Cooped Up and Comfort Foods

There’s a lot of uncertainty right now in the world with COVID-19. I know a lot of people are stressing about this, and food is one of those things that brings people comfort, hence the area of foods known as “Comfort Foods.” Many of these tend to be carb-heavy and are foods that take us back to a happier time in our lives, most often childhood. For me, there are many comfort foods that I can’t eat anymore, but fortunately, as I thought about it, I was able to find a few that were meat and vegetable based.

One way to stay motivated is to keep eating right. Do what you can to continue with your chosen diet, whether it’s Whole30, Paleo, Keto, etc. Sure, it might be more difficult to stick to it now with shortages in staple food items, but the shortages will be short-term as the supplies restock as people realize they bought too much, or don’t need to keep hoarding so much. The more difficult part is the psychological burden COVID-19 is putting on us all. Comfort foods are very tempting right now.

Make a list of the comfort foods you love. Yes, even the carb-filled ones. Once your list is done, cross off all the items your diet doesn’t support. Hopefully, you have a few left that aren’t crossed out that you can make for yourself. If your entire list is crossed out, then do a Google search on an alternative version that doesn’t contain elements not compliant with your diet. For me, that would be either Whole30 or Paleo versions.

Sure, there will be some foods you just can’t find an alternative for, but you’ll be surprised how many foods have alternate ingredient versions that are much healthier for you.

Keep your head up, and keep isolating yourselves. If we do our part, this virus will come and go and hopefully skip you and your friends and family. There’s no need to give up on your health. Stick to the plan and do what you can to get some exercise and eat right!

Love in the Time of COVID-19

Let’s all head on down to the Winchester and wait for all this to blow over.

Love in the Time of Cholera is a pretty famous book that is referenced in a lot of movies. Typically love movies. Why? Because the book talks about finding those people in your world who you would want to keep close to you. In the book, the couple knew they’d be separated when their ship docked in port, so they rose a Cholera flag which kept them at sea.

What does that book have to do with Coronavirus? Well, we have an opportunity here to be with those people we would want to keep close to us in a 14-day quarantine. I can’t think of a better way to spend 14 days inside than with Sherry. For those who were thinking about doing a Whole30 or starting the Paleo Diet, it’s also a good time to deplete your personal stock of non-compliant foods.

Now hear me out. I know that it’s hard to find groceries right now, and right now might not be the best time to try to start eating healthy when you can’t find meat and veggies in the stores. However, now is a good time to prepare for when things get back to normal by getting rid of all the bad foods while you’re stuck inside by eating it all.

This goes against what I’d normally recommend, but during a pandemic and national emergency (heck, a GLOBAL emergency!), it’s foolish to throw anything away right now. So, all those bags of chips? Cookies? Candy? Noodles? Beans? Rice? Eat it all! Use it all up! And when you’re done with them, replace them with good stuff: meat and veggies and fruit.

Remember to wash your hands, avoid crowded areas, and don’t go out unless you have to. If you are going to get together with folks, try to avoid touching and sharing glasses/cups/eating utensils/etc. You don’t have to become a Bubble Boy, but you should be careful. Even if the virus won’t kill you, you could carry it to someone who is vulnerable and could kill them.

As for Sherry and me, we’ll be at the Winchester waiting for all this to blow over.

I am the turtle

I have to keep telling myself that progress is progress, even when it’s slow. Perseverance is the name of the game. It’s the strategy the turtle used to beat the hare. It’s the strategy I’m using to get to my final weight goal.

However, while rethinking my weight goal last night, I realized that it might not be realistic given the amount of physical activity I’m doing now. I am not only running, but weightlifting. This is going to build more muscle, and while I will definitely continue to lose some of the fat I’ve added to my body over the past six months, I’m going to be building heavier, denser muscle in its place.

This is why it’s so important to use a number of data points when analyzing your overall health and fitness. While I may never see 160 lbs again, I will definitely be stronger, healthier, and more fit.

I am doing all the right things now: getting enough sleep, eating smaller and healthier portions, and getting exercise. The final ingredient is time: I just need to continue to put in the work, and the results will come.

A Week of Duty

Me wearing my fancy rain jacket because… well, it was raining.

I’m back! Sorry for being gone for a week, but I had military duty last week and I was a bit busy. I was learning about a computer system that aids forward observers in calling for fire support from artillery or close air support from air assets. It was fascinating and actually a lot of fun! The hardware worked properly, and more importantly, the instructor was very good. I scored a 98% on my final exam which made me happy!

As for health and fitness, my wife Sherry meal prepped for me, so most meals were home-cooked. The hotel I stayed in had a kitchenette which made it easy for me to warm up the food. The meals I ate that weren’t prepped were all Paleo-friendly and I made sure to control my portions.

For exercise, I ran and did my push-ups. I ran around the hotel, and on the one day it was cold and rainy, I ran on the treadmill in the hotel’s gym. I felt great, and it was good to be able to continue my fitness regimen.

In the hotel right after a three mile run in the gym.

This week, I will concentrate on some HIIT and distance as well as trying to get back into my weightlifting. My shoulder is more or less better now, although it’s still tender to the touch. I can lift things without pain, so hopefully, I’ll be able to get back into the weightlifting and start making gains again.

Your health depends on how high a priority you place on it. Even though I was out of town, I made sure to keep my health and fitness at the top of my priorities, and even though there was an In-n-Out Burger within a mile of my hotel, I never once went there. I was tempted, but my health and progress is far more important than the temporary satisfaction of a burger and fries.

If you make your health and fitness a priority, everything will fall in behind them, and you’ll find that it really wasn’t so difficult to stay in shape and to stay healthy. So many people say they don’t have time to exercise or they can’t spare the effort in planning meals and eating right. These same people complain about being overweight and being out of shape and wishing there was something easy they could do to reverse both. The reality is that there is no fast and easy way. It’s all done the old fashioned way: eat right and get exercise. Once you get past the hurdle of committing and starting, the rest is easy.