By Leigh O'Connor.
We’re all in this together…Melbourne! As some Victorians bunker down in lockdown for six weeks, many will struggle to eat well and maintain a healthy lifestyle.Iso weight gain jokes ran rampant on social media when we all had to stay home earlier in the year; now Melburnians face a long, hard road to COVID recovery, while the rest of the country indulges at restaurants and pubs.
Taking care of yourself and the family during this stressful time is not as hard as you think. We asked Alimentary’s Alison Wright for her top five tips for heathy eating during lockdown; plus a delicious Winter soup recipe that will appeal to everyone.
Add in some of the good stuff!
Blend together a daily mix of blueberries, kiwi fruit, ginger, celery, cucumber, lemon, ice and water to boost your nutrient intake. The antioxidants will help to protect your body from the effects of stress; while the extra vitamins and minerals will plug straight into your energy and immune systems, to support your health and overall sense of well-being.
Start the day well:
Always have a balanced breakfast, containing a good source of protein (nuts, seeds, eggs, yoghurt). Protein helps to increase your energy levels, balance your mood and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Drink a glass of water upon waking and regularly throughout the day. Good hydration reduces fatigue, improves concentration, supports healthy skin and promotes cardiovascular health. Use 2pm as a cut-off time for caffeinated drinks and swap out soft drinks for water; even low-calorie soft drinks have a negative impact on our health, try some herbal teas instead, or add some fruit to water for a bit of extra flavour.
Eat your veggies!
Vegetables are packed with phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals which protect our health and support the body’s operating systems. With around 94% of Australians eating insufficient fruit and veggies to sustain their health, adding in those extra serves can really make a positive impact on how we feel. It doesn’t have to be complicated – you can chop up some vegetable sticks and store in the fridge for snacks, add a salad to your meal or sandwich.
Stick to regular meal-times:
Stay out of the kitchen unless you are preparing, or eating meals. Spending more time at home can lead to extra snacking and comfort eating to counter stress, fatigue and boredom. If you find yourself opening the fridge door every time you walk past it, change your routine and do something else instead – drink a glass of water, go for a walk, phone a friend, or listen to your favourite music.
A great way to get extra veggies into the family’s diet is a steaming bowl of soup, such as Ali’s recipe for lentil, cumin and pumpkin soup. Yellow and orange vegetables are high in nutrients, which help support our immune system; add in some protein-packed red lentils and you have the perfect nourishing Winter meal.