Favorite Dorm Foods

It’s not time for me to head back to school quite yet, but I know that some college students are already packing up to hit campus again. Bless your souls.

In honor of the start of a new semester/quarter, I thought it would be cool to share some of the foods that kept me alive in the dorms (since you all know that I’m so darn spoiled in the dining halls) and maybe give my fellow college students some ideas!

fave dorm foods

Peanut Butter

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Obviously. I finished SEVEN jars after all. Accompaniments of choice include bananas, apples, crackers, tortillas, and straight up spoons (I don’t eat the spoon).

Oatmeal + Protein Powder + Banana + Peanut Butter

I had a couple 8 AM classes, so a quick dorm breakfast was necessary on days when I wanted to get out of bed at the last possible minute. My go-to breakfast was 1/2 c. rolled oats cooked with water in the microwave, a whole sliced banana, a scoop of vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, and a big spoonful of peanut butter.

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Sometimes I would actually make this concoction the night before, let it cool, and then put it in the fridge to eat cold the next morning (to avoid waking up my roomie!). Sounds strange, but it was sort of like overnight oats. Bonus points if you put them in an almost empty pb jar.

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Popcorn

Some nice, light microwave popcorn smells great, tastes great, and lures friends into your buttery-smelling dorm room. That being said, I was uber lazy and just bought a huge bag of white cheddar popcorn for myself. Finger-lickin’ good.

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Roasted Chickpeas

Any sort of roasted beans are like CRACK to me. I bought a bag of these roasted chickpeas from TJMaxx over Thanksgiving. I felt bad that these were so loud when I ate them in the dorm…but not bad enough to not eat them. 😀

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I also love Enlightened Roasted Broad Beans and roasted edamame. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Bars

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Oatmeal bars, KIND bars, granola bars, Larabars… I’m not super picky.

Mixed Roasted Nuts/Trail Mix

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Essentially, nut butter in its original form, sometimes with other dried fruits. This photo also happens to include Wheat Thins, which are also a fabulous snack choice.

Apple Chips

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Especially with almond butter!

Greek Yogurt {Sweet}

I love oats, but when I wanted to mix it up, Greek yogurt did the trick. Plain Greek yogurt with chia seeds, cinnamon, banana, peanut butter, and Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins (fave cereal).

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Puffins by themselves were also a convenient and sweet snack.

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also extremely crunchy and loud

Greek Yogurt {Savory}

The generous folks at ADF Foods Lmtd. sent me two bags of Nate’s Mediterranean Bites — one Southwestern flavor and one Garlic and Pesto flavor. They’re freezer falafel bites, and the packages even come with a container of tzatziki sauce that you can thaw/microwave.

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I liked the Southwestern ones better than the Garlic and Pesto, probably because the Southwestern ones had a spicy kick 🙂 They also have a Kale flavor and Sweet Potato flavor!

These made for an easy and tasty lunch or dinner in the dorms if I was running short on time or if the dining halls were already closed for the night. For a light meal I would warm up four of these in the microwave (although an oven would have been ideal!) and eat them dipped in plain Greek yogurt.

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I tried the tzatziki the first time (pictured above), but warming up frozen tzatziki in the microwave made the sauce separate. A little stir helped it out a bit, but I still preferred dipping the bites in thick and creamy Greek yogurt. Also, thawing the tzatziki in the fridge would have probably been a wiser decision.

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Overall, I’m a fan of the falafel bites. For someone with limited time during school and a desire to eat as healthfully as possible, these Mediterranean bites delivered. These babies have 5 grams of protein per two falafels, and they’re made with wholesome ingredients. I dig. They’re delicious too!

Freezer Burritos

^^^Those two words can sound sketchy. However, ADF Foods reassured me that good freezer burritos exist. Enter: PJ’s Organics. This company makes both classic burritos and breakfast burritos that are frozen and microwaveable.

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These are GREAT! Perfect for a quick snack, very tasty, and also made with wholesome ingredients. They sent me the Turkey & Eggs Breakfast Burrito, Traditional Chicken Burrito, and the Steak and Cheese Burrito. I can’t tell you which one was my favorite, but know that they were all mighty delicious.

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turkey and cheese breakfast burrito

Again, this is no Chipotle-level burrito, but it’s definitely a step up from other freezer convenience foods I’ve eaten (scary flashbacks to Marie Callendar’s chicken pot pie). One of the best things about PJ’s burritos is that they’re not too salty. HALLELUJAH for less water retention!

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steak and cheese burrito

Honestly, I was sad when I finished the last one. So do not fear the freezer food! These ones at least.

*Disclaimer: ADF Foods Limited sent me Nate’s Mediterranean Bites and PJ’s Organics Burritos for free. All opinions are my own.

So tell me:

If you’re in college, what are your favorite dorm/apartment snacks?

Do you have any favorite freezer foods? I would love to hear about them! 

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Do You Like That Just Because It’s Healthier?

You might have been asked that question before:

“Do you eat that just because it’s healthier or because you actually think it tastes good?”

I get it. It’s true that the healthier option can leave you longing for the real deal food.

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For example, the following foods are best in their truest, non-“healthified” forms:

  • ice cream and gelato (love you, Arctic Zero, but you’re not ice cream)
  • almost any dessert, for that matter (butter, sugar, flour=♥)
  • cheese (nutritional yeast can never be a creamy brie or sharp cheddar)
  • beef burgers (turkey, chicken, black bean burgers…valiant effort)
  • pasta (spaghetti squash is a vegetable and only a vegetable)
  • peanut butter (PB2 and Better ‘N’ Peanut Butter are travesties)
  • fried fries (baked fries are delicious, but not as delicious. don’t lie.)
  • the whole egg (the chicken gave you the whole egg, let’s be courteous and at least eat a yolk or two)
  • real meat and fish (tempeh, tofu, seitan, beans— eh.)
  • sugar, honey, maple syrup (someone please tell me you sense a weird aftertaste from stevia)
  • milk chocolate (I know a lot of you love dark chocolate, but I gag on that stuff)
  • full fat or 2% yogurt (I don’t want to turn back to sour nonfat)
  • sweetened sunflower seed butter (unsweetened sunflower seed butter is like glue in my mouth)
  • cow’s milk (it’s the cookie’s favorite beverage. almond milk is second place.)

In other words, I do not plan on becoming a vegan any time soon.

But then there some instances in which I genuinely prefer the taste of a healthier food over its less healthy counterpart.

  • natural peanut butter vs. commercial brand
  • whole grain bread vs. white bread (only when it comes to sandwich bread. restaurant bread is a whole ‘nother story!)
  • plain Greek yogurt vs. pre-sweetened yogurt
  • brown rice vs. white rice
  • vegetables vs. other side/snack  (sometimes)

Of course, what I actually eat depends on the day and my mood. But I don’t force feed myself healthy foods just because they’re healthy. I’ve come to trust that my body craves what it needs. If it wants a fresh, crisp salad, I’ll eat it. If it wants a hearty meat dish, I’ll have that.

Sometimes I will be especially mindful of salt and sugar intake if I’ve been eating a lot of either, because too much of those things makes me feel like poop (physically, not so much mentally). In those cases, I might choose the less tasty, healthier versions to bring my blood sugar/sodium levels back to earth.

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I’ll stop talking about food and let you see food!

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

Yesterday, I ate mostly healthy stuff, because that’s just the way the cookie (Quest bar?) crumbled.

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breakfast peanut butter banana rice pudding with Greek yogurt and chia seeds + strawberries

I was actually craving a smoothie, but I forgot to freeze bananas the night before, so I made this instead. A great choice featuring natural peanut butter and brown rice.

And because this was a pretty sweet breakfast, I wanted mostly savory for snack and lunch.

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mixed nuts — this times ten perhaps

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leftover pulled pork over salad

If I have a salty, saucy meat dish, I love having fresh veggies underneath to soak up the juices and make it taste a little less salty in my mouth.

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For snacks, I like to be satisfied with flavorful things. I chose processed snap pea crisps over the bell pepper strips I was thinking of packing. I also had half a Justin’s vanilla almond butter sandwich on Dave’s Killer Bread. The hearty, whole grain bread was tasty and kept me full.

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Cheeeeese.

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More salad with brown rice and leftover chicken, because I was lazy. That’s the reason.

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Bell peppers with hummus— now I wanted that crispy freshness to cool down my mouth from the sriracha I put on my salad.

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mint chocolate chip Quest bar (still from Blend swag) with peanut butter

I know. It’s a Quest bar with stevia in it. I still like it, but it will forever only be “dessert”— with quotation marks.

This is real dessert from Monday night:

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vanilla bean ice cream with strawberries and a cinnamon raisin WB Kitchen cookie (which is pretty good, but definitely no oatmeal raisin cookie)

I’m getting some more real ice cream tonight with my friends 🙂

Hope your days are filled with sugar, spice, and everything nice!

So tell me:

Some less healthy foods that cannot be replaced justly.

Some healthy foods that you actually prefer.

What did you have for snacks yesterday? I need some new snack ideas!

Getting Back Into a Routine {Recent Eats}

The altitude got to me in Colorado, but now the two hour time loss in New York is getting to me.

I’m such a wimp, I know. I’m mostly just bad at managing my time right now, so I end up going to sleep at midnight when I need to wake up at 6 AM to take my dad to the train station.

{Oh look, it’s 11:30 PM as I type this. Good.}

Luckily I have been keeping busy with my physical therapy internship, which I am loving so far! By observing and being in the clinical setting, I can really see myself in the career. I’m relieved that I don’t hate it 🙂

Moves have been on the slower side with some stretching, foam rolling, and strength exercises. It’s just what I need right now. I also went to a modern dance class at my good ol’ studio last night! It felt amazing to dance again. AMAZING. It also felt a little tight, because I haven’t been stretching enough…

Of course, the domestic duties are also keeping me busy. Since food is more exciting than chores and errands, I’m sharing some of the things I’ve been cooking up this week.

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leftover whole wheat banana pancakes from before Colorado (I froze ’em!) with 2% Greek yogurt, a trio of nut butters, and maple syrup + an unpictured glass o’ milk

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honey mustard pork chops with caramelized shallots + blanched broccoli with tahini sauce

For the tahini sauce (roughly): 1/4 c. tahini, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. lime juice, 1 tbsp. maple syrup, water to make it drizzle-consistency

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lunch for a long day of interning and errands: salad with sweet potato, leftover pork, homemade honey mustard dressing // carrots and hummus // orange // BelVita biscuits // Balance Bar // Enlightened mesquite bbq crisps

Stay tuned for an awesome giveaway featuring Enlightened products! I’m addicted to their roasted broad beans, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

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whole grain seed toast with melted Cabot garlic and herb cheddar and two sunny side eggs + a storm of cracked black pepper

This was brunch-y, cheesy, salty, dippy goodness that I ate for dinner one night. Get the cheese. I’m not sponsored by Cabot, but I just want to announce that I love their garlic and herb cheddar.

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Kozyshack tapioca pudding with cinnamon and nutmeg

Y’all know how much I love tapioca pudding. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, and you won’t have to worry about anything ever again. (Ha, if only.)

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overnight oatmeal smoothie: oats, Greek yogurt, milk, chia seeds, and peanut butter stirred in the blender the night before // greens, frozen banana, frozen grapes, more milk added in the morning // blend and eat out of a bowl with a spoon!

I know it looks like swamp water with algae growth, but this was so delicious and quick in the morning. Normally I would also add granola for crunch, but we were out.

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Spaghetti squash!

This was my first time roasting spaghetti squash! I cut off the stem, sliced the squash in half lengthwise, scooped out the guts, rubbed each half with olive oil + salt + pepper, roasted them face-down for 40 minutes at 375F, let them cool, and then raked away with a fork until it looked like this:

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I added some caramelized shallots

I never wanted to try spaghetti squash in the past because I knew it wouldn’t taste like real spaghetti, but it’s still tasty! It’s tastes like other squashes except in string form.

I thought it would be a good time to try spaghetti squash since there was one left in the grocery store, and my dad is eating low carb right now (I can assure you that I am not eating low carb), so it was good base for something like my favorite sriracha chicken.

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sweet and spicy goodness

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coconut cashew Quest bar with sunflower seed butter

I still have tons of Quest bars from Blend (many of which my brother took to Florida as well), so I decided to have one for dessert last night. I followed Quest bar protocol and microwaved it before spreading the nut butter and eating it with a tiny fork. I Snapchatted my Blend roommate Colby to ask if I was doing it right, and she approved.

It’s already Friday! I hope all my fellow Americans have a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend. Pop and I will hopefully be doing a small barbecue for ourselves and any of my friends who want to come. You’re invited!…but I’m not giving you my address. Sorry.

So tell me:

Do you have trouble adjusting to different time zones?

Have you ever tried spaghetti squash? What do you like to eat with it?

What is your favorite way to eat Quest bars?

What are you doing this weekend? I’ll be cleaning the house, seeing Daliza (!!!), blogging, reading, BBQing, and eating ice cream, among other things.

Weekly Moves and Grooves XXVIII {Fitness with Friends}

The pressure is finally on.

I was telling you all on Thursday that I wasn’t quite feeling the pressure to study for finals, but it has definitely hit me, don’t you worry. One more week—we can do this! Moving and grooving (especially outside when the sun is out) has been a wonderful way to take a study break and get the blood flowing in between long periods of sitting.

weekly moves and grooves

This week involved more workouts with friends (only two, but that’s still more than usual). I should work out with buddies more often— it’s twice as fun and motivating!

Sunday

Rest

Monday

circuit workout a la dorm

4 rounds:

  • 6 chair mountain climber complexes (10 decline mountain climbers ➔ step off to one side ➔ pushup)
  • 20 tuck jumps
  • 10 pushups to T
  • 20 jump lunges
  • 10 burpees
  • 20 modified v-ups

This took a little over 20 minutes, and I was beat from those chair mountain climber complexes.

Tuesday

Purely Twins’ 100 burpee workout

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Agh, my favorite.

Wednesday

squats with PJ + assisted pull-ups and burpees + ab tabata

This was my first time ever having a squat buddy! PJ saw that I was at the squat rack and came over to be my spotter (which I guess I should have more often?), and we ended up taking turns squatting our hearts legs out. I don’t remember how many sets I did, but I started with 115# and worked up to 135#.

PJ was squatting somewhere between 200-300# (he’s been in the 1000 pound club— the total pounds of his bench, squat, and deadlift were over 1000 lbs…actually, 1200 lbs!).

Whatever the weight, we were both waddling the next day.

I also did 10 min. EMOM (every minute on the minute):

  • 3-5 assisted pull-ups (70-80# assistance)
  • 5 burpees

Then 4 rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest:

Thursday

Rest (for SURE)

Friday

4.54 mile run

Hey, hey look at that. I ran! As usual, I was having an internal debate as to whether I wanted to run or not, but the weather was perfect, and I thought it would be a good study break/shake out for my sore legs.

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I ran in the afternoon and just took a screenshot of this at night, in case you were wondering about the time.

I wasn’t planning on running negative splits (let’s be real, I don’t usually plan on running, period), but I was chasing this random guy towards the end who was running slightly faster than my pace. Also, starting off slow and steady definitely works well.

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Saturday

ultimate frisbee with friends

Wowza, this was a WORKOUT, but it was incredibly fun! I can’t do sports that involve hand-eye coordination usually, but I can do frisbee. We were all smoked after playing, but it was just what we needed during study period.

All my workouts caught up with me by Saturday afternoon after frisbee, so I was walking slower than a snail for the rest of the day. The only thing I wanted to do was eat, foam roll, and sleep. I did one of the three. Guess which one!

{answer: eat}

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Hope you all have a lovely Sunday! It’s a steamy 72F today and 81F tomorrow here in Boston!

So tell me:

Do you like working out with friends?

Have you run outside recently?

What was your favorite workout this week? Frisbee wins for me!

Recent College vs. Home Eats

Look who’s here!

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It’s my dear friend Rachel from college! If you’ve been following me through my Boston University adventures, you’ve probably seen this pretty face show up multiple times. She’s here in New York for spring break to be as touristy as a tourist can get, and I’m her guide. Except I don’t know the geography of NYC, so we’ll see how that all works out. Thank God for the grid system, eh?

We were overwhelming ourselves last night with the possible things to do in NYC, which is practically endless. With some advice from my roommate over FaceTime, we narrowed it down to a few bunch of places we definitely want to see (some of these are new to me too!):

So, basically, dessert. I realized last night while planning this that I am so lucky to have all these incredible sights, attractions, and places to eat so close to me. I don’t often take advantage of it when I’m home, but now that I have a guest, I’m excited to be a tourist in my own “hometown” (I don’t live in NYC, just close enough).

And speaking of all that food, here are some of my recent eats! I always must say that we are spoiled with the quality, variety, and healthy options of food at BU, but it’s definitely always a treat to come home to the kitchen and mama’s cooking.

I also don’t eat as much when I’m at home, but that’s only because I’m not walking around nearly as much as I do when I’m on campus, so I’m just not as hungry. That being said, I am still blessed to be eating well at home (and you bet I’ll be eating a lot these next couple of days in the city…!).

Recent College Eats:

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whole wheat apple pancake with banana and peanut butter + scrambled eggs + glass o’ milk

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two eggs scrambled with vegetables + oatmeal with coconut, blueberries, and banana

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apple chips (with and without peanut butter)

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lots of green apples (so much better than the red ones in the dining halls)

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baked fish with rice + salad

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salad with sweet potatoes, tuna salad, some sort of bean dip, and feta

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the biggest portion of baked fish I’ve ever received + broccoli and root veggies

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vegan pumpkin bread (with a smidgen of chocolate ice cream that I thought would be vanilla ice cream)

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blueberry cobbler a la mode

Recent Home Eats:

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Kylie’s “banana pudding for breakfast

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LOADED Greek yogurt bowl with chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia, half a banana, a morning glory muffin, granola, and a large pool of almond butter 

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carrots and Sabra roasted pine nut hummus

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we found Nuttzo Organic Smooth Power Fuel at Costco!!!

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mini morning glory muffin drenched in Nuttzo

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classic

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chicken tamale (that dad brought home from a church event) + two scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes

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salad with homemade honey mustard dressing + seedy toast with sunny eggs and sriracha

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amazing welcome feast for Rachel a la madre: salmon steamed in banana leaves, Thai basil chicken, Lao baked egg whites (so interesting!), pan roasted brussels sprouts, and sticky rice

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vanilla bean ice cream with banana slices and cinnamon

Stay tuned for NYC eats coming at ya later this week. It will be epic, I’m sure.

Hope you all have a terrific Tuesday!

So tell me:

Are you ever a tourist in your own hometown?

Which of the places listed above would you want to visit in NYC?

What is the best meal you’ve eaten in the past week?