The Confident Girl’s Guide to Creative, Clean Eating: How Food Can Make You Insta-Famous.
It all started March 2015 with an iPhone 6 and a girl who posted way too many snapchat stories of her food. Oatmeal, smoothies, chia pudding, sushi, you name it, and it was in her snapchat story. That girl, of course, is me, and yes, I am a little photo crazy when it comes to food. Now, instead of my snapchat story, it’s my Instagram that I jam pack with all of my latest creations. My alias is @carolinecooksclean, and my account is slowly but surely becoming one of my most prized possessions.
Here’s how I see it: food is food. To some people, it’s just nourishment, a form of energy, or a way to make your stomach stop grumbling. It can be for comfort, to ease pain, or enjoyed at a celebration. For me, food is a creative outlet. I am a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major on the Pre-Medical track at the University of Miami. Although I truly love biochemistry (because science rules, I can thank Bill Nye for that), it is a fact that my course load at the University is primarily STEM. STEM classes, while incredibly interesting and advanced, are not typically designed for students to express themselves creatively and abstractly, but exist to teach students the explicit ways about which processes occur. These processes have no room for adjustment or error, and as much as I am interested to no end as to why every method occurs, I find it really hard to mix science and creative art. Marie Curie and Van Gogh would’ve been like Brad and Jen. They just never would’ve worked out. Instead, what I can always rely on to allow me to express myself in any way that I please is, coincidentally, cooking.
As I reflect on my time as a student, I realize that cooking has become my humanities course. There are endless possibilities when it comes to cooking. Especially clean cooking. Before school started this semester, I (no joke) bought 10 pounds of rolled oats from Costco aka heaven on earth for foodies like me (I promise I’m not hoarding a horse in my apartment). I brought protein powder, goji berries, cacao nibs, and chia seeds from my Ohio home in my suitcase to Miami, Florida because I just couldn’t live without them. Now, in my apartment, I wake up and get to start the day on a high note by cooking legitimately whatever I want. It’s so easy, so much cheaper than buying a meal at a restaurant, and its soooo healthy! My favorite part about cooking things for myself is that I know exactly what is going into the food that I eat. Because I was a hard-core competitive swimmer in high school and logged my food for years, I have a good understanding of how many macronutrients you should be getting based on your fitness goals and I have learned to adapt that to my own habits. If you’re interested in doing this, I totally recommend the Livestrong MyPlate app because it breaks down everything for you and is really easy to manage.
Since I started @carolinecooksclean, I have made friends with a lot of other girls like myself with clean eating Instagram pages and have learned about living a healthy lifestyle from them, and they’ve also learned from me. What I love most about my account is how much affection and support the healthy living community on Instagram provides. Clean cooking has been such an amazing way for me to express myself creatively and I love that I can share that with the world and that I have had so much support along the way. It feels amazing to see people comment on my pictures or tell me that I’ve inspired them to be more health conscious and learn to have fun with food. This is why I have decided to be a contributing writer for She’s Fit to Lead. Both of our passions involve spirit, leadership, creativity, and loving the life that you live. I believe that surrounding yourself with people you can learn from is the smartest thing you can do because you will pick up on their admirable qualities. I hope that I can pass on my love for a healthy lifestyle to the readers of She’s Fit to Lead and my followers of CarolineCooksClean. I think that making a positive impact on the lives of others is one of the greatest things you can possibly do. I would much rather be an inspiration and have people tell me “you have helped me become a better person” instead of “I wish I was you”. Inspire others by being yourself. I guess that’s my mantra. @carolinecooksclean is about expressing individuality, loving your body, experiencing new things, and always trying to be the best that you, and you alone, can be.
Caroline Granger is a student at University of Miami