Eating Healthy During Uncertain Times
Eating out and going to the grocery story are normal activities that were easy before COVID-19 impacted our lives. Elizabeth Bilodeau, registered dietitian with Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, offers tips on how you can keep your nutrition on track in chaotic times.
PLAN YOUR MEALS
Meal planning can limit the stress of deciding what to eat each day. At the beginning of the week, schedule what you want to make each day. Then, when it’s time to eat, you know what to fix.
MAKE EASY FOOD SUBSTITUTIONS
If you’re running into empty shelves, there are some food substitutions you can use to make meals at home. Canned or dried beans and lentils can replace the meat in foods like chili or soup. Cashews can be used as the creamy base in alfredo or mac and cheese. You can also cook several large batches of whole grains, store them in your refrigerator or freezer for later and use them in stir-fry, soups, bowls or salads.
INCORPORATE CANNED OR FROZEN VEGETABLES AND FRUIT
Frozen fruits and vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh produce. Buy the frozen versions without added sauces, sugars or salt. Frozen fruit can be used in morning oatmeal, smoothies or chia seed pudding.
AVOID STRESS EATING
Plan to eat meals at regular intervals so you don’t find yourself hungry and making poor food choices. Aim to keep junk foods out of the house and get outside for a socially distanced walk or another form of exercise. Need inspiration for another meal at home? Check out Adventist HealthCare’s healthy recipes at AHCYou.com/SU20Recipes.
EAT FRESH, UNPROCESSED FOODS
Make meals at home using unprocessed foods. Fill up on fruits and vegetables, decrease your sugar intake and limit junk food.
PUT FROZEN FOOD LATER IN THE LINEUP
To limit your trips to the grocery store, use fresh fruits and vegetables first and save the canned, frozen versions for later. Freeze extra food when you get home from the store.