Before going into quarantine, I did some research to find out what the food was like in my hotel. As a vegetarian, I had heard the food was very heavy on the rice and lacked protein and the vegetables were just pieces of boiled cabbage and a few pieces of carrots. So right off the bat, I cancelled all the meals and ordered a meal plan from Eatology. I had always wanted to do a meal plan, but my social life always got in the middle of making it work. Having 3 weeks, was a great way to reset my diet after overindulging on great food while in California.
The Eatology program, allows you to pick the kind of diet you want to follow, be it vegetarian, vegan, Keto, gluten-free, etc. They also ask you to select the amount of calories you want per day. I chose 1500 calories (there are 1200 and 2000 calorie choices too). All your macros are measured out and they print out the calories and macros percentage on the daily menu. You can pick when you want to have your food delivered. I had mine delivered at 8 am. It was always a pleasant surprise to get a knock on the door and receive my meals for the day in their reusable insulated purple bags. The company uses paper packaging as much as possible, so there was very little plastic waste. The only catch with Eatology is that you need to have a way of reheating the food. I brought a hot plate that I had earned with supermarket stickers and thought I would never use. It became one of the best pieces of equipment that I brought with me to quarantine. I used it every day. I loved being able to reheat my food on the hotplate (I had a pan and a small pot and a cooking spoon too). It made me feel like I was at home cooking in my own kitchen. While I was in California, I stocked up on Trader Joe’s spices and I used them to spice up my meals, even though they didn’t really need that much extra flavour. (I also suggest bringing a sharp knife for chopping or peeling. Hotels will not provide you with a knife - perhaps they think you might self harm or you might try to attack their staff?)
Some sample meals that I had were: breakfast - coconut yogurt with crunchy nut and seed granola; snack - açai smoothie bowl; lunch - Asian stir fry vegetables, Pilaf brown rice; snack coconut date balls; dinner - Konjac tagliatelle, plant-based meatball, Napolitano tomato sauce. I’m not a huge fan of the Impossible, Omnipork meats which Eatology served to me quite a lot for the first week. It made me feel very bloated and constipated. I finally requested that they reduce the fake meat and give me real vegetables, which they obliged. The macro percentage changed a bit and was a bit more carbs and less protein, but I was ok with that.
On Sundays and public holidays, I was left to fend for myself as there was no meal delivery on those days. My hotel had a policy that allowed for inmates to cancel their meals and receive credit on the hotel room service foods which were from about 10 local restaurants. They have since canceled that policy as too many people were doing it. But while I was there, I did order out a few times. I had pizza which I reheated on the hotplate and made the base crunchier and even more delicious.
Many inmates choose to drink alcohol during their quarantine as a way to cope and make the time go faster and more comfortable. I actually went totally dry. I drank about 3L of water a day. The hotel provided as many bottles of water as I wanted. Normally in my non-quarantine life, I would eschew plastic bottles and go out of my way to reduce plastic in my daily life. But in quarantine, you find everything is plastic (the food containers, water bottles, even the pillows are wrapped in plastic). I found that I could easily keep track of how much water I was drinking every day by having an endless supply of water. I would put the empty bottles back in the box upside down so I could count the number of bottles I had consumed. By the end, I had drunk over 65L of water during my time in quarantine. In addition to water, I also had coconut water and sparking water. The hotel provided soft drinks, which I gave away to my fellow inmates when I checked out.
Plating your food on a real plate and eating with real cutlery does help to make it feel more like you are eating at home. My hotel provide plates, bowls and cutlery. Bring your own, if your hotel does not provide them. It changes the feel of your meals.
Some hotels provide recycling for all theplastic you use during quarantine. My hotel asked inmates to wash and set theplastic aside and they would collect them and recycle after their stay. Some hotels do not have this service. I would suggest inmates try to take theplastic to a recycling centre after their stay if the hotel does not providethe service. Quarantine takes a hugetoll on the earth.