The Sandy Seven

Hey folks!

Not even a weeklong power outage could keep me from blogging to you.  As many of us struggle to back up and running after Sandy shook everyone up, I’ve been hearing from many of you (and confirmed by this article in the New York Times) that not only did Sandy wreak havoc on homes, work, schedules, it also was a bitch for your waistline.  What is it about not having power that makes you want to binge eat your leftover halloween candy?  The NY times article cites boredom and anxiety as the top two reasons why the Sandy seven is affecting many people.  And boy, are they right.  Nothing makes you want to open a stale bag of chips sitting in the back of your pantry more than when you are sitting in the dark, unsure of when you will get a warm meal again, and wondering how long you can hold out for.

Now, to be perfectly clear, I am not diminishing in ANY WAY, the suffering of people who were rendered completely homeless and destitute as a result of Sandy.  New York and New Jersey have dealt with a lot, and my heart goes out to all of my fellow Gothamites.  However, as global warming continues, I suspect that hurricanes/power outages will continue.  So I’m going to give you some tools that will help you keep on track (relatively) when this happens again.  Because just because the lights are out doesn’t mean it doesn’t count…

  • Stock up before the storm.  This seems like a rather obvious idea, but to be honest, many people don’t think to do this.  Things to stock up on: WATER, oatmeal, various nuts (walnuts/almonds, pistachios), low sodium canned soups (Amy’s low sodium split pea is a personal favorite), canned tuna or salmon, wheat crackers, hand fruits – apples, pears, oranges – all these fruits will stay good for up to a week without refrigeration, and granola bars (try to stay as basic as possible with these – Larabars and Kind bars are great choices).  Go ahead and buy other produce – but recognize that whatever you buy will have to be eaten within 2 or 3 days if there is an outage.
  • Hide the goodies.  You know what kinds of food are tempting to you.  I’m not asking you to throw those things away, because you should enjoy everything in moderation!, but recognize that if you are sitting in the dark in your house all day, you may find yourself inclined to dig in to those foods.  As I always say “out of sight, out of mind”.
  • Busy yourself.  This is really the hardest one to do, because lack of electricity can be a big bummer.  No Real Housewives of Beverly Hills marathons??!  Oh the horror!  But one of the biggest reasons that people snack is out of boredom.  So prep your house with some great magazines, that newspaper article that you’ve been dying to read, board games, cards, whatever.  If you find yourself looking for something to do and heading towards the pantry, I find it helpful to count to 10 and reassess.  Am I hungry?  Or am I just bored?  Simple, but highly effective.
  • Camp out away from the kitchen.  With crazy weather, you’re probably going to have to hunker down for a couple days.  Sitting near the kitchen is probably not a good idea.  Many studies have shown that willpower wears down over time, and sitting near the source of snacks is only setting yourself up for failure.  And that’s no fun.

Most importantly, stay warm, dry and safe!



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