The Lessons of Coronavirus
I’m sure by now everyone knows that the vast majority of those with coronavirus had an underlying health conditions; i.e., high blood pressure, obesity, and more. We won’t know all the statistics until this is behind us. My hope is that people give their health due consideration moving forward. Prevention has never been all that real or exciting in the past, but perhaps now is the time. This is the silver lining.
I have had the good fortune to be in this health-world for 20 years thus far, and I’m well versed in nutrition, culinary, and over time I have learned a lot about human nature and food. It’s actually fascinating to really look at yourself and your habits.
Here are some tidbits that might be helpful for you as you move into a healthier way of living.
First, ask yourself:
What does health mean to me?
- Health to me is being cancer free
- Health is not being in pain all the time
- Being full of vitality and zest.
- Being able to go backpacking at the drop of a hat.
Ascertaining your own motivations can set you in a path that will work for you.
Bridging the Gap:
In psychology, you’ll often hear the term ‘bridging the gap’; this mean that here you are at point A, but you want to be at point B. This distance is ‘the gap.’ What are your challenges in this gap?
When you concentrate on additions and not subtractions bad habits fall away as we feel healthier and stronger. We simply don’t crave unhealthy food anymore.
If you take anyway anything, please have it be this. When you are organized and prepared your enthusiasm has more room to flow. Health just doesn’t come knocking on your front door; you need to spend some time preparing.
When your family thinks of a healthy person, you want them to think of you. If you are working on your health, try your best to be as disciplined as possible so as to obtain your health whilst mixing all that discipline with a dose of moderation and fun. Remember that no one likes the food police, so lead by example, don’t preach and remember that small steps are generally sustainable steps.
Again, remember that actions speak louder than words. If you’re telling your kids to eat their veggies, get their exercise, turn off the television and get to bed early while you shun broccoli, love the couch and never miss a rerun of Seinfeld–they probably won’t listen. Get them excited about health and fitness by being a role model. Have them see you go for a run, head to the gym or play basketball; better yet, do it together. In current times, you might be doing pushups and sit-ups in the living room and running in place. If you’ve spent your life making poor health choices and your kids have watched, it may take a while and some convincing–the extra effort is worth it–keep at it!
Know your audience comes into play here. If you have teenagers, for example, both sexes are most likely concerned about how their skin looks. Healthy food and proper hydration helps one to have healthy skin. Just one example…
Personally, preparing means prepping all my veggies as soon as they are purchased, or if you’re lucky, picked out of your garden. I get out the containers, masking tape and a marker and have them on one part of the countertop.
Have your salad spinner out to dry your herbs and leafy greens, if you have one. If not use tea towels to dry. Also, have a saucepan ready for some of the veggie trimmings to make homemade stock. Waste not, want not!
- Wash and dry the herbs
- Wash and dry the beet greens- that came on the beets. Do the same with all leafy greens
- Wash and peel the beets. Sometimes I grate them right away, as I prefer them raw on salads, but today I left them whole
- Wash, dry and slice carrots and celery. Save the tips for stock—just put them right in a saucepan as you go.
- Chop onions, saving skins for the stock.
- Wash and dry broccoli, and then blanch, meaning place in boiling water for a couple minutes, then immediately cool, preferably in a bowl of ice water. Today, I just drained and then cooled the broccoli off under the cold water in the skink. Drain and place in another container. Now you can add to eggs, salads, whatever you like. Don’t use trimmings for stock, as they’re too strong. You can however, cook trimmings, drain and puree to add into recipes. Broccomoli anyone?
- This list can go on and one. Please don’t purchase and prep more than you can eat. There is so much food waste in this country.
After my fridge was all pretty with freshly prepped veggies, I added water to the trimmings to make a little veggie stock, and I also soaked some garbanzo beans with a little seaweed (I use Kombu generally, but was out, so I substituted Wakame), which makes them more digestible and adds minerals. Homemade hummus is a healthful, inexpensive dish to make and perfect for all those chopped veggies.
I had roasted a chicken, so that was prepped. I have canned tuna, lots of nuts and seeds, beans and legumes. Having prepped the veggies makes meal time a breeze. You just need to cross off about an hour and a half — less if you have help — to get it done.
This is preparing for your good health. It doesn’t take that long and you’ll get in the groove pretty quickly.
Here’s to your health!