Life seems to be going a bit pear-shaped with the spread of Coronavirus. Our daily routines have been drastically altered, with the threat of the infamous infection causing all walks of life to be postponed, suspended, or simply cancelled.
Government guidelines have meant that many of us are now practicing self-isolation and social distancing, and hence are spending a large majority of our time at home with (God forbid) our families…
To accompany the Netflix-fest that is self-isolation, many people have resorted to excessive snacking and unhealthy food choices. Therefore, I thought it may be useful to write a wee something on how NOT to let Corones take hold of your hard-earned progress by sabotaging your diet…
Boost Immunity with A Glass of OJ
Or better still, a whole orange (so as to get a healthy dose of fibre in the mix)!
Oranges, along with most other citrus fruits, contain a stack of Vitamin C; a micronutrient known for its flu-fighting, cold-collapsing abilities. Try to make easy-peelers visible on the kitchen side for a go-to snack, preventing you from delving a bit deeper into the cupboards to find foods that fail to pack the nutritional punch of the humble orange!
Following the colour-theme (well, sort of…), root ginger is another food that is notorious for boosting the immune system. According to Healthline, Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which stop sore throats and other inflammatory illnesses; go two’s-up on the immuno-love and try ginger and lemon Green Tea instead of your afternoon Builder’s.
But don’t just think the tangy taste of citrus is the only way to get your fix; red bell peppers, broccoli, and dark leafy greens are all cracking sources of Vitamin C, alongside many other micronutrients that assist our body’s defence mechanisms. Why not pair that G&L Tea with some sliced peppers and hummus; carnage!
Grab A Pint of Adam’s Ale
Daily intake of water plays a massive role in maintaining good physical and mental health; the dehydration that results from not drinking enough may cause all manner of problems, from lowering resting metabolism, to reducing cognitive functioning & concentration.
Nothing beats a simple glass of H20 when you are feeling thirsty, and will likely give the same benefits to your body as that souper-douper Smart Water that was obtained from the Springs of Eden that you pay £6.99 for…without the same impact on your wallet!
Keep your body nice and hydrated, and you will definitely feel better for it. Plus, if your family decide to crack out the Trivial Pursuit while in lockdown, you’re gonna need to be on your A-Game upstairs; don’t let dehydration impact your mental performance when it matters most (just think of the bragging rights…)
Minimise Muscle Wastage with Protein
Gyms have closed (**sheds tear listening to Joni Mitchell**), so the gym monkeys out there aren’t going to be able to get their daily dose of pumpage in. However, just because you are at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prioritise nutrition for growth; in order to maintain those hard-earned gains, maximising protein intake is going to be a winner when we are in lockdown…
Shooting for 1.2-1.8g protein per kg of bodyweight is a great target. Aim to get most of your protein from lean, mean, health-promoting machines like chicken, fish, 5% beef mince, lentils, tofu etc.
However, lockdown fever has driven a lot of people to mindless panic-buying (on that topic, why the f**king loo roll, man?!), which may mean that getting your mitts on the good stuff might be a little tricker than usual.
There are ways around it, though. Certainly when I have been doing the Sainsbury’s duties for my Ma, I’ve noticed there are a few protein options left on the shelves to keep those muscles fuelled. These include frozen fish (prawns, basa, salmon etc.), canned no-salt pulses, and tinned tuna to name just a few…
Don’t Be Too Restrictive, and Have A Kit-Kat!
Didn’t expect that now, did you?
Heaven forbid, a personal trainer telling you to eat chocolate?! Well, the truth is that, if you decide to smash a restrictive fad diet during lockdown, chances are that yu are setting yourself up for failure. My clients are well aware that I am a keen advocate of the 80/20 rule (80% healthy, whole foods; 20% treats) as the most effective way to meet any fitness goal, be it muscle gain, body recomposition, or fat loss.
That 30-Days to Six-Pack Abs diet you saw written by some shredded dude named LeShaun isn’t going to cut the mustard (most of the time) when it comes to creating long-lasting change. These sorts of approaches tend to result in loss of water weight, unhealthy eating habits, and huge fluctuations in energy levels throughout the day, therefore I strongly believe that the KitKat you have been demonising because of what the aforementioned dude said may actually be your best friend…
There are no such things as bad foods; some are just less nutritious than others. Don’t beat yourself up when you go off-track in your quest for optimal health; allow yourself the odd treat.
After all, I think now more than ever is a time when we should be giving ourselves the odd treat for our own peace of mind!
Moving Forward : Adopting Healthy, Lockdown Habits…
It is a pretty weird time, whereby we have been forced into a daily routine that is alien to each and every one of us. Being in isolation from the outside world means that you have more of a say than usual as to what you are stoking the boiler with, so being mindful of the food choices you make now will help create habits that, further down the line, will ramp your health and fitness to another level!
Why not take the opportunity of more time on your hands to crack out some healthy recipes online and get those culinary skills up to scratch? No time like the present to dust off the apron and develop cooking finesse that my boys Gregg and John would be proud of!
That said, don’t forget that it is a stressful time; and stressful times call for a wee bit of self-love. Although this means fuelling your body with healthy, whole foods most of the time, it does also mean that you need to allow yourself the odd treat. No one can get through a crisis like this without the odd glass of wine or chocolate digestive!
Stay happy, Stay Healthy, and keep it on the island, peeps 😊
If you’d like a bit of accountability with your health and fitness in this tricky period, then look no further; drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get cracking on regular check-ins to keep you motivated during the lockdown!