How you are all holding up? We're in the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of giving into the fear and panic, let's think about what we can do to get through it.
There have been many questions coming through my social media channels about this global health crisis. I am not an infectious disease expert and wouldn't attempt giving any COVID-19 health advice.
Instead I would like to share a few tips that may help you get through these difficult times.
As it has become increasingly clear, a significant level of physical distancing is required to manage this global pandemic. I want to clarify that I want to discourage any kind of panic shopping which is counterproductive and puts people's lives at risk.
Rather than buying more, let's focus on buying the right foods we need. Nutrient-dense food is particularly important to maintain a healthy immune system.
Don't feel pressured to stock up on pasta and beans. Instead, check the tips below and use them as your guide.
Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Whenever you buy a product by using these links, I get a small cut from Amazon which helps me run this blog. I never endorse a product or service that I would not purchase myself.
1. Shop Online If You Have the Option
To protect yourself and others, shop online if you can. Most grocery stores and Amazon will deliver to your doorstep. You may also want to check if farmers in your area provide a delivery service to spare you from any unnecessary trips.
Apart from having food delivered, I suggest you attach a note to your front door making sure that the driver respects physical distancing. We have such a note on our front door instructing the driver to knock and leave any deliveries in front of the doors without waiting for us to open the door.
You can find my frequently updated list here: List of Food Stores and Producers Delivering Food During the Coronavirus Isolation
2. Stock Your Fridge with Low-Carb Essentials
- Eggs. They will last for several weeks. If you don't have space in your fridge, you can keep them at room temperature, just make sure to expiry date. You can find plenty of low-carb recipes using eggs on my blog.
- Butter, cheese, sour cream, full-fat plain yogurt and heavy whipping cream will last for several days. If you have space in your freezer, you can store butter, cheese and cream for several months.
- Vegetables. Soft leafy greens like lettuce won't last long and take a lot of space. Instead opt for vegetables such as zucchini, turnips, cauliflower, rutabaga, asparagus, fennel, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and celery. Instead of fresh spinach, get frozen spinach and keep it in the freezer. Tomatoes don't need refrigeration and you can store them at room temperature. If any vegetables are close to their expiration date, use them to make tasty low-carb soups or stews.
- Avocados can be stored at room temperature for a few days. They will last longer refrigerated.
- Meat, fish & seafood including fresh, cured and smoked. Refrigerate any fresh meat that you plan to use in the next few days. Cured and smoked meat including chorizo, pepperoni, bacon and smoked salmon will last for longer. You can find any low-carb recipes with fish and seafood here and any meat-based keto dinners here.
4. Stock Your Freezer with Low-Carb Essentials
Before you start, go through your freezer and only buy more food if you have the space and you need it. If you do, buy meat and fish from online providers (check the availability in your area). Also check your local farm and smaller shops as these seem to be less affected by the current panic buying.
- Meat, fish & seafood can be stored for up to 3 months.
- Full-fat dairy including butter, cheese and cream can be stored for 4 to 6 months.
- Vegetables can be stored for up to 6 months. Broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, cauliflower and spinach are some of the best options. If you have any fresh vegetables that are close to their expiration date, you can par-boil and freeze them for longer storage.
- Berries such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries.
You can also freeze most stews, casseroles and other low-carb recipes suitable for freezing.
5. Focus on Non Perishable Low-Carb Staples
It's a good idea to have some of the following foods at home in case you are not able to buy fresh food.
- Canned fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, anchovies, canned cod roe and cod liver (a great source of vitamin D).
- Other canned and glass jar staples including vegetables such as tomatoes and artichokes, sauerkraut, coconut milk, olives, capers, and long-lasting mayonnaise.
- Keto-friendly bars. Make sure to check the storage info and avoid products using blood sugar spiking sweeteners such as Maltitol, IMOs and Sorbitol. I personally use Perfect Keto Bars because they don't use any blood sugar spiking sweeteners and taste great. If you use my affiliate link, you can get 20% off.
- Beef jerky and pork rinds. Any options from beef jerky, venison, pork, turkey and even salmon.
- Nuts, seeds and coconut chips. Any nuts, especially macadamias, pecans, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts. Go easy on Brazil nuts (1-2 nuts will cover your daily selenium needs), pistachios and cashews (high in carbs). You can find out more in our Guide to Low-Carb Nuts and Seeds.
- Baking essentials. Whole nuts and seeds will last longer than ground. Due to the unstable PUFA oils in nut and seed flours, it's best to keep them refrigerated or frozen. Coconut flour and psyllium husks can be stored at room temperature and do not need to be refrigerated.
- Dark chocolate, ideally 85% and above. I like to serve my 100% chocolate with some almond butter on top.
- Carton bone broth such as Kettle & Fire (affiliate link) if you can find it because it will last for several months. If not, make your own bone broth. If you're like me, you'll have plenty of bones in the freezer. Over the last 4 days I made 3 batches of bone broth and one batch of fish stock (using prawn shells and fish heads). To make it easier to store, I reduce my bone broth to just about 20% of its original volume.
- Healthy fats & oils such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee and duck fat can be stored for several months.
- Coffee and tea are non perishables that will last for months.
Apart from non perishable kitchen staples, here are a few recipes that are ideal for batch cooking and last for weeks:
6. Stay Active With Home Workouts
If you live in a rural area, go for a walk but make sure to keep distance from other people. Where I live the official advice is a minimum of 2 meters apart (6 feet). Light outdoor activity like walking will help you stay healthy both physically and mentally.
For years I've been following BodyRockTv on YouTube. They have a ton of quick 10 to 20 minute workout videos from beginners to advanced. For most workouts you won't need any equipment and you can always use what you have at home (a bottle of water for weights, a chair for dips, etc). Don't overtrain as too much exercise will do more damage than good.
If you are more of a yoga person, check out this YouTube Channel. I'll be sharing even more tips in the coming weeks.
How has COVID-19 affected you? Leave a comment below to share your tips!
7. Join Our Facebook Community
I know the current situation must feel overwhelming. Being physically isolated doesn't mean that you have to be socially isolated. We will get through this together.
I'd like to encourage you to join our Support Group on Facebook and contribute your own meal suggestions, workout tips and any ideas that may help others at this difficult time.
8. Manage Your Stress Levels
No one should underestimate the damage stress can do to us both physically and mentally. If you are new to meditation and you are not sure where to start, consider using an app like Headspace to help you relax and decrease your stress levels.
Apart from downloading an app, you can download meditation music through services such as Spotify, Google Play Music or iTunes.
9. Keep Yourself Busy
To help you get through this stressful time, consider taking an online class, download a book or watch a movie to take your mind off the "thing". Here are some of my favourite options:
- Online learning services such as Skillshare.com or Lynda.com offer classes in business, design, photography, productivity and marketing. I've been using Lynda.com for years!
- Why not lean a new language? There are plenty online programs such as Babel and apps like Duolingo you can download and start now.
- Brilliant.org — helps you learn through interactive problem solving. You can build quantitative skills in math, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations.
- Order a book online or download an audio book on Amazon.
- Get Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Now TV, etc. There are loads and loads of movies, TV series and documentaries to keep you entertained and at home.
10. Help Those In Need
We are in this together and I do believe that these are the times that bring out the best in people.
Not everyone has the ability to get the supplies they need, especially with the current panic buying trend. I’ve seen empty shelves in most stores with no options for home deliveries in less than 10 days. This can be particularly challenging for the elderly and vulnerable in our community.
If you can, please find your local support groups and volunteer communities that help those in need. Remember, your top priority should be not to spread the virus and not to put people at risk.
Any more tips? Let me know in the comments.
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