The outbreak of coronavirus pandemic has impacted our daily lives and routines in a plethora of ways, and our diets are no exception. With more time being spent at home due to social distancing and lockdowns, it’s easy for our relationship with food to take a turn for the worse and for us to fall into bad eating habits.
Living in the times of uncertainty may cause us to overindulge in food as a way to find comfort from stressful everyday situations, which could lead to a number of negative health-related consequences. For example, drinking alcohol after the COVID-19 vaccine might be dangerous. What’s more, it can wreak havoc on our immune system health during times when preserving it is of utmost importance. Ensuring good nutrition during the pandemic is essential, and fortunately, it doesn’t have to be all that challenging. Below, easy ways to eat healthy during COVID-19.
Try out new and creative cooking recipes
Many of us stick with the same old recipes because they feel familiar, and we’ve prepared them so many times we could easily do it in our sleep. However, trying something new from time to time is key to discovering new flavors and ingredients that you can potentially include in your regular grocery shopping list. Get creative and look for new and healthy recipes online that fit your dietary needs, health and fitness goals, and your lifestyle. Try different food combinations, rely on new ingredients to spruce up your usual meals, and prioritize fresh over frozen or canned ingredients.
Not only is cooking meals at home a great way to experiment with new recipes, but it also allows for greater control of what and how much you’re eating. Moreover, it’s the ideal opportunity to include the whole family in the process, teach important life skills, and encourage smart eating habits.
Explore your local food delivery options
There’s no doubt that home-cooked meals are the best and should be prioritized whenever that’s possible. The thing is, not all of us have the time to head to the grocery store, pick the freshest ingredients, and then prepare a healthy meal from scratch. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up your healthy eating efforts.
Nowadays, eating healthy during COVID-19 can be as simple as relying on a meal delivery service and having fresh and healthy foods arrive at your door. Ready-made and pre-portioned, these meals are dietitian-designed and make it easy for you to remain in control of your diet during these tough times, whether you’re eating at home or at the office. There’s no meal prep needed, and you can switch up your meal plan for variety so you can stick with your healthy eating habits more easily.
Opt for natural and healthy alternatives to processed foods
During stressful times like these, it can be all too easy to reach for pre-packaged, processed foods to instantly satisfy your cravings. While these quick and simple alternatives may be more convenient, they’re often filled with bad-for-your-health additives ranging from artificial sweeteners and refined sugar to MSG and ultra-processed ingredients. Not sure whether an item is healthy or not? Take a look at the label. If there are ingredients you can’t pronounce easily, chances are, you’re better leaving the product on the store shelf.
Aim for healthy alternatives, and make sure to replace any processed foods and ingredients on your grocery shopping list with natural and healthy options. Make your own fruit juice from fresh fruits, opt for natural sugar substitutes such as honey or dates, and go for organic ingredients if and whenever possible.
Pay attention to portion sizes
The type of food you eat and the kind of ingredients you use to prepare your meals is crucial for maintaining healthy eating habits during the pandemic, but it’s not the only thing you should focus your attention on. How much there is on our plate matters just as much as what’s on our plate. During the times when most of our days are spent at home, it can be easy to overstuff our plates or go back for seconds. This can easily lead to overeating which can hinder our healthy eating routines.
This makes it all the more important to adjust your portion sizes according to your needs, lifestyle, and activity levels. Serving food on smaller plates, drinking water before meals, and eating more slowly are all effective ways of controlling portion sizes at home and staying consistent with healthy eating habits.
Times like these can definitely make it challenging for an individual to continue with their established healthy eating routine, but it’s still doable.
Stick with the tips above to overcome the food-related obstacles posed by COVID-19, ensure proper nutrition, strengthen your immune system naturally, and support the physical and mental health of yourself and your loved ones.