This is terribly dull, but for some reason I needed to say it.
For me, diet serves as a clear index of stress level. In my usual busy life, I aim for a diverse and healthful range of foods. Although I used to cook fairly elaborate dishes, since starting school I rely on very simple foods. The most involved cooking I do these days is the weekly breadbaking.
On a normal December evening,
I might enjoy a few figs and a small chunk of farmhouse cheddar with a glass of wine or a cup of herbal tea while I make my proper dinner of, say, roasted squash, beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes, served with greens tossed with toasted pumpkin seeds or dried fruit. If m very busy, I might skip the salad and just eat the vegetables. If I am very very busy, I probably thought ahead and roasted squash (but forgot to roast anything else) while I was baking bread, so I just pull it out of the fridge and zap it, eschewing all the civilizing influence of the salad, the cheese and figs, the wine or tea.
If I am very very very busy…
Last night, dinner was half a PB & J, a handful of peanuts, a handful of dates, several glasses of milk, and a half a Suzy Q.
Did I mention I’ve just started finals?
Usually, I’m well prepared for this. Just after midterms, I spend one weekend chopping, sauteing, and baking, so the freezer is loaded with singly packed dinners that are slightly indulgent but basically healthful: massaman curry with bok choy and velvet tofu, eggplant parmesan, black bean soup, small loaves of bread that will thaw while dinner heats.
This year, classes were so unrelenting that I never managed to squirrel anything away, nor even to get to the market to provision decent food for the past few weeks, and I’m suffering for it now. I must remember this lesson next semester.