HEALTHY EATING DURING THE PANDEMIC
It can be difficult to maintain good eating habits during the pandemic. We may fall into mindless eating, have less food available, lack time or motivation for meal preparation, or increase alcohol consumption. Here are some tips.
FOOD YOU BRING INTO YOUR HOME
Good eating habits start with the food you have (or don’t have) in your kitchen. Whether you are ordering your groceries online, or physically going to the store, you should stock up on items that will allow you to assemble quick and healthy meals. Purchase snack type items in single serving portions (or make your own) to prevent overeating from family-size bags and containers. Be careful not to bring in foods that will be overly tempting, especially if you are working from home, with your kitchen close by.
PREPARE MEALS IN ADVANCE
Whenever you have some extra downtime, prepare some healthy meals in advance, including things like sandwiches, salads, or pasta dishes. Knowing that you have things ready to eat can help reduce the stress of meal-planning, and reduce grazing, which can occur while deciding what to eat.
Some mindful snacking behaviors (instead of mindless grazing) can be implemented. These include assessing your hunger level (or lack of hunger) before grabbing a snack, not eating while standing in the kitchen, and limiting snacking while working, or engaged in other activities. If truly hungry for a snack between meals, portion a set amount of food onto a plate and eat it slowly and mindfully in a pleasant environment.
Alcohol consumption often increases during times of stress and anxiety, and alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic. But alcoholic drinks are caloric, they can displace nutrients in our diet that we need to obtain from food, and they can have harmful effects, such as poor sleep or harm your liver or other organs. Therefore, it would be beneficial to consume no more than one drink per day. One drink is defined as one shot of liquor, five ounces of wine, or one bottle of beer.