Updated: Mar 21, 2020
Life can drastically change in a matter of days. We all know what that feels like now. There is so much going on that we cannot control, and if we think about it too much, it is overwhelming and frustrating, and depressing. However, for our own sanity, it's important to focus on what we CAN control. One of the most important things we still have full power over is what we eat! With the spread of coronavirus, it is imperative that we prioritize our well being. If you're not sure how to do this... I'm here to help!
Let's talk snacks. It is extremely tempting and easy to snack on unhealthy food right now. Stress and anxiety are high, and our instinct is to distract ourselves or numb the pain with eating. On top of that, many people are now home bound nearly 24/7, which means we have unlimited access to the pantry ALL DAY LONG. This newfound "freedom" can be detrimental to our health, especially if we are grabbing junk food.
So here are a few tips that I have found helpful in reducing stress-eating while at home.
1. Compartmentalize your house. Designate certain rooms as "the office" or "the gym" or "school." Think of the kitchen as the cafeteria with specific breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours rather than an all you can eat buffet! Tell yourself the "cafeteria" closes at 8 pm (or whatever time make sense for you) and don't reenter it! This will help reduce the amount of stress eating between meals and late at night.
2. Get busy with something. Immerse yourself into a project, activity, or hobby that takes your mind off all the things you're worried about. For many, worrying leads to reaching for the junk food. If you're focused on something interesting in the moment, your mind won't wander as much.
3. Make healthy snacks easy to find. For example, I like to keep a basket of fruit on the counter. That way when we want a quick snack, it is the first thing we see. We keep fruit like bananas, cuties, kiwis, mangoes and cherry tomatoes in our basket. Another idea is to keep cut up veggies in your refrigerator, so all you have to do is grab and go!
4. Strategically organize your pantry. We store less healthy snacks on the top shelf of our pantry so they are out of sight. On that note, I also recommend only keeping one or two junk food options in the house at one time. If it's not there, you can't eat it! On the eye-level shelves, we keep the healthier options so they are more convenient and obvious when you open the door.
5. Eat big meals. If you find yourself snacking a lot, try eating larger meals and definitely don't skip them! If your stomach is full and you feel satisfied, you'll be less likely to overeat when snacking between meals.
6. Plan your snacks. In the morning while you're eating breakfast or even the night before, decide what you will have for your snacks throughout the day and set them aside, ready to be eaten. If you make a plan of what you're going to snack on, you'll be less likely to make a spur of the moment choice out of stress.
Now we've covered the HOW, but what are some healthy plant-based snacks that will leave you feeling fresh, light, and energized? Here are some ideas!
-Fresh veggies dipped in hummus or nut butter
-Fruit (apple, cuties, grapes, bananas, berries, etc.) sprinkled with toasted coconut
-Dried fruit (apricots, figs, goji berries, raisins, etc.)
-Nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts)
-Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin)
-Homemade trail mix (i.e. shredded coconut, nuts, seeds, raisins, cacao nibs)
-Pecans and Dates (an awesome combo!)
Listen, there is A LOT of scary things going on right now. It's okay to be anxious! It's okay to be sad! But please, don't make yourself feel worse by wrecking your body with unhealthy food choices. This is one of the few things you can control, so even though there is chaos all around... TAKE CHARGE OF YOURSELF. Fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to keep you healthy and safe. Be well, friends!