The COVID-19 pandemic keeps its devastating march across the planet with more and more countries going into lockdown. Millions of people have now switched to working from home and embraced the life-saving social distancing. One of the changes that resulted from it is that now so many of us need to cook all the time.
Are you one of the many who are used to getting their meals from restaurants, takeout, etc.?
Well, in that case, you’ll need to master some new skills to stay healthy during the quarantine. It’s true that some restaurants still do deliveries. However, those are expensive and can’t sustain you 24/7.
So how do you eat healthy while working from home?
The following tips will give you some ideas.
Look for Inspiration Online
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never made anything more complex than scrambled eggs. Cooking is an easily-acquired skill and now is the best time to master it. And to make it even easier for you, today you have a multitude of resources that explain cooking on the most basic level.
There has never been a shortage of cooking blogs and YouTuber channels. But today, with the restaurant industry in shambles worldwide, even Michelin-starred chefs are broadcasting and sharing their cooking skills. Instagram and YouTube are the best platforms to look for some inspirational recipes for any budget.
Most importantly, looking for recipes on these platforms will allow you to find a multitude of quick and simple meals. Obviously, even when working from home you won’t have a chance to spend half a day in the kitchen. But making a healthy and delicious lunch in 20-40 minutes is easy.
Get Meal Kits
Home deliveries of restaurant meals aren’t a service everyone can indulge in daily. But meal kits are much more affordable and also fun to use. This type of service delivers a box of prepped ingredients right to your door. Cooking a meal kit meal takes about 30 minutes, on average. But unlike frozen meals, this one would be packed with good fresh nutrients.
When choosing a meal kit provider, you should focus on quality and trustworthiness. Usually, this means picking from the top brands that have already proven to be reliable. This is most important during the pandemic as you have to be sure that the company complies with all sanitary requirements and delivers food that’s 100% safe.
Other important factors to consider are the delivery range, menu, and portion sizes. When comparing Hello Fresh vs Goodfood for example, you’ll quickly see that while Goodfood is slightly cheaper and has a more versatile meal selection, it only delivers in big and medium-sized cities. However, Hello Fresh will bring healthy and delicious prepped meals even to remote areas. Also, the latter has bigger portion sizes. Therefore, the higher cost is warranted.
On the other hand, if you do live in a city, choosing the cheaper option with more food choices is a good idea.
Apply the same principle for selecting a meal kit service in any country. In the meantime, you should also make sure the company is certified to work with food in your state.
Prep Ingredients to Minimize Cooking Time
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is staying focused on your work. It’s essential to remain productive. Therefore, you can’t take a long lunch break and get distracted by complicated cooking.
However, tossing prepped ingredients together into a pot or bowl and enjoying a fresh delicious meal should help you recharge instead of completely destroying your concentration. That’s why it’s imperative to prep your ingredients in advance. This can also get you into a habit of preparing boxed lunches. You’ll benefit from it greatly when you are back in the office.
When using meal kits, you won’t have such issues because all ingredients are already prepped. But for the days when you cook from scratch, follow the basic rules of food prepping:
- Pre-cook grains and beans as they can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
You can use them in salads, stews, and even soups.
- Steam your veggies and pre-cut salad ingredients.
The exception is “juicy” veggies (cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.) as those need to be cut fresh.
- Follow the CDC guidelines for food safety to make sure your food is cooked thoroughly and is really safe. Also, make sure you reheat the food right bringing it to proper cooking temperature.
It’s most efficient to do all your food prepping in one day, so plan ahead for it. This means that you should work out a menu and a grocery list based on it.
Stay Motivated by Sharing With Friends
Enforced social isolation is one of the main reasons that makes this pandemic so hard on mental health. In these conditions, it’s easy to let yourself go and forget about healthy eating. Motivating yourself to cook can be particularly hard.
However, with the Internet, you don’t have to be completely disconnected. Share photos of your healthy meals with friends on social media. Join various cooking challenges and start your own. Most of all, remember that by doing this you do not only help yourself. You also help other people to stay connected and motivated to watch their diet during this difficult time.
Another important benefit of doing this is that it’ll help you form habits that will stay with you long after this trial has passed. In fact, if you’ve struggled with changing your eating habits before, now is the best time to start on healthy meals. This will help you strengthen your immunity.
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