Nutrient rich foods and habits keep your energy and your immune system strong.
How are you taking care of yourself during these strange times? Anything different about the way you've been eating? Any weird cravings? I've had the most interesting conversations about food lately. Some folks have lost their appetite while others are binge eating junk they haven't touched in years. There is no judgment! I'm somewhere in the middle, having had my fair share of popcorn with Stowe Cider, having a pint of almond milk Cherry Garcia ice cream for dinner last week and a few days of gluten free treats. The party is over for me starting today. I just don't like feeling low energy, which I do when I'm not getting as many vegetables. For anyone else interested in getting back on track, here are some tips for fueling your body well with nutrient rich foods and habits to help keep your energy and your immune system strong:
Eat a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits which are packed with nutrients, such as spinach, carrots, berries, leafy-lettuces, apples, sweet potatoes, squash, peppers.
Minimize processed sugar as much as possible by replacing "white flour" desserts like cookies, cakes, candy and brownies with occasional treats made with oats and almond flour to get extra nutrition with less sugar. Fruit is also a great natural treat like berries, baked apples with cinnamon or a juicy orange for some extra vitamin C.
Cut up some carrots, celery, cucumbers and apples to have on hand at all times. Many of us grab quick and easy foods when we are hungry or bored. If these veggies are close by and ready to eat, you may avoid reaching for sugary or salty junk foods.
Swap soda, processed fruit juices and energy drinks for water, seltzer, bone or vegetable broth and naturally decaffeinated teas.
Try to drink more water!
Replace processed "white flour" foods like pasta, bread, crackers, bagels and English muffins with vegetable pasta like red lentil or chickpea pasta, whole grain or sprouted breads and whole grain crackers. They'll fill you up and they have much more flavor.
Get back on track with 3 meals per day with a snack in the afternoon. When we graze all day, our bodies are always managing sugar and insulin levels as well as using energy to digest foods, which can leave you feeling tired and/or lazy.
As we head into spring our bodies are starting to need the nutrition from lighter foods like salads, strawberries, peas, and asparagus. We need fewer heavy foods like root vegetables, meats and stews.
Consider cutting back on the post-dinner snack as it's giving your body too much to do at the end of the day and probably disrupting your sleep.
Keep a food journal to be more mindful of what and how much you are eating each day.
Pause and take a deep breath before you go into your kitchen or pantry to make the healthiest choice.
Slow down to chew your food to liquid and give your body every chance to absorb the nutrition.
Eat to fuel your one precious body.
Appreciate the variety of flavors, textures and experiences you share around food.
These are unusual times we are in and it can be natural for us to reach for things that comfort us. The best way I know to find comfort and get back to healthy habits is to practice balance in all things. This can look like making time everyday for soothing activities and exercise, eating well, working efficiently, getting some extra sleep, listening to music and connecting with people in the safest way possible.
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