DES MOINES, Iowa — The coronavirus has forced many Iowans indoors this spring. Those who are used to working in an office may be finding it hard to stay motivated.
Some are either over or under eating. An eating disorder specialist said a lot of this has to do with COVID-19 affecting our emotions where eating becomes a coping mechanism.
“Whenever we’re out of our norm and we’re stressed, food becomes a way that people cope in the same way that people might cope with substances and or gaming, or any kind of behavioral addiction,” Co- Founder of the Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa, Michelle Rolling said.
Rolling said if you’re in this position, use the acronym, H.A.L.T. Am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired.
“If I’m hungry then I better, you know, resolve that and figure out what I should feed my body right now. If I’m angry, lonely or tired, food is not going to fix those things for me, and I need to address those in different ways,” Rolling said.
Here is an online resource to help with COVID-19 isolation and eating disorders.
Health professionals say the key to feeling better is linked to your routine. Breaking up spaces in your home to still separate work life from personal time.
“Taking that time and creating a break for yourself and eating in the kitchen, will help you with mindful eating, and that will lead to, you know, eating more consistent meals later on,” HyVee Registered Dietitian, Ashley Danielson said.
Danielson said eating every two to three hours will boost your metabolism and antioxidants are important right now to keep your immune system healthy.
To limit grocery stores runs for the sake of social distancing, Danielson said the key is really how you take care of the food. With the extra time at home, she suggests washing your produce as soon as you get home and meal prepping.
Here is a list of “Quality Quarantine” Snack suggestions from HyVee dieticians:
Antioxidants to help keep your immune system healthy
Strawberries, blueberries, apples, oranges, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes.
Frozen/canned fruits and vegetables
Raw vegetables with hummus or dressing
Hard boiled eggs
Whole grain toast with avocado
Apple + almonds, string cheese, or nut butter
Smoothie: Frozen banana, greens (spinach, kale), milk and nut butter
Greek yogurt with low sugar granola
Homemade trail mix: popcorn + nuts + dried fruit + dark chocolate
Baked goods: Mixes with high protein and whole grains.