August 12, 2021

A ‘next’ normal approach to eating in a pandemic

The 2020 disruption to every aspect of our lives is real and far-reaching, especially when it comes to eating in a pandemic.

Dining in a pandemic is no simple task. The very nature of a restaurant is a lot like an endangered species.

I wonder how restaurants will survive with fewer tables and the need to protect their customers. If you do go out to eat, it’s a stark reminder of social distancing and the inherent stress involved with close contact.

When I first released my prescription for boosting your immunity in a pandemic, we were still sheltered-in-place, New York was the center of the crisis for the United States and nobody even considered eating out.

Back then — it seems like so long ago doesn’t it? — we all thought about what the new normal would be when we returned to our lives. But it hasn’t been a return, it’s been a complete shift. A next normal.

We’ve been through several of these in my lifetime and we probably need to brace for more.

So now I’m thinking more about what this next normal has to say about eating in a pandemic, and it’s not all bad news.

The upside to eating in a pandemic

We have returned to our kitchens! Since there’s so much stress in eating out, we have gone back to our roots and started to do way more thinking about making food at home. To me, this the next normal of eating in a pandemic: Our kitchens become our safe place.

Eating at home is healthier, especially for boosting your immune system. You know what you’re making. Each ingredient is a choice you make, a step of empowerment, or even progress, in making yourself as healthy as you can be.

If we want to connect with others we can do so around healthy food we prepare.

But here’s the thing: Mom and Dads are already stressed out with so much time at home, the kids underfoot every minute of the day, and the breaks in routines. Cooking for some seems like a giant “chore.”

If you love cooking, use it as a place of relaxation. If you don’t you can still make it a powerful place of immunity for you and your family with simple, easy food.

Just stick your toe in the water of a plant-based diet, which will supercharge your health when eating in a pandemic (and beyond!).

I’ve added some recipes from my healthy eating guide below. (If you want the whole booklet, just subscribe to my mailing list and then reply that you’d like your own copy of the guide! We’ll get it out to you right away)


Recipes for eating in a pandemic


Banana and Red Apple Grain-Free “Oatmeal”

Makes 1 serving

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 apple
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • A handful of raisins
  • Optional: dried wild blueberries, cranberries, or chopped almonds/walnuts

Place the bananas, apples, and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until chunky and creamy.


Vanilla Coconut Power Balls

  • 1 cup shredded coconut flakes
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup ground hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir until well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

When the dough is ready, remove from the refrigerator and spoon into balls. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Potato and Herb Salad

Makes 2 Servings

  • 6 potatoes (red, blue, or yellow work great for this recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon (or more as desired)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (or more as desired)
  • 2 teaspoons of raw honey
  • 1⁄4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 1⁄4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1⁄4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1⁄4 cup finely chopped dill
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • finely chopped jalapeño (optional)
  • pinch mustard powder (optional)

Steam the potatoes until tender and they can be pierced with a fork without crumbling (approximately 30 minutes). Set aside to cool. Prepare the rest of the ingredients. Once the potatoes are cool, add the other ingredients into a big bowl with them, carefully tossing everything together. Taste and adjust lemon and seasoning as desired.


Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cashew Cream

Makes 3 -4 Servings

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1⁄2 medjool date
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 6 small sweet potatoes (or 3 large)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1⁄2 cup raisins
  • 1⁄4 cup pecans
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves

Preheat oven to 400°. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork. Place directly into the oven and bake until cooked through when pierced with a fork, between 30 to 50 minutes. Cool until easily handled. In a food processor, process 1⁄4 cup pecans, 1 tsp rosemary leaves and 1⁄2 tsp sea salt until finely combined. Set aside.

To make the cashew cream, blend cashews, garlic, date, and the juice of 1⁄2 lemon until smooth. Add water as needed to blend, approximately 1⁄2 cup. When sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut off the top 1⁄4 of each and gently scrape out most but not all of the flesh. This should yield 3 to 4 cups of sweet potato. Place this into a food processor with 1⁄2 cup of the cashew cream and the juice of 1⁄2 lemon. Process until smooth. Stir in 1⁄2 cup raisins and spoon into each of the sweet potato skins. Top with the rosemary pecan crumble and bake for 15 min until the pecans turn golden brown.

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