Ease into life after lockdown with these 3 healthy habits

By: Jenny Tschiesche BSc(Hons) Dip(ION) FdSc BANT

Ease into life after lockdown with these 3 healthy habits 

One thing is for sure, being in lockdown has sent people one of two ways. Either you’ve become a fitness and health fanatic, or your formerly healthy habits also became locked down and as a result your health has suffered. With a new plan to ease our lives back to some form of normality, albeit over a long period of time, you might now start to think about this new transition as an opportunity to create some healthier nutrition goals. Whether you’re returning to your former healthier self or simply getting back into a more usual routine you can benefit from taking on board these 3 health tips.  

Ditch the Shop-Bought Sandwich

egg sandwich

The average Brit will eat 18,000 sandwiches in their lifetime. In fact, 56% have at least one per day. Approx. 60-70% of the bread we eat is white and sandwiches account for 50% of overall bread consumption. Bread doesn’t have to be an unhealthy choice. You can choose bread made “the old-fashioned way” i.e. sourdough or a traditional rye bread and you can make sure that the choices you do make are wholegrain. However, most shop-bought sandwiches are made on bread produced by what is known as the Chorleywood Breadmaking Process which uses a cocktail of artificial additives not even listed on the label in order to cut out the proving time. These additives and this process are linked to poorer digestion and even poorer absorption of nutrients.

Sandwiches also tend to limit our choices in terms of fillings. As a nation we are not very adventurous. In fact, our favourite fillings are as follows:

  • Cheese
  • Ham and cheese
  • Ham salad
  • Sausage
  • Cheese and onion
  • Egg mayonnaise

Taking your own from home is a great option, but there are now sandwich shops and specialist bakeries serving sandwiches on more traditionally made bread. Sourdough or a traditional rye bread are good options but so too are wholegrain pittas and flatbreads. As far as fillings goes the choices are endless but here are just a few ideas to get you going:

  • Plant-Based – hummus, mixed bean salad, quinoa tabbouleh, babaganoush, falafel
  • Egg-based – omelette, frittata, egg mayo
  • Meat-based – satay chicken, turkey salad, cooled koftas, pesto chicken
  • Dairy-based – mozzarella/burrata, cottage cheese, cream cheese, tzatziki/raita

Finally, where a healthy balanced sandwich is concerned, try and fill your sandwich with as much filling as there is bread and include some protein and some vegetables/salad where possible.

Opt for Healthy Snacks

Whilst at home you’ve had access to the kitchen and to all day snacking if you’ve wanted. You might not always have felt hungry as such but with food available all day long the temptation has been there. Not only that but your choices may not always have been the healthiest because if there’s an apple or chocolate on offer guess which one the brain instinctively tells you will give the biggest boost to your energy? So, as you start to move around more and perhaps even start to go back into the office or workplace be prepared with healthy snacks for when you need an energy boost. Here are some options for you to try:

  • Fresh Fruit
  • Hummus and chopped vegetables
  • No Added Sugar Yogurt
  • Dried Fruit and Nuts
  • Dried Fruit and Nut Bars e.g Nkd
  • Apple and Nut Butter
  • Celery and Nut Butter
  • Homemade flapjacks
  • Chia Puddings
  • Tahini and honey on oatcakes

 

Stay Hydrated

drinking water

Whilst at home you may have had immediate access to the kettle for tea and coffee but also to the tap/fridge for cold drinks and water. You’ve probably managed to stay well hydrated. You’ll know if you haven’t as you’ll have noticed lethargy, headaches and obviously thirst as well as the colour of your pee being darker than straw coloured. However, as you start to move around more you’ll need to plan more too to ensure you stay hydrated. You may want to take with you an insulated water bottle designed to keep cold drinks cold. This makes drinks far more appealing and you’re more likely to drink regularly than from a warm plastic bottle of drink purchased from the shop hours earlier. Another way to make drinks more appealing, particularly water, is to add some of the following:

  • Lemon
  • Cucumber
  • Berries
  • Ice cubes
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Kiwi
  • Orange slices

These three key health tips can really help you to stay well and with a little planning should be easy enough to stick to.