By Judith Forman
Whole30 Certified Coach
These are crazy times. A month ago, none of us expected to be starting April like this – at home, trying to flatten the curve of Coronavirus.
It’s been a difficult few weeks for everyone, regardless of your situation. (A big THANK YOU to everyone working on the front lines, in hospitals, grocery stores, and pharmacies. I am filled with gratitude for your service!)
For me, I am lucky to still be employed, working from home. I am juggling my job with caring for and trying to educate my 6-year-old daughter, who is in first grade. It’s definitely hard at times but I am aware of my privilege and I know it could be SO MUCH WORSE. We are healthy (knock on wood!), and at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.
I was sick during the second week of March. As I started to heal and the crisis evolved, I decided to jump back into a round of Whole30. I thrive with structure and I knew I would want to feel my VERY BEST in this challenging time.
During this round, I’ve been relying a ton on meals from Cooked. They’ve been a lifesaver as I’ve been figuring out how to stay stocked up on proteins and produce. The other night, after a long day of work and parenting, I sat down to the Cooked Chicken Schnitzel and Swabian Potato dish – and it was EXACTLY the comfort food I needed.
While living through a pandemic is not ANYTHING I would wish on anyone, I have been thinking about the GOOD things for me that will come out of this experience.
As each day passes, I can feel my perspective – and myself – shifting. Below are five ways I am changing, for the better, because of this situation:
- NO WASTE: As an avid home cook, I am always surrounded by food. I usually do a good job eating everything I make but occasionally, I can’t get to it all before it goes bad. Or, I have something on the verge of needing to be tossed, and I talk myself out of repurposing it. Not now! I am so aware of my inventory and I am using every last bit of food. Soggy spaghetti squash? I am bringing it back to life in the Air Fryer! Mushy roasted cabbage? I am using it as a base for a veggie bowl topped with fried eggs. One leftover hot dog? I chop it up and serve it with my breakfast. This is something I plan to keep up once this is all over!
- POWER OF ROUTINE: I have long recognized the power of routine – and how it keeps me grounded and sane. Yet, I am digging into this quality now more than ever. Even though I don’t have to commute by train to work these days, I am still getting up early for my coffee, workout, and laptop time. While the world feels chaotic, I have some normalcy. I know that as life continues to throw challenges my way, I will get through them by sticking to what I know works for me. I have a deeper appreciation for the routine I set up for myself before the crisis because I know it’s what’s keeping me strong and focused right now. Giving my past self a big pat on the back!
- GETTING CREATIVE: With limited access to groceries now, being creative is the name of the game. I am modifying recipes and substituting ingredients more than ever – and it’s all working out. This exercise is making me a more confident cook, and more secure in my ability to take care of myself properly even when the situation isn’t ideal. It could be easy to throw my hands up and say that I can’t do Whole30 now because I don’t have everything I might need during a round. But, instead, I am making do with what I have and having more fun than ever in the kitchen.
- GIVING BACK: Giving back has always been important to me. I’m not about the grand gestures but rather, I try to do small things on a local level to help those in need. During this crisis, I have been trying to do at least one “good deed” a day – ranging from collecting money for local moms who need help with groceries, to organizing a restaurant friend to provide a dinner to a family who needed a pick-me-up, to dropping off part of the free school lunch we get for my daughter to an older woman in my neighborhood. While I have always found joy in helping others, I now realize that this is a non-negotiable in my life moving forward. It’s not something nice to do, it’s something I must do.
- GRATITUDE: As a single working mom with a long commute, I have spent my share of moments over the past six years grumbling about the train, my job, the hectic schedule, and the busy pace of modern life. I have been stressed out by my long to-do lists, and frazzled at times with parenting solo. But, now, in this moment, all of that has washed away. I am filled with gratitude for what I have, for my health, and for the opportunity to take care of myself through Whole30. This experience is shaping all of us. On the other side of this, I know my glass will always be half full, and I will never again take for granted “normal” life.
What are your silver linings during this Coronavirus crisis? I would love to hear from you! Feel free to drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Instagram @jujuswhole30.