The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Eating During a Quarantine

March 24, 2020

 

In the midst of this global pandemic, self-quarantine is truly the only way to prevent exponential spread of this virus.  Here’s an interesting visual simulator that explains it in an easy-to-understand way.

 

Whether you are in one of the many states and/or cities that currently have a shelter-in-place order or are just trying to follow CDC guidelines, you might be wondering what this means for your diet. 

 

While most shelter-in-place orders still allow you to leave the house to perform essential tasks such as grocery shopping, the less you can leave the house, the better. With that, while you don’t want to panic and/or hoard, you may want to try to plan out meals for the next two weeks and get supplies all at once. 

 

But how, you might ask? We’ve got you covered! Read on for more.

 

 

Have a solid grocery list.

 

A basic grocery list should include items from the major food groups and macronutrients. We’re breaking down each bucket below, along with a sample grocery list.

 

Protein:

  • Ground beef/turkey, chicken breasts, shrimp, and/or tofu that you can keep in the freezer

  • Canned salmon, tuna, sardines, and chicken

  • Dried or canned beans, lentils, and chickpeas

  • Eggs which can last for at least 4 weeks in fridge

  • Hard cheese which last several weeks in airtight wrap

 

Fruits & Veggies:

  • Hearty fresh fruits and veggies such as melon, citrus fruits, apples, squash, carrots (whole, not baby), potatoes, radishes, onion, and garlic - these can last 2-4 weeks (sometimes more!) in the fridge

  • Canned items such as diced tomatoes, green beans, pears, etc (try to look for BPA-free lining!)

  • Frozen items such as berries for smoothies, peas, cauliflower rice, spinach, mixed vegetables, etc

  • Jarred items such as spaghetti sauce or apple sauce

 

Whole grains:

  • Bread (which can be frozen!)

  • Grains such as rice, quinoa, and whole wheat (or chickpea) pasta

  • Frozen whole-wheat or GF waffles/pancakes, or pancake/waffle mix

  • Oats

 

Healthy fats:

  • Olive oil

  • Coconut oil or ghee

  • Nuts and nut butters

  • Almond flour

 

Pantry staples:

  • Spices (garlic powder, oregano, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, salt & pepper, chili powder, taco seasoning, and turmeric are our favorites)

  • Condiments (spicy mustard, bbq sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, minced garlic, oil & vinegar, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and horseradish are our faves)

  • Non-perishable nut milks such as almond, coconut, or macadamia 

  • Baking staples such as vanilla extract, baking soda, cacao, flour & sweetener of choice

  • Jelly/jams

  • Olives 

  • Tea/coffee

 

Snacks:

  • Tortilla chips

  • Trail mix

  • Jerky

  • Dried fruits and veggies

  • Protein bars 

  • Yogurt or cottage cheese

  • Goodies from your CLEAN.FIT box :)

 

 

Plan out meals in advance.

 

This is a good idea just in general, but especially when you need to consider not getting to the grocery store regularly.

Here are some of our favorite recipes, which can be made using the ingredients above (you can of course make substitutions as needed based on what you have on hand)!

 

Breakfast:

  • Good ole’ fashioned oatmeal - you can’t go wrong! Top with frozen/dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon, sweetener of choice

  • Easy whole wheat pancakes - double or triple the batch and keep them in the freezer - then pop them in the toaster when ready to enjoy!

  • Protein muffins - these are a filling option that can last at least a week in an air-tight container (or longer in the freezer!). 

    • Try these delicious grain-free blueberry muffins - add 1 cup of protein powder (and an extra 3 tbsp of nut milk) to bring the protein up to ~15G per

  • Egg casserole - these are easy to make, high in protein, and delicious! Plus, they store in the fridge for several days, or the freezer for months! 

 

Lunch:

 

Dinner: 

 

Dessert: Let’s talk about procrastibaking, shall we? When you’re cooped up in the house, you may have the urge to occasionally whip something up Betty Crocker-style in the kitchen in order to put off doing something else you *probbbbably* should be doing instead. But you know what? We embrace the occasional procastibaking, because sometimes you just need to give your brain a break! 

 

On that note, check out these easy, delicious, and healthy-ish dessert recipe ideas. 

 

 

Other quarantine-cooking tips:

 

  • Make a couple of your favorite recipes and store them in the freezer. Almost everything can be frozen!

  • Prepare large batches of foods like chili, pasta sauce, meatballs, and similar freezer-friendly items to store as well.

  • Get fresh fruits and veggies, wash and chop them, and store in the fridge. Some good options for this: broccoli, bell peppers, onions, berries, bananas & avocados (for smoothies), and cauliflower. 

  • Continue trying to support your local restaurants by ordering takeout occasionally as well!

 

Have any other tips or tricks for making the best of cooking at home during quarantine? We’d love to hear! Please send us a note or comment on our #TipTuesday IGTV on the topic! 

 

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