Nutrition Tips for Quarantine

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If you’re staying home right now and despite all the Covid anxiety, you want to stay healthy and make sure your diet is on point, this post is for you.

I realize you may be limited in both funds and options at the moment, but do the best you can and when you do go shopping–or order delivery–see if you can grab a few of the foods I suggest and weave them into your meals.

Rather watch?

CALORIES

I typically don’t suggest portion control, but if you’re worried about running out of food or you’re just trying to stretch out what you’ve got in order to avoid going to the grocery store, now might be a good time to watch serving sizes.

Luckily, we really don’t need as many calories as we think. People on low calorie diets are still able to meet their needs as long as their meals are balanced. If you don’t have income and need to conserve as much food as you can for a while, skimp on your meals a smidge and embrace this “diet” for a bit.

Most women are fine aiming for about 1,500 calories and men with 1,800. If you have a smart phone, download an app like Loseit or MyFitnessPal to track your foods even for one day to see where you stand.

FRUIT & VEGGIES

I realize fresh fruits and vegetables might not be as readily available right now so do the best you can. Frozen options are great–if you can find them. When you do get your hands on some produce, I suggest buying stuff that doesn’t rot so quickly.

What to get: oranges, grapes, apples, lemons, cauliflower, carrots, broccoli and potatoes all seem to outlast most other options (at least in my house); anything frozen works, it’s just a matter of what’s left in stores.

FAT

Can I just say…Peanut butterrrrrr!? Stock UP on it and use it on everything. Nuts and seeds are your BFF right now. Mayo, olive oil, coconut oil and salad dressings are great, too, just make sure they’re full fat, otherwise they’re pointless. Fat has a lot of calories so it’s perfect for making sure your energy needs are met while still only eating a small amount.

What to get: butter, heavy cream, canned coconut milk, mayo, nuts and nut butters, seeds and seed butters, olive oil, salad dressing, nut flours for baking

CARBS

Potatoes are cheap and they last a while (we have three bags of them in my kitchen right now). Beans and lentils are another great option that last for a super long time and are also a great source of protein. Rice and pasta obviously work, too. My tip for making carby meals more satisfying on smaller portions: load them up with fat! If you’re having spaghetti, drown it in olive oil. If you’re making rice, add a decent amount of butter to balance it out with a fat.

What to get: bread (I like to freeze Ezekiel bread), potatoes (white or sweet), beans, lentils and lentil pasta, rice, pasta, unbleached flour and cane sugar for baking

PROTEIN

Luckily, we really don’t need as much as we think. Protein needs for the average person are about 0.8 grams per kilogram IDEAL body weight. This number is based on your skeletal and muscle mass, not any extra weight from fat.

Use this easy calculator to find your ideal weight, convert it to kilograms (weight divided by 2.2) and then multiply it by 0.8 for your protein needs. Here’s my math as an example: ideal wt: 150 lbs = 68kg x 0.8 = 54 grams of protein per day. That’s not a lot!!

One egg = 7 grams of protein, one ounce of chicken or fish = 7 grams. Nuts and grains have protein, too! One Tbsp peanut butter = 4 grams, one slice of Ezekiel bread = 4 grams. You can use CalorieKing to find protein content in foods if you’re not sure.

What to get: eggs, bacon, turkey sausage, frozen fish, canned tuna or chicken, cheese, turkey hot dogs

SNACKS/FROZEN

If you’re watching portions to conserve food stores, I suggest limiting snacks and sticking with three meals per day. Sometimes we need a little treat or a salty/crunchy something with lunch, though so for those times, here are some delish and healthy options. PS I just ordered Siete and Simple Mills directly from the company’s website because our Whole Foods it out.

What to get: Simple Mills almond flour crackers, Siete tortilla chips, BOOMCHICKAPOP, Jackson’s Honest chips, Paleonola, dark chocolates (72% or darker), Cappello’s pizzas

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Sample meal plans with the ingredients above:

1,500 calories

Breakfast:

2 eggs

1 slice Ezekiel raisin bread with 1 Tbsp butter

1 medium orange

Lunch:

1/2 can tuna

2 Tbsp mayo

2 slices Ezekiel bread

1 oz Jackson’s Honest potato chips

Dinner:

1 cup spaghetti

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup tomato sauce

Daily totals: 1,551 calories, 57 grams protein

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1,800 calories:

Breakfast:

2 eggs

1 slice Ezekiel raisin bread with 1 Tbsp butter

1 medium orange

Lunch:

1 can tuna

3 Tbsp mayo

2 slices Ezekiel bread

1 oz Jackson’s Honest potato chips

Dinner:

1 and 1/4 cup spaghetti

2 Tbsp olive oil

3/4 cup tomato sauce

Daily totals: 1,858 calories, 80 grams protein

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Cheap ideas with the ingredients above:

  1. Potato salad
  2. Peanut butter and jelly toast on Ezekiel bread (plenty of it in stores right now)
  3. Smoothies (frozen fruit + peanut butter)
  4. Tuna salad
  5. Egg salad
  6. Homemade sugar cookies
  7. Homemade mac & cheese
  8. Sweet potato with almond butter and raisins
  9. Homemade peanut butter cookies

One last tidbit… a lot of my clients’ only exercise is their daily commute. If you’re currently commute-less, don’t use that as an excuse to not move your body. Exercise boosts immunity and can help with anxiety… get your buns off the couch and do some jumping jacks, dance with your kids or chase them around the house (like me!), run up and down the stairs; anything to get your heart rate up a few times a day will work.

PS if you’re all stocked with protein, veggies and fats and want to use this time to detox, I’d love to Cleanse with you!

I hope this is helpful! If you need help navigating any of it, email me