Eating habits have changed for a lot of us, with stress and comfort eating creeping in, the access to our own kitchen (and fridge!) 24/7, and food, of course, remains a source of pleasure which is helpful in stressful times.
So try to fix a routine here at what times you might eat, limiting sugary and unhealthy snacks perhaps replacing for fruit, nuts, or yoghurts – or make your own healthy snacks as an activity!
Whilst we cannot go out more of us ordering take-out which is fine occasionally, and of course, if you are a key worker and don’t have time to cook, however even within this we can still make healthier choices and be mindful of this.
For those of us who have more time at home, this may be the opportunity to cook more and to experiment with new cuisines and ingredients, incorporating a lot more fresh fruit and vegetables into our diet particularly as we head towards the summer. Use this as an opportunity to reset and be kinder to your mind and body.
For those of you who like apps, I really like my fitness pal which kindly keeps a track of what I’m eating and translates this into how healthy or unhealthy this is – sometimes what we need is harsh facts in black and white!
As we limit our trips to the supermarket in line with government guidance, it is also a nice opportunity to be more creative in our cooking and using some staples from our store cupboards. E.g. making stews or soups using beans and pulses that we might have in tins, use nuts and dried fruit to snack on give us an energy boost, look at what you have in the freezer and also use it in ways we wouldn’t normally, such as keeping bread in the freezer. Soups and stews are very good to freeze.
Plan your shop accordingly to get some basic things, but make sure your list includes items that can be easily stored – tinned or frozen products like beans, pulses, meat, and fish are useful staples. And if you visit the supermarket and find that things are running low that you would usually get think of it as an opportunity to try something different! There are a number of websites and apps eg Supercook website where you can put in the ingredients that you have, and it will show you recipes you can make easily.
Plan your meals for the next few days so you don’t need to stress about this daily and this could also ensure use of all of the ingredients you have before buying more so reducing waste.
Make sure you have plenty of variety – this is the key to a healthy diet but also prevents boredom. Look at foods which support your immune system, eg those high in vitamins C and A, and zinc. Make sure you have healthy and nutritious snacks to hand to try to avoid reaching for sugary snacks like fruit, yoghurt, berries and nuts or vegetables and hummous. Reduce food waste and eat the rainbow (tinned and frozen fruit and vegetables count as well)
Increase your proportion of oily fish – this also has a long shelf life if you buy tins, and is rich in omega-3 and also has some vitamin D- which is so important as we are not getting as much sun exposure at present.
Keep well hydrated – water, squash, herbal teas, decaf coffees, milk all count towards fluid needs.