A Food Lover’s Guide to Surviving the Pandemic
The year 2020 has been a wild one so far, with the coronavirus pandemic significantly affecting everyone and everything around us. Hundreds of businesses, including various stores, shops, and restaurants, have been temporarily closed down, substantially lessening our choices for available services and necessities like food. While these are already worrisome conditions, it can get especially stressful for food lovers who suddenly have minimal options for their appetites.
Before the pandemic, food lovers had several options to fill up their stomachs. There were dozens of food delivery apps accessible with the touch of a button, and each one catered to a different set of restaurants with unique menus. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case in these trying times. Even going to the supermarket to get ingredients for cooking your food at home can be quite risky. These limitations can lead to bad food choices and unhealthy eating habits.
So here’s a quick guide on how to continue eating healthy despite the current pandemic:
Step One: Plan Your Grocery Trip
Since there is only so much you can get outside, you will need to learn to plan your food—what to eat, where to get it or its ingredients from, how to make it, and even when to eat it—to make sure that you maximize your resources well.
The first thing you should do is check what you already have. Make an inventory of what is readily available in your household, list down the expiration dates, and set the ones due earlier for consumption first.
Unless you prepared a bunker full of non-perishable goods to outlast this situation, your supplies would run out at some point. You will have to get out of the house and do some old-fashioned grocery shopping. You want to minimize your time at the supermarket to lessen the risks of contracting the virus there, so preparing a shopping list in advance is ideal. Keep in mind that there is a shortage of products right now, so going for specific food brands is not advisable. Instead, list down general terms like milk, juice, bread, and chips.
A lot of people resort to panic buying because they believe it would be best to take just one trip to the supermarket over a long period. However, purchasing more food than what you can consume in a given time is counterproductive. A significant amount of that food will only go to waste because they will spoil if left uneaten at some point. Additionally, the food you waste could have gone to another family that needs it. Ideally, you should only buy up to two weeks’ worth of supply for your household.
Step Two: Check Online Food Businesses
A lot of restaurants and food businesses closed down during the pandemic, as not having dine-in services killed off sales. The good news is, some of these restaurants shifted their businesses online instead, preparing limited food for delivery in select areas. Some small food enterprises are even thriving with the digital setup since they also get to do online franchise marketing for their businesses. Preparing your food every day can burn you out, so you might want to try ordering in from time to time. Having food delivered is also an excellent way to support food businesses while getting a nice change of pace.
When ordering to-go meals, try to pick healthy choices. It’s easy to splurge on junk food like French fries and cheese-covered hamburgers after missing them for a while, but try not to make it a habit, especially since you probably wouldn’t have the means to burn the calories off in this quarantine period. If you can, lessen fried food intake and pick up a salad or pasta instead. When choosing meat, grilled options, particularly chicken or fish, would be best for your health.
Step Three: Encourage Healthy Eating in the House
Make sure to stock up on healthy options like fruits and nuts, and keep them visible so that they become the first choice for consumption if someone feels hungry. Try to refrain from keeping sugary drinks inside the fridge, and opt for milk or low-sugar fruit juice instead. If there are children in the house, you would want to be a role model for them by showing them you prefer to eat healthy food.
Stress-eating can be common nowadays, so try to avoid food rich in caffeine and sugar to prevent added anxiety. If it is not possible to cut them off entirely, go for smaller portions to satisfy your cravings. Acknowledging cravings without overindulging can lead to a better mindset and a healthier body as well.
Everyone knows that maintaining a healthy diet is one of the keys to a long life. Eating healthy does not just mean going for food choices that will properly nourish your body; it also includes maintaining proper eating habits such as recognizing when and how much to eat.