2020 Q3 Lifestyle Sports & Leisure

We Are What We Eat, Even During a Pandemic

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”  – Hippocrates

Fortunately or not, we’ve developed our eating habits during our childhood years.  Here in the United States,  a country of immigrants from diverse regions of the world, people have varied eating habits.  So in every State, one can find restaurants reflecting this great diversity.

For example, we have American, British, Irish, Italian, German, French, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Mediterranean, Korean, Turkish, Jamaican, Brazilian, Peruvian, Cuban, Colombian, Filipino restaurants, and the list goes on. 


Suddenly, the government mandated the closure of our restaurants on account of   COVID-19.  Over 8 million restaurant workers here became jobless.  It’s very bad.  I know because in our family alone, three are restaurant workers.

As these restaurants started to open slowly, the threat of the second wave of COVID-19 has become a reality.  We don’t know for sure the extent of the damage of this pandemic all over the world, but one thing is sure.  This could most likely be the worst in our lifetime.


With the closure of restaurants came a noticeable change in our eating habits.  More and more people are starting to cook their own food.  One can find innumerable photos of foods on  Facebook and Instagram.  There are available groups in FB where one can join and get recipes for free.

Allow me to share with you a little change in our own household.  For over 25 years only my wife Alicia has been cooking.  I have tried once but nobody wanted to eat it.

The change on my part happened about 3 years ago. It began with my interest in proper nutrition.  When I learned that we can’t be sure if we can get this from most restaurants, we explored available materials on the Web for cooking lessons.

The application of these basic cooking techniques and its constant repetition made me overcome my fear of cooking.  In due time, my cooking became as good as Alicia’s. Way before COVID-19 came, Alicia and I have been eating homemade meals.

Our children became our fierce critics.  With their growing fondness for my cooking my confidence improved. Afterward,  I challenged Alicia for the title of home chef. 

Although we’re not professionally trained to prepare food, we started calling ourselves “The Traveling Chefs” because we love to travel and we are the directors in our kitchen, which was the original meaning of the French word “chef de cuisine.”


Being graduates of Liberal Arts, we have a tremendous edge in learning almost anything.  We often hear we’re jacks of all trades and masters of none. There is an element of truth is this cliche.

The ability to learn anything, however,  isn’t unique to Liberal Arts graduates alone. Whatever one’s field of study is, as long as he puts enough effort into it,  he can excel beyond his wildest dream.  Have you heard of the 10,000 hours needed to master anything?  

In the kitchen for example, what I’ve found to be most helpful is the ability to be not intimidated. Given the knowledge of proper cooking techniques and the availability of good ingredients, anybody can cook a good meal.  The key is the latter.

So, when will you start cooking?  

Peter Nunez
"Fray Peter" heeded the call to the priesthood right after high school. Upon completion of his temporary vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), he realized he had a different calling and so he ventured out into the world. At first, he made a lot of mistakes from which he learned. In 1992, he joined his wife Alicia in the U.S. They were blessed with two fine sons, Stephen and Michael and “adopted” two wonderful daughters Pau and Joni. From them, he has 4 grandchildren. He started his professional life in the U.S. as a part-time teller and after 6 years was promoted to Branch Manager of the Bank of New York in their two branches in New Jersey. He also joined the North Fork Bank as Branch Manager with the title of Assistant Vice-President. He was a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) which authorized him to sell various investment products. As a side hustle, Peter is working on his photography skills and has co-founded "The Traveling Chefs." Peter enjoys reading, writing, cooking, travel, golf, photography and triathlon.

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