09 January 2015

The Essential Guide to Snacking - Part One

Nothing throws the body into shock quite like week one of the PMA course. Ten years have passed since I last had a routine, or required a packed lunch, so a period of adjustment was going to be ESSENTIAL.

Conversations ripple through the computer room:

Anyone else got the munchies?”

Surely it’s chocolate o’clock?”

Oh, God. I’ve definitely crashed.”

But, what’s the secret? What joyous, nutritious treat could possibly sustain 12 peckish, pen-ready, journos on long and exhilarating days of learning at the PA?

No longer buzzing around the building - as we were on day one - we have begun to encounter the following culinary issues (AKA disasters):


  1. We all know that Shreddies keep hunger locked up 'till lunch but if, like me, you're not particularly akin to eating before 7am, you too may experience deafening stomach rubbles for the duration of Shorthand.
  2. Irrationally excited by lunch, it is easy to eat a little over enthusiastically. Being ‘too full to function’ in early afternoon classes is far from ideal.
  3. By 4pm, the earth shattering caffeine crash takes its deadly hit. What we need here is the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Emily C is first to the rescue, with the bold and brilliant suggestion of apples as an alternative to coffee. Still, until we can buy scrummy Pink Ladies from the 10p vending machine down the corridor, I’ll struggle to consider this a feasible alternative. You can’t argue with the convenience of a cappuccino.


Carmela has been dissatisfied with her well-intentioned, healthy lunches: “I’m totally going to have to go to Pret,” she said. “This salad has filled me up like 10 per cent!” And she’s not alone.

Despite the recent over-indulgence of Christmas, the lighter lunch is being shunned in favour of carbs - glorious carbs (Pret’s Macaroni cheese, to be specific)
“Now is not the time to be hungry,” said trainee journalist and fellow satchel-lover Emily S.

It’s early days for the investigation and the preliminary data is far from conclusive. However, for now, one might confidently assert that the vending machine’s hot chocolate is the hero of the hour. Ten pence hasn't brought this much happiness since the mid 90s, when it afforded you a Chomp bar or a packet of Space Raders from the local newsagents. As long as you avoid the low calorie option, this warm chocolatey beverage might just make your day - bringing pleasure, without the otherwise inevitable caffeine slump.


And if all else fails, I’ve stashed a reduced box of Marks and Spencer Mince Pies - the undisputed answer to excellent journalism - in the communal fridge. 

Emily Hardy

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