Taking care of myself is important. I hear it all the time from people all over campus, whether it be campaigns aimed towards student wellness or advice that my academic advisers give me. But what does eating well really mean?
To me eating well means picking what have been told are healthier options. This typically includes more fruits and vegetables, drinking water, and making sure I have a healthy diet that is suitable for me. I’ve gotten into the habit of talking to my healthcare providers about what eating healthy means for me.
My issue tends to be that I eat last minute. This looks like having almost no food in the fridge, and only considering what’s for dinner right when my hunger has reached a peak. I lack foresight in this area, and frankly it’s easy to lose track of all of the adult things I’m supposed to do all of a sudden. One day I’m with my parents and they’re making sure I’m fed a home-cooked meal, and the next day I’m in my residence with no idea how to shop for groceries, cook efficiently, and portion appropriately. My issue in first year was that I lacked a consistent system relating to food.
Fast forward through years of trail and error, and here I am with two dishes that are key to my diet that I know how to make really well, can make fast, and are affordable for me. I can whip up lunch or dinner on the fly, and I know how to do it such that it’s at least edible. The iterative process, which involved countless failures, resulted in me having a meal plan that allows me to be healthier than I was before. I know that I can nourish myself, and most of the time I do. I still eat out sometimes, but I value taking a few minutes out of my day to take care of my body.
Some tricks I’ve learned over the years can probably be applied to all facets of life: developing a lifestyle is an agile process. I saw what worked for me in the moment and stuck with it, dropping whatever didn’t serve my needs. Even my diet was a years-long process of development which involved some intense research and consultation from the right professionals, like my general practitioner. Eating healthy may seem like a chore at first, but the long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term costs and slight inconvenience that comes with becoming self-sufficient.