During these days of online school and quarantine, it feels like an accomplishment just to go for a walk or make a hearty meal for yourself! On the other hand, I’ll be scrolling through social media and on every platform, there are some people in the world who seem to have everything figured out: they are waking up early, writing bullet journals, and staying active all while having a positive attitude and remaining safe in the pandemic. But let’s be real – we all watch that content and love the aesthetic, but don’t even know where to start because to attain that level of “perfection” would mean revamping our whole routine! However, maybe can we find a sweet spot where we freshen up our routine AND feel like we have some control, but not stress ourselves out in the process.
What better place to start than food?
I have compiled a few of my favorite recipes that are simple and satisfying; they are my “go-to’s” throughout the day (excluding dinner) and the quick preparation feels productive! I have to remind myself to use social media and influencers as a way to be inspired, not add to my list of stressors or instill a lack of self-confidence. Thus, making one, small, joyful change at a time is the best way to stay healthy and fresh (in my opinion).
NOTE: These recipes can be used for inspiration and require no baking – therefore add your own measurements!
My Morning Parfait – plan around a workout or have for a snack throughout the day
Plain Greek Yogurt
Frozen fruit (blueberries, mango, etc.)
Cacao powder or Cacao nibs
Nuts (almond or peanut butter, whole pecans)
Unsweetened Dry Coconut shavings
Optional: raisins, honey, granola/corn flakes
*As someone who likes it less sweet, I find that the cinnamon actually makes it sweet enough!
Protein smoothie – post workout
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tbsp Unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 cup milk/kefir
Black coffee (ground or liquid)
Optional: 1 or 2 dates (for sweetness), handful of oats (for thickness)
Blend all ingredients together
Add ice cubes
Avocado Toast – lunch and study break
1 slice sourdough or whole wheat bread
1 ripe avocado
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper (or bagel seasoning!)
Optional: add sliced cherry tomatoes and arugula on top
Toast bread (if you have a gas stove – use tongs to lightly char the toast on an open flame for a BBQ flavor – takes under 60sec!)
Spread cream cheese on top
Slice avocado in half, then make slices within one “shell” and scoop onto bread using a spoon. Spread.
Squeeze lemon juice on top
Add salt and pepper or other seasoning to your liking
Vegetarian Salad Wrap – healthy comfort food
Pick at least 2 veggies thinly sliced (cucumber, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes)
Balsamic or other salad dressing
Optional: sunflower or pumpkin seeds, sun-dried tomatoes
Make a salad: in a bowl, mix together salad greens, sliced veggies, dressing
On medium heat, warm a tortilla on an iron skillet
Spread hummus on to tortilla and add 1 cup of salad on top
Garnish salad with feta cheese
Wrap it up!
*can wrap the end with foil so it stays intact
Cheese Platter – let’s normalize casual cheese platters!
2 favorite cheeses (Ex. Aged Cheddar, Brie, Goat cheese, etc.)
2 types of crackers
Apricots or other dried fruit
1 fruit preserve or jam
1 fresh fruit thinly sliced (grapes, apple, pear)
Place all ingredients in their own spot or area of the plate/cutting board
Eat with many different combinations!
Frozen Banana Sandwiches – healthy snacking
2 peeled bananas
½ cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips (or 70% dark chocolate)
1 tbsp coconut oil
Slice bananas in circles – each about ¼ of an inch thick
Dollop a tsp of nut butter on one slice and sandwich it with another slice on top.
Complete for all slices of banana and freeze on a tray for about 30mins.
In the meantime, place chocolate chips in a glass bowl along with coconut oil. Microwave until melted, stirring in between.
Take out sandwiches. Using tongs, dip one side into the melted chocolate and set on a tray. Sprinkle salt on the chocolate side only.
*If you have leftover chocolate, dip another frozen fruit in them!
6. Put the tray back in the freezer for 30 mins, then dig in for a snack!
jaya valji is a senior in high school. she's loved music all her life and finds joy as well as therapy in it. she primarily plays cello and piano, but also knows the guitar, ukulele, viola, and drums. she's been exploring songwriting for the past couple years and is excited to channel it through this magazine!