If you’re financially strapped and/or looking to conserve so you can feed a large family and/or make your resources last, don’t stress out. The healthy nutrition habits in today’s blog will help you survive on what you have during a pandemic. Instead of looking at it as food rationing, I like to call it optimizing my nutritional intake.
The Solution: Postpone Eating Until You’re Hungry
One of the strange things about modern society is that we tend to eat during certain TIMES instead of when our bodies really the sustenance. This often leads to overeating and overloading our digestive systems, which cannot handle the constant influx of food. Here what you can do instead:
Drink Water First
First thing in the morning, drink a glass of water with lemon. This will help prepare your stomach for digestion and stimulate bowel movement, which should happen before you eat. Lemon is also a great source of vitamin C, which can boost immunity.
Cravings tend to arise for a variety of reasons.
- You saw an ad on Facebook…
So if you find yourself reaching for something, take a moment to pause. Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry or is something else going on?” If the answer is yes, then grab a bite. But if the answer is no, drink some water and wait a bit.
Eat Smaller Portions
Most of us are used to mega-sized meals served at restaurants, so we tend to use the same practice at home. More often than not, these amounts are disproportionate to what our bodies actually need.
Pro tip: Try using smaller bowls and plates. This will automatically reduce your portion size. When you’re done, wait about 10 minutes before you add more to your plate. If you’re still hungry then, have at it!
If you’re like me, you can down anything on your plate in about 5 minutes flat. Not only does this create a horrifying mess for your digestive system, but it also causes you to overeat. It takes your body about 15-20 minutes to send your brain the signal that you’ve had enough, so if you scarf too fast, by that time it will be too late. A few strategies you can use include the following:
- Count the amount of times you chew. Experts recommend between 10-30 times before you swallow. That way everything is broken down and your saliva has time to soak in to help the digestive process.
- Put your fork/spoon down between bites. This way, you are not tempted to use what I call the “snow shovel method” while you eat.
Get In Plenty of Micronutrients
What we often experience as “hunger” is actually our bodies being undernourished, even though we are fully fed. Most of us aren’t getting the recommended daily amounts of vitamins and minerals for our bodies to function at 100%. During tough times, we need to be more diligent and selective with how we feed ourselves.
- Eat plenty of organic veggies (mostly green). They contain the MOST amount of micronutrients. Low sugar fruit are a welcome addition too. You can get these frozen to reduce the cost.
- Consider adding green juice or a greens supplement. These give you nearly all of the nutrients you need without having to store and eat huge amounts of fruit and veggies.
- Take vitamin C. As I mentioned above, it is known to be super effective at boosting your immune system. Combined with your greens, you’ve got a potent, natural energy elixir for your body.
Eat More Fat
Foods that are higher in fat not only help your body absorb the micro-nutrients you’re taking in, but they also keep you fuller, longer. Here are a few great sources:
- Organic nuts and seeds – I particularly love almonds and walnuts, but chia seeds are also high in fiber and they help fortify your gut.
- Fatty fish – Salmon and tuna are great options and contain Omega
- Cooking & Drizzling oils – a few with awesome nutritional benefits are extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and Organic Ghee (clarified butter). In addition to cooking with them and drizzling over salad, you can use them to dip small amounts of bread or consume a tablespoon straight up before your meal.
- Fatter cuts of meat – Many people who are dieting drastically reduce the fat in their meats, but chicken thighs and beef chuck are not only cheaper than leaner options, they are also more tasty and satisfying.
Remember that this is NOT the time to focus on maintaining a slim figure (although that may be a natural result of implementing some of the tips in this blog).
Focus On Your Behavior
Even though we don’t have control of the pandemic, the one thing we can control is control our behavior during this time. Set yourself up with habits that will sustain you, even when there are less resources to go around. And if you see others struggling, help them navigate this new routine too.
Love & Light,
PS – Have you already put some of these practices into place? Which ones are you tackling first? Let me know if the comments.
PPS – Feel free to SHARE this post on your favorite platform so others can take advantage of these tips too!