Likely one of the most shocking events in modern history, the COVID-19 outbreak caught everyone off-guard. People are still adjusting to the situation and it seems unbelievable that only a few weeks ago the lifestyle we knew and were accustomed to suffered a major flip. However, it’s time for us all to stay strong, support those closest to us emotionally if they have a hard time coping with the situation, and most importantly of all, stay inside the house to prevent the virus from spreading even further.
Self-isolation is a measure most people use at the moment as governments all over the world either recommend it or mandate it. But it’s for the greater good. If you truly love your relatives and friends, you must stay inside and stay safe for your sake and everyone else’s sake as well.
One of the main issues to emerge from this situation is a needed change in eating habits. No more shopping light when you hit the store but rather stock up on groceries that last a few days. No more eating out or ordering but rather preparing meals at home. If you are in isolation, we are here to provide you with some safe eating tips and recipe ideas to get your through this rough period that affects us all.
What You Should Stock Your Refrigerator and Pantry With
Trips to the supermarket be reduced to a minimum for you to have as little exposure to the virus as possible. Your best course of action is to plan ahead and establish what you serve for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the upcoming 5-7 days.
Instead of going online to order takeout, which isn’t recommended from a financial point of view considering the fact that the crisis situation is bound to last for a few months likely, take up preparing your own meals and only order cooking tools and utensils you don’t own and could come in handy. Invest time in your research and follow specialty websites like Parts & Labor to see what products are recommended and worth your money, especially if you don’t have any real experience in the kitchen or prior knowledge of what criteria make cooking tools qualitative.
Tips to properly prepare your shopping list:
- Make a list of what you have in the refrigerator and pantry to not overstock on certain food items that you don’t need at the moment. These could either spoil as you won’t use them all and thus you’ll end up wasting money, or you’ll simply have to eat the same types of meals for a while, which isn’t a viable solution either.
- After you have decided what meals you intend to prepare for the following 5-7 days, write down the ingredients and amounts you need to prepare them. This way, you limit yourself to shopping exactly what you need instead of overstocking.
- Check to see how many of the ingredients you need are already in your home and cross them off the list.
As this is a period where you won’t be active all that much, at least not in the sense that you were accustomed to, you must make proper nutrition your main priority. This implies larger quantities of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while meat portions should be smaller to save money and keep dietary saturated fat under control.
When you do cook with meat, use varieties that are rich in protein to make meals with great sustenance. Lean beef, turkey breasts, pork chops, fish, and lamb are a few of the suggestions nutritional specialists recommend for people to cover their dietary needs.
Nutritious foods that stay fresh for long and that you must include in your shopping list:
- Grains – Pasta, brown rice, couscous, oatmeal;
- Vegetables – Sun-dried, low-sodium canned, plain frozen, and fresh types that last longer like potatoes, broccoli, celery, and onions;
- Fruits – Canned, dried, plain frozen, or fresh fruits that last longer like apples and citrus fruits;
- Canned and dry beans;
- Bagged and canned nuts and seeds;
- Frozen and canned seafood;
- Frozen and canned chicken;
- Canned and frozen soups and broths;
- Breads – English muffins, wraps, corn tortillas.
Easy Recipes for the Self-Isolated
Breakfast recipes ideas
- Eggs Benedict take about 35 minutes to make but their deliciousness and sustenance is hard to match, so they make for a healthy breakfast you should include in your menu.
- There are plenty of pancake styles and recipes you can try out, even go crazy and try new toppings to see what you like most.
- Other interesting breakfast recipe ideas to try out: waffles, biscuits with sausage gravy, muffins, granola, quiche, sweet potato frittata.
Lunch recipes ideas
- Chicken noodle soup is easy to make and tastes heavenly, and as the main ingredient needed to prepare it is ground chicken, you get some much-needed protein from this meal too.
- Spring salads – there are quite a few recipes online to pick between depending on what ingredients you prefer, and seeing how the season has come to prepare them and that these consist of healthy veggies, you should include them in your menu at least once per week.
- Other interesting lunch recipe ideas to try out: sweet pea risotto, leek potato salad, cauliflower pizza, tomato-quinoa soup, minestrone.
Dinner recipes ideas
- If you have a backyard with a grill, consider yourself lucky as you can prepare delicious and healthy steaks while in isolation. Grilling doesn’t take much skill as opposed to other meals, just attention to temperature and cooking times, as well as proper seasoning.
- Nonetheless, those who live in apartments can prepare grilled foods too with the right tools, an indoor smokeless grill and a hefty chunk of meat being all you need to make delicious steak like you used to prepare at barbecues with friends. Best of all, your home won’t be invaded by the smell of smoke either.
- Using canned tuna, noodles or pasta, sesame oil, sweet-salty vinaigrette, rice vinegar, and mirin, you can prepare a delicious and nutritious tuna noodle/pasta salad. It takes approximately 30 minutes to make and doesn’t require advanced cooking knowledge either.
- Other interesting dinner recipe ideas to try out: black bean soup, sloppy Joes, herbed white bean soup, creamy chickpea pasta.
Quick tips – Eating, drinking, and meal preparation habits you should take up
- Try to get everyone involved in the cooking process. It’s a time to bond with each other more and learn new things. Basically, try to make the best out of a bad situation by having your significant other, kids, or anyone else you are isolated with participate and learn. Time will pass faster and you’ll all have a wonderful time too.
- Focus on hydration like you never have before. Hydration is the key to proper health and you should use it to improve your immune system by drinking alkaline water that not only has superior hydrating capabilities, but helps in weight loss, fights off free radicals, and boasts colon-cleansing properties.
- Avoid overeating at all costs. When people stay inside for long, one of the common mistakes they make is eating a lot more than their bodies need. To make sure you won’t fall victim to overeating, make a schedule that includes when you serve the main meals or the day and when you can serve a few snacks, and stick to it.
It will take collective effort to get over this crisis situation, and the best way to help out if you don’t work in any field that requires you to get out of the house is to stay inside and stay safe. Go out only when you have necessary shopping or if there is an emergency situation. This way, the infection rate is diminished and the time it takes for the pandemic to end is cut short. Isolation from friends and loved ones isn’t easy on anyone, but self-quarantine and temporary isolation are the only tools we have to fight COVID-19 from spreading and affecting those we care about the most, at the moment.