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CARE-ona pandemic pantry prep

Mar

25


Orchid exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens- so grateful to visit pre-corona lock-down.

Orchid exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens- so grateful to visit pre-corona lock-down.

I don’t know if you caught me this morning but yup, I did a thing. I went live in my jammies on Instagram to talk about how to get your pantry stocked for the 2-week lockdown.

Look, I know it’s challenging to be stuck at home. BUT I’m the queen of putting a positive spin on situations and you can take this time as an opportunity for SELF CARE (get it – CARE-ona instead to corona?!).

So while we’re practicing proper social distancing you CAN also focus on self CARE: learn a new language, read the books you haven’t started, create that online course you’ve been wanting to create, purge your closet (ugh I need to) or catch up on your fave Netflix shows (hello Sex Education, Succession + Downton Abby for the 2nd time, Stranger Things or comedy shows for that boost).

This is a time in history we will ALL talk about. How do you want your story to go? That you were in a constant state of fear and panic, glued to the news that’s feeding you fear OR knowing that fear flatlines your immune system and limiting your exposure to just learning the facts from reputable sources like the CDC or WHO and then MOVING ON WITH YOUR DAY with other self CARE-ona activities and work.

What is working for me is managing my own thoughts and psychology (whatever you tell yourself you BELIEVE) and then to focus on the big picture. We are all in this together, we are all connected, and we are going to support each other and come together as human race to rebuild a better future.

Whenever my mind starts spiraling into the possibility of my business closing, losing my house, car, everything, I focus on gratitude. I’m grateful that Mother Nature is healing (y’all, there are actual dolphins swimming around in the once polluted canals of Italy because the water quality is better!)

This is HUGE on an eco-level because quite frankly, if we keep raping our natural resources, Mother Nature is going to shake us off her planet like water on a wet dog. We have to think about our personal global impact on the environment (stop with the plastic forks and waste) and focus on green-energy sources. We have no choice, this is a big wake up call.

If that doesn’t resonate with you, then focus on what is the opportunity for personal grow and more importantly, your HEALTH.

We have all heard the axiom HEALTH IS WEALTH! Well now just might be the perfect time to make the commitment (or recommit) to making your health a major priority. How cool is that to say “wow the corona-virus whipped my arse in shape and got me back on the self-CARE train!”

Okay, okay, here’s a breakdown of how to stock your pantry so you can move through this 2-week self-CARE quarantine with key foods to support your body. This might turn into a time that you make some significant changes in your lifestyle and how you nourish your body! Your thoughts become your reality….

  1. NUTS AND SEEDS: these little powerhouses are calorie-dense and loaded with omega-3s that are major brain boosters (we could all use that now) and support healthy cells. I’m a fan of variety- walnuts, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, pistachios as well as chia, hemp, flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds. Top your yogurt, cereal, or salads with them or just eat a handful with a piece of fruit for a quick snack (apples, pears are great for the liver and can stay on the countertop for long periods of time). Brazil nuts are loaded with selenium but you only need one, maybe two a day otherwise you OD on ‘em and cause hair loss, nerve damage, fatigue and irritability. MODERATION WITH THE GOOD STUFF! More isn’t always better darling….

  2. BEANS AND GRAINS: YES YOU NEED CARBS RIGHT NOW! This is where paleo, keto and all the high protein, low-carb diets get it wrong (and btw why they are unsustainable). These high fiber carbs have awesome nutrients and FIBER (and plant-protein) for your gut bacteria, keep you fuller for longer periods of time AND are loaded with B-vitamins. With this heightened time of stress, guess what’s getting gobbled up? B-vitamins. You might think “well I’ll just take a supplement” but here’s the rub. You get all the co-factors and bestie nutrients IN the whole foods versus getting from vitamins and supplements. My first choice is always get it from the food, and then with nutritional deficiencies add in supplements. Carbs soothe the brain, belly and body so go for variety if you can: chickpea, red, kidney, black, white, lentils, peas, pinto, black-eyed all the beans, lentils + peas (I LOVE sprouted mung beans!!!). Don’t forget about grains: I’m a fan of oats (!!!) brown rice, quinoa, millet if you’re gluten-free, but branch out and try some exotic ones like freekeh, farro, and other ancient grains to add to salads, make a grain bowl, or a side dish with any meal. I love oats for my Super SHE-ro muffins, energy balls and Loaded Oat Bowls (oatmeal with fresh fruit and your favorite toppings- nuts/seeds or nut butter). Portion sizes are individual based on your needs and if you’re diabetic (if mindful of carbs it’s suggested to see how 1/2-1 cup feels – if you have a food coma then it could be from too many carbs).

  3. NOODLES AND PASTA: great to always have on stock for a quick meal with pasta sauce. Can add ground turkey or crumble up tempeh if vegan with spinach or kale and boom, balanced meal. Gluten-free options include plant-based pastas by Banza, Explore Asian and Tolerant brands. If you’re Italian, you won’t like the plant-versions so start with 1/2 plant based + 1/2 regular and educate your taste buds if needed 🙂

  4. CANNED FISH OR JERKY: if you can grab canned pink salmon, sardines, and light tuna since they are shelf-stable. Loaded with omega-3’s that make the brain happy, protein that can help you stay satisfied for long periods of time, and helps support muscle. Can make a quick sammie on whole grain bread, touch of yogurt and chopped celery with herbs for salmon or tuna salad, or add to salad. If you’re elderly or immuno-compromised your body needs adequate protein for the immune system and to prevent muscle wasting. Jerky is another source of protein but is typically high in sodium so not the best choice for hypertension or people who don’t drink enough WATER.

  5. OILS + VINEGARS: big fan of avocado oil (!!!) grapeseed, pumpkin seed, sesame, pecan, and high-grade oils as well as coconut to cook with or use for a homemade dressing. I love a variety of vinegars like apple cider (get “the mother”), balsamic, coconut, elderberry and other fancy vinegars. Use a 1:1 of oil to vinegar for a quick dressing with a pinch of mustard + maple syrup, agave or honey (whatever liquid sweetener you have available).

  6. PASTA SAUCE OR CANNED TOMATOES (TO MAKE SAUCE): you probably already have but stock up on a couple of jars for quick pasta meals in a pinch. Add a simple salad and it’s a balanced meal. Our meals aren’t always gourmet, sometimes you have to focus on nutritious and nourishing. Amazon has a ton of options to order HERE.

  7. TETRA-PACKED MILK: if you have kiddo’s you might want to stock up on these since they are shelf-stable – just in case. You can always use after the quarantine period but it’s a good idea to have available as needed. Use for cereal, smoothies, or added into curries. I have a quart of coconut cream for Thai dishes and desserts – it’s like vegan cream (I have a legit dairy issue).

  8. ONIONS + GARLIC: cooking with these two powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal bulbs on the daily! Use in veggie + protein of choices for stir-fry with brown rice or quinoa or even cauliflower rice. Not great if you have IBS since onions and garlic are the top problematic foods so if you increate your intake and notice your bowel habits change, could be this.

  9. TEA + COFFEE: I’m a big fan of teas since coffee causes major jitters but it’s important you have what you need for 2+ weeks so you don’t have to go out in public for it. I’m a fan of loose-leaf (decrease environmental impact with packaging and waste) and you can compost it afterwards. I like to store in glass jars and have a tea crate of all kinds of exotic teas.

  10. WINE OR BOOZE: yup, my parent clients say, “please don’t take away my wine (or tequila)” so that will be the decision of each individual to figure out what you need. Just know that alcohol DOES negatively impact your sleep and prevents deep, restorative sleep so this might be a good time to find balance. If you need a nap the next day, take it.

  11. DARK CHOCOLATE: for many of us, this is life. Dark chocolate or cacao is loaded with magnesium (helps your muscles chill out), antioxidants and can bring joy to your taste buds during times of stress. Chocolate does heal the heart, positively impacts blood pressure, but avoid overeating at night since it can disrupt your sleep and that is super important right now (see below). Some of my fave dark chocolate brands are Alter Eco, Endangered Species, Theo’s and if you can spend the dough, Hu’s.

Oh PS……..SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL:  for your body to rest and reboot the system. I’d suggest shutting off ALL electronics by 8p and allowing the body to wind down naturally. Take hot bath, read a book, make a cup of hot herbal tea, so something gentle and kind that signals to the body “it’s time to chill!”

If my mind is going in a million directions I listen to my fave YOGA NIDRA (HERE) guided journey on You TUBE and it’s like magic. If you add in a solid night-time routine, over time you’ll fall asleep when you get into bed, turn off your mind, and heal.

Is it time to take your health more seriously and elevate your commitment to your nutrition? We all have wake up calls- this is a global one.

Sending optimal health and GI wellness

Jennifer

DISCLOSURE: some links are affiliate-based so thank you for helping me pay to maintain my site and write posts that can help improve your health!

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