Staying Healthy During Covid Christmas
- Joel Pedersen | December 30, 2020
Edlanete, Tansi. Christmas season and holidays are quickly approaching; most years this adds some stress and challenges. This year staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for everyone, and the increased anxiety (and boredom) can cause people to abandon their healthy eating intentions and snack on whatever is around. But with some thought and planning, you can continue to make good food choices and boost your immunity and mood.
Something I read recently indicates that certain nutrients in foods have been shown to reduce anxiety or help the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. We all want to feel as good as we can during these times of uncertainty especially around the holiday season. People are feeling a lot of stress right now, and the unfortunate reality is that stress adds to our mental health and wellness, affecting our immune systems.
So, by targeting immune-boosting foods will have a double effect: 1. You may feel less anxious; 2. It will boost your immunity. I spoke with an elder who suggested: Red Willow, Labrador Tea, Birch Bark, Wild Mint and Muskrat Root are items that she has used in the past.
Keeping active, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and managing stress can help you stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthy eating is important for keeping our immune system strong, lowering our risk of illness and chronic disease. If you have a health condition, continue to follow the advice from your health care provider or registered dietitian.
I know how challenging it is to navigate through the isolation, and some being quarantined. Wanting to reach for the favourite salty, crunchy snack because of boredom or feeling on edge. A few pretzels or chips are okay, but many of us may not be able to step away from eating the entire bag once it’s open. If you are already feeling down, the quick fix of cookies or cake will ultimately make you feel worse. Because processed foods and items like prepackaged goods contain a lot of simple carbohydrates that create the “up down” effect on our blood sugar, which can drive anxiety and worsen mood.
Here are some tips for Food Choices and a link to Covid-19 cookbook:
- Shape your environment. If candy is simply not in the cupboard, then you can’t eat it.
- Save money. Skip the high-sugar soda and juices; instead flavour water with edible citrus, berries, or vegetables.
- Try to make a schedule or a daily meal plan. A schedule is more predictable for you and for everyone in your home.
- If you can plan for groceries, try to buy fewer processed, high-salt, or high-sugar snacks.
- Load up on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins.
- Enjoy an occasional comfort food for a weekly treat, pick a day and enjoy whatever you want, just not all your favourites on the same day.
- Cook Book Recipe’s during COVID-19 https://www.cpha.ca/covid-19-and-basic-shelf-cookbook
On behalf of myself, and family I wish you all a healthy and safe Christmas. Looking forward to the new year of 2021 and moving past the COVID-19 time. oma mina kasapotimakan (This to shall pass).