What exactly is self-isoleating?
“It’s a feeling that creeps around several times a day and never truly wants to leave. It’s there when you wake up, it’s there all day long while performing mundane tasks and it’s still there when you finally open that well-deserved bottle of wine at the end of yet another long, confined day.”
It’s something that appears over time or perhaps even in waves. It’s that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach after multiple days of solitude. It’s a feeling that creeps around several times a day and never truly wants to leave. It’s there when you wake up, it’s there all day long while performing mundane tasks and it’s still there when you finally open that well-deserved bottle of wine at the end of yet another long, confined day. Is that hunger knocking on your tummy’s door or simply boredom? For many of us, self-isolation is a time of reflection mixed with just the right amount of confusion. Emotions are running high and I’d bet most of us have subscribed to a regime I like to call self-isoleating!
The struggle of a balanced lifestyle has been on-going much longer than this virus. Everything we could possibly ever want is at our fingertips and now that the government has requested us to stay home, the daily fight with food has just intensified times 10!!! You’re now, working from home with pantries stocked for the next apocalypse. So, with that, I would like to share with you, 5 tips that have helped me make smarter and perhaps healthier choices.
1. Always have prepared fruits in the fridge
This is something I’ve learned from my boyfriend’s (AMAZING) momma! Back in the day, whenever I got a little peckish at her house, I would gravitate towards her prepared fruits, something I wasn’t exactly doing at home. After moving-in with my boyfriend, we implemented this habit right away and it’s forever changed the way we snack. Every time we decide to take a quick peak into the kitchen, there’s an obvious choice, all ready to go. The reality is, we’re all human! When we get bored, we often look for the tiniest of distractions which usually translates to whatever is convenient. By preparing everything ahead of time, your fruits become just as accessible as that bag of chips in the cupboard.
Here’s the trick, just pick a day of the week and prepare all your fruits. Our day just so happens to be Sunday. So, on Sunday, every Sunday, we peel, chop and store. We prefer to pack each type of fruit separately to give us a snacking variety, but if you want to prepare a large fruit salad type of Tupperware that’s a great idea too! To help get you started, here’s a small list of fruits that are usually available in our home because they preserve relatively well.
2. Bake some treats for your afternoon sweets
Baking is an excellent quarantine hobby and it just so happens to be a very productive pass-time. There’s one simple fact, if you’re the one making treats from scratch, you’re the one controlling all the nutrients that go into them. For those maintaining their jobs from home, I suggest picking one or two quick and easy recipes that will last you the entire work week. With very minimal effort you can find many recipes online. However, to pique your interest, I’ve decided to share with you a link to my go to Banana Bread. This recipe from “half baked harvest” is sooo easy. You can whip this up in no more 15 minutes and the best part?
It leaves you with hardly any dirty dishes at all!Can I get an AMEN!?
Self-control is the main reason why I consider this TIP a helpful one. Personally, I like to enjoy the fruits of my own labor. This means I cherish every DAMN BITE and my portion control game is at its strongest. I want my efforts to last as lonnnnnng as possible. Knowing that I can’t simply run to the store and purchase another batch, knowing that I must start all over when I run out, this is what has the largest impact on my quantity intake.
So go on, give it a try and let me know what you think of that deliciously decadent Banana Bread, or better yet, share in the comments below any recipe that has inspired you this week, I know, all of us at #VIEFIT would love to try it!
3. Reorganize your eating habits.
Have you ever wondered why many Europeans remain fit, despite what they seem to be eating? I have, I mean common… after all the croissants, chocolatines, pastries, baguettes, butter, pizzas and pastas? Did I mention the gelato? How do they do it? Don’t tell me there is a pair of Spanx good enough for all of that, because truth be told, I would love for that to be my diet as well!!
Unfortunately, I’ve yet to unravel the true mystery behind this phenomenon. But luckily, after many years of travelling and much observation there is one thing I have noticed. Their meals vs their mealtimes. They seem to have adapted a very successful meal structure; small breakfast, large lunch and small dinner. Personally, before confinement, I found it very challenging to implement this. I was too attached to my late-night dinner gatherings with friends; heavy portions of delicious food paired with a gallon of vino. Since get-togethers have ceased, I have finally been able to give this routine a solid try and I must admit, I feel great! I enjoy a filling lunch with my boyfriend mid-afternoon and have a very light vegetable-oriented dinner, like soup or salad, in the evening. I’m telling you; we sleep so much better!
4. If you buy it, you will eat it!
What’s your kryptonite? Personally, wine, cheese and chips all do it for me – and since limiting my wine consumption is out of the question, let’s focus on something a little more realistic.
In my experience, half of the battle begins with your trip to the supermarket. As it is right now, we’re being encouraged to stock up to the best of our abilities and limit the frequency of our shopping. This requires a good amount of planning and a serious grocery list. You may now feel an urge stronger than ever to stock up on your favorite comfort food. However, as you already know, IF YOU BUY IT, YOU WILL EAT IT. Enforce damage control at the source and don’t allow yourself to go overboard! Limit how much you buy. That second bag will still be available in a couple weeks when you go back. Don’t get me wrong, I am not telling you to avoid snacking altogether, that would be criminal. I think indulging is very important, that’s why I’m suggesting that you pick one; a bag chips, a couple (dark) chocolate bars or a bag of candy and be content with buying just that. If you’re shopping every other week, it’s not unreasonable to have one emergency emotional crutch but trust me, you don’t need 20! This is how we have decided to proceed in our home. My boyfriend picks his poison: a couple dark chocolate bars and I pick mine: a bag of chips. Honestly, I find comfort in knowing that they are there and often that’s enough. On a more challenging day, when I truly desire it, a nice glass of wine and a good serving of crisps is just what the doctor ordered. And there is NO shame in that my friends!
5. Home should be a guilt free zone
Be kind and go easy on yourself.
We are all experiencing a little cabin fever lately and food is known to be comforting. Although it’s important to be conscious of your nutrition, your body and its needs, striving for a healthy relationship with food is the first step to succeeding. Don’t beat yourself up if you happen to choose the so called “wrong” stuff occasionally. Food should never really be labelled as good or bad, this is what makes people feel guilty. This sensitivity then leads people to avoid their cravings altogether which only intensifies over time and is ultimately unsustainable.
Everyone needs a little TLC from time to time. The way I see it, these moments of indulgence are actually very important, as they just so happen to be the food for your soul! If you listen to what YOU need, with a little practice, you will get very good at knowing when its time to feed your body vs your soul. Do not let guilt seep in and take that happiness away, because when that happens, the risk of being unsatisfied with your own experience is very high. You run the risk of seeking what you first sought after, over and over and over again until you finally feel fulfilled. Instead of living in that turmoil, just enjoy your damn snack the first time around! BON APPETIT! I sincerely hope some of you were able to find a little inspiration behind my 5 self-isoleating tips. I would certainly love to hear from anyone who might have other helpful ideas to implement over the course of our confinement. Please don’t hesitate to contribute to the group discussion in the comment section below.