By Jamie Miller, Registered Dietician for The Village
The summer of social distancing is ending and slowly, but surely, life is seeming to return to a bit of what once was. But as you swap your “life in lockdown” sweats for regular attire, you may be frustrated to find that your old jeans are not as forgiving as your athleisure wear. Or maybe you’re not feeling the same energy level you had in pre-pandemic life. If the last few months of quarantine have left you feeling less than your best, there is a smarter solution than resorting to an extreme diet or expensive programs that promise a “quick fix.” Check out these tips for a post quarantine nutritional reset!
Crash diets and cleanses can actually do more harm than good to your metabolism and long-term weight loss success; however, a proper reset of nutritional habits can be helpful to kick start weight loss and get you back on track. Consider committing to a set time where you are focused and intentional on your nutritional choices. This can help end chaotic eating patterns that don’t serve your health by introducing order and repetition back into your lifestyle. Clean eating can also reboot your taste buds to decrease cravings for salty, fatty, and sweet foods. Consider committing the next seven to 30 days to making intentional choices to “reboot” your health. During this time, focus on the following four factors and you will feel even healthier, stronger, and leaner than you did pre-quarantine!
Fill Up the Water Bottle
Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces (or more if sweating in excess) of water every day. Our kidneys are one of our body’s natural detoxifiers, but they need ample water to do their job. You can even start your day with a glass of (warm or cold) lemon water. The pectin from lemon aids in digestion and lemon also shows to curb appetite and boost satiety. So drink up!
A Smart, Squeaky Clean Diet
Extremely low-calorie, crash diets are not the answer to maintain long-term health and weight loss. However, we can commit to eating clean, quality ingredients to feed our body well. Load up half or more of your plate with veggies; ensure you have a lean protein at every meal (grass-fed beef, poultry, wild-caught fish, eggs, etc.); choose quality carbohydrates (fruits, beans, peas, potatoes, corn, whole grains, etc.); and focus on healthy fats (nuts, seeds, olives, avocado or coconut, oils, etc.). If you feel like you have any sort of sugar addiction, it’s particularly helpful to cut out all added sugar and artificial sweeteners for this time period in order to “retrain” your tastebuds.
Sweat it Out
Sweating naturally allows our bodies to “detox” themselves. So hit the gym and try out the sauna. Increasing your heart rate and blood flow through exercise can also help your body to flush out toxins naturally. If taking a brisk walk is about all you can handle right now? There’s no better time to start than now.
Support Your Gut
Both stress and a poor diet can disrupt good gut health. If the pandemic left your stomach feeling upset, we can improve digestive health through prebiotic fiber in wholesome foods (such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, etc.) and through supplementing with a probiotic. Incorporating live-culture yogurt, kefir, kombucha tea, and other fermented foods can also help keep your gut flora thriving and happy.
Creamy Berry Smoothie
- 1/2 large ripe banana (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2/3 cup sliced zucchini (fresh or frozen)
- 1 big handful of greens, such as spinach (fresh or frozen)
- 2 scoops collagen powder or 1 scoop protein powder
- 2 Tbsp. flax, hemp, chia seeds, or 1 Tbsp. nut butter
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 cup unsweetened nut or coconut milk
- Ice to desired consistency
- Optional: stevia or monk fruit to taste
Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend on high until creamy and smooth.
For the tuna salad:
- 1 small shallot or 1 Tbsp. red onion, minced
- 1 Tbsp. capers
- 1 6-ounce tin of good quality tuna (like Wild Planet or Safe Catch)
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
For the dressing:
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
For the salad:
- 1 cup arugula leaves
1/4 cup green beans, blanched
- 1/3 small avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 hard-boiled egg, quartered
- 2 Tbsp. pitted oil-cured black olives (or your favorite olives)
Combine the shallot, capers, and tuna with lemon juice in a bowl and set aside. To make the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. To assemble, toss the arugula and green beans with half of the tuna mixture. Arrange the avocado, olives, and boiled egg on top and finish with the remaining tuna salad.
- 1 apple, sliced thinly
- 1 Tbsp. natural nut butter
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- Optional: shredded unsweetened coconut, hemp seeds, flax, chia seeds, etc.
Slice apples into thin, chip-like slices, about a fourth-inch thick and spread onto a large plate. Use a spoon or spatula to drizzle the nut butter over the apple slices. If your nut butter is too thick to drizzle, warm it briefly in the microwave. Sprinkle cinnamon and any additional toppings over the apple slices.
Have questions about how to apply these measures to your personal lifestyle and health needs? Village dietitian, Jamie Miller, is here to help create a personalized reboot for you! Reach out to her today! (E: firstname.lastname@example.org, P: 713-494-2030)