When I was a senior in high school, I was so excited about going to college (at the University of Oregon…Go Ducks!) that I spent hours upon hours pouring over the course catalog and planning my schedule for all four years. Needless to say, I didn’t stick to most of that plan beyond freshman year, but I still liked the feeling that I had all my ducks in a row. (Look, a pun!)

Flash forward to the present, and I am so excited at the prospect of starting graduate school at the University of Washington (I would say “Go Huskies,” except I might get disowned by portions of my family…for those of you not from the Pacific Northwest, the Duck-Husky rivalry is, um…huge). I’m not obsessively mapping out my schedule, though, because when you’re in a small program with a roster of required courses that are offered only one term each year, your schedule is pretty much set for you.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not planning! Because I’m a planner! I know two things for sure about my life come fall.

  1. I’m going to be insanely busy. 
  2. I’m still going to need to eat healthfully and well. 

Frankly, I would feel like the biggest hypocrite in the world if I let my eating and exercise habits slide while pursing a degree in nutrition. Seriously.

Last week, I seized upon the possibly brilliant idea of joining a local CSA (community supported agriculture) program that is also a home grocery delivery service. That is, subscribers get a box of produce that is partially from the farm, but also includes items from organic farms in warmer climates (so, more local produce in the summer, less local in the winter). Subscribers can also shop from an online “green grocery,” adding on locally produced items like milk, cheese, bread, grains, chocolate, meat, tofu, granola, nuts, jam, etc.

We get our first delivery Wednesday, and I’m excited to see how we like it. My hope is that this will prove to be a fuss-free, stress-free way to make sure we have fresh produce, milk, bread and a few other essentials in the house on a weekly basis. Then, on school vacations, we can do a big sweep shopping trip to stock up on pantry and freezer items.

I think we both are a little nervous to give up our weekly Costco runs. What, no more huge tubs of lettuce and strawberries. No more mega-packs of apples? No more gignormous bags of chicken thighs? What if we (gulp) run out of something?

And then I stepped into my pantry. “Holy heck,” I said. “There is no freaking way that we will ever starve!”

Convenience aside, I am really getting into the idea of breaking out of the whole Costco-ization of our food mindset. Don’t get me wrong, I still like Costco, but when you do most of your grocery shopping there, for a household of two, and you actually want to have a little variety in your diet, you end up with a lot of food in your house, and a lot of pressure to eat that food so it doesn’t go to waste. True, veggies are not particularly high in calories, but I’m now wondering if “Eat more broccoli” doesn’t sometimes turn into simply “Eat more.”

Down with excess…I think I’ll become a minimalist.