By Bulbul Beri
I am writing this article as a note to myself as I am finding myself visiting the fridge and pantry way too frequently this lockdown and scrounging around for some feel-good foods whenever I need a break from working at my computer.
A well-balanced diet is essential to a healthy life and during the lockdown, it can be even harder to maintain healthy eating habits as routines are disrupted and we emotionally eat due to boredom, stress, anxiety and loneliness. Many people are experiencing similar shifts in their diet over this time, but we have to try to not let healthy eating fall by the wayside.
Stress eating ramifications
Stress and comforting eating often involve foods that are processed, high in fat and sugar. (I know these are the first on my go-to list). This can lead to tummy trouble and can affect our moods, and weight and cause cardiovascular issues.
A healthier way
A healthier way to deal with the stress and the emotions that emerge during this uncertain time is to validate them and find something else we love to do to comfort ourselves. This can help us minimise our comfort eating and snacking. Checking in with ourselves before we reach for that snack and asking what the real reason is that we are about to load our bodies with more sugar and fat can help curb this habit. For example, ask yourself if you are thirsty, bored, worried, sad?
These are some things I am trying to help me get back on track and maybe can help you too if you haven’t been eating as healthily as you would like:
Planning weekly meals and sticking to a routine
Planning my week to avoid unnecessary trips to the supermarket and allocating time for meal breaks based on my regular eating routine. Eating my meals away from my working area and away from distractions.
Focus on nutrition and remove temptations
Keeping my kitchen stocked with nutritious food, shopping when full and sticking to my shopping list based on my meal plan which includes healthy snacks.
Unleash my long-forgotten inner chef
Looking through my cookbooks, browsing the web for new recipes and getting inspired. My girls and I did a big Sunday cook up last week and froze meals and snacks for the week. No one asked what was for lunch or dinner this week because we already knew. This weekend I am planning a cookoff with them, just to add a bit of fun and competition.
Eating a heathy balanced diet does promote good immune functioning and mood. A healthy balanced diet includes the main food groups, fruit and vegetables, protein, and enough vitamins and minerals including iron, and calcium. Additionally, it is important to stay hydrated and minimising alcohol and caffeine consumption. (Another note to self)
In addition to healthy eating, our overall wellness is affected by other factors, so remember to also:
At the moment, the best way to stay safe, is to stay at home, where you can.
Take care of your body and mind at this difficult time. Eat well and stay at home.