Updated: May 28
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, working from home is now the new norm, which can bring new challenges to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. With a kitchen stockpiled with foods to keep families nourished during the social distancing period, it’s easy to begin “grazing” or eating mindlessly. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to combat some of these commonplace issues. Learn how to manage healthy eating habits from VNA Dietitian Kate Rug.
Stay on Schedule
Now that most of our daily routines have been altered, it’s easy for schedules to quickly fall apart. Though this is common, it’s important to make an effort to create some sort of structure each day- not only for the sake of our mental wellness but also for the benefit of our physical health.
“Every person can benefit from having a routine. It really does help keep us on track because, if we snack throughout the day, it really makes it hard for our bodies to know when we're actually hungry,” says Rug.
By eating around the same time each day, our bodies can become trained to crave food at those mealtimes, which can prevent us from overeating.
Snacking isn’t inherently bad, but the things we tend to snack on are usually not as nutrient-rich as a meal - especially during this period of social distancing where people are stocking up on non-perishable foods, which tend to not to be as nutrient-rich as things like fresh produce. If you can, Rug suggests buying fresh fruits, veggies and lean meats and freezing them or buying them frozen.
“Grains are great for snacking, as well as nuts and seeds. Though most older adults don't usually eat nuts and seeds as much due to dental issues or a potential choking hazard, things like yogurts and oatmeal are great snack options nearly everyone can enjoy,” says Rug.
You don’t necessarily have to let go of your favorite snacks, but if you struggle with portion control, Rug suggests breaking up the bag into individual portions and storing in Ziploc bags. Overall, we don’t have to be strict about what we’re eating, but it’s important to be mindful of what we’re consuming and how often we’re doing so.
Though spending the majority of time indoors has become the new norm for many people, it’s critical to stay active.
Rug states, “Whether that's wandering around the house or apartment or using different exercise equipment you have, it’s really important to take that break for physical activity in whatever way you can.”
When the weather is nice, a great way to stay active is by getting some fresh air with a pleasant walk around the neighborhood, provided social distance is maintained.
Enjoy these simple ways of staying healthy while at home!