By now we are all well-versed in the COVID-19 lingo of flattening the curve, self-quarantining and learning all about physical distancing. But life does tramp on, meals need to be made, and health continues to be our No. 1 priority.
Here’s a sampling to help you make the best of the coming weeks, and to help you stay healthy and stable in these unstable times.
BLUEPRINT YOUR FRIDGE:
You’ve done the shopping and stocked your cupboards and fridge. Now what? Well-known celebrity chef Mareya Ibrahim, author of Eat Like You Give a Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive, says it’s now time to blueprint your fridge. Especially when you discover that $7 box of organic berries you recently purchased are covered in mould, and the spinach you thought would have been used by now has wilted and discharged green slime all over the floor of the crisper.
If you want your food to last – and you don’t want to search through the chaos of overstocking – Ibrahim offers the following tips that’ll save your food and your mind!
Mareya Ibrahim’s Refrigerator Essentials and Foodie Blueprint Tips:
THE TOP SHELF: Stock it with ingredients that help you create simple sauces and marinades, like low-sodium broths, stocks, veggie purees and nut milks.
FRIDGE BINS HOLD SMART SNACKING VEGGIES: The hearty ones that hold up nicely and don’t require much prep, like grape tomatoes, miniature bell peppers, Persian cucumbers, and radishes. Keep them in open containers at eye level so they’re visible and ready to munch. These great raw veggie snacks will satisfy your need to crunch.
THE BOTTOM SHELF: Holds grab ’n’ go meals, prepped and ready for you and your family. You can also have veggies and fruit that can be easily converted into meals
CRISPER: Fill the crisper drawer and baskets with prewashed greens, ready to throw into a smoothie, salad, soup, or entree. Fill the meat/cheese drawer with precooked proteins and grains, including chicken, ground turkey, quinoa, farro, and such.
STOCK: the fridge door with sauces and toppings, pickles, etc. that will accessorize your meals with flavour.
– Check out Mareyaibrahim.com for more details; @EatCleaner
BOOST TO STAY YOUR BEST: Doctors’ top tips to boost your immune system and stay healthy in this COVID-19 world.
We’re all pulling together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by focusing on things like social distancing, self-quarantining, washing hands and not touching our faces. But what else can you do to boost your immune system, optimize your health and stay safe?
Dr. Alok Trivedi is a U.S.-based human behaviour and performance expert and author of Chasing Success: Lessons in Aligned Performance, who has spent years studying the neurological and psychological connection to physical health. Here he offers some of his top tips to keep healthy, especially during these trying times of self-isolation and, in some cases, quarantine:
· Drink a lot of water: Staying hydrated is always good advice. Coconut water is also a good alternative because it has a lot of potassium. When your sodium and potassium levels are in balance, you’re going to be healthier.
· Get enough vitamins and minerals: In other words, eat a lot of fruits and veggies, especially green vegetables. It is best to get the nutrients you need through real living food, but during this pandemic you can also supplement with the use of high-quality vitamins and minerals.
· Boost your immune system with vitamin C, zinc and echinacea: Of course, always talk to your own personal physician first
· Drink apple cider vinegar: Drink one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with water each day.
· Avoid sugar and processed foods: This is also good advice in general, but even more so during these times. Sugar causes inflammation and obesity. If you can’t cut it out altogether, eliminate it as much as you can. Similarly, avoid processed foods and stick to living foods
which will aid in digestion.
· Don’t drink OJ: While orange juice may be high in vitamin C which can boost the immune system, it’s also loaded with sugar. Opt for eating a real orange instead which is much healthier and has loads of vitamin C.
· Get a lot of aerobic exercise: The idea is to get the blood pumping and oxygenate the lungs. One of the simplest ways to do this is to go for a walk every single day. It can help protect you from viruses and is great for your overall health.
· Avoid family arguments: If you are avoiding crowds and self-quarantining, you are going to be spending a lot of time around family. Tensions can quickly rise and you can become stressed. Too much stress lowers the white blood cell count, and white blood cells are
needed to fight off infection. Focus on coming together and appreciating the time together.
· Do something productive toward combating the virus: Whether it’s social isolation, self-quarantining, washing your hands, wiping down surfaces in your home, doing something that gives you a sense of accomplishment toward beating the virus is a good immune system boost. It also changes your mental attitude for the better knowing you have taken steps to protect yourself and your family.
– Check out Aloktrivedi.com for additional details.
PARAMOUNT STEPS UP
Paramount Fine Foods is taking steps to ease some of the burden caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by donating nearly 2,000 meals to food banks and shelters across the GTA to support the most vulnerable during these uncertain times.
“It’s about supporting each other and understanding that everyone is experiencing hardship right now,” says Mohamad Fakih, founder of the Middle Eastern restaurant chain. “We must come together as a community to best support one another and fight through this together as one strong entity.”
The company will also be working with Feed Our Heroes, an initiative to support hard-working frontline health-care workers through meal delivery.
– For additional details, check out Paramountfinefoods.com.
TEA FOR YOU AND ME
Feeling stressed (and who isn’t during these trying times), then reach for a cuppa. A recent study by the Tea Advisory Panel has found that herbal infusions could benefit certain aspects of health. Herbal infusions are a good source of flavonoids and other polyphenols in the human diet. According to recent research on emerald.com, herbal infusions have long been used in traditional medicine and are a popular global beverage choice. These health benefits were based on 1-3 daily cups with infusion rates of up to 15
minutes per cup. The panel suggested the following teas for various ailments:
— German Chamomile – sleep quality Spearmint – osteoarthritic stiffness and hormone control
— Lemon balm – for stress
— Rosehip – primary dysmenorrhea, or something for menstrual cramps
— For additional details, check out tea.ca.
A TOAST TO CANADA
Here’s a bit of cheery news: The Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery recently struck gold at the 2020 World Spirits Award, being named Distillery of the year and World-Class Distillery for 2020.
The company was awarded nine gold medals, four silver medals and one bronze at the World Spirits awards in Austria. Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery is Western Canada’s original craft distillery, dating back to 2004. The distillery sprung from the idea of using 100% locally grown fruits and grains to make premium,
world-class spirits just a tractor-ride away from the orchards and fields where the base ingredients were grown.
B.C.’s original farm-to- flask distillery now offers a selection of more than 30 internationally awarded spirits. “To have the honour of representing Canada and to come away with so many medals is a dream come true,” says Okanagan Spirits president Tony Dyck.
“Our entire team is so honoured to be in the company of some of the best distillers from around the world – honestly, the magnitude of how this places craft Canadian spirits on the world map is only now starting to sink in.”
— Check out Okanaganspirits.com.