There's a new belt-busting threat fueled by the coronavirus pandemic cramming Americans into their homes, dangerously close to their snacks, suds, sodas, sofas and streaming videos.
Beware gaining "the COVID-19."
While this repurposing of the disease's name obviously is lighthearted, the struggle is real. After all, the current situation is a recipe for weight gain.
It doesn't have to be, though.
Wouldn't it be great to emerge at the same weight and fitness level as before … or better?
Avoid Pandemic Weight Gain
“Pandemic weight gain” is real and for good reason. In these days of coronavirus, we are experiencing tremendous stress coupled with social isolation and easy access to our refrigerators and cabinets. This is a recipe for weight gain.
Fortunately, there are easy ways to avoid packing on those pandemic pounds. It’s important to create a home environment that supports your health goals.
Make healthy meals and snacks easily accessible. Keep less healthy foods out of sight or even out of the home. To make healthy foods visible and easy to grab:
cut up fruits and veggies and store in clear containers
pre-pack snack size bags or small containers with whole grain crackers, tortilla chips or nuts to avoid mindlessly eating out of packages
create a snack drawer in the fridge with Greek yogurt, pre-measured or single serve hummus or guacamole, hard boiled eggs, cheese sticks and prepped produce
make a soup or stew on Sunday for quick lunches or dinner
prep salad fixings ahead of time including veggies, protein and dressing for a quick meal
Avoid the pandemic food rut with boredom busters
During this time of isolation, many of us feel like we’ve fallen into a food rut. Fortunately, there are ways to escape that dinnertime boredom.
Get inspired by sale flyers. Look at a store flyer for your supermarket and plan meals based on veggies, fruit and proteins that are on sale.
Find new recipes. Google “healthy meal” with any two or three ingredients such as brussel sprouts, chicken thighs and sweet potatoes, and see what recipes look good to you.
Make something new with what you have.Need to use up a spaghetti squash and a can of beans? Google “healthy spaghetti squash and black bean recipe” and you’ve got a new dinner idea based on what you have to use up right in your pantry.
Connect with friends and family for dinner inspiration. Send a group email or text and ask everyone to share their go-to recipe(s). Or call a friend and ask the same.
Try some of the different “make-ahead-meal” types. There are so many recipes available for creative and easy ways to prepare whole meals in advance, such as sheet pan meals, crockpot meals, mason jar salads or freezer meals.
Embrace the season.This time of year, winter squashes and citrus are abundant and have a long shelf life. Colder weather also means soups, stews and chilis.
Foods to Add to Your Shopping List
Stock up on foods that are nutrient dense, have a long shelf life and are versatile!
Baby spinach. Use in frittata, salads, on pizza, in sandwiches, sauté with garlic, as a base for pesto or freeze before it spoils and use in soups, stews, pasta dishes or smoothies.
Frozen riced cauliflower. Use in frittata or egg muffins, soups or stews, for pizza crust or in casseroles (replace half of the regular rice with riced cauliflower and use half the cheese for an upgraded casserole). Use in place of rice or do half rice and half riced cauliflower to increase veggies.
Frozen vegetables. Add to soups, stews, casseroles or pasta dishes for a nutrient boost or use as a quick side.
Winter squashes (acorn, butternut). Roast for a quick side, stuff or use in soups, stews or curries.
Frozen berries and cherries.Add to oatmeal, pancakes, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or unsweetened applesauce.
Canned or dry beans.Add to casseroles, soups, stews, salads or puree a can of beans and use it to thicken and add creaminess to soups and stews without using heavy cream.
Plain Rolled Oats.Make a quick breakfast (hot, overnight oats or low sugar granola) or grind in a food processor or blender to make flour for pancakes, baked goods, veggie burgers, breading, etc.
Eggs. Hard boil for snacks, to top salad or in a sandwich. Use in a frittata or in egg muffins with veggies for a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Advantages of Working Out at Home During a Pandemic
Fortunately, working out during a pandemic is as simple as getting set up in your living room, at any time of day. At-home workouts aren’t only just as effective as exercising outside or at a gym, but they also have unique advantages. A few to think about include:
An at-home workout takes less time overall because you don’t need to build in travel time to the gym, studio or court
When your children see you exercise, you’re setting a good example of an active lifestyle
Working out at home may help you stick with exercise, since it’s easy to keep up a routine
You can watch your favorite television shows while you break a sweat
We need to support each other right now, which is why I wanted to let you know about a totally free online event. I’m proud to be part of a group of exceptional health experts speaking at the upcoming “Healthy Lifestyle” Conference and we’re going to talk about EXACTLY what will help you make a healthy change today.
Learn SPECIFIC, and different tested strategies you can use to tailor your lifestyle, that you can start implementing now without confusions of diets that didn't work for you in the past.
Here’s THE CAKE to make when you are bringing dessert to a picnic or potluck! It tastes so close to a traditional cake that the nutrition will blow your mind. Most notably, there is zero sugar in this delicious, sweet cake! There’s also 4 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and zero gluten. Enjoy!
What you need
1 cup oat flour
3 scoops Chocolate Whey Protein
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 egg yolks
¼ cup Plain Greek Yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (9oz) bag Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate chip
¾ cup coconut oil
¾ cup water
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup Butter or coconut oil
For the Icing
½ cup Butter or coconut oil
½ cup almond milk
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups Swerve Confectioners Style
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup Raw Pecans, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position the oven rack to the middle position. Grease an 18x13-inch rimmed baking sheet. In a mixing bowl combine the oat flour, protein powder, baking soda and salt. In another mixing bowl combine the eggs, yolks, yogurt and vanilla and mix until smooth.
2. In a small pot melt the chocolate chips, coconut oil, water, cocoa powder and butter over low heat. Mix the melted chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until fully combined. Mix the egg-yogurt mixture into the batter until fully combined. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
3. For the Icing: While the cake bakes, melt the butter, almond milk, cocoa powder and honey over low heat. Mix until smooth. Off heat, mix in the confectioner's Swerve and vanilla extract until smooth. Spread warm icing evenly over the hot cake and sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack for about an hour, then move into the fridge to chill for an hour, until the icing is set. Cut into 35 squares, serve and enjoy!
One serving equals: 165 calories, 13g fat, 16g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 0g sugar and 6g protein.
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