Resist Your Secret Stash & Stay in the Healthy Path
To say that going to the market has gotten complicated is a massive understatement. With shopping time limited, groceries need to stretch like a rubber band made of ramen noodles. And what's in your cart matters. A lot. Especially, since during this uncertain time, how you eat is one of the few things you can control. Still, tensions are skyrocketing. And life changes require processing. No matter how unhealthy, sugary fattening snacks can seem pretty seductive in stressful moments. After all, what's cozier comfort food? Even so, taking care of your wellbeing and strengthening immunity ought to take centerstage. Especially since your mental and physical bodies are intertwined. So it's crucial to mesh both physical and emotional wellbeing into your diet.
If your secret stash of chips and cookies are silently beckoning to you, read on for ways to stay on the healthy path...
Approach wellness from a dual perspective. Ask yourself, “what kinds of snacks will satisfy my cravings without sacrificing nutrition?” Then dig deeper. Decide if you are truly hungry or just hoping for something that distracts or feels good. If it's hunger, determine if you require a snack or more of a meal, even if it's a small portion of something substantial. And if you discover that you're not hungry, but feeling blue, find a way to change your emotional state, rather than eating. Read. Watch a film or video. Or call a friend who uplifts your spirits.
Take snacking seriously. Instead of a guilty pleasure, view it as part of your diet. Keep healthy options, such as nuts, and fruit readily available. If you've got some less than healthy doughnuts, and cookies hidden away that you’re obsessing over… Then go ahead and have something. But with one caveat: Slowness. Instead of devouring your stash, barely tasting each decadent mouthful, indulge in small portions, on rare occasions. Let each bite be a sensory experience. Not only will you stretch your favorites, but the pleasure will linger. Additionally, when you do partake in these treats, commit to eating healthy the rest of the day to maintain balance. And keep in mind, even the healthy snacks are better consumed slowly, in moderation.
Since you have choices about how you'll eat, and a little extra time, get as specific as possible. First, assess what you have on hand. Then, see whether you can boost the nutritional content of each meal. Last, decide the best way to get the most out of each dish; that might mean adding a healthy carb such as quinoa, wild rice, or sweet potatoes. Chart out your diet for the day or week, taking into account healthiness, regular snacking, and desserts. In addition to avoiding impulse eating, thinking ahead will help you invent creative ways to use and stretch your supplies. Drink as much water as you can to flush out toxins in your system. And look to your spice-rack and garden for a wellness and anti-viral medicine chest of immune boosting herbs and spices, such as oregano, ginger, garlic, turmeric, fennel, and add liberally to everything from soups, teas, to main dishes. In addition to fresh and frozen, consider keeping vegetable powders on hand; they'll bridge the gap when you run out of supplies, since they have a much longer shelf life. Plus, they blend well with fresh produce too. They're also great for smoothies and soups.
Whenever possible, lesson your intake and/or avoid inflammatory foods such as sugar, white flour, refined carbs, red meat, and alcohol. And increase your intake of foods that fight inflammation such as nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia) and oils (avocado, olive, cannola) that contain good fats; for a breakdown of the health content of various nuts, see Healthline.
Intermittent fasting can be a painless way to give your digestive system a chance to rest and reboot. No need to deprive yourself either; try having dinner by 6:00 pm and refrain from snacking. Then, the next day, wait until 11:00 am to have breakfast. That way you will be giving your system 17 hours to rest, without skipping nutrition. Health benefits may include, weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and cellular repair.
*Before intermittent fasting, make sure it’s safe for you and doesn’t conflict with medication you may be on.
If you crave rice pudding or long for a warm hug, don't judge. Remember, it's okay if you don't use this newfound time to write the great American novel or master the perfect headstand. Although, if you are inspired to reach new creative heights, by all means, go ahead, explore. Always honor your feelings. Each day, listen to your body, and practice awareness. Discover what you need. Tune into your emotions. And always be kind to yourself.