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Answer Angel: Gained a few pounds? You're not alone

By Ellen Warren, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Fashion Daily News

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.

Your bleach solution will be effective for 24 hours, then discard it and mix up a new batch. See for more info on household cleaning and disinfection.

Angelic Readers 1


Many thanks to Barb who pointed out in the nicest way that I was wrong when I recommended a mix of 1/2 cup detergent and 1/2 cup baking POWDER to wash a moldy shower curtain. I meant baking SODA.

Place curtain in the washing machine with this solution and two towels to minimize cracking. Gentle cycle, warm, add one cup white vinegar to first rinse. Hang to dry.

Angelic Readers 2

Jennifer G. writes: "I recommend Everpro Gray Away Root Touch-Up Quick Stick (, $9.99). It's like a crayon that you touch on your roots, then a sponge to blend if needed. Much easier to use than sprays or powders."

Barb G. says: "I love the Color Wow Root Cover Up you suggested several weeks ago to cover the gray. It does a really good job, but it is quite expensive for frequent use. By chance I had a matte powdered brown eye shadow blush brush that I didn't like.

I decided to use the brush on the eye shadow and applied it to my 3-inch-long part, and it covered the gray nicely, allowing me to conserve the Wow Cover Up for around my face and temple area."



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