If you’re anything like me, you are going nowhere this summer and are stuck at home working, sleeping, and watching Netflix over your time off (awful, right?). New research shows, however, that a sedentary lifestyle has some negative health effects. So what could you do to get off the couch when you’re not working? So many things, I’ll tell ya.
Travel through cooking
Even though you won’t be traveling over break, you really will be. Confused? Don’t be. Cooking is a fabulous way to “travel” to other countries and experience a part of their cultures, one of the best parts of studying abroad, in my opinion. Food is the most delicious way to gather friends, too. They’ll probably want to try that delicious crepe or pasta dish you just made, because, who wouldn’t want to?
You could be “traveling” to Spain, for example, by cooking the ever-famous paella (a crowd favorite) and tortilla española, a dish made of potatoes, egg, and onion, one of the best things I had while abroad. For dessert, you may even make arroz con leche, which may look a little disconcerting but is actually heavenly. If you’re really feeling ambitious, try and make churros, the bomb cinnamon sugar donut-like pastry that is sold on the streets.
Watch the Food Network
So this is kind of like watching Netflix because a ton of the shows are actually on Netflix, but if you absolutely can’t stay away from it, there ya go. It’s also kind of like cooking since you might actually be cooking while watching (all hail) Ina Garten. But Food Network is actually bae. You get to watch other people do all of this work to make these mouthwatering dishes that inspire you to do the same.
You can find all kinds of recipes and full episodes online that they make, too, so you can be a legit chef for a day and make a meal for family and friends to show them how much you appreciate their putting up with you over break.
Read some books about food
Okay, so maybe I’m totally lame here, but I actually really love reading in my spare time. Over break I’m planning on reading Sugar Nation, a take on our country’s overconsumption of sugar and The China Study, a book about dieting and health-related issues (dietetics nerd, no shame). There are so many great books about food and peoples’ different experiences with it to read over break that you can’t possibly be bored.
Explore new food destinations
Personally, I’m going to make it a goal to check out at least one restaurant that I haven’t been to in my hometown. You can definitely bring your friends that go to other schools, too, so you can catch up and hang out. Once again, food brings people together, so whether it be family or friends, you can get together at a new or obscure restaurant you’ve never tried and have a totally rad time.
Plant a garden
Gardening is one of the best hobbies ever because it results in my two favorite things: exercise and food. I’m lucky enough to have a big backyard (living in a suburb can do that for you) so I’ll be planting a bunch of veggies for myself and my family.
Growing food so you’ll have delicious, fresh, home-grown tomatoes, green beans, and lettuce later in the summer is the best thing. You’ll thank yourself once you’re chowing down on your entirely homemade salads and veggies and refreshing herbs in the summer.
Hopefully, these lovely activities help you to have a delicious, fulfilling, (almost) Netflix-free break. Happy summer, y’all.