At Meridional Events we are fully aware of the problems Coronavirus is causing at all levels. It is a high priority matter for the whole world, and from which we believe that we will come out sooner by appealing to individual responsibility and following the recommendations of the experts.
That said, and after a post last week where we talked about working from home, this week we would like to contribute in a small way with regards to food and eating habits when working from home. The alteration of our eating routines influences our physical condition and mood, so its importance should not be overlooked.
Meridional Events has contacted one of the most prestigious nutritionists in the Basque Country, Beatriz Gete, to answer our doubts. Beatriz is the Director of Nutrición Erein, and is the key nutritionist for the BM supermarket chain (236 stores in Spain), amongst others.
Beatriz, what is the ideal shopping basket for spending a few days at home?
Our shopping basket in these circumstances should contain healthy products: fruits, vegetables, pulses, rice, pasta, natural or roasted nuts, white or red meat (from its leanest cuts), both oily and white fish, seafood, eggs, potatoes, preserves, milk or vegetable drinks, extra virgin olive oil, etc. It is important not to buy more quantity than necessary, especially if we are not going to be able to eat it – plus, the massive purchase implies eating more quantity than we need. If we have perishable food, we need to cook it and then freeze it.
What kind of foods we should not forget these days? What alternatives do we have if we don’t have them?
We should not forget about vitamins and minerals, those nutrients that we need daily and in small amounts. These nutrients are found in different foods, so introducing variety into our meals will be the key to keep a balanced diet.
What can we do with all that “not so healthy” food we have bought?
Once bought, the ideal would be to ration it. Banning a certain type of food only increases the desire to eat it. If something is forbidden, the desire to eat it increases. We then enter a vicious circle where we need more and more of that food to feel satisfied.
What tips can you give us not to put on weight when working from home?
- Set a routine, especially if you have children. If we used to hit the gym after work, we should keep the same schedule and do a similar activity at home. We have endless options: tutorials, social networks, etc.
- Keep us busy with activities that distract us; boredom can make us nibble more often.
- And of course, plan meals and have a weekly menu. In this way, we avoid improvisation and by cooking right after breakfast, we will not be hungry and by lunchtime, we will not eat randomly the first available thing at the fridge.
What would be an ideal menu for a day of work at home?
Prioritise fruit consumption between meals. Vegetables with all meals, along with a portion of protein: meat (chicken, turkey, rabbit, beef), fish, egg or vegetable protein (soy, tofu, pulses) and another portion of cereals or tubers (rice, pasta, potato, bread). In short, follow Harvard’s healthy eating plate:
Because of being at home, I feel more tired. What can you recommend for us?
It is possible that we feel more tired if we work from home or we are self-employed – we could have the feeling we work for longer. Alternating activities can also help.
What could also happen is constipation, linked to less activity, more time sitting/lying down and poor fibre intake – the perfect combo! Hydrate yourself, get up every hour and walk in the hallway or at the terrace and when you use the toilet, raise your feet to form a 45º angle between your body and your legs.
To hydrate, remember to drink water, teas or infusions. Forget sugary drinks, commercial or natural juices.
What foods do you recommend to raise your spirits?
I stress again the importance of vitamins and minerals. Dark chocolate, cinnamon – we know a lot about these foods. However, a key player for our mood is vitamin D, better known as the sun vitamin. If we are at home, the sun exposure decreases and therefore its synthesis. If you have the opportunity, soak up the sun from your window or terrace.
Are there any other recommendations that you would like to give us?
- Try to stay calm. Being nervous or hysterical affects psychologically and people use food as an escape route. Work out, drink water and keep a sleep routine.
- When the quarantine days are over, you can stop by your GP and request a vitamin D test to see how these days have affected its levels.
- Cook healthy and eye-catching meals. Bon appetit!
We thank Beatriz for her valuable advice that we hope you will put it into action. You can find her on her social media:
Meridional Events would like to send you courage and strength in these difficult times. Together, we will overcome everything.
The team at Meridional Events