Monday, June 22, 2020

COVID Comfort Food

iHop's Cereal Pancakes

Why do some people deal with Coronavirus so well? The answer is simple - they have strong immune systems.

During our enforced stay-at-home, so many of my friends have been posting their comfort foods on social media. One friend dreamed of this blue concoction - image above - from iHop. Another posted a fluffernutter sandwich - peanut butter and marshmallow on white bread. One friend, who does yoga and wears her mask faithfully, consumes a candy bar for breakfast now and then.

Fluffernutter Sandwich

We all have our comfort foods. I do too. I always say that it’s our favorite food and drink that will get us in the end. But, it’s been two months of quarantine and it really is about time to stop eating fake food comfort foods.

Pizza. How many pizzas have been sold during lockdown? Can you believe that pizza makers have sold record numbers of pizzas during COVID? 

Frozen Pizza

It’s hard to believe that Americans could actually eat more pizza.

Americans have bought approximately $275 million worth of frozen pizza since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March. That’s an increase of 92 percent compared to the same time last year. 

“It’s incredible,” says Gina Bolger, vice president of branding for Home Run Inn Pizza in the Detroit area, which is churning out as many as 85,000 pizzas a day at its 60,000-square-foot factory in Woodridge, Illinois.

“We equate this to every day being like Super Bowl Sunday — the orders don’t stop. The demand is through the roof. We’re trying to keep up as best we can,” she says. 

And, that’s just frozen pizza. Pizza parlors have also been delivering take-out!

What do fluffernutters, iHop pancakes and frozen pizza have in common? They’re not real food. They’re fake oils made in the lab.

Let’s face it - Americans are not eating real food. 

Many Americans have NEVER eaten real food.

Take the fluffernutter - most peanut butter on the supermarket shelf has very little actual peanuts in it. It’s a fake oil made to taste like peanuts whipped to a dreamy texture with lots of sugar to make it the most popular brand. The same with pizza cheese - very little actual dairy. In fact, dairy has very little actual dairy since the cows do not graze on growing grass and are fed hormones, antibiotics and Genetically Modified corn and soy (in no way their natural diet).

What Americans are eating all day every day are fake oils created in the lab and flavored to resemble the thing they think they’re eating whether that is peanut butter or cheese, ice cream or cake, breakfast cereals or donuts, tacos or hot dogs.

Fake oils are not human nutrition. We can eat them occasionally without creating too many problems in the body, but they do not nourish our bodies. 

Fake oils made in the lab create lots of excess mucus in the body during illness when your body is trying to get the mucus out, i.e. the lung phase of the coronavirus when breathing can become so difficult. These fake foods are also flavored with large amounts of salt and artificial lab-created flavorings, i.e. chemicals, which can create more mucus in the body.

Meat is another culprit. Meat has huge amounts of salt already in it before meat products are flavored again with more salt and chemicals. Meat eating has been linked to the occasional overactivity of the immune system in COVID patients that die suddenly after seeming to be improving.

What is really happening when a young person contracts the coronavirus and does well for a while but then crashes and dies? The doctors say that young person was "healthy and had no previously existing conditions.” But, they were NOT healthy and DID have a previous condition which was malnutrition and a compromised immune system.

The key to dealing with the Coronavirus is to strengthen your immune system.

It’s so simple and we all learned it in school. I can’t help thinking - There are two kinds of people in the world: those who paid attention in school and those who didn’t.

1. The Triangle of Health: Nutrition, Sleep, Exercise has always been a basic part of my life and it’s so simple, though not always easy to implement. Often, we can’t get the sleep we need, nor do we have time to exercise. However, nutrition should never be allowed to slacken. 

2. The Healthy Plate:

Though recently re-emerged from Harvard, this simple plate has been with me since elementary school. I have, since then, updated my protein from meat to a healthy vegetable protein of beans, or occasional good quality fish. (Our fish supply has also been usurped by factory farms, so it is not as easy to find good fish as it used to be. Be careful: good fish looks good and smells fresh and clean; its edges are moist, not dry and curled; it smells sweet, not fishy; the flesh is white, not yellow or rubbery.

We must make the effort to find good food! Real whole foods at places like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, good quality markets, co-ops, buy directly from the farm if you have to! You'll be surprised how many are delivering during COVID lockdown!

3. Fresh air! Open a window! Get that fresh air circulating in your home! (Remember, the worst places for COVID deaths - stuffy, stale, enclosed spaces with recycled “air” - old age homes, airplanes, factories, hotels, cruise ships and, the worst - HOSPITALS!) 

4. Sunshine! Go outside! If you can’t go outside, open a window and stick your head out! Ten minutes a day is enough to get Vitamin D to strengthen your immune system. Even on cloudy days, enough sun gets through.

Years ago, I lived near a convenience store and would see construction workers - otherwise, strong healthy young men - coming out of the store with their lunches of huge bags of chips and a bottle of Coke, as Jay Leno used to say, “Bigger than their bladder!” 

You can eat chips or Twinkies or frozen pizza for your meals if you like or you may choose health.

You don’t really have to give up all meat. Choose wisely. Better cuts, organic chicken, good quality fish. Adding brown rice to your plate will begin to change you in amazing new ways!

You really don’t have to give up your comfort foods. Just limit them. After a while, you’ll notice the difference in the way you feel after you eat that Cap’n Crunch pancake stack compared to how much better you feel after a good dinner of brown rice, broiled fish and salad, strawberries for dessert; you won’t dream about iHop any more. 

Other sources for good healthy choices are:

Denny Waxman's macrobiotic cookbook, The Ultimate Guide to Eating for Longevity: The Macrobiotic Way to Live a Long, Healthy, and Happy Life

If you wish to start macrobiotics - with personal advice and guidance -

Allen Campbell: Nutrition Studies Allen Campbell was Tom Brady's nutrition coach and chef. His advice on inflammatory foods has helped me a great deal with any occasional pain.

Hip Chicks Guide to Macrobiotics
Edward Esko online Coronavirus Lecture

©Patricia Goodwin, 2020

Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, about Marblehead legends and true crime and its sequel, Dreamwater, about the Salem witch trials and the vicious 11-year-old pirate Ned Low. Holy Days is her third novel, about the sexual, psychological seduction of Gloria Wisher and her subsequent transformation. Her newest poetry books are Telling Time By Apples, And Other Poems About Life On The Remnants of Olde Humphrey Farme, illustrated by the author, and Java Love: Poems of a Coffeehouse.

Patricia has been a practicing macrobiotic for 46 years. 

Within this blog, Patricia writes often about non-fiction subjects that inspire or disturb her, hopefully informing and inspiring people to be happy, healthy and free. 

***Disclaimer: The information on this blog is not meant to substitute for medical care. Please consult your physician before beginning any new dietary guidelines.