Pandemic diary: what I eat in a day

It’s been 10 months of working from home, and Toronto is in the midst of a scarier second wave and ensuing lockdown. The adjustment back in March was pretty quick for me. I loved having the flexibility to roll out of bed, throw on my joggers and walk three feet to my new office.

As I doomscrolled through my news feed, the sedentary days set in while I was swamped at work. (Pre-pandemic, I commuted an hour on foot round trip, plus I took a walk during lunch.) At home I thought I’d be reaching for the snack drawer often, looking for cookie therapy or something salty to soothe my soul.

But I’m a creature of habit, and my quarantine routine has remained relatively healthy and stable.

During the first lockdown last spring, I shopped for groceries only once every week or week and a half. This meant stocking up on staples, with enough fruits and veggies to last until the next trip. I hoarded dark chocolate like it was toilet paper. My shopping list hasn’t changed much since then, and I can go more frequently now.

My essentials

Dried goods:

  • beans, lentils
  • bread, noodles, pasta, rice
  • chocolate (I love alter eco and ChocoSol.)
  • coconut milk
  • coffee beans
  • muesli, rolled oats
  • nutritional yeast
  • nuts (almonds, brazil, cashews, walnuts)
  • oil (avocado, coconut, olive, sesame)
  • popcorn kernels
  • potatoes
  • seaweed
  • seeds (chia, flax, pumpkin, sesame)

Refrigerated and frozen items:

This is what gets me through an average work day.


Toast topped with olive oil, fresh figs, blueberries, walnuts and flax seeds.

figs, blueberries, walnuts, flax seeds and olive oil on toast

A sweet, savoury and crunchy combo on a bed of carbs.


Homemade spicy guacamole, tortilla chips, olives, carrot and zucchini sticks.

spicy guacamole, tortilla chips, olives, carrot and zucchini sticks

On the occasion I feel like grazing throughout the day, this guacamole plate is perfect.


Thai red curry with coconut milk, zucchini noodles, red lentils, tempeh, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, mushrooms and spinach.

red Thai curry, zucchini noodles, tempeh, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, mushrooms and spinach

Curry coconut soup is so versatile because you can use just about any vegetable you like. My hand-held spiralizer turns zucchini into pretty noodles. And tempeh and red lentils pack this bowl with tons of protein.


Roasted cauliflower with avocado oil, paprika or cayenne pepper, nutritional yeast, turmeric and garlic sauce.

roasted cauliflower with paprika and garlic sauce

Lately I am obsessed with cauliflower! You might view this as a side dish, but I can devour the entire plate. Plus I tend to have smaller dinners compared to lunch. Perhaps I’ll pair this with some pita bread and a salad. Pictured here is a vegan garlic sauce left over from a takeout order, but typically I’ll dip the cauliflower in hummus or tahini, or both.

Final thoughts

Appropriately full from eating hefty portions at home, I don’t get hangry anymore. I rarely crave the sugary, salty, processed crap. Maybe it’s because I don’t have to inhale a sad sandwich before running to a meeting. I can enjoy my lunch slowly and not hunched over a desk, the way it’s meant to be eaten. And I don’t worry about filling my office with the lingering smell of Thai curry.

4 thoughts on “Pandemic diary: what I eat in a day

  1. It looks like you really have some good, healthy meals. I try to eat healthily but my wife tries to eat unhealthily and we end up meeting in the middle. She is away on a business trip so yesterday I had a large salad, a green smoothie, and Pasta Fagioli with Riced cauliflower instead of pasta. When she comes back she will want to order a pizza or something like that.


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