Our COVID-19 lockdown: gardening-cooking-exercise, Part 1

COVID-19 changed our lives, and yet, those changes were already happening. My husband and I adopted an austerity program when we returned from Lisbon in June 2019. Several reasons led us to this program – a desire to retire permanently with more travel involved was a main reason.  Home improvements (including upgrading kitchen appliances & a major bathroom renovation) was another.

Eating out wrecks the budgetGoing out to eat and drink at restaurants was one of the first places we cut back.  When I looked at our expenditures, it did not seem we spent a huge amount going out, but when we stopped it was a real boost to the savings.

By the time “lockdown” happened in the U.S. we were already used to not going to bars and restaurants, theaters or concerts, or to ballgames or sporting events.  This was not as great a hardship for us as it was for many of our gadabout friends.

I love to cook.  After a few months, pre-covid, I felt lazy one night so we went out to eat.  We were both disappointed. My cooking had spoiled us. The food was just not up to the level we had grown used to with my home cooking. I could taste things differently than I had when we ate out often.

Kirkland Olive Oil
My favorite & best value Olive Oil.

One example is the oil used by many (yes, even upscale) restaurants.  It is not just that they don’t change the oil often enough – it is the type of oil they use. Many restaurants use a high-heat oil in their cooking, which can mean it has been modified in a way that is not healthy. I use extra-virgin olive oil almost exclusively although grapeseed oil is now in my repertoire.


Though I contribute to my site, ourhealthyeating.com I have also decided to start putting more of my recipes, ideas and processes here on Carlanne.com. Check back as I have decided it is the time and place for sharing the things I have learned along the way.

Xterra Foldable TreadmillAdditionally, we determined that austerity included getting into shape.  We had a workout room at our condominium with excellent equipment for our new lifestyle efforts.  However, April 1, 2020, the Board decided to lock it down as well.  Nothing was going to budge their opinions or options so we bought a treadmill. Excellent investment.  For the first month I used it religiously. Hubby was harder to convince. But by the end of April 2020 we were both walking for 60+ minutes daily and improving our cardiac health.


Controller of Xterra Treadmill

(Side note: 18 months later the workout room re-opened at which point we had both become fit and trimmer – more on that in another entry.)