As an American woman, I have my fair share of self-image issues (which is another topic for another day) however, in spite of my insecurities, I have come to realize that I love food! Silly as it may sound, good food legitimately brings me joy! Sometimes something as simple as a well-made latte, a savory Asian stir fry, or a square of intensely dark chocolate can make my day.
The realization that food plays a larger role in my life than simply nourishing my body has only hit me in the past few years. I think this is in part because I definitely think about food far more at college than I did when I was living at home. I’ve always known that my Mom is a phenomenal cook, but until I moved out, I took her culinary creations for granted. I never truly appreciated the time and effort it takes to cook well.
This year I’ve started to cook for myself. Before the semester started, the prospect of being in charge of feeding myself daunted me. Now that I’m one month into this new adventure, however, I can honestly say I love it! Is it a hassle? Sometimes. Do I get lazy? Absolutely. But in spite of the difficulties, I’ve truly been enjoying the process of learning how to cook.
I think this transition into feeding myself has been easier than I anticipated because cooking is less of a foreign world than I thought it would be. As my Dad frequently reminds me, all I need to do is “trust my training.” I’ve spent years watching my Mom in the kitchen, and gleaning tidbits from her vast culinary wisdom (thanks Mom!)
In addition, I’ve spent years listening to my body and discovering how to nourish it well. I deeply value my health. As I go through my day, I frequently inventory how I feel, and most of my decisions are made with some element my health in mind. Over the years I’ve discovered many little quirks about my body (I need protein for breakfast to prevent headaches, when I eat minimal sugar I have more energy, etc.) that inform my choices, especially when it comes to food. Being aware of my body’s nutritional needs has given me confidence in my ability to feed myself.
I’ll leave you a with a dinner recipe I made the other night that I’m particularly fond of. It’s simple, and it uses leftovers, which is a college student’s dream.
Autumn Fruit and Nut Rice Bowl
Put leftover rice into a bowl and pour milk over the top. Chop up an apple. Add the chopped apple and raisins to the bowl. Heat the rice and fruit in the microwave. Add pumpkin seeds and almonds. (You can substitute different fruits and nuts if you so desire.) Sprinkle nutmeg on top. Enjoy!