I was sitting with one of my best friends from high school in her college dining hall. Her friends were making fun of her for keeping all of her foods very separate on her plate. I laughed at this because I had never really noticed that she did that. The other reason was that I couldn’t eat any more differently.
I’ve always had difficulty making commitments, particularly when it comes to food. Menus are a mess because I want to try 11 different options, but don’t have sufficient funds to get more than one. This is why I love the school dinning hall. I don’t have to make any one choice. What this usually ends up looking like is the Chipotle of salads on my plate.
I go into dining hall and start off by saying I am going to get a salad today and “be healthy.” I call this “the base.”
Pick a lettuce. Honestly, it doesn’t matter which one because you are barely going to notice it’s there by the end. I say this to you now, but if they ever have kale, I am the person the sprinting to get it. My friend actually still makes fun of me because one time I saw it and screamed “KALE!” I would probably be making fun of myself for this too.
Your next step is to continue the hallucination that you are simply having a regular healthy and light salad by strolling down the salad bar.
I pretty much always just get the basics that would come in a salad mix like carrots, tomatoes, and celery. If they have quinoa, edamame, or sweet potatoes, those are definitely going on my plate too.
This has only been the beginning, and you haven’t even gotten to the pre-made salads yet. If they look even remotely good to me, I am honestly probably going to add a little bit of each. This is why I would prompt you to try adding AT LEAST one. You can do it, be adventurous.
If your school is like my school, a burger bar is not uncommon. If there is a burger bar, and I decide to make a “salad” instead of getting a hamburger (which isn’t super likely), I’m probably going to cut up a veggie burger and add it to my salad. If there isn’t a burger bar, look at the main options for meat. I know some grilled chicken or tuna is around and probably wants to be part of your salad. AND there are definitely at least two mixes of grilled veggies somewhere in the dinning hall, so try throwing those in. If you like hummus, top it off with some hummus.
At this point I should probably stop because you nor I no longer have any idea about what is on my plate. The moral of the story is that I have been doing this for years: making a base salad and adding the main dinner options on top and eating it all together. If you are even remotely unlike my friend who designates spots on her plate for different foods and you can admit it is all going to the same place, I would recommend trying this. It will soothe your phobia of commitment, I promise.
And it’s good! Taking a risk and mixing foods that you might not suspect go together can turn out tasting way better than most of those foods do alone. Salad can be so much more than rabbit food. Plus, look at the bright side: You ate your veggies today and you didn’t even notice.