The Wrong E-Ticket
Welcome to March. In the midst of the longest, coldest winter ever. Okay, perhaps a bit of hyperbole, but for those of us who believe playing loose and fast with a pandemic will not necessarily end well, it kind of feels that way. Ergo, when I review this month’s assignment and realize we are writing on health and wellness, I’m thinking, “what masochist thought this one up!”
I do, however, realize that might be exactly the point.
Alas. What to do? And while my sigh is big and deep, as I exhale, I realize I cannot be the only person to have bitter irony in their inbox. After all, March is when shorts and bathing suits begin to hit the outlets, and lord knows we won’t get that bikini bod unless we start now.
Or maybe not. We may be too late.
According to the International Food Information Council’s 2020 Food and Health Survey, as many as 85 percent of Americans made changes in the food they eat or how they prepare food because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The biggest change was that 60 percent of consumers reported cooking at home more, which sounds not only harmless enough, but like a rather good thing. One in three people said they are snacking more, which of course we know is a less good thing. And a quarter, well—they said they are thinking about food more than usual, which could be an understatement.
Because I know how this goes. Get up in the morning, set up the coffee. While it perks, decide what will be for dinner. Is there something on hand, or does it warrant a trip to the market?
Hmmmnm…not sure, but open the freezer and, voilà, there are frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs in there. Last week, they were in an amazing Mexican instant pot with rice. The week before that, on the grill with the elixir called Dizzy Dust sprinkled generously along their surfaces. Today? Maybe Greek-style. Only then, I have to go to the market because I’ll need lemons. Can’t do this without fresh lemons. But I was at the market just two days ago. So what else do I have here? Pantry says Orzo! Bingo! I can do a Greek-Chicken soup. But then I need leeks and lemon. And a fresh baguette. So now I have three items I need, which leads to 1) the rule of three and 2) a realization…
…yes, the Super G has become our new Disneyland. It’s now the happiest place on earth. It’s where we go out without feeling we’re breaking a COVID-covenant, and bonus: it actually comes with human interface. And then, like a Silk Road, it sells all sorts of items that can make a person feel nourished. Apples for goodness, Devil Dogs for comfort, pretzels for crunch, potato chips for grease, and popcorn for movies. At this point in our rapidly changed, food-tastic world, what better place on earth can there be?!
Definitely not where I went—the all-inclusive Island of the Freshman Ten. The good news is you don’t need a passport to get there. The bad news is it’s very hard to leave.
And that bad news gets even worse. You see, there’s a new book, Burn, by evolutionary anthropologist Herman Pontzer. He argues that most of us simply can’t run, jog, or crunch ourselves slim; apparently two million years of evolution is conspiring to stop us. Per Pontzer, paleo, keto, anti-gluten, anti-grain, and even vegan, does not matter. All diets succeed or fail with one statement, “for shedding pounds, a calorie is a calorie.”
Actually, this may be really good news, maybe even great news. Because honestly, we were never, ever, going to jog ourselves thin, were we?
Okay, deep, meditative breath. Remember vaccines are happening, spring is right around the corner, and we can refresh the veggie drawer, rather than the pantry. We can get ready for warmer weather and end our dalliance with the fake glitter-false prophet supermarket Disney. And we can shape our way to our real, happiest place on earth, our beach. It awaits our return.
So let’s phone a friend and work together to leave the Island of the Freshman Ten. It might be hard, but we are worth it. And if you need support, CAMP Rehoboth’s teamed up with Erin Shivone from Lankai Studio for virtual, free, chair yoga classes where we exercise our conscious breath while reducing anxiety and stress. Because, no judgement, we all know breaking up is hard to do. Breathe in. Breath out. Breathe free. See you at the beach. I’ll be the one wearing a mask.