Kitchen Adventures || The COVID-19 Kitchen Chronicles
The world is very far from normal right now… Everyone’s lives have been completely turned upside down. Many are still going into work as essentials and risking their own health for the sake of others. Many are home without any work because their establishments were forced to shut down. Many are scrambling to figure out how to make “working from home” a viable and productive option. None of this is how we saw 2020 going and none of it is ideal, but try to remember that it’s only temporary.
No matter which category you fall into, I’m willing to bet that your normal diet/food schedule has also taken a hit. For us, we’ve been so wildly busy trying to take our business online that we’ve hardly been taking in enough calories to support the long days we’re working. With the restaurants unable to do business, some of you who rely on going out to lunch on your break may be struggling to find a new normal, and I’ve heard from MANY who are home all day, whether or not they are working from home, are finding themselves binging more than just Netflix.
So, how many times throughout your day have you found yourself at the fridge or the pantry? Eating can very quickly become a way to cope with boredom or anxiety. Without structure, that habit can take hold and hang with you even once your days go back to normal.
I was going to post a recipe today, but I decided to save it and just talk about some things that can help you stay on track during this time. I understand that your grocery shopping probably looks a little different too with all the folks stock piling. It’s difficult to get some things right now, so just do the best you can and be kind to yourself about it.
Establish a schedule
This is important for all of us. If you’re still going in or working from home, you’re likely working longer days, but it’s so important that you line our time for yourself to sit down and eat. Read that again. Sit. Down. And. Eat. Not only are you doing what your body needs to make it through the day, but by scheduling time for your meals you’ll give yourself a little break from the madness to breathe and rest. Even if it’s quick, don’t stand or walk and eat. Sit down, have your meal, and allow yourself a moment to collect.
If you’re one of those hanging out in front of the refrigerator (or pantry), you need a schedule too. You probably need a schedule even more so because now you’re just looking for things to fill your time. Take this even further and try to create a “new normal” schedule for yourself each day. Set your alarm and get up at the same time. Set your meals. Schedule time to go outside and walk or exercise. Schedule time to veg out a bit (but don’t go overboard). Plan time for reading or finally learning how to do that thing you’ve always wanted to learn. Schedule time for chores… whatever it is!
For all of you though, set a time for each meal and stick to it as closely as possible.
Continue to Plan/Prep – or – Start Planning/Prepping!
If you are used to doing a weekend meal prep and having meals available throughout the week, don’t stop that now! You can probably minimize it a bit if you do find yourself with more time to cook throughout the week, but don’t stop entirely. Having a plan of what you’ll be eating throughout the week sets you up to stay on track!
For those of you working really long days, having something that you can just pop in the microwave or take out and eat will take a lot of pressure off of you. Yes, it’s a bit of a time commitment on the weekend, but then you’re set for when your scheduled meal times come up 🙂
When I prep for myself and Tim, I’ll choose 2-3 recipes that I’m going to make for alternating lunches and then I plan to make fresh dinners that will provide left overs a few times a week. Breakfast, I usually keep pretty simple and we’ll have 1 or 2 alternating options. Point is, I choose the majority of what we will eat before I go to the grocery store. This keeps me from spending time during the week trying to figure out what to make for dinner AND it keeps me from just picking at stuff in the fridge. Plan it, prep it!
If you’re interested in learning more about my meal planning/prepping just shoot me a message 🙂
This is useful for my busy bees and my bored bears… And, there are several things you can track during this time. If you’re really trying to be in depth and track things like macros and calories there are plenty of resources out there. MyFitnessPal is an app I’d recommend for anyone.
You can track WHAT you’re eating. Again, this can be done in MyFitnessPal or just in a notebook. Try to make notes for yourself with quantities. They don’t have to be exact, but you can use things like “a palm sized piece of chicken breast” and that will help you see how much you’re eating. Take a look at the end of the day and see what it looks like. Did you eat enough? Did you eat too much? Did you get enough veggies in? Find some balance by looking at what your intake is.
Another thing that will help you be more mindful about how many trips you’re taking to the fridge is to have a notebook or whiteboard or something beside it and put a tally mark on it EVERY time you go! What does that look like at the end of the day? If you have double digits on that tally, you need to slow your roll! Take a moment while you’re making that tally mark to reflect on why you’re there and make a decision. Are you there for one of your scheduled meals? Are you peering into the pantry and contemplating life while you eat another spoonful of peanut butter? While you’re there, go ahead and just grab a drink of water because most of us don’t get enough of that in anyway!
In fact, when in doubt, stop and drink some water. That’s pretty good advice for all of us in any situation.
If you need some guidance during this time, shoot me or your CFL a note and let’s talk about food!
Stay safe, y’all and take care of yourselves!