Lifestyle choices around physical activity and nutrition are an important contributor to the management of chronic diseases and for optimising general health and wellbeing. Did you know less than half of adult Australians are eating the two serves of fruit per day, that’s adding a banana and an apple as snacks to tick the box and we’re not managing it! 

Prioritising your nutritional health and nutritional adequacy is important so we can best tackle whatever stresses our body might have to encounter. We need to ensure we are consuming the foods needed to nourish our body (e.g. veggies, proteins, grainy carbs) and also allow foods that nourish our taste buds and allow us to eat socially (e.g. chocolate or pizza).  

‘Diet quality’ rather than ‘dieting’ should be the focus of the day, getting in enough of the right fuels in, to ensure we don’t get hangry or malnourished. Our immune system can’t function optimally if we are restricting intake, excessively exercising, or yoyo-dieting. If stress and anxiety levels have been increasing, or boredom, be aware of any non-hungry or emotional eating and have alternative non-food options in place to self-soothe and calm.

Tips to take care of nutritional health during isolation:

  • Practice hand hygiene! Wash your hands with soap before preparing food.

  • Listen to your hunger and respond to it! Check-in with yourself when you are full.

  • Eat main meals – this is where we get good quality carbohydrates (to fuel our brain and muscles) and protein (to repair and rebuild). If you don’t have time to make these there are plenty of options for outsourcing with fresh and frozen supermarket meals.

  • Don’t neglect your veggies or fruit – roast up a big tray of veggies at the start of the week or use frozen veggie packs and salad bags for convenient options.

  • Snack on fibre or protein filled foods such as fruit, nuts, cheese or hummus with grainy crackers.

  • There isn’t one best vegetable, fruit, nut or grain – the key is to have variety to expose yourself to different nutrients, the more colours the better.

  • Carbohydrates ARE good for you! Go for grainy brown carbohydrates to boost your fibre and keep your bowels regular, the rule is if kids hate it – it must be good for you.

  • Sit down to eat and be present, prioritise your meal times especially if with others – this is an important moment to connect in your day. Try a Skype brunch date with friends.

  • Flavour with herbs and spices, lemon, garlic and ginger, add the extra virgin olive oil.

  • Drink water – every cell in your body needs water to function. If you don’t like plain old water, carbonate it, flavour it, add some tea leaves – get those fluids in regularly.

  • Don’t forget! “For each diet there is an equal and opposite binge” – Geneen Roth

Ideas for tackling boredom:

  • Take up a new craft – knitting, crochet, painting, sewing… go and raid Spotlight or Etsy for some therapeutic crafting ideas! For beginner tutorials there are so many free videos on Youtube to show you how to do every craft there is.

  • Spring clean – take a page from Marie Kondo’s book and do a home clean out – set one area/group of items to tackle per week and keep or thank and release the items. You may be surprised by what you rediscover!

  • Get connected – contact family and friends, see how they are going. Get a virtual trivia night happening with family or organise a virtual dinner party with friends to see who’s the best chef.

  • Sign up for an online course or hone a skill. There are lots of courses online and many free things available! The Centre for Clinical Interventions has free online course materials on areas including Appearance Concerns, Assertiveness, Sleep and Social Anxiety: https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself

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