Hello, friends! Recently I’ve been getting a lot of nutrition questions or people sharing their challenges when it comes to food, being stuck inside, and the stress of all of this we are going through.
Today I wanted to share my thoughts, advice, and personal experience with this situation. I hope it helps you navigate this crazy time we are living in!
If you can relate to the picture above, this post is for you!
Go Back To The Basics
Before you worry about anything else, ask yourself the following questions?
- Am I drinking enough water? Half my body weight in fluid ounces. (see how to drink more water.)
- Am I getting enough sleep? At least 7-8 hours of rest a night. (see how to get more restful sleep)
If not, do those first before you worry about anything else. More than anything enough, fluids and rest are what is going to strengthen your immunity, manage stress, and curb cravings. Do this FIRST!
Work With What’s Available
We don’t have a huge kitchen or a lot of storage. So our emergency purchases/extra food are all above. Honestly, I don’t eat a ton of canned food, and I eat a lot of fresh food, so when it came time to buy canned food I got a lot of beans (which I don’t like), some veggies, mostly corn and peas, but nothing fancy. I didn’t even think to get canned tomatoes. If we aren’t able to get fresh food at the store, what you see above is what we will be relying on.
Things have already started to get “out of routine.” I typically make chicken and beef baby meatloaf cups. However, I can’t get ground chicken or turkey anywhere. So guess what? Baby K is eating Costco Dino chicken nuggets or whatever my in-laws had in their freezer. He’s a little young to have all that sodium, so I’m spreading out how often he gets them. Still, though, it’s not our routine. It’s not as healthy, but it works, and I don’t care about it right now. I’m thankful they had those.
There is a good chance that as we progress, your meals will look less and less “perfectly balanced” Sometimes by choice, and sometimes because you have to work with what’s available to you.
WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE. It’s okay if your meals have a lot more carbs and fats because meat, dairy, eggs, and fresh vegetables simply aren’t available. In my area, stores are still bare. You can barely place instacart or whole foods orders. The entire thing is a straight-up shitshow, and you can’t do anything about it.
Stressing about something, especially food, that’s outside of your control is pointless and will only cause you to crave more unhealthy foods. Later this week I’ll be sharing more healthy recipes you can make with shelf-stable meals. In the meantime, do your best, AND LET THAT BE ENOUGH. This is a public service announcement from your Dietitian – LET GO ANY STRESS YOU ARE CARRYING ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE EATING. Do your best to work with what you have, but do not stress about it.
This is temporary and believe it or not, the human body was designed for periods of deprivation. It was designed to survive in dire circumstances, and if you have any food in your cabinets, the conditions are not desperate. Will, you hit your summer body six back? I don’t know, probably not. But, see a few points down for my thoughts on that.
Keep in mind, for some elderly, or those who weren’t able to stock up, kids who rely on school lunch they’re circumstances are concerning, to say the least. The fact that you have to eat canned beans, tuna, or whatever else and not your usual meals, is not dire, it’s inconvenient. Please please please, you have enough to stress about. Don’t let “imperfect meals” be another source of stress.
If you need some ideas on healthy meals to make with shelf-stable, less perishable foods. Check out this post for ideas, plus a swap and substitution list, and sign up below for a recipe ebook with per 30 recipes.
Yes, allow yourself a few treats.
Hear me out. If you have something that you can look forward too, then you won’t feel the need to open the cabinet every time you walk by it for a handful of chips. Also, it will be a lot easier to remind yourself of something you are looking forward too and stop yourself from eating said handful of chips out of boredom, mindlessness, or avoidance of family/work or the combo.
Last week I made my Grandma’s No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie recipe. Easily the LEAST healthy recipe posted on HH.
View this post on Instagram
I promised you the video of my favorite comfort recipe ever and here it is!!! My Grandmas No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies (recipe (click the title of this recipe on the top right)👉 https://hungryhobby.net/grandmas-no-bake-peanut-butter-chocolate-oatmeal-cookies/ or google Hungry hobby grandma cookies) . . Make at your own risk! 🤣🤣🤣 . . . #dessert #cookies #desserts #cookieslover #cookiesofig #ilovecookies #cookieshomemade #grandmascookies #cookierecipes #grandmascookies🇺🇸 #grandmascookiesarethebestcookies #oatmeal #oat #nobake #rolledoats #oatmealraisincookie #peanutbutter #peanutbutterandchocolate #peanutbutterrecipe #chocolate #chocoholic #dessertstagram #chocolatedessert #chocolateheaven
The entire process of making them, licking the spoon, sharing them on IG, and enjoying them brought me great comfort during a stressful time. I enjoyed them, without guilt, and used them as motivation to keep myself from mindless snacking. Yes, food can be comforting, and that is OKAY.
You might find yourself craving comfort foods like cookies, pasta, casseroles. If you have the ingredients, let yourself have them and focus on eating as healthfully and mindfully as possible the rest of the time. Or order out! #supportlocalbusinesses right?
I felt better after making and eating those cookies. Now I’m good with a protein mug cake or other healthier options for dessert. But, you can bet I still have dessert every night like I’ve done for pretty much forever.
Hold Yourself Accountable
If you are a stress eater, I get it. I am a mostly recovered stress eater. I’ve worked through a lot of it by developing more intuitive eating and being less restrictive with my diet and weight overall, but I’m not perfect. Occasionally I will still default to binge mode, especially if there is alcohol involved.
If you find yourself snacking a lot more, eating out of boredom or stress even after implementing the above tips, you may want to try holding yourself accountable by tracking.
I plugged my intake into chronometer for like two days, and that’s all it took to mentally smack my hand right out of the peanut butter jar and stop eating so much of Baby K’s scraps. We’re my calories and macros perfect? No, that wasn’t the goal. The goal was to get some feedback on easy changes I could make and the impact of my current choices. Feedback, not something to live and die by.
You can also write down what you eat without plugging it into any program. If you see five spoonfuls of almond butter, or 18 handfuls of chips, etc. you know it’s time to adjust.
Rethinking Your Goals
Stress is, perhaps, one of the most significant impacts on your immune system.
Read that again.
Stress comes in many forms – emotional and physical. Read that again.
I’m working on my managing my anxiety and emotional stress, an area I struggle with, so I can’t be too much help there.
I can help you manage your physical stress, though. This is not the time to ramp up your training and overstress your body. Weight loss can be the same way, putting your body in a calorie deficient during such a stressful time may or may not be a good idea.
If you need to lose weight for health reasons and are 30+ pounds over a healthy weight, then losing weight slowly will probably continue to relieve stress on your body and decrease inflammation. However, if you have summer body vanity goals, I’d put those aside, especially if you were taking extreme measures to get there.
You don’t want to weaken your immune system and stress out your body. The same goes for massive athletic or competitive training levels. Marathon runners I’m looking at you, it might be time to reschedule that race to later on in the year.
Don’t Worry About Food Unless You Have To
So, all this can be summed up to say. Try your best, but don’t worry about food unless you have to (IE you don’t have any), we all have enough to worry about.
How has everything gone for you? Where have your challenges and success been?