It’s your friendly neighborhood dietitian here @samanthamackinnonrd. With the current coronavirus climate, I wanted to reach out to our community and share some tips from a nutrition stand-point for how you can maximize your health during this time via food and hydration.
Key things to stock your pantry with (as it’s available):
- Plant Proteins (Beyond meat, tofu, etc)
- Greek yogurt
- Canned/pouch/fresh/frozen tuna/salmon and other seafood
- Frozen chicken sausages
- Protein powders
- Fresh/Frozen/Canned Fruits and Vegetables
- Frozen vegetable mixes or medleys
- Canned or dry beans or lentils
- Quinoa, whole wheat pasta, sweet potato
- Brown rice
- Unsalted organic butter
- Coconut oil
- Plant based oils such as olive, safflower, or avocado
- Nut butters/nuts and seeds
Other (hopefully) helpful tips:
- Utilize any free delivery services offered from your local grocery stores. Source as much as you can online to limit exposure to grocery stores.
- When choosing produce, go for the darker/richer color of veggies (purple cabbage vs green cabbage, red bell peppers vs green/yellow bell peppers, black beans vs pinto beans), they often contain greater amounts of polyphenols and antioxidants. Make sure to vary your colors since each provides different varieties of antioxidants.
- Go frozen! it’s arguable that frozen veggies contain more nutrition because they are frozen at peak ripeness. Look for frozen Stir-fry mixes with minimal ingredients, they’re often cheaper too than fresh veggies.
- READ LABELS!!! If you’re looking for shelf-stable foods, please, please, please, check through the ingredients list and beware of: partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats in disguise), high fructose corn syrup and other synthetic sugars, monosodium glutamate (MSG, a common preservative), and just check to make sure you can pronounce all the foods in the list. Sugar and salt are most often used to prolong the shelf life of foods.
- On the topic of frozen, freeze any leftovers you won’t utilize to minimize waste and to help save money.
- Now is as good a time as any to jump on the meal-prep train, especially if you’re working from home, but also to be in control of your own food supply. Roast a couple trays of veggies, boil/sauté/bake your proteins, and utilize an instant pot for bulk carbs to keep things as simple as possible.
- Protect your immune system with micronutrients such as Vitamin C (found in kiwi, oranges, and other citrus fruits), Zinc (found in seafood and other proteins, beans and nuts), and don’t forget to cook often with herbs such as ginger, basil, garlic, and oregano, which also have immune boosting capabilities. Also, mushrooms (different varieties: shiitake, portobello, etc.) can also boost the immune system and maintain that boost whereas vitamin C mostly spikes and then falls.
- Hydrate! I’ve seen some crazy information out there about water flushing viruses, which is NOT true. water cannot flush viruses, HOWEVER, water plays an essential role in the body for allowing our defense mechanisms to preform effectively MEANING staying hydrated is super important to protect ourselves, stay healthy, and bounce back from illness when it hits. Aim to drink ½ your weight in pounds in fluid ounces of water.
- Side Note: Go Local! If you do decide to grab some take-out or partake in a calorie splurge, please consider supporting our local restaurants and businesses as they’re seriously struggling at the moment. Having a splurge from time-to-time when we’re super tuned into our nutrition can help maintain sanity and can actually help break through plateaus when done correctly.
- And lastly, shift your focus. We can choose to see all the negatives of being stuck at home, life changing, etc. or we can focus on the opportunities that are arising because of it- clean out that closet you’ve been meaning to for months, try a new recipe you thought you might like, take on a home repair/decorating project, take the dog for a walk, work on your cardio endurance via runs or double-unders, call those friends you’ve lost touch with, and finally, dust off that yoga mat and join us for our District H online programming. There’s so much we can be doing!
- OH and wash your hands. Pay attention to things you touch and do your part to stop the spread.
There’s a lot that is out of our control so remember to focus on what you can control! If you have any nutrition questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me: [email protected]
Stay safe out there everyone!