Healthy Food Preparation for a Pandemic
I'm sure we're all pretty well aware of all the chaos that the corona crisis has caused around the world. And now more than ever, it's crucial for us to make efforts to keep on track with our health.
So while many gyms are closing and a lot of people are avoiding going outdoors, exercising gets a bit more complicated. You can totally still get a workout in at home, and moving your body is necessary for your health, but keeping your nutrition in check& on point is especially critical during times like this, as we could become more cooped up for who knows how long.
We're talking about a quarantine type of situation, not a natural disaster. So chances are, our power won't get shut off, we won't run out of water, and our fridges will still work.
Regardless of whether you're leaning more towards the stance that this whole corona situation is overhyped & a bunch of BS, OR you're more on the side of wanting to self-quarantine and not step foot outside, we don't know wtf is actually going to happen in the next few days, weeks, maybe even months.
So, it's best to be prepared either way.
One big tip before we get into it:
Even if this was to all blow over tomorrow and you bought a ton of non-perishable canned goods, they won't go to waste because HELLO, they don't go bad! You can keep those to use for the next like 10 years.
Anyways, on to a breakdown of what healthy food to stock up on *with exact details*:
Canned beans, corn, veggies like peas, carrots, mixed veggies, tomatoes, artichokes, etc.
Look for reduced or low sodium versions or no salt added. That’s a BIG detail that many people overlook. Some canned veggies can have 500mg+ sodium per serving. And though we do need some sodium in our diets, add some salt and spices to them yourself, rather than buying it that way so you can control how much you're having.
Canned soups, broths, salsa, premade tomato sauces.
Same goes for these in terms of low/reduced sodium. Also be mindful of the ingredients label and the sugar content. Make sure there’s not a bunch of chemicals or canola oils and look for real food & organic ingredients.
Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, vinegar, oats, nuts, natural nut butters, coffee, spices, cinnamon, pure maple syrup or raw honey, chia seeds, PB2, unsweetened applesauce, unsweetened almond/coconut milk, whole grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa, cereals, etc.
For nut butters, avoid any with added sugars and oils, these ones are my favorite.
For cereal, avoid an overload of added sugar. When reading the label, my best advice is to look for 5g+ fiber and no more than 10g sugar per serving. One of my favorites that’s packed with protein is by Kashi.
Veggies such as broccoli, peas, edamame, green beans, peppers, etc.
Fruits like berries, mango and pineapple chunks, avocados, etc. for smoothies, adding to oatmeal, yogurt, etc.
Proteins such as black bean burgers, boneless, skinless chicken breast, shellfish, etc.
When choosing a black bean or veggie burger, ALWAYS read both the nutrition & ingredients labels. Aim for no more than 500mg sodium per serving, and look for REAL FOOD ingredients. Avoid excess oils, fillers, and chemicals.
Frozen is NOT a downgrade from fresh & it doesn't make food any less nutritious—so get rid of that mindset. It won't go bad and will last you way longer, which hi, hey, hello, we're talking about a pandemic & state of emergency here.
Any in-season fresh veggies, such as broccoli, sprouts, spinach, cauliflower, mushrooms, spinach, kale, carrots, sweet & rustic potatoes, tomatoes, etc.
In-season fruit like bananas, apples, kiwi, berries, etc.
Eggs, plant or dairy milk, etc.
*Obviously, when trying to eat healthy, you should aim to limit the amount of processed food you eat, but you're totally allowed to live your life and have some treat foods here and there too.*
Either buy the kernels and pop it yourself, or for the best you can get in a bag, I highly recommend LesserEvil Organic popcorn...*I'm obsessed & eat it almost every day for a savory snack*.
Microwave popcorn is definitely not recommended.
Organic Hippeas, Corn tortillas, trail mixes, roasted chickpeas, etc.
My best advice while shopping the snack isle is to search for products that are made from minimal ingredients that still contain some sort of nutritional value, like protein and/or fiber, and are low in added sugar.
A better-for-you version of the classic swedish fish, which is great to have on hand if you have kids *or if you're a kid at heart*...which is totally okay because these are only 80 calories with 28g fiber per serving. That's insane.
Clean protein bars such as No Cow bars for a vegan-friendly option or Quest bars if Whey is your thing.
Other bars such as GoMacro bars, LARABARs, & Health Warrior bars.
GoMacro bars are another one of my favorites & they even make minis which are perfect for kids!
LARABARs *made from 3-5 real food ingredients, but can be high on the calorie count. I usually eat half of one at a time to satisfy any sweet cravings. They're also great for kids!
*As we know, when we get sick, tea is the GOAT.*
Green tea, herbal tea, lemon tea, chamomile tea, etc.
Chamomile is great for winding down and having before bed.
My favorite tea is peppermint with a dash of cinnamon.
If you eat honey, it's great to add a dash of it to your tea to help with a cough and/or sore throat.
I hope this is useful for you to prepare for whatever the heck is to come with confidence and stay on track with your health while you're *possibly* cooped up!