Guest Blogger: Chelsey Hendriksen
We all know that a killer physique requires the right nutrition to fuel it. There’s a reason people say ‘abs are made in the kitchen.
Well, what happens when you’re suddenly working five feet away from your kitchen all day every day? Add in the stress and uncertainty of COVID and you may be turning to comfort food and easy takeout more frequently than you were before.
So what can we do to combat this? Here are 5 tips to help keep your nutrition in check during COVID.
1. Prep Food or Cook Basics in Bulk
There are few things worse than looking in the fridge, stomach already rumbling, and having nothing healthy ready to eat. This is when we reach for chips, frozen dinners or takeout. To avoid this dilemma, try and ensure you always have some protein cooked ready to go. This doesn’t mean your Sunday has to be a giant meal prep day (power to you if that’s your thing), it can be as simple as cooking up a couple of extra chicken breasts when you’re already preparing them for dinner.
The same goes for meal builders like rice or roasted veggies. If you’re already eating those things for dinner, make some extra so you can have them ready for lunches during the week. If you’re the type that doesn’t dig leftovers, change up the way you serve it for lunch. Use the extra BBQ chicken that you had for dinner and put it on top of a salad or throw it in a wrap for a quick, tasty meal. Leftovers can be re-invented as something new.
2. Keep Your Pantry and Freezer Stocked With Staples
Quick and easy is often the name of the game when it comes to staying on track with your healthy eating goals and having items on hand that can make this happen is key. Having some basic items will save you time and money and will also keep you on track to reaching your nutrition goals. Here are some of my must-have items for the pantry and freezer:
- Canned tuna (cheap, quality protein)
- Minute microwavable rice packets
- Frozen veggies (just as good as fresh and very convenient)
- Frozen meatballs/patties (these are great for when you just don’t feel like cooking)
- Frozen fruit (for smoothie bowls)
- Protein Powder
- Seasonings (healthy food doesn’t have to be bland)
3. Get Some Movement In
I know we’re talking about healthy eating but proper nutrition and movement go hand in hand. Getting in an at-home workout, doing some yoga or getting out for a walk in some fresh air can do wonders for your mental health and make fueling your body with the good stuff a lot easier. There’s a symbiotic relationship between taking care of yourself physically with movement as well as with proper nourishment. It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise but daily movement tends to lead to better nutrition decisions.
4. Try Different Nutrition Options
Are you stuck in a rut? If you’re eating the same meals on repeat and not getting any enjoyment out of them, it’s time to shake things up. The possibilities are endless with Pinterest and food blogs galore filled with mouth-watering, healthy dishes that are sure to re-ignite your passion for good food. If picking out new recipes and gathering unfamiliar ingredients is intimidating, you can always opt for a meal delivery service. With these services, you get to select your meals and have all of the ingredients delivered right to your front door. It’s a great way to explore new flavours and try something new.
5. Keep Your Snacks and Liquid Calories in Check
If you’re working from home it can be more tempting than ever to snack all day. With such easy access to food all day long you may not even realize how many trips you’re making to the kitchen. You want to be mindful of mindless snacking and instead choose filling, nutrient-dense options that have protein and fibre to carry you through the day.
You also want to keep your liquid calories in check as they can really add up in a hurry. Many times people don’t pay attention to just how many calories they are drinking on a daily basis but those daily lattes, bubble teas and sodas can pack a punch. Getting in enough water so you’re adequately hydrated and just being conscious of what you’re putting in your caffeine fix can make a big difference. Sparkling water is a great way to enjoy some fizz without the extra calories.
The name of the game is to be prepared and mindful. The more aware you are, the better decisions you’ll make. Taking some time on a Sunday to think about the week ahead can do wonders for your nutrition success. Make a plan, be prepared, reap the rewards.