We’re all in this together, or out of it (the public?) together depending on the way you look at it? With everything going on in the world with COVID–19 we’ve been asked to stay at home as much as we can to mitigate the spread of the virus. After sheltering in place for a week and working from home I’ve noted a few things I’ve found essential to do and keep in the home. I know the internets are pretty full right now with these ideas but these really are some key takeaways I’ve noted in the last week.
Use a pressure cooker
If you don’t have one of these already – you really need one. Sure you’re stuck at home all day so in theory you can use a slow cooker because supposedly time is on your side, but in my experience the evening still rolls around after dealing with kids and work – that the need to pressure cook a pork shoulder really quick is absolutely necessary.
Go on a walk
We’re all working from hope but that doesn’t mean you can’t go outside (yet). I’ve tried to still move as much as possible while being stuck at home and that includes taking calls outside and going on walks. I typically would do this at work anyway so carrying it over to working from home is a no brainer. If you have a phone call you have to be on – go outside – synthesize vitamin d and move around at a slow pace.
Make bone broth
If you have an instant pot or not you can finally take a stab at making some bone broth. You can follow this recipe to make one in an instant pot or you can follow this recipe to make it the low and slow way in a Lodge dutch oven. It’ll help boost your immunity, the collagen will help you sleep better and it’s just a fun thing to do. Now’s the time to take stab at it.
Ferment something, anything. Make some kombucha. Ferment some pickles. Make some beet kvass. If you’re at home all day, you have the luxury of trying out some of these super old school ways of doing things. They’re really easy, they’re fun for the kids and they have really good health benefits because of the natural probiotics produced in the fermentation process.
Buy a whole animal
Who knows how long this thing is gonna go on, but I’m already being told I can’t buy the quantity of meat I want to buy. My grocery stores are limited to 2 packs of meat per person… that’s like 4 ribeyes. That’ll last me 2 days. I can’t keep going back to the store every other day so the best bet for me and you is to find a local farmer and purchase a whole animal. It’s the most cost effective way to purchase meat and you get to use every part of the animal this way. The best way to go about doing this is to check out the eat wild website and look for farmers and ranchers near you to develop relationships with to purchase a whole animal.
Rice, beans and corn tortillas won’t kill you
Look – I typically eat no carb or low carb but some days a taco or 5 really sound good. Eating a gluten free corn tortilla isn’t that many carbs and if you make your own, especially with this blue masa, it’s tasty and super healthy still. Eating white rice, basmati specifically, isn’t terrible either with its low GI. Beans can be a last resort but can also be fun to prepare if you prepare them the traditional way by soaking and then cooking up in some lard. You could be doing a lot worse. I wouldn’t make these a staple but on occasion throwing them into your sheltering in place routine can be a nice treat.
We don’t have to commute anymore. Sleep is so important. Take advantage of this time and put sleep as a priority. I can’t honestly say I’m succeeding in this area because I’ve been surfing in the morning instead of swimming like I typically do for “moving around at a slow pace” – but I kinda love surfing more than sleep. I know, I’m not taking my own advice, but if the surf looks terrible I’ll be taking myself up on my own advice.
Plan a garden
Again who knows how long we’ll be stuck inside. If you don’t have a garden yet now would be a good time to plan one and get it going for the spring. My advice is to be realistic and plant only the things you know you’ll want to eat or consume on a regular basis. What does that look like for my family? Kale, spinach, dill, cilantro, squash, strawberries, blueberries, citrus trees. Just take a look at what you typically buy and make a plan to try to be ever so self sustaining. If you live in Southern California – I’ve found this book to be a great resource.
Make some art
Where would we be without art?! Lol well I may be a little biased considering I have a BFA in Graphic Design. I’ve literally taken more art classes than math, history and literature combined. While you’re confined to your home try to make some art. Then one day you’ll be able to look back and remember this time that you were confined to your home, for what probably seems like an eternity, and have an art piece set in time to remember the quarantine. Van Gogh painted some of his best and most well known works, Starry Night and Irises, when he was stuck in a mental institution after cutting off his own ear – is that bad to relate our stay at home order to Van Gogh’s time in a mental institution? Either way, all good art has stories behind them, this could be your time to do the same thing. Paint a picture, build something, do some graphic design, draw with chalk on the sidewalk with your kids – just go make something from nothing.
As cheesy as it sounds – we’ll never get this time back – a friend reminded me of this the other day and it really is true. Unfortunate as it is with the whole world getting sick with this virus, it’s placed the rest of us in a unique situation where we have no other option than being stuck at home. We can either make the most of it or let it drive us mad. We should try as best as we can to see this as a unique opportunity with our family and make memories with them because once it’s all over (hopefully someday) we’ll look back on this time and wish we had it back. As Andy once famously said on The Office – “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them”.
These are just a few things that I’ve noted this last week. If you have any ideas on what’s helping you get through the quarantine – feel free to share them in the comments below. Stay primal, healthy and safe everyone!