It’s no doubt that this pandemic has affected each and every one of us in some shape or form. Whether it’s losing your job or your struggling mentality with the fact that you won’t be able to see your friends and family that keep you grounded and put a smile on your face each day.
With all that’s happening and with the extra time on our hands, it’s important we take the time to find the positives in this situation and focus on what we can control like paying attention to our physical and mental health. The unprecedented stress and anxiety at this time can have detrimental affects to our wellbeing both mentally and physically and leave our immune systems prone to catching a virus such as COVID-19. This is why we should be putting our health first and implementing strategies every day to protect and allow us to overcome the daily battles we are experiencing through this time.
One thing we can control and is vital for keeping our immune system in check is our diet. I have provided you with some tips and tricks to help keep your nutrition on track during these times.
- A balanced diet will make you feel good physically as well as nourish your brain as it’s going through stress and anxiety. Include a wide variety of vegetables to provide you with the vitamins and minerals to support your immune system. Frozen vegetables are a convenient and cheap strategy to incorporate a variety of vegetables. Their nutrition composition is the same as fresh vegetables!
- Stocking up on canned legumes, beans and lentils is a cheap and convenient way of including some gut-friendly fibre and protein rich foods into your diet as these items are non-perishable and are highly versatile.
- There is no need to stockpile on chocolates, chips, lollies-these are energy dense, nutrient poor foods that aren’t satiating.
- It’s Important we keep the same nutritional habits and routines like having those 3 meals a day and planning our meals and snacks just as we would when we are out and about. This will keep your mind at ease and give you a structure. You could even meal prep at the beginning of the week just to help you mentally get into routine and avoid opting for takeouts which tend to be more energy dense and nutrient poor.
- Be aware of your emotions. This is such a stressful time but practising mindfulness while eating and being aware of your behaviours is so important to ensure you are keeping physically and mentally healthy. Do you find yourself snacking when you are bored or when you are feeling down? The first step of controlling those behaviours is being aware.
- There is no need for restrictive diets to start now. Your body doesn’t need that nor does your mind! Just keep balanced and move your body as much as you can. If you want to start a weight loss journey, then the most important thing is that you are in a calorie deficit meaning that you are expending more calories than you consume. You can still incorporate all food groups within your diet, and you will still lose weight so long as your overall daily calorie intake keeps you in a deficit. By incorporating all food groups, you won’t feel restricted and the dieting journey will be more enjoyable and therefore you will more likely adhere to it.
Lastly, during this timebe kind to your body- no extremes are needed!
Keep safe and balanced