A bit of an Oxymoron this one. (Two words that don’t go together) Prior to lockdown I had a change of diet, I have had a knee injury for a while and been unable to exercise so had put on some extra weight. I decided I needed to make some improvements to my diet and hopefully lose a stone in weight.
As soon as I even mention the work diet, I suddenly start feeling hungry. Fad diets don’t work and can even be dangerous if too extreme, so I stopped eating sweets, biscuits and cakes and reduced down my bread and dairy (No cheese or cream) consumption. I started making salads for work with lots of Kale and stopped eating processed food, I also ate less fruit. (Even natural sugar should be restricted) It took a couple of weeks to notice a difference, but I did lose weight and started to have lots more energy.
All was going well, until the Lockdown was announced, I managed to go shopping and get in some essentials like Quinoa and greens I could freeze, just in case. As I live with a family member who can’t leave the house for health reasons I can’t either. Having started educating myself to eating in a different and healthy way, here was the challenge to continue doing so under my current restrictions.
I thought that by spending time at home it would be far easier than been out and about and seeing lots of temptation, dear me how wrong was that. Without an everyday routine it is far too easy to focus your day around eating, as it’s the one essential thing that you do plan. It is too easy to eat between meals and been less active than usual adds an extra problem as you are not burning off the calories.
As I mentioned in my last post Breakfast is the most important meal of my day, it is tempting to skip breakfast, but I try to make this more of a ritual as I have more time on my hands. Its very hard not to snack so I have been making smoothies, although some of the goodness is removed from the fruit this way, it’s also a great way of supercharging with seeds, greens and spices as well as eating lots of fruit and vegetables. These can be filling and it’s fun to play with different flavour combinations (only one a day should be consumed). I regard them as my daily treat. Peanut butter, cacao nibs and coconut add some extra sweetness, if like me you are struggling without chocolate.
Drinking too much tea and coffee is also a problem, so I stocked up on Mint and Ginger herbal teas, two of my favourites, I am less likely to need a biscuit than with my usual Earl Grey tea. I have started drinking hot water with lemon, particularly in the morning and at night and staying hydrated with water throughout the day is important. You often eat when you are thirsty.
I must mention we all enjoy an occasional drink and without having to get up early to go to work it could become tempting to drink more than usual, however this is not a great path to pursue as it is important right now to stay as healthy as we can. There may be some health benefits to an occasional glass of red wine but drinking a bottle or two a day is detrimental to your health and your waistline. Some UK charities have serious concerns about the increase in alcoholism. Supermarkets have been unable to deliver food essentials but are still sending out wine, spirits and beer orders, which seems downright irresponsible.
Eating small meals at regular times and drinking water throughout the day and restricting snacking, (a small amount of fruit, seeds or nuts not biscuits) and cutting down on sugar and salt hopefully will help to maintain a sensible weight. I have been trying out lots of new recipes with pulses and plant- based meals and these freeze well. Quite a few chefs are giving advice on YouTube and Instagram for quick, easy and wholesome meals so its never been a better time to improve your culinary skills and even become healthy.
At least time spend in food prepartion stops you from eating all the time!