During these health alert days, remember that it’s essential that everyone strictly follows the #ImStayingAtHome rule. You might hear a lot of things such as “How are we going to eat!?” Indeed, being at home with no going out, with all the worry and boredom that goes with it, can lead eating more than usual and also products that aren’t all that good for us (ultra-processed). Your health may suffer because of this (remember that diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. don’t understand exceptional situations) and your weight may be affected (there are plenty of memes related to this going around).
So, here is some advice that, even if you don’t feel like following it, is important to help you to stay healthy:
- Stick to a routine, for meals as well as for sleep.
- Get some exercise (there are many timetables available from people offering free classes on all kinds of exercise through different channels). Without leaving the comfort of my living room, I can see a boy opposite my house who has put a stationary bike on the balcony and cycles for a while every day. There is a man who opens the window every afternoon and walks around the room, leaving the window open for a while afterwards.
- Make sure you don’t skip vegetables in your main meals (add a portion of raw and cooked vegetables) as well as fruit. Legumes are also important, as well as whole grains, fish, eggs and white meat. I think following the Harvard Healthy Plate recommendations on main meals offers great ideas to help maintain a good eating pattern.
- Avoid fried, battered, refried, etc. food. Instead, make food that is steamed, baked, stewed, stir-fried in the wok, etc.
- Avoid the industrial pastries that are so common at breakfast time.
- Don’t drink alcohol.
- For between meals, which I think may be the most difficult, opt for fruit, nuts (natural and be careful with the quantity), pickles (such as mini onions, dill pickles, etc.), vegetables (such as carrots and vegetable broths), herbal teas (there are delicious teas available these days such as rooibos tea with ginger or cinnamon), a little dark chocolate, a little tuna or some mussels…
- Weigh yourself every three to four days to see how your weight is going (as long as you don’t weight your self esteem!) and maintain some control over it.
- Above all, be calm, don’t become overwhelmed. Better times are on the way and you can do things better when you’re able to, but in the mean time, take good care of yourself.
And above all:
- Follow the recommendations given by health officials and stay at home.
Dr Arantza López-Ocaña