Hi, I see you. I want you to know that it’s okay if you can’t eat your “normal” 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
It’s okay to rely on canned foods and frozen foods during this time. Frozen, canned and pre-packaged foods make for easy, convenient meals right now. Remember, this is (hopefully) a short period of time in the scheme of things.
If you’re really stressed about your nutrition, I want to remind you that canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh. And the bonus is they can last for a long time, which makes them SUPERfoods during quarantine times.
Remember that your body is so smart. It can handle “processed” foods. Your body still knows how to digest different forms of foods.
Don’t worry about long ingredient lists. Often times, those ingredients have a purpose, whether it’s to keep that food safe and shelf-stable or to add nutrients that are lost during processing. We are lucky to have them.
I want to remind you that stressing about food is often more detrimental than just eating the food itself. Your health doesn’t change by a week of meals. In fact, your body will thank you for feeding it consistently, rather than skipping meals and waiting for the “perfect” option.
Remember that there are no “perfect” foods. If you only ate fresh fruits and vegetables every day, you wouldn’t achieve “health.” In fact, you’d have nutrient deficiencies because our bodies need a variety of foods.
Don’t undermine your body.
Know that having limited access to foods and feeling “restricted” from your normal foods can trigger binge eating. That is a normal response to restriction.
I want to remind you to eat regular meals and snacks during this time. A 4 ingredient trail mix is great and pantry friendly!
Also, give yourself permission to eat regularly and eat foods you wouldn’t normally eat. Give yourself permission to binge if you need to.
Give yourself permission to eat emotionally. This is an unprecedented time and there is a lot of tension, anxiety and unknown around what’s going to unfold.
Allow yourself to feel those emotions.
I want to remind you that it’s okay to skip your exercise “plan” and not show up for workouts. If you feel compelled to exercise despite all the other feelings you have, give yourself permission to evaluate your relationship to exercise.
Maybe exercise provides some stress relief during these times and you can find a way to incorporate it safely. Great!
But if exercise feels compulsive or feels like you “have” to do, or you feel guilty if you skip a workout, know that it may not be serving you at this time.
Overall, know that taking care of yourself and your family during this time is what’s most important.
Whether that means heating up frozen meals to put food on the table, adding extra screen time for the kids so you can get work done, avoiding the news/social media for a period of time, skipping a workout or getting a workout in, taking some time for yourself for self care.
I’ve also opened up my virtual availability for client consultations if you want or need extra support right now.
And remember, there are tons of intuitive eating resources here.
Here are some great ideas for self care I’ve seen:
- Eat immune boosting foods that you like (berries, sweet potatoes, ginger, garlic, yogurt, probiotics, fish)
- Sleep in
- Binge watch your favorite shows
- Do something productive you’ve been putting off
- Light a candle, read a book
- Journal about your thoughts about productivity and uncertainly
- Do a you tube yoga video
- Practice social distancing
- Listen to an audiobook
- Spring clean your house
- Get some fresh air
- Snuggle with a pet
- Color/paint with your kiddos
Some resources that I’ve found helpful:
- Schedules for kids at home
- Virtual field trips
- Educational resources online
- Free online workouts (Hass Fit on youtube, Peloton has a free month trial, Planet Fitness is streaming free workouts even for non-members)
Some recipes to keep you busy with pantry staples:
- Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese
- Veggie Pasta Bake
- Cauliflower Pitas
- Sweet Potato Edible Cookie Dough (no bake!)
- Almond Flour Banana Muffins
Thinking of you all. Stay safe.