We’re doing our best to stay optimistic despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. And while we’re staying safe indoors, we’re focusing on nourishing our bodies with nutrients that boost immunity, as well as trying to eat as healthy as possible to avoid packing on pounds. And of course, there’s always room for treats here and there because, well, we deserve it.
We’re more likely to eat frozen, canned, and other shelf-stable foods right now, but that doesn’t have to mean weight gain. Eating packaged foods can be good for you, if it’s done the right way. Below, check out some of our tips to help you do it.
Eat a cup of (prepared) frozen veggies with every meal.
When you don’t have fresh greens on hand, eating frozen veggies is a great way to ensure you’re still getting those vital nutrients in your diet. What many don’t know is that fresh veggies are usually frozen at peak ripeness, and the freezing process actually helps to preserve all those nutrients! That means that eating frozen veggies can give you all the same health-boosting benefits as fresh veggies can. Steam frozen veggies or stir fry them and serve a cup at every meal!
Eat nut butter.
A great shelf-stable item for times like these is nut butter. Nut butter is super nutritious and loaded with healthy fats and protein — both nutrients which decrease hunger and help with blood-sugar control! Make sure to control your portion sizes, since nut butters can be high in calories. Otherwise, eat it with fruit, in overnight oats, or add a scoop to our next healthy option…
Eating frozen fruit is a great way to get in vital nutrients and tame sweet cravings. Create delightful smoothies with vitamin C-rich berries, mangos, and pineapple, your favorite non-dairy milk, and any other healthy additions like flax or chia seeds. Along with a quality protein powder, leafy greens of choice (if desired) your smoothies will taste delicious and help you control hunger! Another way to boost the nutrients in smoothies? Add frozen cauliflower! It doesn’t change the taste much, and you get even more benefits and texture.
Use whole grains.
Whole grains like quinoa and brown rice have lengthy shelf-lives, and they can be prepared for a quick and healthy meal addition in a pinch. Whole grains are packed with fiber which helps with digestion and satiety. Cook quinoa in broth or slightly salted water, and serve with cooked veggies. Serve brown rice alongside a veggie stir fry.
Keep oats on hand, too. You can prepare overnight oats and leave them in your fridge to eat the next day for quick, energy-sustaining snacks and meals!
Snack on nuts and seeds.
Snacking on nuts and seeds provides you with essential fatty acids and protein. Certain nuts like walnuts have even shown to help with weight loss.
Utilize frozen meat and fish.
Frozen meat and fish lasts for a while and it’s a great way to add lean protein to your meals. Frozen turkey and chicken is typically lean (low in animal fat) and can be turned easily into meatballs and meat sauce to be paired with whole grain pasta for a healthy meal. Other meat cuts can be defrosted and baked or cooked on the stovetop with herbs and spices to eat alongside a sweet potato and mixed veggies. Wondering if your frozen meats are still good? Check out this helpful guide.
Get protein from canned fish and beans.
Canned fish like tuna and salmon and canned beans like kidney beans and garbanzo beans can come in real handy during a quarantine because they’re super nutritious and last for a while in the pantry. Canned tuna is often low in fat, and it’s high in nutrients like selenium, vitamin D, and protein. Canned beans are loaded with protein, gut-healing fiber, and energy-giving carbs.
When eating canned tuna, opt for mashed avocado with lime juice and salt rather than mayonnaise for a delicious tuna salad. Make vegetarian chili with canned black beans and pair with brown rice for a belly-slimming bite!
When choosing canned goods, try to go for organic options and BPA-free cans when possible.
Things to Remember
The best way to eat healthfully is, as always, to read your labels and be aware of what exactly you’re eating. Be sure to check for things like high sodium (salt) levels, as many foods like canned soups can be really high in sodium which can contribute to weight gain and other health problems. Just as well, try to choose foods which list ingredients that you recognize. The closer to real food your choices are, the healthier they will be.
While we’re staying indoors, there’s no reason we can’t stay in great health and shape. These tips will help you make sure you’re getting all your nutrients, satisfying cravings, and staying on the right track. And if you want to introduce some gentle movement into your daily routine, try this soothing yoga flow!