Home Buzz A Geek’s Guide to Life – Eat, Drink and Be Sensible!
A Geek’s Guide to Life – Eat, Drink and Be Sensible!

A Geek’s Guide to Life – Eat, Drink and Be Sensible!


Part I: Food and Sleep

Food! Glorious Food! Whether it’s salty or sweet, crispy or chewy, food is something we can’t live without and as geeks it is the delicious fuel we need to sustain movie marathon sessions, snack while level grinding and it also helps that stuff tastes good. It recently occurred to us here at the Arcade that we eat an abhorrent amount of food that could be considered junk food but even then on the scale of ‘1 to Jesus this stuff is super bad for me’, it tips the scale into nearly toxic.

As a former Diet Coke addict, on average this geek would consume nearly six litres a day, I know just how easy it is to splurge and gorge on everything from sweets to fizzy drinks, able to polish off a tub of Pringles and still have room for one or three bars of chocolate. Moderation was a word entirely lost on me, it didn’t matter because I’d convinced myself I was active during the day and in between writing, gaming, and more gaming, I’d find the time to go for a long cycle or lift the weights (not a lot mind you… zero upper body strength!), so in terms of weight gain I always found myself coming in at the same amount every week (neither skinny nor overweight but some awkward lump in the middle). It didn’t seem to be having any adverse affects or so I thought!

That much sugar, salt and caffeine was taking it out on me in ways I’ve only now realised, the biggest impact on my sleeping pattern, my moods and my skin. Now the pale pasty, greasy and bedraggled look might work for Robert Pattinson but he’s groomed to look like that (I hope!) and having caught sight of my ghoulish reflection it was obvious that late nights fuelled by fizzy drinks and satiated with stacks of crisps and mountains of chocolate (actually making myself hungry at this point, no lie!) were taking a toll. Going to bed after four hours of online gaming isn’t a big deal unless you’re going to bed just as the sun begins to rise and you drag yourself back out of the bed after only four hours of sleep. It is recommended that an adult gets between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep at night to ensure they are rested and ready to perform at their best the following day.

So going to bed late and getting up early wouldn’t exactly leave me in the best of moods on first waking up and it usually took me an hour or two before I got into the swing of things and I would nurse myself out of my foul temperament with two large mugs of STRONG coffee, skipping breakfast, something most if not all nutritionists would hit me up side the head for (as it’s considered the most important meal of the day) and going straight into work.

So what you might be asking? It’s not having any real affect on me right now other than a cranky bear head and a dependency on the nectar of the Fizzy Gods so why stop!

Well look at the big picture, I’m not even halfway through my life and I’m already unable to function without being doped up to my eyeballs in delicious coffee! For me it was time to make some changes in the hopes I could add a few more years onto my gaming life and hopefully sort out my irrational mood swings, flipping tables over is fun but doing it because you stubbed your toe might be considered over the top no matter how painful it might be!

So what’s the solution? It’s actually kind of simple and requires just a little willpower… all good and delicious things in moderation! Stuffing your face with chocolate, sweets and drowning in cola is one of the best feelings in the world and I’d never tell someone to deny themselves these pleasures but maybe instead of gorging on a family size bar of Dairy Milk you pick up the smaller one and instead of swallowing it whole and gnawing the remnants of melted milk chocolate off your fingers you take your time with and savour the chocolatey moments. The same goes for the 2 or 3 litre bottles of drink, pick up the 500ml bottle and pace yourself with it!

If that sounds too good to be true then try doing what I’m doing! As I said above cutting all of these things out of your life is denying yourself and that’s depressing but having them as an occasional treat instead of a staple diet is my new habit. I’ve replaced crisps with handfuls of cashew, unsalted peanuts and dried fruit slices (seriously dried banana is amazing!), I buy two litres of sparkling water and add a little sugar free diluted drink for flavour. Popcorn and flavoured rice cakes have become my go to snacks! Now when I say popcorn I don’t mean the microwaved variety or the butter soaked salt encrusted pop it yourself stuff ! Popcorn when airpopped is considered to be a healthy snack but who has one of those machines at home? Instead use less oil and the tiniest amount of salt possible and you’re looking at a snack that you don’t have to feel guilty about after you make your way through the pot!

 So with no cola in my system, less sugar because of less goodies and cutting back on the greasy quick meals has there been an improvement? Of course! This is all common sense folks, I’m not a Guru of Diets and Healthy Living, I’m having more restful nights, better mornings and I feel better and more productive as a result. Now I’m still not prepared to hand over my coffee and I’m still going to have my moments of blissful splurging but I’ve learned that it isn’t a treat if you are having it every single day, fast food isn’t good food and early nights mean longer days which can then be filled with more gaming/TV/movies/reading/comics and all things gamer and geek!