It can be hard to keep your diet on track when things start to look bleak. Here are 9 tips for eating healthy in tough times.
Food intolerances? Trying to lose weight? You can still stay on track during tough times.
I am generally someone who likes to plan ahead and keep several weeks worth of posts in my queue. During hard time, such as now, it doesn’t feel right to be posting my usual recipes and acting like nothing has changed.
During an economic downturn, it can be really easy to forgo your diet, in favor of purchasing the cheapest food available (or, in this case, whatever happens to be left on the shelves).
The post I had planned to release today was actually about why I have recently changed my diet around, having recently realized that my severe symptoms were the result of a histamine intolerance.
Walking through the barren grocery store last week, I was really struck with how difficult it was, trying to scrounge around looking for things I am capable of eating. Of course if it comes to it, I will eat whatever I need to, for survival.
But I really struggle with severe side effects of eating certain foods, which greatly degrade my quality of life. Eating healthy during stressful times like this is essential for my physical and mental well being, as I’m sure it is for a lot of you.
So if you struggle with symptoms, or are really hard on yourself when it comes to stepping away from your diet when times get tough, know that there are still things you can do. It’s possible to stay healthy, even if it seems like a tough mountain to climb.
Tips for Eating Healthy in Tough Times
Here are some of my favorite tips for staying as healthy as possible during tough economic times:
- Opt for fresh food over shelf-stable when possible. In all the grocery stores I’ve recently been in, the fresh food has been the last thing to go. It’s always first nature to grab the canned stuff, since it lasts much longer. But canned food doesn’t have all the nutrients that fresh and frozen food does. It’s a bit more work, but you can totally prep and freeze most fresh food, so don’t be afraid to get more than you can use in a week, as long as you have the freezer space available!
- Buy food from your local farm, whether that be veggies, eggs or a share of a cow. This food is likely much more nutrient dense and fresh than whatever you can find in the store. Plus, you’re supporting local businesses that might otherwise go out of business.
- Trade supplies with friends. Do you have 4 boxes of pasta, which you bought “just in case,” but don’t actually want to consume? See if any friends have extra rice, beans or veggies you would prefer to eat, and swap them. If you’re afraid of approaching other people, leave a box on their doorstep, and have them do the same for you.
- Cook large portions and refrigerate or freeze leftovers. There will be some days where you are overwhelmed and don’t want to cook at home. If you’re running low on funds, eating out is probably not a good alternative. Your future self with thank you for keeping some food handy that can quickly be defrosted.
- Spice it up. There were tons of dried spices and fresh herbs left in the stores I went to, so even if you are eating the same meal every day, you can change up the flavors to keep things interesting. Plus spices are nutritious and really not that expensive since they last a long time!
- Grow your own herbs and/or container garden. It takes awhile to reap the benefits, but you will be so happy you did. Plus, it’s a fun new hobby that doesn’t cost much upfront, and keeps producing for a long time.
- Be grateful for the food (and other things) you have. Even if it’s not your favorite thing to be eating, at least you have food on the table. There is always something to be grateful for, and food is something we definitely don’t take for granted during hard times. In fact, expressing gratitude for everything we have is important at this time.
- Remember your “why”. Keep track of the reasons you want to eat healthy. Trying to lose weight? Have symptoms you want to relieve? Place a list of reasons on your desk or on your bathroom mirror, so you are constantly reminded of why you want to keep going, despite setbacks.
- Lastly, try to relax. Possibly the most important of all the tips, stress has an overwhelming impact on our lives. Know that it will all be ok in the end. Create a yoga, meditation, workout or journaling routine, and release all that pent-up stress however you see fit. More important than what we eat, is the way we react to stress in our lives. Focus on what you can control. Looking for more? Here is an article about the importance of mindset and stress reduction.
I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe right now. If you found these tips helpful, please leave a comment below. Also be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest so you don’t miss a post or recipe!
P.S. – if anyone is curious, these photos were taken in Death Valley National Park, where we are currently located at the time I am posting this. We’re currently debating trekking all the way back across the country to the Midwest to be with family.
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