Stomach Happy, Life Healthy

My sophomore year was a make-it-or-break-it year. I’ll soon find out if I qualify for my two majors,  Media Studies and Political Economy. It has been a very busy year for me; I’m studying extra hard to make sure I get good grades to declare. In the midst of studying diligently, I didn’t eat as healthy as I could have. I started eating more Chinese takeout, cooking Spam and fried eggs for almost every meal, and sometimes I only had  pastries and mocha drinks. Looking back at my year, I was sad that I didn’t get around to cook better meals, since I love cooking and baking. I just always viewed cooking something more wholesome than a Spam with rice meal as sacrificing  study time (although I have to admit that my urge to procrastinate did play a role in my apparent lack of time for studies)

But now that it is summer, I finally have more time to cook! So, once I handed in my last final exam, I was full with excitement to head back home, lie down on my bed, and prop up my laptop with my favorite YouTube channels: Tasty and Laura in the Kitchen. After I watched several videos and listed down the necessary ingredients, I hoped on the AC Transit’s 49 bus and went to Safeway in Oakland, about 10 minutes away.

Baked Chicken Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese
Baked Chicken Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese

I have to say that my goal is not only to have fun cooking and eating, but it is important for me to get back to healthy eating habits. So, I have been cooking delicious and healthy meals that have kept my stomach happy, but more importantly, my nutrition is in much better  condition a compared to during the school year.

Rani's Salmon and Spinach
Salmon with Stir-fried Spinach and Tomato

I’m happy not only to experiment with different dishes again, but also to develop a habit of eating more home-cooked meals, as opposed to greasy take-out and processed food. There’s also a great sense of accomplishment when I tackle challenging recipes. I feel good, knowing that I’m using fresh vegetables and meat and that I can control what I eat and how much I eat.

Rani's Chicken Alfredo Pasta
Chicken Spinach Alfredo Pasta

It was a tough year for me, but I know that summer is my opportunity to relax, eat good food, and go back to a healthy lifestyle. It is also my chance to polish my time management skills and plan my life accordingly to keep a healthy lifestyle. I’ll be heading to the Stadium Fitness Center more and hiking the fire trails behind Clark Kerr Campus (one of the residence hall complexes here at Cal), as I balance being a UC Berkeley Campus Ambassador, Planetarium Presenter at the Lawrence Hall of Science and taking online classes. It’s going to be a busy summer, but I know that I will have a lot of fun! I’m off to a great start with these tasty meals, and I hope to keep up this good routine and lifestyle.

Author: Rani Chan

Hi there! My name is Rani Chan. I’m a sophomore double majoring in Media Studies and Political Economy, and I’m also an international student from the Philippines. I really love food! I love to eat, cook, and go on food trips. Also, I love traveling, watching films and musicals, acting, dancing, singing (in the shower), and learning new languages. In addition to being a Campus Ambassador, I am a Planetarium Presenter at the Lawrence Hall of Science, where I get to share my love for Astronomy. I’m also part of the Cal Archery Club, hoping to become the next girl Robin Hood. I’m truly blessed to be a Golden Bear, and to be in an environment where I always feel welcomed and where I’m constantly learning, discovering, and being a better me. There’s no place I’d rather be than here at Berkeley. I’m very excited to share my Cal stories with you! Go Bears!