs at the link below.

Sports Clubs
Exercise & Sport


College Health Centre

Trinity has a full health centre available to students, including doctors, nurses, a physiotherapist and a psychiatrist. Visits to the doctor and nurses are free, but there may be some charges for certain services, for example travel vaccinations. There is a fee of €20 to visit the physiotherapist.

Student Emergency Clinics

If you have a health emergency, such as severe or infectious symptoms in the last 24 hours you can attend the emergency clinics every day at 9am and 2pm. Students are seen by severity of condition which is assessed by the nurses. This is not a walk-in clinic. It is only to be used for emergencies, for all other cases, please make an appointment

Missing college through illness

There will be times when you will need to stay home because of illness. Students can self-certify for 3 days, and after that you will need a doctor's note. If you need to miss a tutorial or a seminar, let your instructor know. If you are too ill to complete an assignment on time you should talk to your Tutor and your instructor rather than just letting the deadline pass. Make sure you have someone in your class who you can ask about what you missed if you were sick.

Keeping yourself healthy through winter

  • Wash your hands
  • Cover your coughs & sneezes with a tissue
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Get a flu vaccination (you can make an appointment at College Health)
  • Get enough sleep
  • Get some exercise
College Health


Trinity is a tobacco free campus which means we ask people to refrain from smoking both indoors and outdoors on our campus. It means fresh air and a clean campus for all. Since Healthy Trinity introduced tobacco free zones in 2016, we’ve had an 83% reduction in smoking. Watch out for our campaigns and ambassadors on campus and learn more about Tobacco Free Trinity and ways to quit smoking successfully on their website

Tobacco Free Trinity


Sensible Drinking

Recent studies indicate that between 90% and 95% of Irish students drink. It has become part of our culture and it is perceived by many to increase sociality, relaxation and enjoyment.

Drinking sensibly means not too much, not too often and not too fast.

Recommended limits of alcohol are 14 units per week for females and 21 units per week for males. This is the equivalent of 7 pints a week or 14 glasses of wine for females and 11 pints or 20 glasses of wine for males.

Binge drinking, which is particularly common in Irish society, is defined as more than 3 pints or a bottle of wine on one occasion.


  • Don't let yourself be pressurised into drinking more than you intend;
  • A good social life does not need to revolve around alcohol, - get involved in sport and societies;
  • Slow down, what's the rush? Space out your alcoholic drinks with a glass of water or soft drink;
  • Have something to eat before or with your drink;
  • Avoid drinking games, they lead to excess.
  • Excess alcohol leads to lack of judgement and increases risk taking. Studies such as the 'Clan Survey' of eighteen Irish Colleges, show that excess drinking increases the risk of accidents, physical injury and increased sexual risk taking.

Alcohol can be enjoyable and make you feel confident but it can also wreck your judgement.


You can track and manage your alcohol habits using EPub below.

Alcohol Action Ireland