I had the pleasure to talk with expert Sierra Rodriguez, Nutritionist, Health Coach for 310Nutrition, and EMT, and we shared how there's such stress in all of our lives right now, that it has been so hard to stay motivated and also so easy to slip into unhealthy habits. I have been eating more comfort and junk food than normal; and while I'm not proud of it, I think it is completely understandable. It is a blur and often feels like one day is blending into the next, and it's particularly difficult to stay as health-minded when it comes to what I'm eating as I was previously. I find myself reaching for candy or something to make me feel better when I should be more mindful about my choices, to stay healthy. Stay strong ... so Sierra gave me some tips that I wanted to share, in case you might need some motivation to be eating more healthy yourself!
Here's what Sierra had to share:
1. Don’t skip meals.
Ensuring sure you’re eating meals throughout the day will not only give you the nutrients you need to stay focused and keep energy levels up, but it will help keep you satiated, so you’re not feeling the need to snack all day long for the things that aren't good for you.
Tip: make sure your meals are well-balanced with complex carbs, healthy fats, and lean protein to make sure you won’t be reaching for a snack right after.
2. Out of sight, out of mind: Set up a workspace away from the kitchen.
If your workspace is right next to your kitchen, or you’re working from your kitchen table, it’s going to be extremely difficult to ignore all those unhealthy snacks calling your name. Take a look around to see if there’s another spot you can work from that’s further away from the kitchen. This will help keep you focused on your work – and not so much on snacking!
3. Replace snacking with other activities.
When you’re in an office and feel like you need a brain break, it’s easy to get up, walk around, and chat with others. At home, these brain breaks usually turn into snacking, usually on things that aren't wise. Oftentimes, people aren’t even hungry, but rather just need something to do so they can then refocus. Instead of resorting to snacks, try incorporating a different activity into your routine. Here are some ideas: go outside for a walk, take a 5-minute journal break, stretch, incorporate exercise into your day, etc.
4. Tuck away those “hard to resist” foods.
If you find yourself overindulging on “junk” food just because it’s in the cabinet, move it to the back, or even better, hide it away in a spot that you won’t reach to. Alternatively, make sure you’re stocked on nutritious, balanced snacks. This way, if you do need a little something, you have plenty of options that will keep you going until your next meal.
Tip: For a well-balanced snack, make sure it includes at least two of the three macronutrients (carbs, protein, fats) and focus on real, whole foods!
Here are some examples…
- Fruit and nuts
- Rice crackers with nut butter
- Veggie sticks with guacamole or hummus
- Hard-boiled eggs with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil
- Lara bars, Rx Bars, or any minimally processed granola bar! You can also make your own using rolled oats, nut butter, nuts, cinnamon, and chocolate chips (if you have a sweet tooth)
Many people over-snack while working from home because they’re either bored or need something to do while they work (aka mindless eating). If you let yourself eat while working, it’s likely that you’ll end up over-snacking. Instead of chowing down on food all day, be mindful of your hunger levels and make time for snacks/meals. When you are hungry, step away from the computer, take the extra time to sit down and eat a snack/meal, and don’t get back to work until you feel fully satisfied.
6. Stick to a flexible schedule each day.
Before the pandemic, most people stick to a consistent schedule most days. Within those days people tend to have certain times when they eat meals and snacks. Without the structure of a schedule, meal times become more confusing leading you to skip meals and binge later or mindlessly snack. Having a flexible schedule with certain times for food and other activities, staying on track becomes easier and more manageable.
7. Stay hydrated!
Even without exercise, water is vital on a daily basis. Be sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water as a minimum. To keep you on track, make small goals to have a certain amount of water drank by certain times of the day. It may also help to keep a water bottle with measurements on you at all times. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water.
8. Be kind and have compassion for yourself.
We’re in a pandemic — there is no rule book for this. Your “normal” likely looks different right now so have compassion and be kind to yourself as you navigate a new normal. Take it one day at a time and focus on doing your best. Keep a calendar for motivation and consistency! For every day that you hit your marks, cross it off with a green checkmark. For those days where you fall off a bit, circle it in red and think back to what the issue was so that you can focus on improving and making any necessary changes for next time.
I like the way this sounds, and I think I'll be sticking to at least a handful of them every day! Won't you join me? Stay safe, stay healthy.
– xo Farm Star Mary