Let's be honest, we all panicked a little when this whole Covid-19 situation started. I confess, I’m not very good with situations like these, but I have had to try to remain calm, because the entire world is feeling just like you and me right now.
When I realized I had to be prepared for at least two weeks, maybe more, I stopped to think for a second and said to myself, “Well Doreen, you have to shop smartly.”
The first thing I bought was protein. I filled my freezer with whole chicken, sliced, boneless and bone-in. If we’re going to be at home, it’s necessary to give ourselves variety. So, don’t limit all your purchases to the same things. I also bought ground beef, pork, stew, and various pieces of pork loin. With that I thought of about 3-4 recipes for each type of meat, and I portioned them all according to the intended recipe and put them in the freezer.
Next, I stocked up on side dishes like rice, different types of pasta, quinoa, couscous, and frozen bread, to be heated up in the oven later. It’s pointless to buy fresh bread that lasts 1-2 days if we can’t leave the house.
From there, I went on to vegetables that last a long time, like carrots, potatoes, broccoli and broccolini, cauliflower, cucumber, zucchini, fresh corn, just a little arugula and spinach (they last a short time). I also bought some avocados while they were still green, and five days after, when I started my quarantine, they were perfectly ripe.
For non-perishable products, I bought canned beans. I also bought dry lentils because those can revive anyone in a good soup with chicken and vegetables. Then, I bought tuna and sardines which are immensely healthy and can even go good with some crackers. I added canned tomato to my list for making sauces for pasta, along with a variety of spices and dried herbs so that everything tastes different every day. Finally, I bought natural chicken broth and coconut milk that can be used for a smoothie, a soup or a sauce for chicken.
Cured products do not need refrigeration. In other words, chorizo, sausage, loin and cured ham (Spanish style like Fermin) last for months, even non-refrigerated. With them, you can make rice or pasta, add them to soup for more flavor, some scrambled eggs, a meat stew or beans and even prepare them with a little bread for lunchtime.
For breakfast, I needed to get fruits high in vitamin C, along with eggs, fruits, cereals, oats and a good quality pancake flour that also serves as bread for chicken or pork.
Lastly, I got snacks and non-perishable products. Make sure to avoid processed and frozen food, and you have to manage to exercise at home and maintain portion control. I cannot deny snacks–I bought fried plantains, because the flavors of my homeland always appeal to me in situations like this. I also bought protein bars, popcorn, and dried walnuts that can also give a crisp touch to salads or to the proteins.
Finally, as a recommendation, try to avoid alcohol, because it lowers most people’s inmune system. And well, prepare yourself for the worst case, too. To do this, I’ve got vitamins, products with camphor, eucalyptus, basic medicines, fresh lemon and ginger to make hot tea, and even a humidifier with the medicine my grandmother used for everything when I was little, Vicks (and this is not an ad). I’ve seen many patients saying that this brand humidifier helped them significantly (read about it).
Let’s follow the rules, protect yourself and your family, but this includes your community. Go to the supermarket and the pharmacy only when necessary, follow the recommendations of the authorities, and do not leave your house unless it’s an emergency.
If we stay calm together, we will get out of this soon, God willing.