5 ways to lockdown your wellbeing: eat well

‘5 Ways to Lockdown your Wellbeing’

To help us improve wellbeing during home living and social distancing, our Exercise Referral Instructor, Fran Andralojc, is sharing her ‘5 ways to lockdown your wellbeing’ over the coming weeks. The first way to lockdown your wellbeing, ‘boost positivity’ was released last week on our ‘Your Home, Your Move’ hub.

Some of you may be aware of the 5 ways to wellbeing report, researched by the New Economics foundation and proven to improve an individual’s wellbeing when practised regularly. Fran has used similar concepts but with tweaks and changes adapted to our experiences during lockdown. For information on these, please follow the links: New Economics and Gov.uk.

Fran’s 5 ways to lockdown your wellbeing are:

  1. Boost positivity
  2. Eat well
  3. Stay active
  4. Keep in touch
  5. Help others when possible

This week, we are sharing the second way to lockdown your wellbeing, eating well.

‘Eat Well’

It can be true to an extent, that we are what we eat. Have you ever noticed how your body feels after indulging in less healthy meals or snacks? I know I feel lethargic, low in energy and low in mood. When I eat well I feel much happier and more energised. The timing of eating is important too and can affect things like how well we sleep.

Here are a few tips that may help you to continue eating well during this time. Be sure to have a look at the recipes we have on Your Home, Your Move for some food inspiration.

1. Try to stay hydrated, drink plenty of water throughout the day and be aware of liquid energy: Adding sugar to teas, drinking hot chocolates or lots of juices and sugary drinks are best avoided in large volumes, especially if you are less active during this time than you may usually be.

2. Eat when you need to, not when you’re bored: It’s so easy to grab a snack when you’re bored, when actually that extra energy isn’t needed. Try to listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry. If you’re unsure whether you’re hungry or not, have a glass of water and do something to distract you. If that doesn’t do the job and you’re still feeling hungry, go for a healthy snack like a piece of fruit.

3. Plan your meals in advance: You’ll be less likely to overeat this way and more likely to eat healthier meals. It is important to plan before going food shopping so you don’t get tempted by the sugary snacks on offer when you’re wandering the aisles. Make a meal plan for the week and write down the ingredients you need and stick to this shopping list when in the supermarket.

4. Take time out to eat rather than eating on the go or whilst you’re busy working: Try and have some quiet time where you can either sit with your family and eat, or just eat by yourself without any distractions. You’ll be less likely to eat as much as you will recognise when you’re full. Any leftovers you have can be kept for lunch the next day!

5. Batch cook meals and make the most of store cupboard ingredients: We’ve been making lots of bean and vegetable chilli and stews as they’re cheap and easy to make and don’t require too many ingredients. You can keep the cooked meals in the fridge or freeze them and have them later.

6. Substitute foods if you need to: Ultimately it doesn’t matter if you use kidney beans or borlotti beans in a chilli, or beef, pork, turkey mince or quorn mince. It all still makes a hearty nutritious meal. If you’re out of tinned tomatoes and can’t find them in the supermarket, tomato puree and water is a good substitute.

7. Try not to go to bed on a full stomach: This could affect your sleep. Have a read of Lucy’s blog post on ways to improve your sleep for more information.

Professional chef, Jamie Oliver, has put a series together on eating well and cooking during social distancing. Have a look at his ‘Keep Cooking & Carry On’ videos for some recipe ideas.

Fran’s next way to lockdown your wellbeing: ‘Stay Active’ will be released next week. Fran is happy for you to email her directly if you have any questions on anything mentioned in this article.