Snack Better While Staying at Home
Last month, we spoke about avoiding stress eating during the pandemic. It’s so important to maintain a healthy diet during this stressful time. But the news can be overwhelming, and many of us are finding comfort and distraction in food. Avoiding mindless snacking is necessary to remain healthy during these difficult times.
With the Neuliven Health team stuck at home, we’re snacking more too. People hear that we are located in California and assume that we eat kale and avocadoes all the time. But we’re just as susceptible to snacking as everyone else. And while it’s true that we like salads and fresh produce, no one is immune to the pleasure of chips. Yes, we are trying to be aware of what we eat. We are cooking more, and we are following steps to eat fewer snacks. Here are some snack tricks we’re following. Hopefully, these give you some ideas.
One person put her diet soda in her car. She lives up four flights of stairs, and it’s helped her cut down. But it’s hard, when staying inside, to keep out of the pantry. We’ve been following simple steps: drinking more water and making sure food stays in the kitchen. We’ve also not bought things we usually enjoy in moderation. One person on our team says she “can’t trust herself” to have crackers in the house. Usually, when she is working in the office, having crackers at home is fine. But, now that she is at home all day, she doesn’t buy them. A craving can indeed pass if you wait them out. But, right now, instead of trying to talk yourself out of enjoying a tasty food you enjoy, just not having it takes desire or willpower out of the picture.
One of our biggest “hacks” has been to replace snacks with healthier options. We have heard a few healthier options from team members. One person said he has replaced chips with pickles. Not only are pickles lower in calories, but their crunch is also satisfying, and their sharpness slows him down. Another hack we’ve enjoyed is swapping salty things for wax-wrapped cheese, like Babybel. A Babybel 71 calories. Each time you eat one, you have to unwrap it. It slows you down and makes you think about if you want another one. A person on our team loves dip and has always read the label to make sure that it was healthy and didn’t have too many ingredients. Now, he has taken an additional step. Using carrots and broccoli still provides a crunch but has fewer calories — and more vitamins — than corn chips. One team member has no snacks in her house that are ready-to-eat. That means, when she wants a snack, she must cook it. It’s helped her decide if she is hungry or bored.
Now is not a time to abandon our diets. We want to remain healthy and help our bodies have robust immune systems. But, the number of articles and blogs we see about “falling off the snack wagon” and “indulging in unhealthy food” leaves us irritated. We are living in an unprecedented time. Beating yourself up over snacks doesn’t help. You should enjoy what you eat. Treats have their place. Aiming for better food choices is excellent. But, if you consider your options and still want some chips, eat a reasonable portion of chips and enjoy them!
One medical worker, who is working in a tent in Central Park in New York, joked that they would gain the “COVID 20” because of all the kindly meant pizzas and baked goods they were receiving from well-wishers. That is a genuine danger for many of us who are stuck inside. But, with healthy choices, and a little thought, it is avoidable.