This is an intervention. Put down the boxed mac and cheese. Yes, you. It’s time to break out of your summer food rut.
Nobody talks about how summer can be hard. In the movies, college summers are full of Pinterest-worthy beach picnics, beautiful cocktails and perfect barbecues. The day to day reality, however is more like rolling out of bed at noon in your pajamas and crawling to the cereal cabinet. If you’re anything like me, the transition back home can be tough, especially on your diet. But I’ve laid in place some solutions I think can help us all. No more chips for dinner.
1. Breakfast makes perfect
Ah, yes, the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, when we drag ourselves with near Herculean effort off our mattresses closer to the pm rather than the am, this meal can be the first one to get kicked to the curb. But, as you probably know, breakfast is crucial to kick-starting your metabolism and maintaining steady energy throughout your day.
Make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need to start your day right by planning a nice, big breakfast with plenty of fruits and veggies.
#SpoonTip: One of our favorite breakfasts here at Spoon is avocado toast – delicious, nutritious and super easy.
2. Planning is everything
So you’re having a somewhat energetic day and you’ve managed to make it to the kitchen. You picked a smokin’ hot new recipe to make, and you’re all set. Little do you know, you’re completely out of bell peppers… canned chili it is.
Want to avoid this kitchen drama? Make a plan. At the beginning of the week, or whatever day you go to the grocery store, list out all of your meals and snacks by the day, and remember to account for leftovers. When you’re done, combine all the ingredients into one big shopping list. You’ll not only avoid the ‘what do I make?’ dilemma, but you’ll save money by not spending on extra ingredients you don’t need. It’s efficient and a sure-fire way to get your summer eats on track.
3. Get fresh
Looking for inspiration? Check out a local farmer’s market. If your town doesn’t have one, try a neighboring city. It can be a cool way to do some sight-seeing and pick up some fresh eats. Plus, they usually have local music and fun pre-made foods like dressings and jams.
Not feeling the farmer’s market vibe? Go for a no-fuss alternative that will challenge your cooking skills: sign up for a co-op or CSA. Most farms have programs where for a flat rate, members can pick up a weekly box of produce that includes whatever’s fresh. It forces you to use fresh veggies and try creative ones you may never have seen before.
4. Keep it simple
All these tips aside, you don’t have to be the iron chef to make yourself good food this summer. If you’re afraid of making things too complicated, or don’t think you’ll have the energy, opt for simpler meals; try out recipes with five ingredients or fewer. By streamlining your recipe book, you’ll have fewer excuses.
Now that you’ve read this whole article you pretty much have no excuse not to get up and get in the kitchen. I know it sucks that you can’t get mozzarella moons until 2 am anymore, but we do what we must. And we must put down the pre-made frozen dinner, because we can do better this summer.