At the end of 2016 I embarked on the tedious journey of writing MATRIC.

Yip,that thing that all teens (and parents) dread. That thing that demands dedication and enthusiasm, and stimulates the rebellious mind to create many never-ending stories of why a crappy certificate of percentages is pointless.

Though do we create these ideas within ourselves because we fear the challenge? Are we scared of failure just like everyone else? Do we fear it to the point of total resistance and blunt refusal? Or are we one of the rare ones who are going to prove to the world that humans can lead a deliciously successful life, without the aid of a certificate, or the experience of conquering the mighty exam monster?

These are all questions I asked myself countless times throughout my high school career. Though for me, it was a matter of perseverance. My challenge here lay in finishing something I had started, and facing things head on even if they proved to be difficult.

Now that I had fully established my commitment I needed to establish a fabulous eating routine.

In order for me to write matric I needed to maintain a bottomless well of motivation, mental endurance, positive energy, enthusiasm and a healthy body.
I got enough support and love from my family and friends, but where did the rest of these good qualities sprout from during this time ?
well, many will not believe it,but it was all from the help of eating plant-based foods,rich in superfoods and bursting with an abundance of nutrients and minerals. Hold up!
Did I just say that plant-based foods and superfoods helped me write matric with power and ease which gave me extremely successful results? Yes i did!

Dear reader
If you hold the perception that food only influences the physical body, then prepare to have your beliefs expanded. food ,good or bad, does not only influence your body, but it can also  have a great effect over your mind and emotions.

This can sound highly debatable to the average sceptic but it makes complete sense.
If you think about it logically, how can something we consume not have a direct effect on our body,mind and emotions when it is breaking down inside of us, being absorbed by our cells, and utilised by our highly intelligent system as fuel to carry on thriving?

Food is an amazing thing. It can either make you flourish and lead an energy-abundant life, or it can make feel like a bloated beetle, too tired to even clear the table after a fat sunday lunch, thick with microwave style gravy and battery roasted chicken.
Similarly, foods that are clean and nutrient dense promote a clear mind and positive emotions, and processed foods lacking in nutrients, but abundant in chemicals have the power to create stress(as they put strain on the body), low energy levels and negative emotions.

I’m not saying that the minute you eat a bag of hot chips you are going to get depressed and the second you drink a green juice you are going to feel ecstatic. I’m saying that daily and ongoing consumption of certain foods over time can have powerful long term effects.

So back to the actual point. Eating healthy,nutrient- dense foods helped me tremendously throughout my matric examination period, to maintain calmness, focus, positivity, energy and determination.

On occasion I know I was a troll to be around. Try writing a 3 hour mathematics exam,studying and beginning your period all on the same day while still maintaining a perfect smile.

Though with much help from herbal teas, amazing superfoods, lots of greens,exercise, and those grounding, whole- food, hearty meals I successfully managed to maintain a good amount of positivity,energy and focus, and received amazing end results.

What I ate :

I made sure that I was consuming enough nutrients needed to have my brain functioning clearly with focus.

BrainOn (AFA blue/green algae, extracted from lake Klamath) and spirulina were fantastic ones for this, as they really kept me focused on what I was doing.

In the mornings I either made a superfood smoothie, or had a breakfast bowl which mainly consisted of hemp and chia(those healthy omegas for a clear mind) fruit for energy and maca to calm those anxious nerves.

I drank plenty of good quality spring water and added the BrainOn to my water bottle so that I was continuously ingesting its goodness throughout the day. Doing this helped keep the brain-fog at bay and kept me focused on my goals.

I made sure that I always had an amazing supply of healthy, raw superfood snacks near my desk when I needed strong motivation, and a good energy boost.

In the evenings I drank chamomile tea to combat all the stress and prevent myself from enduring sleepless nights, as well as breathing deeply and repeating positive affirmations.

For me, green juice was the ultimate saviour during this time. Greens are such a great all-rounder food. They are alkalising, calming and provide an abundance of energy.
Stress, negative thoughts and emotions, and anxiety causes acidity within the body, therefore the alkalising greens helped balance out my stress levels beautifully.

By the end of this amazing, experimental journey, I not only gained a successful matric certificate but also a personal insight into the power of food. When nourishing your body with amazing, clean and fresh food, all aspects of your being will thrive.
My advice to fellow matric students would be to become conscious of what you consume, and experiment with healthy foods to see what really gets you going- energetically and mentally. If we learn to utilise the amazing natural foods that surround us, we can be sure to reap the benefits.