By Satirist Mark Burnash
Call it what you may, be it the Quarantine 15 or COVID-19 Pounds, the unfortunate reality is that a significantly non-insignificant number of Americans have gained a significantly non-insignificant amount of weight during the stay-at-home lockdown time periods.
The contributing factors are multitudinous, plenteous, and there’s even lots of them: disruption of daily routines, increased sedentary activities, cabin fever, fitness facility closure, uninhibited alcoholism, financial anxiety, excessive comfort foods, insufficient sleep, and that most devious of afflictions…boredom.
One scientific study (Self-quarantine and Weight Gain Related Risk Factors during the COVID-19 Pandemic by scientists at Grand Canyon University) reports that nearly 1 in every 4 adults has experienced a weight gain of at least 5-10 pounds.
That’s 50 million people!
So how do we turn this trend around and break free from the COVID-19 funk?
Dr. Hensrud, medical director of the Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Living Program, says that the key is slowly establishing healthier habits that can be maintained long term.
“With all habits, it takes time to establish them, so everybody is getting accustomed to this new normal. I’d encourage people to establish those new healthy habits now. You have to be a little proactive about this, and that’ll make it easier in the long term. Break out of your comfort zone,” says Dr. Hensrud.
“Instead of giving in to large amounts of comfort food, this can be an opportunity to take foods that we may not think of as healthy — you can make burritos, bean burritos or even pizza. If you make it in the correct way, it can be a healthy food. Invest some time. Planning is a real key here if you plan ahead rather than just grabbing something at the last moment. Try and raise your culinary skills and do a little bit more cooking.”
And with this advice in mind, we’ve invited two critically-acclaimed world-renown writers to help by venturing forth simple and manageable meal alternatives to replace some commonly described quarantine fare.
First we have Elongoria Victoria Dupree, head culinary writer for Glomp, Hollywood’s premier brand for all matters of wellness and lifestyle. She’s written such best-selling novels as: “How to Train Your Personal Chef,” “Easy Meals for Under Five Hundred Dollars” and “Peasant Food Made Fabulous.”
And also joining us, we have Scandanavian sensation Sven Svirfneblin, chief editor for the International Academy of Extreme Nutritional Science Technology and Engineering Applications (IAENSTEA) and a three-time finalist at the World Au Naturale Totally Clean and Drug-Free Bodysculpting Federation Championships (WANTCDBFC). He’s also written the wildly popular books: “The Secrets of Intermittent Starving,” “Enjoying Food is for Losers,” and “Fun with Dehydration: A Guide to Pre-Contest Water Shedding.”
So without further ado, let’s right jump into the meal planning!
Sample Quarantine Meal
3 large bowls Captain Crunch OOPS ALL BERRIES! with full-fat milk
4 untoasted Cinnamon Roll Pop-Tarts
24(ish) oz. Iced Blue Raspberry Lemonade Kool-Aid, chugged straight from jug
Elongoria Victoria Dupree suggests:
“Perhaps try a light dish of herbed labrah tartines with seeded wild fermented sourdough and a decadent dollop of beluga caviar, garnished with locally foraged mushrooms, drizzled with essence of truffle oil, and sprinkled with a smattering of saffron. It’s a perfect cavalcade of delight without all the guilt! This along with 20 minutes with your masseuse will set you up for the day proper.”
Sven Svirfneblin recommends:
“5 egg whites, cooked. All your aminos from arginine to valine in one place!
1 cup oatmeal, dry. We eat dry to maximize the minimization of nutrient absorption into the blood stream!
1 fish oil capsule. For the OMEGAS!!”
Sample Quarantine Meal:
1/2 tub Jiff creamy peanut butter, eaten with spoon straight from jar
Last night’s leftover General Tso’d Chicken Chinese’s takeout
1 2-litre Mountain Dew, chugged straight from jug
Elongoria Victoria Dupree proposes:
“A charming creation by my personal chef of Pacific Ocean black cod fillet: hand-glazed with a Japanese tamari and manuka honey reduction. Delicately balanced on a sumptuous organic pearl barley risotto, hand in hand with a delightful English courgette flower beignet and a teriyaki jus. A few minor ingredient adjustments and you’re halfway there!”
Sven Svirneblin nominates:
“6 oz. steamed chicken, swallowed whole. Keep those aminos coming!
1 cup peanut shells (unsalted, no peanuts). Fiber is nature’s toilet brush for the intestines!
1 fish oil capsule. OMEGA’S are lyyyyyyyyfe!”
Sample Quarantine meal:
37 overcooked Totino’s pepperoni pizza rolls covered in shredded cheese
2 cups ranch dressing
8 White Russians with vodka, kahlua, and heavy cream…and more vodka.
Elongoria Victoria Dupree advocates:
“A quite basic roasted filet of Australian Kobe beef, nestled in a Kent garden pea puree, temptingly accompanied by a succulent spinach and onion compote, to die for triple-cooked Maris Piper chips and Indonesian long pepper sauce. Nothing too fancy. We wouldn’t want people to think we’re elitist or anything.”
Sven Svirfneblin beats the drum for:
“6 oz. steamed chicken, swallowed whole. Chicken breast is the most legendary of bodybuilding foods. Remember to genuflect before eating.
1 cup broccoli, raw. Mustn’t cook so as not damage those sweet precious phytonutrients!
3 mixed berries. Go crazy! Variety is the spice of life!
1 fish oil capsule. Let me tell you a little story about a man named OMEGAS!”
And there you have it! By making just a few simple substitutions and minor tweaks to your current diet, those extra lockdown pounds will be a thing of the past in no time. Until then, wash your hands, wear a mask, practice safe social distancing and good luck with Losing the Quarantine 15!