Today, I really wanted to share some thoughts on how the coronavirus pandemic may be effecting your day to day nutrition and some things you may be able to do to overcome these. I hope you find it useful. In times where life is a little stressful and crazy, I think it is so important to be helping and supporting each other wherever possible.
So here are a few ways in which our current situation might be impacting you…
Access to food
Undoubtedly, you have noticed the shortage of food, particularly staples like rice and pasta, over the last few weeks. It isn’t until something is gone that we realise just how much we take it for granted!
Access to the foods that you normally eat may be limited, which means that your cooking skills and meal repertoire may be tested. You may need to adopt some creative thinking in the kitchen but hopefully, things we return to normal before too long.
In the meantime, be kind to yourself and make do with what you have. Perfection in nutrition is never something you need to aim for, but particularly at the moment, you may need to just go with the flow.
This may mean you are eating less fruit and veg, more refined grains, breakfast for dinner etc and this is completely fine. Do the best you can with what you’ve got.
In the last few weeks there has been an underlying level of stress and anxiety for everyone – I’m sure you have felt it to some degree. Firstly, the way you are feeling is completely valid. Secondly, it is so important to find ways to look after yourself and your mental health during this time.
If you are someone who tends to manage stress with food, this could start to be a problem for a number of reasons.
- You may associate your emotional eating with guilt and fall into a cycle of restricting food which will inevitably lead to overeating
- You may feel physical discomfort from eating food when you are not hungry
- You may choose foods that are less nutritious and if continued for a long time, this could start to impact your overall health and well being
Finding someone that you can talk to about your emotional eating is often a really great way to manage it. Keeping a diary may help you to recognise the things that trigger you to eat (other than hunger) – start to look at these and how you might be able to address them. And most of all, be kind to yourself and get all the support you need.
Food rules may have to go
Something that has become widely adopted over the last few years are ‘food rules’. People having specific rules that they follow (for example, no carbs after 6pm, only organic food, only grass fed meat etc), or a specific diet that they like to adhere to (for example, keto, paleo, intermittent fasting etc) has become all too common.
In a time where access to food is limited and your mind may be focusing on other, more pressing issues, your food rules may need to take a side step for a little while. Food is a gift and we are so spoilt in our country to have access to such a huge variety of foods available every day.
Times like these remind us that being able to choose exactly the way we would like to eat is a privilege.
One that many people in the world do not have. So let’s use this experience to focus on that – be flexible with your nutrition as well as your expectations on yourself.
If you take anything away from this article, I hope it is this… be kind – to others and most importantly, to yourself.
If you need any help or support from us, feel free to contact us at anytime.