Healthy eating during a storm helps to decrease stress while increasing mood levels. A lot of people experience elevated stress levels during a storm. This stress can be passed down from parents to children if one is not careful. If you’ve been reading articles on EatingWell101.com for a while, then you know that stress impedes digestion. In order for your body to get the most out of every meal (nutrition wise), a stress free environment is key. There are a lot of things that can bring about stress and storms are one of them.
Most people think that healthy eating during a storm is impossible. As a matter of fact, some people use a storm as an excuse to eat unhealthy. Healthy eating habits should be practiced no matter what the situation. Healthy eating during a storm is simply a matter of preparation and planning. Not just before the storm, but during it as well. There are healthier options even if you’re buying things like chips and sodas. The key is to know what to buy and why. Here are a few things to remember about healthy eating the next time a storm threatens you and/or your family.
Healthy Eating During A Storm Tips
Water Not Alcohol or Caffeine – There are many people who have beer and wine as a key storm preparedness item. During times of stress, many people turn to alcohol to relieve stress and clam down. This is not necessary. Being around family and friends can provide good stress relief. Especially if you have pets. Studies have shown that pets do provide stress relief for their owners. During a storm keeping hydrated is essential.
Alcohol dehydrates or pulls water out of the body. Drinking alcohol during a storm is counter productive to the body’s hydration needs and should be used only as a disinfectant or antiseptic. Caffeine has the same dehydration effect on the body as alcohol and should be avoided during storms. If water is unavailable, making sure your body has liquid becomes your priority. Clear sodas like Sprite, 7 Up, and Ginger-ale, are the best choices because there is less for the body to filter and process.
Healthy Snacks – During a storm, snacking is inevitable. But, it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Dried and fresh fruits can be great snacks. Dried fruit like raisins, apricots, and prunes, make a great healthy snack. Fresh fruits like Apples, Oranges, Pears and others are filling as well as healthy. If potato chips are your thing, find the ones that have three ingredients only: Potatoes, salt, and oil. Not partially or fully hydrogenated oil, but regular cooking oil. With hydrogenated oil, and extra hydrogen is added is added to help increase shelf life.
The problem is that this process causes your arteries to become clogged over time if you consume too much of it. How much is too much? There’s no way to tell. Everyone is different. What might be a small amount for one could be too much for someone else. Make sure the snacks for the kids are laid out for them in advance. This way they know how much and what they should be eating. Make sure snacks for the adults are clearly designated as well. You don’t want people dipping into the main food as a snack.
Vegetable sticks are also a good thing to keep handy. Combine them with a low-fat dressing and you have a good snack. Granola is a great filling snack and should be kept on hand during a storm, as well as fruit cups. And don’t forget trail mix. This is one of the all time great snacks, and the best part, it can be healthy.
Prepare Some Foods Ahead Of Time – Homemade cooked food is always more healthy for you than food bought out. This is because you know exactly what ingredients are in the foods you prepare. Cut up vegetables ahead of time, make a pot of rice to be warmed up later. Basically do anything ahead of time that will help you should the power go out and you have minimal lighting. Believe me this will pay off in spades later.
A lot of stress can be avoided by just simply being prepared. Prepping foods before a storm will help cut out some of the stress once the storm hits. If you’re making fresh fruit juices, freeze some of it so if the power goes out, you will still have a cool drink for a while after. Turn your refrigerator’s temperature to the max to keep things cooler longer should the power go out. Keeping a regular cooler with ice on hand is also a way of preserving your foods in case of a power outage.
Keep Active – Keeping active during a storm is a great way to burn calories and prevent overeating. People that are bored tend to eat more than people that keep their minds and bodies active. Playing group games is a great way to remain active while keeping you mind occupied. Reading a good book is also a great activity. Playing video games, (power permitting) can also be a great diversion from overeating.
All in all, healthy eating during a storm doesn’t have to be hard. With these tips your next storm will turn out to be a healthy experience. Remember don’t just eat. Eat Well.