One of the more challenging things about social distancing or self-quarantining to help flatten the curve for COVID-19 is trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Depending on where you are located, fresh produce, dairy, and meat may be difficult to find at your grocery stores and shopping might be a challenge. Some of us also struggle with continual grazing and boredom eating, which can quickly lead to added pounds and just an overall yucky feeling that is not going to help you battle some of the mental stressors that are accompanying appropriate Coronavirus social behaviors. That is why we encourage you to follow these tips for healthy eating.
Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Plant-based foods should form the basis of most healthy diets, anyway, and that is still true even during periods of isolation. Because of some uncertainties about supply, it can be tempting to initially buy a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies but discouraging when they go bad. Consider loading up on fresh fruits and veggies that can last for a long time when refrigerated, such as apples, squash, beets, cabbage, onions, pomegranates, and citrus fruit. Plan to freeze or buy super-perishable fruits as berries and bananas frozen. Frozen vegetables offer the same nutrition as fresh vegetables and still taste great. Canned fruits and vegetables are also other great options but look for items that are packed in water or their own juice, not syrup and without salt.
Eliminate Binge Foods
Think about your favorite snack foods. If you are anything like the average American, those favorites include plenty of “junk” foods that offer little nutritional value like chips, cookies, and crackers. For healthy people, there is nothing wrong with eating those foods in moderation. However, be honest with yourself. Are you otherwise generally healthy and can you truly eat those foods in moderation? Right now, most Americans are being told to prepare for at least two weeks of quarantine, which means we are trying to buy a two week supply of groceries. If you cannot have a two-week supply of your favorite snack food in the house without quickly devouring it, do not bring a two-week supply of that food into your house! Instead, consider buying one or two servings of it for occasional treats.
Try New Recipes
There are a ton of great websites that offer healthier versions of high-fat, high-calorie favorites. Cooking Light, Eating Well, Delish, Food Network, and All Recipes all have healthy recipe sections. Pick a few to try each week and maybe you will find a new favorite healthy recipe to incorporate into your regular menu!
Track What You Are Eating
For many people, eating healthy in isolation is not a challenge in terms of quality, but is a challenge in terms of quantity. Many people eat out of boredom and being stuck at home may easily consume twice as many calories as they would in a normal, active day. If you are a boredom eater or a stress eater, one way to help keep a handle on what you are eating is to track the food you are consuming. We are actually big fans of the new WW app, which lets you easily track the foods you are eating.