This week I was supposed to be falling a lot and cold - on a mountainside that is. My friends and I were going skiing and snowboarding for the first time in our lives. We're in our 30s and 40s and being south Floridians, were so excited to go. Every few hours news would change. Do we go? Do we stay? Finally, the resort announced they were closing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. There goes our trip.
On top of that, dragon boat practice has been suspended indefinitely. It has been my Sunday ritual for the past year. It is a team sport which we are so fortunate to have in this gorgeous city.
How would it make you feel if your vacation and something you loved doing were cancelled? Instead of reacting negatively, look to the positives: health and wellbeing is of utmost importance and social distancing does have its benefits.
It doesn't have to be a lonely time of sitting on the couch grumbling about what you're missing out. If you are self-quarantining, it's not the worst thing that can happen. Use this time to work on house projects. Do arts and crafts. Call friends and family that you haven't spoken to in a while. Go for a run outside. COOK.
Cooking is a basic necessity and can be fun. At the grocery store, produce was well stocked while canned goods, cereals, snacks and frozen foods were scarce. That was puzzling because to support / increase your immune system you want to indulge in fruits and veggies, not eat processed foods or less nutritious foods.
Maybe the thinking is that since they are perishable, they can't be consumed through out the 14 day quarantine. Here are a few ideas on how you can eat more produce in these times:
1. Toss your favorite fruits, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds into a blender to make a smoothie (with or without protein powder.)
2. Cut up fruit, add oats and milk or plant based milk and leave overnight in the fridge.
3. For snacks, eat raw carrots or celery with peanut butter or hummus or eat fruits.
4. Add sprouts to all your meals. They are incredible superfoods.
5. Cut up and throw your favorite veggies into a soup. The more the better. Try adding Fullei Fresh's Organic Crunchy Mix, Organic Sprouted Garbanzo Beans, calabaza, carrots, celery, garlic, kale, onion, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes and herbs. This is an especially useful way to use up veggies before they go bad. Feel free to add cooked rice or pasta too.
6. Almost everything tastes good sauteed with garlic in olive oil. Try onions, green peppers, red peppers, and mushrooms. Another easy saute is onions with mushrooms, yellow squash and zucchini.
7. Stock up on beans. They provide fiber and protein plus fill you up.
8. Keep frozen fruits or veggies on hand for when you run out of fresh produce. Canned would be a third option; just be cautious with the sodium content.
Buy a variety of produce so that you have options when cooking and buy produce with varying shelf life. For example, consume bananas, berries, leafy greens and mushrooms first because they go bad fastest. Others like apples, cabbage, carrots, celery, citrus, sweet potatoes and yams can easily stay fresh over a week so eat them after your more perishable foods have been consumed.
The goal is to increase consumption of produce and decrease processed / less nutrient dense foods because you want to load your body with vitamins and nutrients. Think of the phrases "food as medicine" or "heal from within" and remember to "eat the rainbow." Look for superfoods. Plants have incredible powers. The more natural the better. If you feel the need, you can supplement with additional vitamins or plant protein powders that include dried fruits or vegetables.
Self quarantine and social distancing do not have to be cause for panic or stress. As a native Floridian, I am well versed in hurricane preparedness. If we can make it through hurricanes, we can get through this too. At least we have electricity, internet and cell phones and do not have to worry about damages to our homes or cars. Everything will be okay.