Eating Healthy?


Are You Avoiding The ‘COVID 19?’

Back when those of us who attended college began our freshman years, our parents, older siblings and friends all cautioned us to avoid the “Freshman 15,” meaning once we were out from under our folks’ dietary restrictions, the sudden influx of pizza, chips, Doritos and even a beer or twelve tended to put on 15 pounds! Now that we are all stuck inside under the “Stay at Home” Order and other Coronavirus restrictions, The Island Sand Paper asked several Islanders this week whether the phrase “COVID-19” might refer to the number of pounds they are putting on during their isolation!

Each respondent answered the following questions: How healthy are you eating these days; Are you mostly cooking your own food, ordering takeout or delivery, or both; Is your diet right now more fruits and veggies or candy and ice cream; and What comfort food do you either presently have around the house or are you missing the most?

Beach Kids Foundation President Linda Beasley:

I am eating very healthy because I eat very healthy all the time! As a rule, I do not eat any red meat – I never have and I never will – so a main part of my diet is always rich with vegetables. I love to eat healthy and never eat anything fried. I am a home cooker so we do not do a lot of takeout to begin with, not that I do not want to assist our island restaurants and would love to help them, but that is our usual style. As long as I can get my vegetables, I am happy, and although I am not a candy or ice cream eater, I do love my carbs, so if you want to make me happy, just give me a big plate of pasta! As for ‘comfort food,’ we don’t have much of that around the house right now, but as soon as the coronavirus restrictions lift, I am going out to get a big gooey cheese pizza and eat the whole thing all by myself!

Council Member Bill Veach:

We generally eat healthy most of the time, but now my wife Randa has taken it upon herself to step that up these days, going to more of a plant-based diet. She pre-orders produce from a Farmer’s Market every week, then drives out to Bonita to pick it up, so we have a lot of organic produce and even dinners and are eating even healthier than ever before. We have a couple of favorite restaurants but unfortunately they are shut right now due to the coronavirus, so while I feel for the ones who remain open, we are preparing all of our own meals at this time. This means that Randa and I are eating much more fruits and vegetables than anything else, but I know people who are doing it in each direction, meaning some are either losing weight or putting it on, so for those who are adding on a few pounds, maybe that is another reason to wear a mask! Comfort food-wise, while we are not eating a lot of meat, we still have plenty of cheese!

Former Mayor Anita Cereceda:

Healthy eating for me these days is hit & miss; it is very healthy on the one hand, as I made lentil soup and chicken and all kinds of salady things, and then all of a sudden, I went all out with ice cream, so there has been very little in-between! I have mostly been cooking my own food and having very little delivered, except for the ice cream, though I did get takeout today for bagels from Tuckaway Café. For me, it has been a mixture of fruits and veggies versus ice cream, and what I truly miss now are the island’s Farmer Markets, as that is where I would buy the majority of my produce, as the vegetables there are excellent so I hope they can reopen when conditions are safe. Thank God that I am now out of ice cream these days, so my ‘comfort food’ right now is chicken soup!

Margaritaville Spokesperson John Gucciardo:

Joanne and I usually eat healthy to begin with but I have to admit that we slid a bit after being inside so much over the past month or so, as we have some frozen pizzas in the freezer as a back-up plan! We are mostly cooking our own food and staying away from takeout or delivery, as we like to cook, so this is a good excuse to try some new recipes. As for enjoying fruits and veggies versus candy and ice cream, we are not candy and ice cream people, but we are having more desserts these days than we normally do, and occasionally enjoying some junk food as the hours pass by, with dips being especially prevalent. For Joanne, cheese is her comfort food and if she has a hunk of Romano that she can enjoy, she is pretty happy, so cheese is a staple in our house right now. While I do not really have a comfort food, I recently got apple pie for dessert and got carried away and ended up with two!

Mound House President Ellen Vaughan:

For most of my adult life, I have been a very healthy eater and very disciplined. When I was younger, however, I used to eat a lot of candy, so by the time I was in 7th Grade and about to become a teenager, I weighed 155 pounds and the kids teased me unmercifully, so I decided to do something about that, and by the time I got into 8th Grade, I lost 45 pounds! I was so determined about my weight since then that I did not even gain the “Freshman 15” when I went to college. I did continue to eat candy, especially in a window during the afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m., though I would give it up for Lent, but when I got into my mid-40s, I decided to get away from that too, and lost another 5 pounds to get down to the weight I remain today.

Pat and I are mostly cooking our own food right now, though we are doing our share of takeout, to support island businesses at this trying time, and mostly we do that from Francesco’s Italian Restaurant & Deli, as that is close to where we live. I love to make extravagant salads at home, but that is a challenge right now, as the Farmer’s Markets are currently closed. We do go out for ice cream, usually from Royal Scoop, for what we call our “$20 ice cream,” as we get what we want, give them a $20, and tell them to keep the change! We are definitely in the fruits and vegetables crowd, but for my sweet tooth, it is absolutely ice cream, but we are not enjoying it any more now than we usually do, so ice cream is without question my comfort food. In more normal times, I am particularly fond of soft-serve ice cream from Daily Queen, but Royal Scoop is doing a great job of fulfilling my craving!