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HEALTHY LIVING — Improvise, adapt and overcome

This is a mindset that allows Marines to deal with any physical, mental or spiritual hardship.

In these unusual times, we can take a lesson from this in our everyday life. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, going to fitness classes or even working out at the gym is not really a good idea, especially if you are in the target group of folks that are over 65 or have underlying health issues such as diabetes, heart conditions or are immunocompromised. So how do we maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid crowds while staying close to home? Here are some thoughts that I hope will help you.

Staying at home does not mean staying on the sofa. Who out there does not have a substantial to-do list that you never seem to have time for? Well, now you have time. Painting, yard work, cleaning the gutters, cleaning out the closets, uncluttering the garage, the list goes on. All are physically demanding. How about try walking your neighborhood? You can get some fresh air, great exercise and wave at your neighbors as you pass by. Turn up the music and have a solo dance party in you home. Not going to the gym is not an excuse to not work out.

What are you eating? I overheard a stocker tell another that there wouldn’t be a crowd at their store because there was nothing left that anyone wanted. I am seeing the cookie, chip, and junk food aisles in the stores virtually empty. I guess that is what he meant. I looked around and saw a fully stocked produce department, lots of cheese, yogurts, a fully stocked meat department, many varieties of canned goods, a fully stocked frozen food section, healthy varieties of breads and hot cereals. I even got two dozen eggs, which are an excellent source of protein! I saw the pasta section was well picked over. Look for the whole wheat or legume-based pasta, which are much better choices. The pasta sauce section was wiped out (yeah, that one kind of surprised me). Try it with some olive oil, a little dried basil, some Italian seasoning and a can of drained and heated white or lima beans. Again, these are an excellent protein source and tasty too. For peanut butter, check the labels for a lower sodium/lower sugar variety and spread on whole wheat crackers. You have options — shop carefully. You may be trying some varieties of foods that you haven’t tried before. This could actually be a great way to widen your culinary horizons. Just stay far away from the processed meats, as they are extremely high in sodium and fat.

Let’s try to get past the “I can’t” and look toward considering the possibilities. And in all of this chaos, remember to be kind. Be kind to others and to yourself.

Stay healthy, my friends and remember, this too shall pass.

Jody Holton writes about health and wellness for The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at jholton3@gt.rr.com