By: Stephanie Marrero Colón, LND, RDN
There’s no doubt that the current situation has been challenging to many. Our daily routines have been disrupted, and that includes the way we eat. However, if we look at it from a positive perspective, we can make this the perfect time to modify our eating habits and make them healthier. We could start by implementing new eating habits, through which we can establish a balanced diet and incorporate foods that we didn’t use to eat before.
How to start?
- Consume fresh produce and minimally processed foods daily. These food products may include fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, wholewheat cereals (rice, pasta, and bread), legumes (beans, chickpeas), nuts, low-fat dairy products, and white meats (chicken, turkey, and fish). Remember, every food that is recommended to optimize our health is also recommended to enhance the immune system and reduce stress.
- Avoid foods that are high in refined sugars (cookies, cakes, sweets, and chocolates). Aside from contributing a high number of calories to your daily intake, they also provide a high sugar content, which may lead to addiction and make it even harder to follow a more balanced nutrition. Make sure you don’t keep these foods at home so as to avoid their consumption.
- Befriend your kitchen and start making your own meals. One of the greatest recommendations for better eating is to make your own meals at home, since you have absolute control of the preparation and portions to be served. You don’t have to make complex dishes, but if it turns out that you enjoy the cooking process, try experimenting with new and fun recipes.
- For your snacks, always have healthy ones at hand: if they are in view and available, it is more likely that you will end up consuming them. You could start with fresh fruit, a glass of milk, yogurt, cheese, and nuts.
- Try to have three meals and 2-3 snacks a day and avoid boredom eating. We often eat just because we’re bored and not because we really have the physiological need to eat. Distract your mind with other activities that keep you away from the kitchen.
- Keep your body hydrated. Drink water during the day and avoid the excessive consumption of sugary drinks (soft drinks, malt drinks, and juice).
Consider this moment as a new opportunity to become a healthier you!