For most of us being in lockdown means a total change in routine and lifestyle, everything about the working week has quite literally been turned on its head in the most unsettling way! Especially If like the majority you are used to the daily grind of commuting into the office for five out of seven days of the week. Routine around meal times and general eating habits are, for lots of people a way to keep their health in check by pre planning, prepping lunches to take to work and shopping accordingly for fresh ingredients which now seems like a total luxury when the new reality feels like you’ve won the lottery if you manage to even get an online food delivery slot… I’m sure we can all relate to this in some capacity!
As the Coronavirus and a result the social distancing / isolation rules we’re all currently navigating our way through right now hit us seemingly suddenly its no surprise that people are struggling to find their ‘new normal’ in terms of what to eat and how to stay as healthy as possible during a time none of us have ever been faced with before.
But Its time to reframe and reassess and make ‘eating from home’ work for you and your health! After all, we want to come out of self-isolation feeling energised and healthy and not spend the rest of the summer post isolation trying to get our health back on track after months of nutritional neglect.
So, make this your time to really focus on fuelling your body with foods to nourish it from the inside-out, even if you only have tinned or frozen goods to cook with, heres how:
Support your immune system
70% of the Immune system is located in the gut so to look after it its important to make sure you’re eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds across all six food groups whether thats tinned, frozen, cupboard or dried, it all counts!
Its the best time for batch cooking.
I’m a huge fan of batch cooking and now is the perfect time to do it! I use my slow cooker or make big portions of vegetable chilli to keep in the fridge or freezer and eat over the course of the week for lunches or dinners. I add different sides to mix things up, for example I’ll have spinach or kale or bake a sweet potato or add some quinoa or brown rice on the side of my chilli so it doesn’t feel like its the exact same meal on consecutive days and means you’re eating a fantastic variety of vitamins and minerals.
Be creative and use ingredients you already have
Think outside the box and use this time to experiment with recipes you haven’t tried before, this will add some excitement to your home cooking and make meal times more fun. There is so much food inspiration around at the moment so spend some time sourcing a few recipes online that you like the sound of and if you don’t have all the exact ingredients then swap for alternatives – I always do this and surprise myself with the turnout- remember recipes don’t have to be perfect so be creative, use what you have and enjoy every single bite!
Focusing on what you can ‘add’ to meals
Why not throw some (frozen or fresh) broccoli, tinned lentils, or chickpeas into your lunch or dinner? Adding a handful of nuts and seeds to your yogurt or porridge in the morning will increase protein and slow release energy and keep you fuller for longer, preventing you from unnecessarily snacking because of blood sugar crashes in-between meals times. Think of ways you can enhance your meals in small ways, it all adds up and will mean you’re intake of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein and dietary fibre will be increased which is always a positive thing for your nutrition.
Water is your best friend
Staying hydrated is one of the main corner stones to good health and ensuring your system is functioning at its best. Keep a reusable bottle by your side at all times and move it around the house with you whilst you’re working at the kitchen table / lounging on the sofa or sitting in the garden and keep sipping and refilling throughout the day. Your skin, digestive system and general wellbeing will thank you for it!
Just like you might have done before self-isolation, planning your weeks food around work, social events and health goals make sure now more than ever you are prioritising planning your meals each week in order to make them as healthy as you can. Not only will you be thinking about how to make your meal times as nutritionally valuable by thinking ahead and buying food accordingly for those meals but you’ll also be preventing the daily dilemma of ‘what shall we have for dinner tonight? And the temptation to have the same easy to rustle up meals. It will you are reducing food waste and only buying what you need.
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