Happy happy Friday, AND Saint Patrick’s Day! Is everyone wearing green? I wore my If Looks Could Kale green shirt to celebrate it, as well as the importance of eating lean, green, healthy, and vegan, of course! Can’t get any better than that!
How is your day going as of now? So just an hour and a half ago, I finished a Chemistry midterm and I really don’t know how it’s going to boil down, but worst comes to worst, I achieve barely enough to survive. But it’s not like this particular general chemistry course I’m enrolled in is entirely important for my organic chemistry classes pertaining to my major. Now THOSE I really have to hunker down for next year! Aside from finals, really nothing else has been crazy extraordinary. I’ve been studying every night, exercising harder and longer to train for my YouTube project this weekend, and eating pretty much 90-100% the same meals everyday.
Lately on certain platforms, I see commenters complaining that these YouTubers or bloggers keep eating the same food every single day and shouldn’t continue displaying their meals if they will always look too similar. Truth is, I totally understand where this complaint comes from. Redundancy, as honest and raw as it gets, isn’t entertaining. Face it–if someone were to have the same breakfast for 10 posts in a row (unless if this person uploads daily), content will obviously be less exciting.
The public is aroused by the new, the crazy, and the unseen. You may not be online to compare our diets to others’, but you may want to see what kinds of restaurants are outside of our realm, new recipe ideas, or see people stuffing food in their faces while you’re cutting (food and calories) on a diet (if you hate yourself that much). Most people know what a salad looks like. Most people don’t know what the world’s largest vegan pizza looks like. On the other hand, everyone just needs to understand that in reality, nobody generally eats something crazy and new all the time, every day–unless you restaurant hop for a living, and even then!
Moral of the story is, it’s unrealistic to expect anybody to have something completely out of the ordinary to eat every single day, and it’s not the healthiest way to live. You need to consume the same foods to implement the same nutrients consistently and adopt a physiological routine. Personally, I find that my body tends to feel stressed and disarrayed if I consume something new all the time. This refers to my experience back in L.A. for winter break–I had the time of my life enjoying new restaurant meals daily, but I got sick and fatigued after a while because the vast multitude of different additives and ingredients couldn’t be absorbed efficiently into my body! Of course, I don’t eat that way all the time, let alone very often. My most frequent meals pretty much look just like those I eat in my cafeteria or in my apartment than they do when I’m at a restaurant or being a junk food vegan.
Speaking of which, I’ve been enjoying generally the same food every day. These plates reveal my midday meals, all consisting of spinach, tofu, Brussel sprouts, Peanut Butter Panda puffs, and vegan protein shake. I absolutely adore this combination, and nothing is more satiating or flavorful than a good collection of sweet, savory, bitter, salty, and pungent qualities.
Of course, I empathize with those of you who get bored with eating the same foods easily and just need a way to make mealtime exciting again. I believe that the less you plan and prepare, the more likely you’ll make an unwise choice, such as grabbing something on-the-go or buying more food than you need at the grocery store. But not everyone likes meal prepping. I certainly don’t use it religiously, unless if I’m baking a bulk batch of sweet potatoes for brunch, otherwise I’m not one of those individuals that eats breakfast, lunch and dinner out of Tupperware. I ain’t about that life.
Because I’m in a college setting, I’m provided a meal plan that allows me to utilize salad bars, taco places, some smoothie bars, a buffet, and some markets. Hence, I have plenty of options at my disposal. Depending on your circumstances, you may have to eat out more or cook more. Ultimately, it’s up to you as to how you make your daily diet.
Below I’ve provided some quick and easy ways to learn to embrace enjoying the same foods. They’ve been especially helpful for me, and while some or all might not work for you, I do hope you consider looking into at least one of them if you’re not into consuming the same food:
- Find foods you love. Like, REALLY love. For me, those are tofu, sweet potatoes, cereal, vegan protein powder, leafy greens such as spinach and kale, vegetables and legumes. With foods that you truly enjoy, you’re not going to get sick of them that easily. In fact, you’ll look forward to eating them as often as possible! It may take some trial and error, but there is such an abundance of food and recipes out there that you can experiment with to enjoy them more.
- Research your recipes. I used to LOATHE Brussel sprouts. But I went to this restaurant that served the most delicious, blackened roasted Brussel sprouts appetizer and instantly became a fan. Roasted vegetables such as Brussel sprouts has been my new favorite dish in general. Since they’ve served roasted Brussel sprouts in my college cafeteria, I’ve been eating them daily, and have been incorporating tons of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and manganese as a result. Try having one type of food in a different way as well. For instance, blueberries can be enjoyed in a smoothie, in oatmeal, porridge, green salads, fruit salads, homemade pastries, or even as a snack by themselves. The possibilities are endless!
- Find a reason to love a food. Long ago, I wasn’t a spice gal. Now, I have chili flakes or chili sauce in almost every meal and sprinkle cinnamon and turmeric on everything I eat! It started off with me learning that spices are a great way to boost your metabolism and flavor your food without adding a crazy amount of calories. I realized that the research was true–the amount of flavor and pungency I got out of the spices were insane for the minute quantities I’d need. However, this doesn’t always work. I still hate grapefruit, despite there being a whole diet dedicated to it.
- Choose one meal or one part of a meal to make spontaneous. If you meal prep breakfast, you don’t always have to meal prep dinner if you don’t come home extremely tired and hungry, ready to rummage the pantry for the junk food. Lately, one of my brunch sides have been my most spontaneous food, since my cafeteria rotates foods once in a while. Instead of a sweet potato and quinoa kale salad for my starches, I could have vegan chili, butternut squash or purple potatoes (pictured, and will elaborate on later) if they had any. Sauce is another great way to spice things up. For instance, a lemon avocado dressing on your vegetables one day, an Asian-style orange sauce the next, and a classic barbecue sauce afterwards. Eat up!
Now that we’ve gotten those tips out of the way, it’s time I address the second part of my title. Potatoes and I have had our hard times. I remember one day biting into some aloo gobi at dinner time and waking up with a zit the next day. What? Crazy right? Well, I tried roast potatoes another day, and guess what–ANOTHER DARN PIMPLE.
I don’t know if it was dairy from the aloo gobi or the oil + salt combination from the roast that triggered the acne or what, but I avoided potatoes for a long time because I thought I had an allergy. I chose to do this out of my personal conscientiousness and not because I was restricting myself or afraid of it. Over time, I’d accidentally eat a couple and find that they didn’t taste that amazing, either. I found them to be bland overall. Even with their positive rep, I barely ate them because I wouldn’t risk another zit or unpleasant taste in the mouth.
Particularly for today, I saw a tin of purple potatoes as part of Superfood Finals Week, and for some reason, the beautiful purple color looked so attractive that I decided to try a couple of slices. I thought that they’d taste at least decent with Sriracha! Verdict? Again, just as I anticipated: bland alone, but not bad at all with Sriracha! I ended up eating all of the potatoes and even had a small helping of seconds with Brussel sprouts as well!! My overall rating is 6/10 alone, and 8/10 with the Sriracha!
I’ve already gotten a suggestion on Instagram to try potatoes with maple syrup, but I would figure that potatoes would taste incredible with curry sauce, nutritional yeast, ketchup, or my favorite vegan Korean barbecue sauce from Trader Joe’s! Let me know what else I can do to learn to love potatoes, since I know that they’re super high in iron, potassium, B-vitamins, and fiber! Yes, I will learn to love them just as I did with Brussel sprouts, and hopefully they are not the cause for my facial flare ups!