Written by Lindsay Renee Belair
As we continue our practice of social distancing, it’s easy to forget the importance of taking care of ourselves. Let’s be honest – it’s perfectly okay to indulge in lazy mornings and tasty treats more than usual during this stressful time. There’s no point in being hard on ourselves when the world is already so tough on us, so it’s important to practice patience and compassion as we navigate through these challenging times. With all of this time on your hands, it’s easy to slip into that dark hole of munching on unhealthy foods, but if you’re looking to maintain a healthy diet in quarantine, here are a few ways to do it.
1. Drink plenty of water
Water is an essential asset for our physical and mental wellbeing. It promotes cardiovascular health, keeps muscles and joints working, and helps cleanse toxins from our body. Our bodies are composed of about 60% water, so it’s essential to replenish our bodies with at least 64 ounces each day. Begin each morning by drinking a glass of hot lemon water to hydrate the body with an abundance of electrolytes, protect from immune system deficiencies and maintain digestive health. Have a glass of water with every cup of coffee you drink to prevent dehydration. Another dehydrating craving is soda and other sugary drinks – try to satisfy that bubbly craving with a flavored seltzer instead.
2. Start your day with a healthy breakfast
Eating a healthy breakfast helps to boost your metabolism and maintain your energy level throughout the morning. Skipping breakfast can result in unhealthy munching on foods and beverages such as soda, candy and other processed foods that give your body a quick boost of energy. While indulging in sugary cereals can be temporarily fulfilling, they don’t provide you with an adequate amount of protein that will give your body the energy it needs to survive the morning. Instead, look to foods such as eggs, avocado, fruits, yogurt and granola.
3. Prepare healthy snacks to munch on
When the world is an unsettling place, many of us turn to food for comfort. Let’s be real, there’s no such thing as having only one chip – they are just too addicting. When you’re having a craving to munch on chips, try a healthier alternative such as trail mix or pretzel crisps with hummus. To help steer you away from unhealthy options when you feel like snacking, try preparing a fruit salad or veggie platter in the beginning of the week. When the cravings hit throughout the day, you already have a healthy option readily available.
4. Replace dessert with healthy alternatives
We all have that sugary craving before bed and sometimes it’s too hard to resist the temptation. Instead, try substituting your normal sugary snack with a healthier alternative. Strawberries with whipped cream, dark chocolate-covered strawberries, and frozen yogurt with berries are healthy, sweet alternatives that will leave you feeling satisfied.
5. Try to eat 5 small meals per day
This concept might sound backward, but the idea is to boost your metabolism and give your body the necessary calories to burn quickly. Food is the body’s primary source of energy, so eating five meals in smaller portions allows the body to use that energy instead of storing it as fat the way it does after eating three larger meals. When you’re consistently eating nutritious foods, you are telling your body to keep on burning because it will get fed again soon. And hey, who doesn’t love eating more frequently?