If the coronavirus is forcing you to work from home for the first time, eating (and eating) smartly can be difficult. Perhaps you are used to going out for lunch or eating in your company’s cafeteria. Maybe you have an afternoon coffee shop routine and now you have to prepare to brew your own. After working mostly from home for almost a decade, speaking to several certified nutritionists and food professionals, I’ve learned a few tricks that will help me get through the day without grazing (at least not all the time) or just a bowl of it Cold to eat cereal for lunch.
Don’t buy low-nutrient foods
It makes a world of difference in my diet if I don’t have snacks like processed foods or sweets around the house. If they’re not there, I can’t eat them; If it is them, I will definitely do it. Picking up a few chips or your favorite snack while shopping is perfectly normal, but if you’re stuck around the house, there’s a good chance you’ll tear your bag through your bag faster than you might expect.
“If you want a snack, make it deliberately – much like a meal – and portion your snacks and make them as healthy as possible,” said Sara Peternell, a board-certified holistic nutritionist in Denver. “Think of egg whites and vegetables, like a hard-boiled egg and a few carrot sticks. These decisions will not slow you down if you try to work and stay focused. “
And when you get some goodies, be careful where you put them. “You don’t have boxes of crackers or bags of chips on your desk,” said Las Vegas-based nutritionist Andy Bellatti. “Keep them in a closet so you actually have to get up from your seat to have a snack. This makes you more conscious than carelessly snacking in front of your laptop. “
Plan meal times
Snacking is not a sin, and no one is going to say that you should never take a bite between meals. But try to schedule snack breaks. Once you get used to having them on a set schedule you will know they are coming and it may be easier to narrow down than if you didn’t have a plan. “Establishing snack breaks is important, mostly because it provides a semblance of routine,” Bellatti said. “In general, try to prevent nervous snacking. At times like these when people experience uncertainty, worry, fear, and fear, eating can act like an emotional pacifier. “
Peternell recommends sticking to a regular meal plan. “Plan three meals a day plus a snack or two if necessary,” she said. “With a schedule, people can break the monotony of being at home and have more control over the quality and quantity of the food they consume.”
Buy in bulk, cook in bulk
I often have more time on Saturday or Sunday than during the week, so I like to cook some large amounts of staple foods that I can mix and match with meals. Rice, beans, and vegetables can be prepared in large quantities. “If you have the time and resources, batch cooking at the beginning of a certain period is the best option for take-away meals that you can put together quickly,” said Peternell. “Think of steamed brown rice and beans, or oven-roasted vegetables and boiled egg whites, like a taco bowl with rice, black beans, chicken and some toppings.”
She added that while batch cooking saves time, the important thing is to only cook what you know you and your family will eat. “Trying not to do more than you need to avoid waste helps when you cook and eat so much at home,” said Peternell.
Also think of soups, stews, and chilli that freeze well and cook in the pot. A slow cooker or pressure cooker is your friend here, and you can pack everything in portioned storage containers.
Think outside the slow cooker
Working from home can be a blessing if you enjoy cooking. It is easier to prepare a fresh meal when you are feet from your kitchen than to wrap it up and carry it to the office. “If you enjoy cooking, this is your chance,” said Marion Nestle, Professor Emeritus of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University. “All of the time you’ve been commuting to work is suddenly yours. This is an opportunity to reflect on how you can stay healthy in a situation where your whole world is upside down. “
Use your lunch break to actually prepare lunch. If it doesn’t take you a full hour, prepare your ingredients (chopping vegetables, measuring spices, etc.) the night before and bring it all together when you’re done to eat.
Sometimes order when you can
While many restaurants across the country are closed (or at least not offering dine-in service), delivery and takeaway are still an option in some regions. If it fits your budget, ordering is a pleasure – and a way to support a business in need. Break up your work week by having groceries delivered from your favorite local place.
“You could make healthy ready meals, you could make healthy salads, you could make vegetables, you could make fruits, you could do all of these things,” Nestle said. “And, you know, you have occasional comfort meals that make you feel better because these are very hard times.”
Life is stressful now. If you or someone you know is dealing with an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) online or at 800-931-2237. If you have an emergency write NEDA on 741741.