Dear Answer Angel Ellen: If you don't answer this question really soon, it might be too late for me, but maybe it won't be too late for others with a little more willpower than I have. How to avoid the COVID-15? By that I mean the 15 pounds I'm gaining as a result of staying home during the pandemic.
I find myself standing in the kitchen at all hours and wondering how I got there and what am I doing there. Actually, I KNOW what I'm doing: I'm looking for something to eat. When I am not hungry. When it is not mealtime. I'm bored and I seem to always be eating or thinking about eating. I constantly ask myself, "What's for dinner?" Or lunch. Or breakfast tomorrow. Help!
- Annie A.
Dear Annie: A lot of us, me included, are struggling with this feeding-frenzy dilemma. We're lucky that we have enough to eat when so many are unemployed, out of money and struggling to feed their families. But just because we can afford the food, must we stuff ourselves? Of course not.
Experts have been telling us for years not to eat when we're not hungry, not to bring fattening snacks into the house, stay away from empty calories, only eat at mealtime, blah blah blah. Those are noble ambitions, but don't be too hard on yourself. Staying healthy and doing your best to help others do the same is a big job right now.
If you can muster the discipline to exercise more and eat sensibly, you're Superwoman. Good luck to you - and all of us.
Dear Answer Angel: I read that the Centers for Disease Control recommends household bleach for disinfecting my home. It has been hard to locate bleach in stores or online, but I finally got some. However, I don't actually know how to use it to sanitize my home. What should I do?
- Brianna K.
Dear Brianna: The CDC says to check the label to make sure the product is intended for disinfection and is not past its expiration date. Make a solution of five tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water (or four teaspoons bleach per quart of water) and leave the solution on the surface of whatever you're cleaning for at least one minute. The label on my Walmart Great Value brand bleach recommends: Prewash countertops and other nonporous surfaces and rinse before applying the bleach solution, let stand 10 minutes, then rinse.
Anyone who has dropped bleach on a dark garment knows it can mean a disastrous, permanent white spot, so use caution. When in doubt, test the bleach solution on an out-of-the-way spot before applying to the counter, etc. The CDC warns that some bleaches - like those designed for safe use on colored clothing - might not disinfect.