May 24, 2020
Nutrition During The Shutdown
Eating well can be a challenge at the best of times, but even more so now, with long lines at grocery stores, wildly varying work schedules, and constant stress from the news. Caregiving and health professionals have an even more difficult time caring for themselves, as they may feel they must always care for others first. Here are a few things we can do right now:
Plan simple meals.
While nutritionists usually advise people to eat the healthiest foods, made from scratch, sometimes stress-free is more important than flawless ingredients. Food brands are also getting smarter and realizing that people want to eat healthy at home. Check out Amy’s Kitchen frozen dinners and canned chili (https://amys.com/), Pacific (https://www.pacificfoods.com/) and Imagine (https://www.imaginefoods.com/) boxed soups, and Daiya frozen pizzas (https://daiyafoods.com/). Are they as low calorie as your homemade steamed broccoli? Nope. But are they better than the sugar, oil, and preservative-laden packaged foods most other people are eating? Absolutely. They have no artificial sweeteners, no high fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oil, nor other scary, fake-food ingredients.
Eat plants by hiding them.
Even if you normally love fruit and vegetables, getting your partner, kids, or your stressed-out self to eat them can be tough. Almonds hide in plain sight in almondmilk yogurt, perfect for a morning with no time to cook. Burger lovers can get the protein without the cholesterol in Beyond Meat burgers. What vegetables could possibly be hiding in a veggie burger that looks, smells, and tastes just like beef? Potatoes and peas. Have kids who just refuse to eat whole fruit? Pop frozen bananas, fresh strawberries, dried dates, and a dash of coconut milk into the blender for an ice-cream-like smoothie. (And if the person who just won’t eat fresh fruit isn’t your kids, but you, well…it’s quarantine. No one’s going to know.)
Takeout isn’t always bad for us.
Now with money so tight, many of us can’t eat out as much as we used to. Be we might still be able to sneak in some healthy takeout. Chains like https://www.diginn.com/ (rice bowls with seasonal veggies and proteins), https://www.choptsalad.com/ (custom salads and grain bowls), and https://order.bareburger.com/ (organic traditional meat burgers and veggie burgers) offer healthier twists on familiar favorites. And our local, mom & pop restaurants need our support more than ever! After the shutdown, I don’t want the only things left standing to be greasy fast food joints. Now that we’re walking less and burning less calories, we may be leery of rich restaurant food. But we can still look for entrees featuring brown rice, whole wheat pasta, proteins, and roasted vegetables.
Shop healthy online.
While grocery stores have shortages and long lines, some online retailers are thriving. Most have free or low-cost shipping.
For no-cooking-needed basics like nuts, dried, fruit, and trail mix, plus affordable bulk foods like rice and beans, head to https://foodtolive.com/
For yummy nut butters, healthier cookies, and more, check out https://bluemountainorganics.com/
For the one day when you do have time to cook from scratch, but want your kitchen to smell as good as a restaurant, pick up some fresh-ground spices at https://www.worldspice.com/
Amazon isn’t just for books anymore; they also have a massive grocery department.
Passionate about donating to charities, especially during times of crisis, but now only have money for groceries? Every purchase you make on Amazon can go to an organization you care about. Visit https://smile.amazon.com/ and pick a nonprofit you want to support.
Just keep saying it to yourself: “perfect is the enemy of good.” And right now, good is looking great.
ACE & NSCA Certified Personal Trainer
On the Mend Customized Fitness and Massage