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How To Stay Hygienic, Healthy, And Sane After Sandy Takes Out The Basics

Jamaica Estates, Queens (Lisa Baldeo/Facebook)

Jamaica Estates, Queens (Lisa Baldeo/Facebook)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Superstorm Sandy has left many without the basics – power, running water, food, etc. Some people are stranded or trapped where they are.

But there are ways to not throw your health, hygiene, and sanity out the window.

WCBS 880’s Pat Farnack spoke with Dr. Lou Tsarouhas, a family doctor in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, about the subject.

What about the bathroom? Is there anyway to minimize the unpleasantness when you don’t have a working toilet?

“When we were working the fields years ago, as a child, we would have a five-gallon paint can and, as crude as it sounds, with a good stong lid, what you can do is poor a little of bleach into that,” Dr. Tsarouhas said. “If you’re not able to get out of your home… that’s going to be very effective to keep the smell down and maintain the sanctity of the rest of your living environment.”

LISTEN: Pat Farnack With Dr. Lou Tsarouhas

What about food? How do you stay healthy and not just eat junk?

“It’s important when someone has a limited source of food that you consider the best food possible, and I’d highly recommend staying away from simple sugars. Again, I’m absolutely in Mayor Bloomberg’s camp when it comes to sodas and carbonated beverages that are just liquid sugar. I highly recommend foods such as hard boiled eggs,” he said.

He noted that when people lose power, they often still have gas running to the stove and hard boiling an egg would still be possible.

“With some salt and pepper, a hard-boiled egg will provide you with six grams of protein. Those six grams of protein are excellent. That’s one-tenth of what you need for an entire day’s protein,” he said.

If you don’t have the ability to hard boil your eggs, other sources of protein would be peanut butter, dried out snack meats such as beef jerky. The high salt content will be acceptable as long as you hydrate with water.

How do you stay sane when you’re stuck at home for days?

“The cabin fever syndrome is absolutely real and needs to be addressed. We even had several people staying at our home because we had power come back on rather quickly and what we did was, for those who were even in our home with all the amenities, they were still getting… cabin fever,” he said. “What I encouraged them to do is, once their cell phones die and they can’t talk to their friends anymore, is try to read something that really piques your interest, something that’s different than what you would normally do. Try to go outside if it’s safe outside. Ane even in the dark, go for a walk, look at the sky. Fantasize. Imagine. Use your brain, the other parts of your brain that are not so usually accessed. Maintain conversations with people that are close to you, physically close to you. Go an meet the neighbor across the hall.”

What have you been doing? Share your story below.