Maintaining Your Nutrition During Lockdown
So many of us are adjusting to a new way of living as well as new ways of exercising and connecting with others. Self-care is particularly important during this time to maintain our physical health but also our mental health and well-being. At a time where we may feel certain things are outside of our control maintaining our health and wellbeing is often something we ‘can’ control. Read on for some expert tips on optimising your nutrition during lockdown.
Try to get organised.
Some of us will feel out of routine and change can be difficult to adjust to. We can however maintain an organised approach to our nutrition. Plan your meals with the family a week in advance, create a meal-planner and don’t forget to include snacks and drinks. Avoid panic buying and stock piling - food is ‘not’ in short supply and if we all shop sensibly there is no risk of us running out of food. Stick to a routine with your meals and you will feel far more organised, not having a pattern could result in snacking and not getting the balance of nutrients your body needs. Also make mealtimes fun – e.g. every weekend have a restaurant theme night with the theme for the food and music being a different country each week.
Don’t forget about Balance
Aim for all your meals to feed and nourish your body. Include a source of carbohydrate (brown rice, pasta, wholegrain bread, sweet potato, and quinoa) at each meal along with lean protein e.g. meat, fish, pulses and lentils, eggs or tofu and plenty of fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables are important to maintain our immunity and mental health and well-being. Set yourself a goal to make sure that at least half your plate at each meal is filled with vegetables or include some tinned fruit in natural juice with yoghurt after your meals or start your day by adding fresh fruit to cereal or porridge. Make this a time where you focus on improving your nutritional health – one small change can make a huge difference!
Boost your Bowels!
A change in diet, routine and exercise can play havoc with our bowel health. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, 6-8 glasses per day and include plenty of wholegrains in your diet e.g. wholegrain /granary bread, brown rice or pasta and plenty of fruit and vegetables. If your sleep is disrupted, try to limit your intake of caffeine during the day.
Being home more often can increase the risk of raiding the fridge! Stress and worry can also lead to snacking and over-eating. Tune in to the way your body is feeling, acknowledge that at an unprecedented time such as this it’s ok to feel anxious and worried. Try to connect with when you feel at your most anxious and plan your exercise around this time of day or rather than heading for the fridge connect with friends. Fill the fridge with healthy snacks to avoid temptation e.g. Yoghurt, vegetable or fruit sticks, rice cakes, cereal bars etc.
Being indoors more often and lead to less sunlight exposure. With spring upon us however we are more likely to be able to get outdoors to boost our intake of Vitamin D. If you are concerned about your ability to get outside it may be worth taking a Vitamin D supplement – 10 micrograms of Vitamin D3 per day (available from most pharmacies and supermarkets). Please remember to follow all government guidelines at all times!