Healthy eating isn’t always easy. Even during the best of times, we may crave comfort food or some snacking. But now, as we pass the one month mark of COVID-19 quarantine, the snacking can reach epic proportions. How do we keep our eating habits healthful and nourishing?
Self-Care During Quarantine
Being stuck at home under stressful conditions can bring on some serious snack issues. Many of us need some social distancing from those bad-for-you processed snacks that are high in sugar, fat, and food additives. Now is the time to focus on getting as much nutritional value as possible, while supporting our immune systems and mental health. And now we know, studies show that what we eat has a significant impact on our mental health. Take this time to establish positive routines that will serve you going forward.
Healthy Eating Tips
There are lots of ways to practice a healthy lifestyle during this time. Self-care, including exercise, plenty of sleep, and nutritious meals are a great foundation for wellness.
Here are a few more tips:
- Drink water! We often head to the kitchen for something to do in downtime moments, just for something to do. Don’t be hard on yourself for that. It’s an unprecedented time. But instead of heading straight for the food, be sure to drink at least one full, tall glass of water.
- Vegetables are your friends! Chopped vegetables with dips can be a perfect afternoon snack. Hummus, nut butter, and guacamole are three easy dips. Salads provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants and there are thousands of amazing recipes online. Make it fun and try new recipes you’ve never made. Experiment with what’s in the fridge.
- Nuts, Peanut Butter, Trail Mix are all good options. You can even try mixing your own with what’s on hand.
- Yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit, whole-grain cereal, or granola.
- Guacamole or Hummus with whole-grain crackers and veggies. Chopping celery, carrots, and cucumbers to dip provide a healthy option.
- Hard-boiled eggs are a good source of protein and nutrients.
- Kitchen Sink Smoothie: Spinach, kale, bananas, berries, juice, or milk (non-dairy too), and any vitamins you have in a blender with ice
- Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants
Be Mindful: Food & Mood
Food plays a big role in how we feel, mentally and physically. What’s more, the energy we put into what we eat pays off directly by building our self-esteem. Mindfulness plays a part here. Be conscious of how you’re approaching things. Why are you in the kitchen? Are you truly hungry? Have that glass of water (we all need to drink more water!) and think about what comes next. The less prepared foods we eat, the more we’re inspired to cook. Get creative in the kitchen and use this time to truly nourish yourself and those you love. In addition, it’s best to vary the kinds of snacks you eat. Give the body a mixture of food groups and focus on high nutritional value. Be mindful, noting when you’re truly full. Eating well is empowering and our bodies will respond with better health.
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