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Recipes for Survival against the COVID-19 — Coronavirus Cuisine

A chef, culinary scientist, and fermentation specialist’s take on diet, wellness, and kitchen cleanliness that can help you prevent and thrive against COVID -19.

BY Ian Cairns March 16,2020

What to Eat? - Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet

By eating consciously you boost your immune system; giving your body a strong defense strategy against pathogens including COVID-19. 

Need help navigating how and what to cook/eat during the COVID- 19 Outbreak? Jump on a call, we’d love to help.

The Case for Plant-Based - The China Study is the most comprehensive nutritional study ever conducted comparing western to eastern diets. The finding: a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet has a significant effect in preventing coronary heart disease, various forms of cancer, diabetes, and pathogenic illness.


Citrus – lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges etc.. are all packed full of Vitamin C that boost the immune system.

Tropical Fruits – papaya, mango, and kiwi contain potassium, vitamin k, and the anti-inflammatory papain which helps regulate blood flow.

Avocados – are chalked full of vitamins K, C, E, B-6, and omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to keeping your body healthy and strong. 

For a more in-depth list click here


·      “Peas and Carrots”Frozen veggies are a great alternative if you’re wary about keeping an extensive amount of fresh produce on hand.  Due to advances in technology most frozen products contain the same, if not more natural nutrients than fresh produce.  To learn more click here.

·      Dark Leafy Greens contain iron and Vitamin E, improve inflammatory response, and help regulate beneficial gut microbes. 

·      Root vegetables – are high in antioxidants particularly beets and sweet potatoes.  Root vegetables also absorb a lot of the nutrients from the soil they grow in so be sure to get them from a reliable producer.

Whole Foods Recipes Using Your Pantry

  • Need help navigating how / what to cook during the Coronavirus outbreak. Click here for answers.

 Note: Stock up your pantry – Prepare for what might be ahead of us

·      Use delivery services such as amazon to avoid grocery store contact.

·      Just about everyone seems to have bought out the standard staples of beans and rice, but have you considered other hearty plant-based foods?  Consider the humble lentil, garbanzo bean, barley, or wheat berry, and if you want to be a little fancier about it, opt for amaranth, quinoa, or even buckwheat.   Don’t know how to cook any of these ingredients? Give us a call. We’d love to help navigate you through this.

 A Liquid Defense - Drink Water and Tea – Avoid Alcoholic Beverages

Water - Drink 2 liters or half a gallon per day

Water is the lubricant of life. Healthy cells, particularly white blood cells, need water in order to function properly and fight off harmful microbes.  Water helps pumps oxygen around the body, flushes out toxins, and regulates circadian rhythm. Drink lots of filtered water. Two liters a day is recommended to keep the body healthy and running. 

Tea - Drink up to 5 cups a day

This miraculous super drink is packed full of polyphenols, antioxidants, and vitamins to list a few. According to the National Academy of Sciences, tea was found to help boost the immune system - white blood cells in tea drinkers responded five times faster to harmful microbes than that of coffee drinkers.

  • This study was based upon drinking upwards of five cups of tea a day.  Make sure to steep your tea more than once!

  •  Other fermented products that contain tea such as Kombucha also have immune-boosting properties. 

Coffee – Avoid… maybe?

A lot of studies on coffee can be contradictory on whether coffee can boost your immune system or not. Although the drink contains a lot of antioxidants, it’s wholistic effects aren’t fully understood. One thing is for certain, the drink is addictive, and if you’re already in the habit of drinking coffee stopping now could cause withdrawal, and could negatively affect you.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol adversely affects the immune system. It augments the beneficial microbes within one’s GI tract by disrupting cell communication and causing inflammation.  

Kitchen Cleanliness

Wash your hands

·      The very first thing anyone should do when entering a kitchen or household is going straight to the hand sink.

·      Wash your hands with HOT running water and soap.  Although soap is important, the most crucial component of handwashing is hot running water.  Heat in conjunction with time kills most microbes.  Flowing water washes these microbes away from the surface of your hands into the sink.  A good rule to follow is to wash your hands with the hottest water your hands can handle for the duration of singing “Happy Birthday to Me” twice.  Sing it at a standard tempo, we’re not in any rush. 

·      Dry your hands with a disposable paper towel.  Although convenient and cost-effective, regular towels serve as a breeding ground for the microbes that cause us to get sick.    

Wash your produce

·      Particularly things meant to eat raw.  Cooking foods with heat, to temperatures of 165F or 74C kills most microbes, but raw foods are still considered to be dangerous.

·      Produce that might contain dirt i.e. lettuce, melons, and beets should be washed or scrubbed under flowing water to remove dirt.

·      As an extra precaution, you can add a small amount of bleach to a bath of water to help neutralize or kill most microbes.

·      USDA Federal Regulations allow /suggest anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of bleach per gallon of water (65 to 3200 ppm) to get rid of those little guys.  Produce submerged in a bath for one minute, then rinsed with water once again should do the trick. 

Read more here.