If you’re lucky enough to work from home, your entire eating and drinking routine has changed over these past few months. There’s time for breakfast every day – in lieu of gulping down coffee with food on-the-go. Lunch at the kitchen table – rather than eaten at your nasty desk at work. And dinner you’ve actually taken the time to prepare because you HAVE more time.
And then there are the snacks. Oh, the snacks! Because they’re THERE and your kitchen is calling you. Ahem.
Tips for healthy eaters
- Ditch the sweatpants and other loose clothing. Yes, really. Wear fitted clothing such as trim fit jeans and buttoned-up woven shirts. This is a small way to avoid the COVID-15, those 15 pounds many people are gaining as a result of staying home during the pandemic. Once things start feeling snug, cut back on the eating.
- Remember the fundamentals. Did you ever play a sport such as basketball? I did not, but I do recall the insistence by my son’s basketball coach to lean on the fundamentals of play. The same goes for eating well. Review MyPlate created by the USDA or the more current Canada Food Guide. Build each meal using these guidelines.
- Plan your meals for the week. If that’s too long, go for 4 days. Cook once, serve twice. For example, make a roast chicken (or two) with oven roasted potatoes and vegetables such as broccoli or asparagus on a Sunday. Serve the “planned-overs” on Tuesday. Ditto for what you make on Monday; serve what’s left on Wednesday.
- Bring in nourishing ingredients and prepared foods. Focus on nutrient density which means colorful produce, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean sources of protein. Meat portions should be smaller, which will save money and help keep saturated fat in check.
- Avoid going down the snack aisle while at the store in order to not bring fattening snacks into your home. Chips, soft drinks, cookies and ice cream are high in empty calories. A low cost, delicious snack is popcorn you pop on the stove. It’s even a whole grain!
- Plan a favorite treat into your daily routine. During times of stress, it’s something small you can look forward to. Whether it’s a cookie or two, or a piece of chocolate, portion out the treat ahead of time and plan out the time of day you feel most vulnerable when you’d most enjoy it.
- You have more time on your hands, so use it effectively. Eat sandwiches made from sliced leftover meat such as chicken breast or roast beef or pork. The meat is fresher and will taste better – and you’ll avoid spending money on processed deli meats.
- Eggs are a nutritional bargain and versatile. You can eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner and snacks. They’re a great source of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- If you are looking for cooking and eating resources, here are a few:
- COVID-19 Family Meal Tips
Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. Staying mentally and physically healthy – and doing your best to help others do the same – is what’s important right now.