In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, you may be feeling alone or anxious. No one knows how long this will last, and if you’re like me, it’s hard to know if you’re ever really doing enough to protect yourself and those around you.
But one thing I know I can do is take care of my personal health — and I don’t just mean washing my hands, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and avoiding touching my face (which I am most definitely doing). I mean keeping up with my normal healthy eating routine when possible.
Of course, I’m not promoting a healthy eating routine to help you lose weight or gain lean muscle during this quarantine (unless you want to). In times like these, we’re all just doing our best. All we should be worried about is staying healthy and doing what makes us feel good.
Here’s how I’m working to keep up with my healthy eating routine, which helps me feel more normal in a time of uncertainty:
Plan and prep meals as if nothing has changed, doing your best with the groceries available.
In my first few days of being home, my attitude toward eating was more of a, “It’s only one week; live it up!” type of vibe. Then I realized we don’t really know how long things will continue like this, and eating outside of my normal routine was only making me feel more sluggish and out of sorts. I decided to start planning and prepping my meals on the weekend as if I were still going into the office on weekdays.
It’s much easier to grab a healthy lunch or IsaLean® Bar that’s ready to go than it is to break your workflow and cook something. Even if you no longer have a commute, making dinner is much less daunting when you have ingredients like rice and roasted veggies already prepped. I know not all our usual foods are readily available, but cooking and eating your meals at home is usually better than fast food or restaurant takeout.
Stick to your normal hours and eating patterns.
Now that you’re staying home most of the time, it can be easy to stay up later and sleep in longer (why not!). But be mindful of how the hours you’re keeping are affecting your eating routine. Maybe you’re sleeping through your normal breakfast and heading straight to coffee. Then suddenly it’s noon, and you’re starving and reaching for the quickest food available whether it’s healthy or not.
Instead, make a point to still sit down (at the kitchen table or on the patio if it’s nice, not at your desk!) for however many meals a day you typically would at the same time you’ve always had them. Your body is already used to this eating routine, so it will make it easier to stay on track.
Keep an open mind, be flexible, and go easy on yourself.
Most importantly, try to remember that we’re all just figuring things out day by day. Nothing is going to be perfect!
If you don’t have broccoli available to eat with lunch, try a different green veggie instead. If chicken breast is your go-to healthy meal but you only have frozen chicken tenders, that will work just fine! Do your best with what you have available, try new things to make your healthy eating routine work, and let yourself have that brownie if that’s what’s going to make you happy after another long day at the home office.
If you’re looking for little ways to keep your day-to-day more normal while making yourself feel good, I hope you give these tips for healthy eating a try!