Staying Healthy While In Quarantine
The world is experiencing an unprecedented level of stress right now, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many of us are in lockdown, practicing social distancing procedures, and finding ourselves more sedentary than ever before.
As countries are taking drastic measures to prevent the spread of this disease, quarantine measures and business closures may affect what we consider to be normal food practices. In some cases, fresh and natural foods are becoming less available, and processed foods with longer shelf lives are being sought out for convenience.
We know that good nutrition is essential for good health, especially in times where our immune system is called upon to fight off illness and disease. With a decrease in the number and quantity of fresh food choices and an increasing reliance on processed foods laden with fat, salt, and preservatives, it may be difficult to facilitate good health. It is possible to maintain a healthy diet by getting a little creative with the way you preserve and prepare foods; follow these tips to stay on the nutritional straight and narrow till this quarantine storm has passed:
1. Take and use only what you need
Pandemic should also be called panic-demic; there is still quite a bit of "panic" buying right now--people are engaging in selfish behaviors that strip the shelves bare of necessities we all need for good health. When you do shop, purchase and use only what you need, and have faith that the shelves will be fully stocked again soon. This ensures that you can purchase the types of food and supplies that you need.....when you need them.
2. Be strategic about meal planning
Right now, it's all about preserving and protecting our health. We should be mindful in meal planning, prioritizing fresh ingredients and home preparation. While it might be tempting to indulge in some heavy couch sessions with a gallon of pralines and cream, it is certainly not in your best interest to do so, as you'll be paying for this indulgent choice later.
Plan meals carefully, and think about your health and the health of others as you prepare it. This is not a time when we should be thinking about preferences, but rather, eating for health and wellness. Take this time to experiment with new flavors, new textures, and new recipes in anticipation of setting up new, healthier habits for the future.
3. Prepare home-cooked meals
You have the advantage of preparing home-cooked meals at this time, which means that you know exactly what is going into them. Prep mindfully, use healthy ingredients, and focus on making delicious meals that will be a healthy sensory experience for everyone.
4. Take advantage of meal delivery options
More and more businesses are turning to meal catering as a way to generate extra income right now; you can take advantage of this convenience and experiment with some new flavors by enlisting the help of a meal service. Some services provide ready-to-eat meals, while others deliver everything to your door that is required to assemble and prep at home. Regardless of the type of service you choose, take the opportunity to choose healthier options, prep together as a family, and talk about better choices as you work toward the common goal of health. Who knows? You might find some family favorites as a result of using their services.
5. Remain aware of portion sizes
Stress eating is at an all-time high; it can be comforting to knock back that sleeve of Oreos as you are watching the evening news. Stay aware of the portion sizes you are serving up for yourself and others, and be aware of the fact that you may be expending fewer calories at this time. Try to balance out the two by serving up smaller than normal sizes, and choosing healthier options to avoid putting on pounds that could adversely affect your health.
6. Consume enough fiber
Few of us are walking as much as we used to, and this can affect our digestion and elimination processes significantly. Consuming additional fiber in the form of supplements, fruits, and vegetables will be essential to keep digestion and elimination flowing smoothly. Combine this with a little bit of additional activity, and you'll have a recipe for quarantine fitness success.
7. Stay hydrated
Proper hydration is absolutely essential for good health. Choosing to drink water instead of sugar-laden beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol is a smart decision to make for your health, both now and in the future. Aim for at least half your body weight in ounces daily, and you'll keep all systems in your body running more efficiently.
Consider the use of supplements like probiotics, vitamins, and minerals at this time. A healthy body is difficult to penetrate---viruses and bacteria have a hard time taking root and flourishing in an environment that is healthy. If you are able, obtain your doctor's advice with regard to the types of supplements that will work to fortify your immune system and keep you healthy and thriving.
This is not an easy time for anyone to be experiencing; we have the choice to succumb to stress and strife, or we can appreciate the extra time to indulge in self-care, build relationships with family, and re-evaluate what is truly important in life. Care for yourself, and your body will repay you in kind by emerging healthier and happier. Cheers!