As we adapt to our new “normal” for the next month or so, it’s important to continue with healthy habits to properly fuel our bodies. During this time of social distancing, we want to make sure we’re maintaining long lasting energy and strengthened immune systems.
It is important to create some kind of structure & routine with our new (temporary) living situations. Instead of going to work, school, sports practices, etc. we will be spending much more time at home—which means we need to be prepared. Here are some health-conscious suggestions:
- Meal prep for a few days to see how long your current supply will last
- Stock up on pantry essentials (see below)—especially non-perishables
- Create a meal structure
- Set approximate times for breakfast, lunch, dinner, & snacks
- Create a rough menu for the week (i.e. MWF we will have a meatless dinner using different legumes & whole grains)
- Keep healthy snacks around to avoid binge eating processed foods or trigger foods
- Don’t skip meals— this will help you avoid overeating
- Stock up your freezer with frozen meat, seafood, vegetables, & fruit
- Be mindful of emotional eating,
stress eating, or eating out of boredom
- Practice eating slowly, enjoying your food, and appreciating where it was sourced from
- Practice mindfulness by using all 5 senses while eating and savoring the experience
- Consider meditating or practicing yoga to encourage a positive mindset, reflection, and circulation
- Add some at-home workout
classes/exercises to your routine (there are many studios offering FREE online
classes right now)
- Nike app, Sweat app, FitOn, etc.
- Consider stretching multiple times throughout the work day—especially if you’re working from home in an uncomfortable chair
- Go outside! Walking, running,
biking, & hiking are all great activities that will keep you from going stir
crazy in your home
- Check out the AllTrails app to find trails near you
Stock Up: Shelf-Stable Pantry Essentials
- Purchase a variety of whole grain products that are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber
- Examples: Brown or Wild Rice, Farro, Quinoa, Barley, Buckwheat, Oats, Popcorn
- Choose whole wheat or plant/bean-based options that contain fiber and protein
- Examples: Whole Wheat Pasta, Barilla Plus, Red Lentil Penne, Black Bean Spaghetti, Chickpea Rotini, etc.
Bread & Wraps
- Choose breads with the word “whole” in the first ingredient on the label
- Keep in fridge/freezer to last longer
- Examples: 100% Whole Wheat Bread, Ezekiel (sprouted) Bread, Whole Wheat English muffins, Whole Wheat Tortillas
Nuts & Seeds
- Choose unsalted or lightly-salted nut/seed options. Choose nut-butters with no added fats or sodium
- Examples: Unsalted peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, store-made peanut or almond butter, etc.
- Choose canned, dry, carton, or jar options
- Examples: Garbanzo (Chickpeas), Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Navy Beans, Red/White Beans, Kidney Beans, Green/Red Lentils, Soybeans/Edamame
- Choose whole grain cereal options that have <6g of sugar & at least 2g of fiber per serving
- Examples: Barbara’s Puffins Cereal, Multi-Grain Cheerios, Fiber-One Honey Clusters, Kashi Go Lean, Kashi Heart to Heart, Wheat Chex, Oatmeal, Steel Cut Grits
Chips & Crackers
- Choose options that are made from whole grains
- Examples: Kashi Seven Grain Crackers, Rye Krisp Crackers, Trader Joe’s Woven Wheats, Whole Wheat Pretzel Nuggets, Tostitos Baked Tortilla Chips, Way Better Snacks Crackers, Black Bean Chips, Brown Rice Cakes, 100% Whole Wheat Wheat Thins
- Choose options that have <12g of sugar, <5g fat and <140calories per serving
- Examples: Barbara’s Bakery, Whole Wheat Fig Bars, Kashi TLC Happy Trail Mix Cookies, Ginger Snaps, Chocolate or Honey Graham Crackers, Trader Joe’s Animal Crackers
Oils, Vinegars, & Sauces
- Choose options that are not extremely refined
- Examples: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Sesame Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Walnut Oil, Infused Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Red/White Wine Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut-Aminos, Sriracha, Pesto, Low-Sugar BBQ Sauce, Tomato Sauce, Honey, Maple Syrup
Herbs & Spices
- Choose fresh or dried options
- Examples: Salt & Pepper, Turmeric, Ginger, Basil, Parsley, Oregano, Garlic, Paprika, Cumin, Rosemary, etc.
- Choose items that are high in protein or fiber
- Examples: canned/jarred tuna or salmon, dried edamame or chickpeas, hemp hearts, chia seeds, ground flaxseed, low-sodium beef/turkey jerky, low-sodium vegetable/chicken broth, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, canned vegetables
Stock Up: Refrigerator/Freezer Essentials
- Choose fruit that is in season or that is frozen (longer shelf life)
- Examples: Bananas, Oranges, Apples, Fresh (or Frozen) Berries, Mango, Pineapple, Cherries, etc.
- Choose vegetables that are in season & that are frozen (but not seasoned)
- Examples: Pre-washed salad greens, spiralized veggies, steam-in-bag frozen vegetables like broccoli, carrots, green beans, etc.
- Choose part-skim or reduced fat options
- Examples: Greek yogurt, mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese, kefir, BabyBel Light Cheese, reduced or 1% cheese blend, 1% or skim milk, plant-based milks (unsweetened almond milk, soy milk, etc.)
Fish & Shellfish
- Choose fresh or frozen, cold-water fish that are responsibly farmed or wild-caught
- Examples: (Fresh or frozen) salmon filets, shrimp, cod, tuna, halibut, salmon burgers, etc.
Meat & Poultry & Eggs
- Choose lean, skinless protein options
- Choose free-range certified humane or farm fresh-pasture raised eggs
- Examples: Chicken Tenderloins or Breast, Rotisserie Chicken, In-Store Roasted Turkey, Lean Beef Cuts, Reduced-Fat Ground Turkey
- Choose unsalted/lightly salted options
- Choose organic options that are non-GMO
- Examples: unsalted edamame, tofu, tempeh
- Choose foods/ingredients that you cook with on a regular basis or that you like to snack on
- Examples: hummus, guacamole, salsa, lemon/lime juice, tomato paste, olives, etc.
Sample Meal Plan Ideas
*Easy to prepare & well balanced
- Puffins Cereal, milk of choice
- Greek yogurt + ground flax/granola/chia + fruit
- Egg veggie omelet + whole grain toast
- Oatmeal with sliced almonds and berries (fresh or frozen)
- Salad topped with beans, tuna, grilled chicken, or turkey burger
- Grain Bowl with veggies and beans
- Homemade (broth-based) soup with plenty of vegetables
- Turkey sandwich made with whole wheat bread, tomatoes, arugula, avocado, and olive oil
- Cottage cheese or Greek yogurt + fruit
- Cut up veggies + dips
- (Hummus, roasted red pepper or pea hummus, edamame dip, salsa, guacamole)
- Watch your serving size!
- Fresh fruit + PB (or any nut butter)
- frozen fruits/veggies + Greek yogurt + milk or water
- try frozen dark sweet cherries, blueberries, mixed berries, mango, spinach, banana, etc.
- Nut butter toast topped with fresh banana slices
- Toast with ricotta cheese and honey and pepitas
- Fresh fruit + handful of nuts
- Sliced tomatoes + mozzarella cheese
- Roasted fish with farro and a veggie stir fry (can use frozen prepared veggie medley’s)
- Spiced sirloin strip steak with roasted potatoes, asparagus
- Baked tofu with lentil pasta tossed with pesto and veggies
- Bean Pasta tossed in marinara sauce and string beans/dried tomatoes and spices
- Chicken stir fry with brown rice & veggies
What we are currently experiencing is a unique opportunity to spend time with family, build relationships, & do things we may not normally have time for. This is the time to instill healthy eating behaviors and experiment a little more in your kitchen! Use this time to be more mindful in your daily routine & self-care—read more, rest more, exercise more, cook more. Stay safe & healthy!
**NOTE: In light of the coronavirus, we will now be offering virtual nutrition counseling! Telehealth is covered by most insurance carriers. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215) 305-8860 to schedule an appointment!