Food & Habits Are Good for the Soul

By: Sammy Harris

Hello!! I want to start off with a big welcome for those that have moved into Oxford this week. I am so excited for you guys, and you came just at the right time – in my biased opinion, Miami is the prettiest during the fall. 

For those of you who may have not read my content before and are wondering who this crazy person is that is welcoming you back, my name is Sammy Harris and I am a junior at Miami University studying Entrepreneurship, Finance and Emerging Technology in Business/Design. However, I would way rather introduce myself by describing who I am at the core, which I find a bit more interesting: I am intentional, passionate and curious, which entails a constant pursuit of growth. 

Joining GreenHawks Media a little over a year ago is definitely a testament to my pursuit of growth in my creativity. Specifically, I contributed to GHM as a Food Beat Writer, exploring different dining halls, cities & cooking to produce a ~Foodie Friday~ blog each month. So, if you ever need restaurant recommendations or super simple, quick guidance in the kitchen, check out some of my previous work on the site. 

Keep an eye out for my future work as well, because I plan to continue writing a food blog each month, specifically about maximizing your grocery haul in order to minimize food waste, in addition to capitalizing on the food that is in season! I will also be contributing a ~Quarantine Sanity~ piece each month, which will focus on our mental health by providing versatile mechanisms/habits/activities that you are able to do during this time for YOU. 

With that said, I want to incorporate both topics into this introductory blog, to give you guys a prelude to the rest of the semester. I am so so excited to dive more into these relevant trends in our current conversations, so let us get to it! 

Before this year, I occasionally made ~gourmet~ smoothie and oatmeal bowls, but nothing beyond the microwave. My grocery shopping was limited to the markets around campus, and I definitely resorted to Armstrong sushi too much (which I have already gotten twice this week, so some habits never die). Therefore, the first couple of weeks this semester definitely entailed some trial and error grocery shopping. For example, the first week I got too few avocados, and then the second week you could have assumed I was growing avocados in my room. Eventually, I got my grocery list down to the point where I have minimal food waste at the end of the week, in addition to versatile ingredients for all times of the day! If you need any guidance, below is my go-to list. Don’t get me wrong, ice cream and other things are frequently added on the spot, ESPECIALLY when I go grocery shopping while hungry. 

  • 3 avocados
  • Dave’s Killer Bread (every 2-3 weeks) 
  • 3 bananas 
  • 2 apples 
  • Raspberries [small container]
  • Blueberries  [small container]
  • Dozen eggs 
  • Salad cucumbers [4 per one package]
  • 2 regular cucumbers 
  • 50/50 mixed greens
  • Cherry tomatoes 
  • Either ground turkey or chicken breasts 
  • Coconut yogurt (every 2 weeks)
  • Large container of GT Synergy Kombucha if I am feeling it 
  • Almond milk creamer (every 2-3 weeks) 

My meals definitely are way more planned at the beginning of the week, with all ingredients in stock, but the end of the week is the fun part! That is when I ask myself: alright, what can I make with whatever is left in the fridge? Sometimes these meals go right and sometimes they go wrong, but the most important part is that we are minimizing food waste by trying!

To the left is an example of the ‘kitchen sink’ type of meal going right. In fact, it actually was one of my favorite salads that I have made at school yet, and I put it together with the few things I had left in the fridge. In the bowl is a bed of spinach/arugula under Trader Joe’s elote seasoned ground turkey, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, Sabra’s original hummus, & Garlic Expressions olive oil as dressing pulling it all together perfectly!

More than ever, I have realized the benefits of being intentional and thoughtful with the meals that I put together and eat. It definitely takes more time to do, and it is so easy to use that as an excuse; yet,  the satisfaction and energy that I get when I cook a healthy, delicious, homemade meal is unbeatable by any amount of saved time. 

On a heightened level, I have grown a strong appreciation for walking throughout quarantine and this semester in Oxford thus far. Whether I put in AirPods to listen to a podcast [How I Built This and The Skinny Confidential are two of my favorites!], or I go empty-handed to sit in my own thoughts and nature, I never return from a walk in a worse or less sane place. It is quite the opposite; in fact, I even force myself to go on a walk in order to take myself away from a heavy workload or other points of anxiety/stress, because I am confident that it will make me feel better, and even perform better – it’s a win-win. 

Some of my hot spots for walks include, but are not limited to (so recommend me more if you have some please!), The Peffer Park Trails that connect to the Silvoor Biological Sanctuary Trail, as well as the Western Loop Trails, Hueston Woods of course, although it’s a drive to get there, and simply routes around campus because Miami’s landscaping and beauty are unbeatable amongst college campuses. Below are some photos from my walks: who would have thought that Oxford, Ohio could look like this?

Please feel free to reach out to me (via my Instagram) and/or GreenHawks Media with any suggestions, requests, questions, etc.. I cannot wait to keep sharing my love for intentional cooking/eating, in addition to tips & tricks for our mental health during the current insanity! 

All photos courtesy of Sammy Harris

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