Healthy Eating Tips for When You Are Stuck in Quarantine
As the weeks drag by and the stay-in-place orders stand firmly in place to keep our community safe, you might find yourself struggling to maintain a healthy diet. After all, having to juggle working from home, homeschooling your children, and maintaining a somewhat “normal” schedule is very difficult, especially when the worries of the COVID-19 virus are always on your mind. At Medical Center Barbour, we know times are tough and getting even tougher, but we also know that eating well is vital to staying healthy both physically and mentally. So, to help you during these crazy times we are all experiencing, we have compiled a list of healthy eating tips for you to help you stay well during the coronavirus pandemic.
Set up a new schedule Eating right now has become, for many folks, a free-for-all. It’s natural, of course: Being stuck at home can cause boredom, which leads to grazing on snacks all day long. But as you already know, snacks usually contain high levels of sodium, fats, and additives that really don’t do a thing to provide you with the essential vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy. Avoiding the COVID-19 is important, but avoiding the COVID-19lb weight gain is important, too. So set yourself up for success by setting up a new eating schedule that you can stick to. Start with three healthy meals a day with nutritious snacks planned in between so you don’t cave and eat a whole bag of chips. Keep choices simple, readily available, and easy to make like eggs, yogurt, fruit, or toast for breakfast, and you won’t feel the pressure of having to plan every meal.
Drink lots of water In your normal 9-to-5, you’d never forget to fill up your water bottle before hitting the gym or heading to work, so why would you stop drinking water now? Don’t let hydration fall to the wayside just because you aren’t following your usual schedule! Grab a water bottle and make sure you carry it around your house to remind yourself to drink up. Good hydration helps your cells function and your body eliminate waste, which enables your immune system to work better. And getting the adequate amount of fluids helps to prevent headaches and muscle fatigue, aids in digestion, and even boosts your mood.
Eat fresh foods While canned and frozen vegetables are great options for storage and convenience, they really don’t hold a candle to fresh produce. Most people don’t realize that canned vegetable contain a high amount of unnecessary sodium and sugar, negating a lot of the benefits of the vegetable. If you buy canned veggies, it’s vital to buy the low sodium varieties and then rinse them off to remove up to 40% of the sodium. As for frozen vegetables, make sure to read the label to ensure you are getting only the vegetables and none of the added ingredients that make them unhealthy. When you can buy fresh produce, you should do it because it’s easier to monitor what you are adding to it when you’re cooking it, and fresh produce retains more fiber and nutrients than its frozen or canned counterparts. If you are worried about the fresh produce going bad before you can eat it, choose long-lasting produce like apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and citrus fruits.
Watch the oils you use to cook When you’re sautéing that fresh produce you just bought, be sure to utilize the healthiest options available to you when it comes to cooking oil. Some good options are avocado oil, a neutral-tasting oil that is packed with the good fats (monounsaturated) you need in your diet, and extra-virgin olive oil, which is high in antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation in the body. Avoid oils like vegetable or canola oil because they have been overly processed, and therefore lack flavor and nutrients.
With these healthy tips, you can maintain a healthy diet while stuck at home. Remember that your health is so important-you don’t want to visit our hospital’s ER unless you really, really need us! So stay home, stay healthy, and keep in mind that we are here for you if you do have an emergency of any kind.