Eat Healthy During Quarantine: How to Stock Your Kitchen
Grocery shopping right now is tough for a lot of us, but limited access to fresh food doesn’t have to mean giving up on healthy eating. With it a little planning, the current circumstances can actually be an opportunity to flex our creative kitchen muscles. Here are some healthy, versatile “must-haves” to stock up on for your pantry and freezer, as well as some less nutritious items you want to avoid.
All frozen meats/poultry/meat substitutes (faux meats) - Great for stir fry bowls with frozen veggies and rice.
Canned/packet proteins (tuna, salmon, chicken)
Frozen vegetables and fruits (they even have frozen diced avocado now!)
Squeezable fruit packets - They’re not just for toddlers--and they’re 100% fruit.
Oatmeal - Throw in a scoop of your favorite protein powder and a tablespoon of peanut butter or a few almonds for some added fat when you make it.
Rice, quinoa and other dry grains
Canned chickpeas - Try roasting them with salt and olive oil, tossing them with your favorite spices, and throwing them in a wrap or on a salad for extra protein.
High protein/low carb wraps (Ole’ Extreme Wellness, Mission Carb Balance, Flat Out)
Whole grain crackers (Triscuits, Mary’s Gone Crackers)
Variety of nuts and seeds
Dried fruits (preferably with no sugar added)
Natural peanut butter or other natural nut butter
Low fat popcorn
Jerky (try Chef’s Cut brand if you can find it)
Protein ice creams (Halo Top, Enlightened)
Protein powders and ready-to-serve protein drinks
Longer life perishable items like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, other cheese varieties, eggs, hummus, and/or pre-portioned guacamole and hummus
Now that we’ve covered the healthy options to stock the kitchen with, let’s cover a few things that might be best left on grocery store shelves. The idea here is to not use the scarce healthy options as a reason to go for highly palatable, nutritionally void foods just because they are plentiful.
Chips, highly processed/low fiber crackers
High sugar cereals
High sugar granolas
Pop Tarts, many high sugar granola/breakfast bars, etc.
Alcohol (While a little bit may be okay, it can also make us more prone to eating outside of hunger)
Candied trail mixes (even though these can have some healthy aspects, they can also be very calorie dense)
Any other foods that may serve as a trigger for you to overeat!
Try to remember that this is all temporary and to practice gratitude for the healthy options still available. It can be tough to navigate our goals and stay connected to them in a time like this, but use this time to become stronger and more confident in your habits and skills. It will pay off!