It’s been 6 days since I’ve eaten real food. I’m surviving off of the 2 sugar-based cereals I bought from the dollar store (it was all they had), sandwiches spawned from stale bread, and the occasional banana. I’ve started dreaming about salads. When disheveled upperclassmen warn you about the eternal search for nutrients, believe them.
Ener- Gee, why won’t my eyes stay open?
Speaking of nutrients, the food groups have never been more important to me than they are now. Nothing quite says “I’m internally dying” like going about your day as usual, then realizing at 8pm that all you’ve ingested that day is a mediocre K-cup coffee that was made with tap water from the bathroom. Coffee is all fun and games until you have 2 or more cups. Then you reluctantly befriend the bathroom, your hands involuntarily start shaking, and you’re STILL TIRED. You’ll also feel a false sense of being full, which you will take advantage of when finding replacements for actual meals.
If my body could control itself, it would slap me in the face. College has made me hyper-aware of what a body actually needs to survive. Unsurprisingly, the better you eat, the more energy you’ll have. But since we’re college students, we depend on artificial energy from any source we can find. If having highlighter green bodily fluids doesn’t mean I’m healthy, then I don’t know what does. (Thanks, Monster!)
“But why can’t you just buy nutritious foods at the grocery store to eat, silly?” you ask. Well, one, I don’t have a car to transport myself to said grocery stores, the bus takes hours of time that I don’t have to spare, and Ubers are expensive. Two, on the off-chance that I do make it to the grocery store, I can’t buy foods to cook meals with because I don’t have a kitchen and unprocessed foods don’t last long enough for one or two people to get through it all. And three, healthy food is wildly overpriced. Sound pessimistic? Good. We almost all are.
I ate something salty, but now I want something sweet. I ate something sweet, but now I want something salty. Now, repeat those 2 sentences about 20 more times with the occasional healthy-needs and you have the black hole that I fight every day. The cycle NEVER. ENDS. Good luck.
Dining Hall Routine
There is a system to managing the main dining halls. As soon as you swipe your ID, there is a strict path you must follow around the dining hall. First, you pass by the Global section to see if the country of the day is good. Sometimes it’s a good day with Taco Tuesday, but other times it can be a weird mix of stir-fry. If nothing is appealing, you can circle around past the pizza, deli, and the grill, where things like burgers, chicken, and fries are always available. These are constant and good backups.
When you hit Earth’s Fare, pay attention to the signs on what is available. This is your best chance to get your fill on vegetables. They also have cool things like quinoa, which you don’t typically think about when you think of dining hall food.
Next to Earth’s Fare is Savannah Comforts, which is your best chance at the “meat and three” meal, commonly with chicken, beef, or turkey along with potatoes, some veggies, and sauces. This is now the best chance to solidify what you want to eat. If nothing else, check out the salad and soups, as they are commonly glanced over and underappreciated. Try the soups, guys, they have some good days.
Once you load up your plate, pass by the Dessert section. Grab a cup and get your soda, coffee, or fruit-flavored water. Love the mango water. Once you’re done and put your plate up, walk by Dessert one more time. Grab yourself a cookie or a brownie for the road. You deserve it.
Being a vegetarian with a meal plan has its easy days, then there are most other days. IF YOU ARE A VEGETARIAN AND YOU’RE NOT SURE IF SOMETHING IS VEGETARIAN, JUST DON’T EAT IT. TRUST ME. Take solace in pasta with alfredo, and salads, soups, salads, and salads. (Their cajun chickpeas are also really good.)
Whether you live in a dorm, off campus, or just don’t have a meal plan, you’re forced to fend for yourself. While you’d think this would mean grocery shopping, the transportation excuse is universal and you will more than likely depend on take out. A particular member of SCAD Radio once ordered Spudniks so much that the owner recognizes her voice, location, and occasionally her order. This makes her feel special and gives her a reason to keep ordering despite it ruining her insides.
She also depends on the ever-loving Dominos. Having an account on Domino’s website means you get to accumulate points and have a free pizza every 6 orders. This writer has gotten three free pizzas this year, and is rounding around to her fourth within the week (or quite possibly, this weekend.) Pete the Pizzamaker and I – I mean, this unnamed writer that totally isn’t me – have a special relationship, and if he were a real person, I’m sure he would love me just as much as I love/need him. I mean the writer.
Okay fine, it’s me.
Of course there are other places to eat such as Carlitos (praise Taco Tuesdays) and Super Taste (featuring the cutest waiters in town) and the countless other restaurants in Savannah, but those are the ones I personally lean on. After living in a hotel for two months, I learned the in’s and out’s of delivery in Savannah (and which restaurants serve the best fried rice, but that’s unrelated.)
No matter what you put in your body, make sure you love your body. We’re all dying inside, so we might as well enjoy life while we can. So, who wants pizza?