You’re stressed, you’re scared, your body is crying out for comfort. Panic-eating does not have to make you manic. Quality, quantity, and consistency are key. You want to find ways to nourish and nurture without adding more stress because you are eating to excess. If you have more time on your hands, turn the necessary isolation into a time of activation.
Lengthen the time of your meals. Take the time to chew.
Sit and savor and enjoy the flavor, temperature, and texture of your food. What a gift to be able to eat without being rushed.
Even if you are inside more, you still need to think about your pour.
Alcohol can stimulate appetite and veggies are not usually the first thing we think about. A glass of wine is just fine, but if you find yourself going through a bottle a day, are there other beverages you can add to the mix? Sparkling water? Herbal tea? Spicy tomato juice without the booze? A glass of milk?
You don’t have to lose all the booze, but because it can affect your appetite, health, and sleep you may want to rethink your drink.
Make your dine-in feel more like a dine-out.
Eat your meals in courses rather than all at once. In a restaurant, the server does not bring you the appetizer, salad, entrée, sides, and dessert all at once but spaces them out. Why not try the same thing at home?
Activate your kitchen.
Expend some calories chopping, stirring, mixing, and kneading. Part of the enjoyment of eating is more than the chew and swallow but also the preparation. So being more hands-on (washed hands of course) rather than hands-off, may help you to eat a more appropriate amount of food for you.
Appeal to your senses.
- Light a scented candle
- Listen to some calming music
- Knead dough
- Pop the color with a napkin, a fruit bowl, a colorful scarf
Time to explore to have your food do more.
Find the #wealthonyourshelf to take care of your health using what is already in your fridge, freezer, or pantry. Create a flavor station to find a new taste sensation with herbs, spices, vinegar, and condiments. This is the perfect time to try new spice combos, new cooking techniques, and a new way of preparing an old standby. Remember, The internet can provide a wealth of ideas to help you create, innovate, and activate your inner chef.
Combine cooking with a workout.
While your food is cooking, do some lunges, curls, pushups, or crunches. Explore online recipes but also workouts you can do with this time.
Quarantine can be the new clean.
Scrub not only your hands but countertops, shelves, and cabinets.
Strategize and organize: do an inventory of boxes jars, cans, and bottles in your kitchen- out with the expired or what needs to be retired and use up the oldest first.
Lobby for a hobby.
Unleash your inner artist to keep your hands busy and let your brain not be in such a tizzy. Paint, draw, sew, knit, collage, photograph, learn a new language, or skill.
Deep clean those spaces in your house you have been wanting to tackle for year.
Put some Smile in your style.
For me, this is reruns of funny shows, and reading funny books. Laughing is a good release and helps blow off some steam. This is the time for all emotions to be present, and balance the scare with a little self-care.
Nurture with nature.
When it just feels too stressful, get up, get out, get moving. There is nothing like some fresh air to let your body know you care. Just be smart and stay apart.
Out with the self-blaming and food shaming.
Right now, we need to do our best to take care of ourselves. Feeling guilty or ashamed about food escalates the stress and adds to the unrest. What do you need food to do for you? What helps you to relax and chill and why shouldn’t what we eat to provide a taste thrill?
Leslie Bonci, MPH,RDN,CSSD,LDN
Owner Active Eating Advice by Leslie Bonci
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