What a world we’re in RN, supermarket shelves are empty, panic buying is rife and self-isolation/WFH has led to lots of us feelin’ the heat with food and our bodies. ‘Procrasta-baking’ is a real thing, fitspo influencers are pushing workouts for days down our throats and anything that’s available to us goes in the gob.
When times of stress are high, we find ourselves reaching for comfort foods on the reg and that’s absolutely ok. We’re human after all! How can food be your friend during trying times?
We compiled our top 3 tips to keep well, carry on and hopefully bring some calm among all this chaos!
- Pack in variety! No taking away foods from your diet at the moment, if anything it’s important to add more variety in! If you can ramp up your intake of foods across the 5 core food groups; fruit, veggies, whole grains, dairy (or alternatives), meat (or alternatives including nuts, seeds and legumes) and mix and match them at each meal, you’re in an excellent position meet all your nutritional needs. These food groups provide essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and beneficial nutritional compounds that will set you up for a healthy mind AND body! Think about ways you can increase the diversity of each at each meal. Some quick and easy go-to’s for us are: adding fruit, yoghurt, nuts and seeds to morning porridge made on milk, adding grated veggies to mince Bolognese or adding lentils and cooked grains to salads!
- Eat foods that you actually enjoy! FFS, food is SO much more than nutrients. We could bang on all day about which nutrients are good for what, but at the end of the day we eat for so many reasons other than just fuelling our bodies. Food is a part of our culture- think of baking at your grandmother’s place (or your kitchen bench RN), family dinners, birthday celebrations, religious holidays, fundraiser BBQs (I’m looking at you Bunnings). It can’t simply be distilled down to nutrients. So sometimes it’s ok to eat for reasons other than nutrients and eat because we enjoy the food and because it brings us pleasure. We’re a chocolate a day kinda gals, and that makes us happy! Sometimes giving yourself unconditional permission to eat certain foods can help take the stress out of eating them in the first place!
- Exercise (for enjoyment) Yes, exercise is good for you, obvs (lowering risk of lifestyle disease, improvements in mental health etc etc). However, exercise doesn’t have to be a strict prescription of blood, sweat and tears until it feels like your body parts are going to fall off as our get-fit-or-die-trying obsessed culture would tell us it needs to be! We instead would encourage anyone to move their body in ways that they actually enjoy, if yoga is your jam, than namaste to you, if running is your outlet, then ready, set go get ’em! This enjoyment & feeling ‘good’ self-perpetuates interest in exercise and you’re more likely to stick with it if you enjoy it! Becoming more active in this way allows you to appreciate and reveal the body’s amazing capacity for functionality, strength and capability. It’s important that this movement is about feeling vital and great before, during and after the activity! A good one to keep in mind next time you feel pressure to move your body.