First, no this isn’t a post on how to avoid Coronavirus via nutriton, as this is NOT POSSIBLE! What it comes down to it, basically all micronutrients are involved in our immune system in some way (trust me I had to write a 20 page paper on it!), and it’s great to get balanced, healthful meals during this time to insure we have a robust immune response to any pathogens that come our way. However, Cornonavirus is a new virus that no one has immunity to, and the best way to avoid infection is to avoid contact with those who are infected, wash your hands, keep your social distance, use hand sanitizer and wear a mask if you must go out! Phew, that out of the way, here are some tips to help keep you sane and nourished during quarantine.
- Keep your pantry well-stocked – See this post for ideas for what to stock it with. This is a great basis (and back-up) for family meals, especially if you pull up to the grocery store and see a long line of people!
- Keep easy-to-add veggies on hand – baby spinach, frozen broccoli, arugula, peppers, zuchinni, tomatoes, avocado – these are all easy to chop up and toss in.
- Focus on balance – Instead of calorie counting or trying out a new diet, just focus on getting balanced meals – about half veggies, a quarter whole grains and a quarter protein.
- Don’t forget the fiber – have some fruit, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains on hand to get your daily dose of fiber and avoid quarantining with constipation!
- Get your healthy fat on – Don’t forget to include healthy fats like olive oil, flax oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, sunflower oil, fish (or algae) and other unsaturated fats. These help fight inflammation, are important for heart and brain health and keep your skin, hair and nails healthy.
- Try to start your day with breakfast – This just sets you up for success, even better if you can throw a little veg in there. Most cravings and binging comes from deprivation – if you start by filling yourself up with healthy nutrients, you’re less likely to crash later.
- Have easy, nutrient-dense proteins on hand – canned beans (or dry), tofu, tempeh, eggs, canned fish, frozen veggie burgers, etc. These build the foundation of a satisfying meal and insure you’re getting enough of the building blocks for your muscles and tissues.
- Have some easy foods on hand for those lazy nights – Ramen (my favorites are Koyo and Lotus Foods, which is even whole grain), whole grain mac n’ cheese (hello Annie’s) and frozen tamales or burritos or other convenience foods can be important when you get burned out on quarantine. Just toss in some veggies or add a salad and you’re good to go!
- Treat yourself – Make sure you have some relatively healthy treats like dark chocolate, whole grain muffins, dates with nut butter or nice cream (frozen bananas blended with cocoa powder) on hand for when you just want a touch of sweet. Then, don’t beat yourself up if just want a brownie or a slice of cake or a quarantini. Just take what joy you can get during this bizarre time.
- Set aside the scale – Now is not the time to focus on micro-changes in your weight (though I would argue it’s never time for that!). Now is the time to focus on nourishing yourself and loving yourself and getting the comfort foods you enjoy!
Lastly, if you’re feeling like you want some direction or help creating an eating plan while you’re quarantining, hit up my Practice Better page to book a free consult or a package. Get 30% off with the code QUARANTINE.