College life is the first step to independence, responsibility... ADULTING! You get to live on your own, be in charge of your own habits and schedule, even take public transportation yourself. But one luxury I took for granted last year was... the meal plan. We all complain about the quality of the food at Pierce Dining Hall-I'm guilty of this myself-but life off the meal plan really opened my eyes to the amount of time and planning the dining hall really saved in my day.

Gail Rabasca

My Take-Away's

1. Meal Prep🔪: a blessing and a commitment :')

2. I FEEL HEALTHY AF 🥑 (due to both the food choice AND those workouts carrying groceries home💪)

3. I'm a better person now 😇

The Journey

It has been a long journey of life off the meal plan... but starting off wasn't easy. I thought pizza was simple, NBD... until the dough stuck to the tin foil (moment of silence for this weird avocado pizza)

Tracy Wong

But I started getting the hang of it... and realized just how long making just a pot of soup could take! Cooking many portions on the weekend for the week is a life saver! ...But it will most likely take a few hours. The cook time might be ten minutes... but the prep time might be thirty 😓 

Tracy Wong

I realized cooking was actually stress relieving! And I also felt so much more in control of what I was eating because I knew exactly I was putting in my meals! It's easy to fall under the trap of devouring three slices of pizza from the dining hall, but once you take a look at that nutritional facts label...

Tracy Wong

But that doesn't mean I've figured it all out! I'm still trying new (and some may say weird) combinations and recipes (aka putting leftovers found in the refrigerator together)!

Take my dinner of eggs with mushrooms cheese and peppers with tofu from one night for example:

Tracy Wong

The crazy thing is, I'm not even constantly tempted to eat out all the time like I feared! In fact, I can't imagine life NOT off the meal plan at this point!

I might have a little less time now, I might not always be eating an amazing, delicious and different type of food every meal now, but I feel in control over what I am eating and extremely thankful for the people who prepare food for us. Whether that be the chefs at a restaurant, cooks at the cafeteria, or our parents/family members; thank you for cooking for us when we are too tired/lazy or don't have the time to do it ourselves💖

Kangan Kansal