As a small business owner, seeing clients face to face in an office or going on-site to do programs, most of my work has come to a screeching halt with COVID-19. It feels weird to me to be home so much. I miss seeing clients and helping them navigate their health issues through better nutrition.
But- in this age of technology, I am nervous but excited to be able to continue nutrition counseling or coaching online through various HIPPA compliant software. You’ve likely heard the term “virtual visits” or telehealth. The same is true for dietitians. We are able to teach, coach and counsel you online. Handouts and documents like recipes and articles can be sent through email (or snail mail if desired). Accountability may help during these times of stress.
If you’re interested in meeting virtually or just talking over your health and nutrition issue on the phone, send me a message and lettuce set up an appt. firstname.lastname@example.org Payment accepted through Square, PayPal, Flex spending/health savings account and Venmo
Stay healthy friends!
If the anxiety of having to be housebound while watching another news conference about COVID19 is making you eat more, you’re not alone. When we’re under stress (mental or physical), the hormone cortisol can really do a number on our appetites. Lack of sleep related to constant worry also raises cortisol levels. Kids being off school, spouses working from home and gyms and rec centers being closed will likely take a toll on our waistlines. Eating due to boredom, fear or frustration isn’t helping either. Call it the “quarantine 15” or the “COVID-19”, we’d all like to avoid weight gain right now.
The good news is that you CAN prevent the possible ‘spread’ from COVID19. If you’re an emotional eater, now is the time to get it under control. Here are a few tips to help.
- Keep a journal. Writing down what you eat, when you eat and how you feel will help you keep an eye on eating patterns and emotions. It will keep you accountable for what you eat in addition to making you pay attention to hunger VS habit or emotion.
- Don’t hoard food. While a few US cities are forcing people to stay in (which is good advice for all of us), there is no need to hoard food. The more food you have in your frig or pantry, the more you’ll either eat or throw away if not used. In the age of Instacart and Amazon delivery, you can have food (and toilet paper) delivered if needed.
- Limit purchases of snack foods, alcohol and other empty calories. Sure, we’ve all been joking about turning to baking or drinking to ride out this pandemic. You may want to save your money (and liver function) during this uncertain time. Keep up the water intake- hydration prevents headaches and fatigue.
- Eat scheduled meals. Work and school life is completely upside down right now, but keeping your family on some semblance of a schedule will help ease their anxiety and help regulate appetite. While this doesn’t have to be militant, keep meals roughly 4 to 5 hours apart.
- Keep eating produce. Just because every article you read says “stock up on non-perishables”, you can still buy, prepare and eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Until we run out of romaine, we’re going to keep up the salads in my house.
- Be creative. Have a little extra ‘thyme’? Try a new recipe to get you out of your food rut. While you may crave comfort food, it’s OK to mix things up (literally) now and then.
- Get outside! I am so inspired by how many neighbors I see outside with their families and pets. As the weather warms up, take advantage of biking, hiking or just walking around the block. You can still keep 6 feet of social distance between you and a neighbor or friend while outside.
- Go to bed already! It’s tempting to stay up later if you don’t have a normal work or school schedule. But your body and brain still crave 7 to 8 hours sleep to remain healthy. If possible, keep your usual sleep and wake cycle, even on weekends. Getting enough sleep keeps cravings down, maintains energy and prevents depression. It also keeps your immune system humming!
- Maintain food rules. Eat in your kitchen or dining room only. Don’t allow snacks in your kids’ rooms or snacks while playing board games or watching TV. Mindless eating contributes to the “COVID-19 spread”.
- Seek support. Many mental health providers as well as dietitians are providing virtual visits (telehealth) and phone support to clients. If you’re interested in this service, don’t hesitate to email me to set up an appt.
Keep washing your hands and stay healthy friends!
Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Within a week, our world here changed. While we watched the news of the Corona virus spreading into our state with announcements about “social distance” and virtual classrooms, everything from March Madness to soccer season, stopped.My girls’ first response was anxiety and panic. Questions about how to get back into the school for various belongings and projects or having no homework packet began to surface. We’d all been so conditioned to be on the gerbil wheel of a schedule. That comfort of regularity ended abruptly.
As a small business owner, I panicked a bit, too. A tee shirt booth I had at a festival was cancelled. Classes lined up for the garden center beginning next week are on hold. I teach once a week at a small school and while their spring break is next week, I question what will happen the week we’re to return. Plans for our own spring break changed as well. We had planned a trip to Chicago to look at colleges for my oldest daughter, but the campuses are now closed.
But here’s the thing. This time of quiet is a gift. How many of us spend our lives in and out of our cars, on and off the phone planning, scheduling, wedging our lives into multiple events day after day after day? Quite frankly, it’s exhausting. Few of us can say “no” to our kids that want to join yet one more seasonal sport. We can’t politely decline an invitation to be on another committee. We agree to evening meetings when we’d rather be at home with family.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy being involved in my girls’ lives. I like to serve in my community. I enjoy rolling up my sleeves and digging into a meaningful project. But honestly- I’m kind of excited to take days one at a time with no schedule. I’m looking forward to sleeping in instead of waking at 6:15 to get my daughter off to the bus. I’m going to catch up on reading that I rarely get a chance to do. And, I’ll likely make a lot of soup! Being in the kitchen chopping things makes me happy. I won’t be making much money these next several weeks, and that is OK.
Take advantage of this gift of quiet. Enjoy the slow pace. Get out some board games with your family. Read a book. Take a hike outside. Indulge in a nap if you like. The world is upside down right now. And I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.
Dear friends, family and followers-
This fall, I was commissioned to write my first cook book about gout. Having worked at the VA for several years, volunteering for the Arthritis Foundation and having chronic arthritis myself (rheumatoid), I felt comfortable sharing my knowledge and recipes on this painful disease.
I’m excited to announce that the book is now available on pre-order on Amazon, Target and Barnes & Noble! It will be released for print on 3-31-20. If you like simple, delicious, anti-inflammatory meals, please check it out or get one as a gift for anyone that’s dealing with gout or other inflammatory condition. I think you’ll enjoy what’s in store.