Let’s talk about Snacks!
When I started self-iso 7 weeks ago, I’d just returned to my plant based diet. Thanksgiving to Jan 1st is my "you can have whatever you like (within reason)" food free pass. My rule is simple: come the new year I'll be back on my healthy sh*t which doesn't really kick in until Jan 15th. Give or take a week.
2020 began with my F*CK YOUR DIET book tour. Living out of a suitcase for three weeks was hard on my food/exercise routine so I pushed back my reboot to March. Monday March 9th, I went back to my plant based diet. Then COVID-19 hit NYC.
Wednesday March 11th, I cancelled my dream vacation to Machu Picchu concerned that things would go left quickly and I’d be stuck overseas. My gut instinct was right. Peru shut it boarders down the following week leaving tourists scrambling for a way back home. Instead of boarding my flight to Lima, I went to the supermarket and bought enough food for two weeks and SNACKS.
For the record, I do not keep snacks at home. Unless I’m PMSing, then I’ll get something sweet and eat it over 1-2 days. That’s it. My family wasn’t a snack family either. I recall going to a friend’s house as a kid and seeing a variety pack of chips, juice boxes and cookies. "Are y'all going on a road trip?" I asked. They laughed.
Part of the reason why my mom didn’t keep snacks in the house was because her mother didn’t. Grandma was a “make it from scratch” kinda woman. Meanwhile, now at 90, she loves orange soda, gummy bears and Cheetos. I digress. Another reason Mom didn’t keep snacks in the house was because I was a fat kid with zero self control. I once cried myself to sleep because there was vanilla Hagen Daaz in the freezer and she wouldn’t let me have any. REAL TEARS.
Okay back to the snacks.
On my first COVID supermarket trip, I bought two big bags of chips, a family size pack of Thin Oreos (I hate the filling) and Kashi oat bars. Oh and two pints of Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy ice cream because they are very hard to find in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. I tucked them away, out of view because I was hopeful that I wouldn’t need them.
That’s the thing. Throughout this entire pandemic, I’m been outwardly positive, logical and practical. Internally, I’ve been stuck on a loop doing the bare minimum so that I’m not totally unproductive. I’m getting by but I’m not killing quarantine like some folks on IG would have you believe. I have no desire to put paper towel sheets under my feet and slide lunge across the floor.
I haven’t purged my apartment even though I’ve written it in my calendar book every week for the last four weeks. That’s one way I’m keeping up appearances of productivity. I write TO DO lists that I ignore then write them again the following week like the list changed.
Snacks help to ease the guilt of not doing sh*t. At the end of the day, after I’ve eaten my well balanced meals I walk over to my snack box. Around week two, I bought a clear storage bin to keep my dogs 50 lb. bag of food and figured the other space would be good for my snacks which have grown over the weeks. I ceremoniously select one item to eat. What ever is open is what I’ll snack on until I’m done and nothing is finished in one sitting. That’s how I maintain order in this lawless land of anxiety and stifled emotions.
It took four weeks for me to admit that I was not as fine as I projected to be. Going to bed at 3, 4, 5 am. Waking up at 11, 12, 1pm. I go for long walks with Winnie, my pug, when the weather permits and schedule two weekly FaceTime workout sessions with my trainer, one of which I always cancel. I’ve gotten on the scale and I’m still around the same weight before this all started which is still 30 lbs over my normal plant based, cardio 2-3x week, hot yoga body.
I have a new appreciation for gingersnap cookies. Stauffer's are my favorite. I found them on the bottom shelf at my local Rite Aid untouched by previous panic shoppers. We’re all finding ourselves eating or making food that soothes. Why do you think we’re seeing so many Banana breads on our timelines? Of course, in a perfect world we'd all have self control to not eat ourselves to death while waiting for Corona to pass us by.
I am not about to tell you you’re better than licking the cake batter spoon. Here’s my rule: Once I feel like a disgusting pig, scale back for a few days and ramp up the physical activity. Work up a sweat be it a walk, youtube dance class or sex. Ah, I miss sex.
In all honesty, my day isn’t complete without a snack. A treat to trick my body into thinking the world is "ok" until the last bite. A celebration that I made it thru another day of doing the bare minimum. Once things stabilize, I’ll get back to my program but right now I’m giving myself permission to grieve the life I knew one cookie, root beer float or handful of Cheetos at a time.
P.S. My Stationary bike arrives Monday.