(Mini) Dietitian Diary: A Shelter-in-Place Holiday Weekend with Stephanie

This week, dietitian Stephanie (hi!) shares a couple days of her quarantine life.

Happy Friday! I thought it would be an apt time to share with you a snapshot of my Fourth of July weekend. Disclaimer: I realize that my life consists of fewer responsibilities than many – I am lucky enough to be able to work from home at this time, and no children/pets/significant other require my care. To those of you who are parents, caretakers, first responders, and other essential workers – hang in there! I can only imagine how difficult it must be to balance all your responsibilities while staying healthy. That being said, here are a few challenges I’ve had to face recently: tackling weight gain from sheltering in place, and getting out of a relationship. Namely, the latter. I had quite an emotionally difficult July 3rd and 4th! So, this post contains content that some readers may find triggering – proceed with caution.

Friday July 3rd, 2020

Despite the breakup, I’m surprised that I feel mostly rested and calm in the morning, after having slept in a bit. I’m feeling teary and defeated, but make myself a mug of black coffee to help me pack all of my things into the car. Usually, I’m not too hungry in the morning, so skipping breakfast in the name of intermittent fasting works out for me. Most of my things have been neatly boxed or bagged, so it’s simply a process of bringing everything down to the garage. Luckily, the apartment has carts available, and I’m able to finish packing in about 2 hours. The drive to my parents’ house is bittersweet. I unload all my belongings right outside the garage door. The emotions hit me hard, and I sit on the curb for a few minutes to steady myself, before I call my mom to let me in. 

Before I get to organizing everything, I leave most of my things in the garage. By now it’s 2 pm, and I am feeling hungry. My mom has curried pork and green vegetables ready for me to heat up for lunch (I’ve been eating relatively low carb this past month – in an effort to lose the weight I gained, and also because I’m borderline prediabetic). After eating, I start bringing my everyday items into the room I’ll be staying in. I don’t feel particularly motivated, so for most of the day I sit on my bed and cry (because breakups are the worst).

When dinner rolls around, I have some homemade zongzi (Chinese sticky rice dumplings) – but without the rice, plus more green veggies. My mom used Berkshire pork belly for the filling. The flavor is great, but the cut is quite fatty so I focus on the leaner bits. I’m not particularly hungry today, but because my parents have these rosé strawberries in the fridge, I treat myself to a small bowl for dessert. After dinner, my mom suggests that we take her neighbor’s cute dog for a walk! She knows I love dogs, but because my parents are clean freaks, we never had one growing up. As soon as I meet him, my mood instantly brightens. He is energetic and easily distracted, but we still manage to have a nice hour-long walk around the neighborhood! I am thankful for this much-needed pet therapy.

Saturday July 4th, 2020

We don’t have anything special planned for today, so I sleep in again and start my day off with some black coffee. My mom and I spend most of the AM organizing my things. We pack my less-used items into some boxes that can be neatly stored away, while the rest of my things find a home in my room/closet, and bathroom. It feels good to know that everything is organized for the most part.

For lunch, I decide to treat myself to some Sweetgreen! My go-to salad lately has been the Guacamole Greens with a few substitutions to make it low carb. I swap out the tortilla chips, and the grilled chicken/romaine because I prefer the flavor of their blackened chicken and cauliflower rice. I also choose Caesar dressing instead of Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette (preference). I use the entire dressing container, because this meal is still relatively low-calorie for my needs, and dressed salad tastes better.

Afterwards, I start watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix. I could use a distraction. While browsing the Internet, I just happen to stumble on this suggestion of a show. I realize that it’s quite the coincidence given my situation, but I am not planning on reaching out to my ex any time soon. The musical numbers and humor do a wonderful job, and for a short while, I actually feel happy! 

When dinner time rolls around, I end up eating breakfast leftovers that my mom made. It’s eggs scrambled with chives, which I pair with a pack of seasoned nori. Afterwards, my parents and I go for a hike in the evening. It’s not a long hike, maybe an hour or so, but it feels nice to squeeze in some exercise and enjoy nature. We end up watching the sun set, and observing some fireworks from a distance. When we get home, I have a snack consisting of Greek yogurt and berries. I watch a little more Netflix to cheer myself up before bed. So far, so good – recovery will be difficult, but I think I am doing a decent job.

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