I have heard from many of my clients that even though they are cooking all their meals and eating better than ever during this isolation they haven't lost any weight. They are walking every day, getting exercise and fresh air and still no results.
Losing weight is much more complex than just eating less and exercising more. Here are some factors to consider:
So what will work if diet and exercise are not making a significant impact:
We want to be on a diet that we can maintain for our whole life. The best plan is one full of nutrient dense foods. It's not about being slim, it's about being healthy and strong and productive and avoiding getting conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Those conditions put us at risk for some many diseases and for suffering more severe outcomes if you get Covid 19.
Lastly it is a time to be kind to ourselves, to sort out how we want to live our lives and what matters to us. I have known since my own health challenge that nothing is as important as physical and mental health. If we don't have our health we have nothing.
My New Favorite Comfort Food
Easy, Healthy and Delicious Recipes and an oops..
Apologies.... I got distracted while writing out my zucchini recipe and put in a line that was unnecessary. No need to line a cookie tray with parchment paper.
Broccoli, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese Pasta
I just love this easy recipe. It is my new comfort food. It takes approximately 10 minutes to make and the creamy sauce makes it seem very decadent. I use penne but any pasta will do.
2 tablespoons avocado or coconut oil
1 red onion, diced
1 bunch of broccoli, chopped
1 package of mushrooms (approximately 10), sliced
2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes in oil
150 grams of soft goat cheese (1/2 the Kirkland brand package)
½ cup coconut milk or to desired thickness
Gluten free pasta
Cook the pasta in large pan of boiling water.
In a large frying pan, sauté onion in oil until onion softens. Add broccoli, mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes into the pan, mushrooms, and heat through. I like the broccoli cooked but firm. Add in the goat cheese, and milk and heat until cheese is melted. Drain the pasta and serve the mixture over the pasta.
Cacao Brazil Nut Bites
This healthy treat is a fun way to get our selenium, magnesium as well as powerful antioxidants. This recipe is quick, easy and satisfies chocolate cravings. It is quick to throw together and does not require cooking.
Makes 8 balls
½ cup raw Brazil nuts
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup raw cacao powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Large pinch of cinnamon
2 tablespoons raw honey
Process the nuts and coconuts in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients.
With your hands, roll the mixtures into balls using about 2 tablespoons for each.
Place on a parchment lined plate or on a baking sheet. Chill in freezer for about 30 minutes.
Remove and enjoy or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Chocolate Brownies with Sweet Potato and Avocado
These brownies are gluten free, contain the healthy fats of nuts and avocado. They are a great way to use those past the prime avocados. The nutritional superstar, sweet potato, adds a nice texture to the brownie and is packed with fibre, B6, vitamins A and C, and beta-carotene. Great served with some coconut cream or non-dairy ice cream.
½ cup creamy nut butter
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup mashed avocado (about ½ of a large)
½ cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
¼ cup coconut milk or alternative
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons of cacao powder.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips. After blended stir in chocolate chips. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 20 minutes.
Some Thoughts on our Collective Experience on Self Isolation
Yesterday I missed seeing family and friends over the holidays. I really wanted this social isolation to end and the curve to flatten so we could see each other in person once again. I know that I will so appreciate each moment we spend together even more than we did before. As often happens. I opened my email and the first one l I read explained that out of hard times comes wisdom. New behavior and new ways of thinking emerge from an experience of fear, anxiety and loneliness. And we see this in the stories of love and compassion that are shared on social media.
Some of my thoughts on the new behavior patterns that may emerge due to the crisis:
Maybe people will realize that your health is the most important thing and that we need to take care of our immune system every single day.
Maybe people will realize that cooking your own food is a life line to good health and is easier and tastier than you think. I would love to see people turn to cooking natural, unprocessed foods that nourish our bodies.
Maybe we will realize that convenience foods aren't really all that convenient or at least choose foods that are healthier for us.
Maybe we will realize that cooking together as a family can be a way to have fun and build a relationship.
From that email ((Jeff from OneCommune) I was reading are additional patterns that may possibly emerging:
Maybe remote work is more efficient and the better for the environment?
Maybe I don't need new clothes, trinkets, and devices to be happy?
Maybe I actually like my kids, and more surprisingly, they like me:
Maybe growing a carrot makes it taste better?
Maybe I should know my neighbors name?
Maybe I don't need to travel the world?
Maybe if enough people wake up to a better way of life then we can define new metrics of collective success and the myth of endless growth can wither away?
Maybe we can create sustainable local economies that don't require exploitation of anonymous workers and landscapes around the globe?
Maybe we can rediscover a passion for civic engagement and reinvigorate the public square?
Maybe there is a new human story?
During this difficult time we are all staying at home more and one way to occupy our time is to eat. That’s okay if we stick to eating healthy foods and limit our sweets or treats.
I have a tendency to emotional eating and I love food. I eat when happy, stressed, bored, or anxious. I have had food issues all my life but I now know what unhealthy food items can do to my system and how they impact my overall health. There are better alternatives. I have posted some great recipes for healthier treats and comfort foods and will post more in the days ahead. Someone who survived the coronus virus asked people to not smoke, as you may one day need your lungs. I am asking that you not eat sugary nutritional bankrupt foods as you may one day need your immune system.
I am also trying to be patient, kind and forgiving to myself and ask you to do the same. I am not perfect, no one is, but I also do not want to come out of this quarantine worse off than before.
Here are a few things that might help with emotional food issues during stressful times:
I hope these suggestions help. This is a great time to reflect on how we are treating our bodies, our minds and even the environment. It is a great time to explore how what we eat affects well-being.
As promised, my favourite comfort food:
Sauteed Cauliflower Pearls with Veggies
2 tablespoons (30 ml) coconut or avocado oil
1 small red onion, diced
1 cup (250 ml) diced mushrooms
1 cup (250 ml) green vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, asparagus, cut in small pieces
2 cups (500 ml) cauliflower pearls (or small pieces of cauliflower)
¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth
½ to ¾ cup goat feta cheese, crumbled
In a large frying pan on medium heat, saute onions until soft. Add mushrooms, green veggies, and cook until tender. Add cauliflower and broth. Turn heat to low and simmer until cauliflower is cooked and liquid is reduced. Add the cheese, remove from the heat when it starts to melt. Serve. Great as leftovers.
“Will your marriage survive the coronavirus? “
That was a CNN headline I read and I also read a statistic that divorce rates in China have soared with the virus emerging. The stay home or shelter in place mandate has us spending much more time together, and that, combined with the stress of possible illness, financial stress and loneliness is taking its toll on each and every one of us.
Here are some suggestions that may help:
Take this time of togetherness to grow your relationship and help each other.. Some of the best advice a therapist gave me once was “just be nice”. A little ‘niceness’ goes a long way and can change the trajectory of your life.
Susanne Jakubowski is a holistic nutritionist, yoga teacher, Thai Yoga Therapist, and cancer survivor.