Archive for March 28th, 2020

The Other Covid-19

March 28, 2020

We’ve all heard of the dreaded Freshman 15, which refers to the 15 pounds many college freshmen put on as they adjust to being away from home and ease into dorm life filled with midnight pizza runs, underage binge drinking and other less than healthy habits. Today I’m here to talk about The COVID 19. Not the virus strain itself, but the phenomenon that after being quarantined for weeks or months on end with a pantry filled with shelf-stable snacks, a freezer filled with pizzas, tacos and vodka, and the desire to find comfort in a bag of Cheetos with a double stuff oreo chaser, will result in an average weight gain of 19 pounds.*

(* Mileage may vary )

Add in the additional bonus of not being able to leave the house, and it’s almost guaranteed.

The goods news is, not every freshman gains weight, and you don’t need to either. ( At least not 19 pounds!)

Here are some tips to avoid The COVID-19 and survive “living the vida corona.”

Fill the freezer and cupboards with healthy choices. I realize that we aren’t going to be able to eat fresh food every day, and for me, the risk of going to the grocery store outweighs my desire to have fresh fish and vegetables on hand.

Not every meal is going to be a healthy one, but we can utilize frozen fish filets, chicken breasts, and shrimp, and well as frozen vegetables to create balanced, healthy and satisfying meals. Eggs stay fresh for many weeks at a time if properly stored in the refrigerator. Have we eaten pasta? Sure. But it isn’t the only option for making a meal during the quarantine. Embrace the lowly bean and all the wonderful benefits they hold. They are cheap, shelf-stable and nutritious and versatile. What’s not to love?

Don’t buy junk food  I know that sounds blithe and maybe even a bit condescending, but if it’s not there, you can’t eat it. I don’t recommend starving. But I do recommend taking the temptation out of the equation. Dire times call for dire measures people. Eat an apple (if you have one).

Be mindful of your alcohol consumption: Here we are, anxious and bored, and in need of something to boost our spirits. Don’t let that default be, well spirits. I am not here to preach about abstinence. I too enjoy a nice glass of red. But we are likely to be in this situation for a long time, and several months of over-consumption of alcohol can leave us with dependency issues we might not recognize, as well as much tighter pants. ( Seriously, when was the last time you wore pants with a zipper? ) Try some herbal tea, and listen to a guided meditation or practice controlled breathing. You might just find these alternatives calming, and you may feel better the next morning as a result.

MOVE! While New York has some of the most stringent rules for isolation, it has been decreed safe to leave the house to walk, run or do other solitary activities outside, as long as we keep a safe physical distance from others. I have walked the dog, and run along the river a few times, and it makes me feel so much better. It’s important to be conscious of those around you to ensure that there is always at least six feet between you and them. On the days that you don’t leave the house, there are plenty of gyms and studios offering free online workouts that you can do at home. I have seen them at all levels and durations. You don’t need any equipment for most of them, and a good sweat might ease some of the anxiety of being cooped up. Check out some of the popular health and fitness sites such as Self, Women’s Health or Men’s Health, Popsugar Fitness, Fitness, Well + Good, and Equinox’s site Furthermore for home workouts and other tips.

Don’t beat yourself up over it: If you do in fact gain weight, or lose hard won stamina and muscle tone, don’t beat yourself up over it. We are literally fighting for our lives. This is hard. REALLY hard. Do what you need to do to get through this, and stay as healthy as possible. If that means new jeans when this is over, at least you will be supporting the economy. Just be kind to yourself.

What are you doing to beat The Covid 19 during the quarantine?


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