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Healthy Balance

Fight the Quarantine 15 with Protein-Filled Recipes

ingredients, including sweet potato & black beans, that you can use in recipes to fight the quarantine 15
Even if you’re not grocery shopping as often, you can make healthy recipes with pantry and freezer staples.

As someone whose home office is currently their kitchen, the struggle to not snack all day is real. So what’s the secret to keeping off the “quarantine 15” weight gain, as it’s been appropriately named?

Registered dietitian Katherine Basbaum recently shared how to make good food choices and avoid unwanted pounds during the coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine.

Basbaum said there are two major barriers right now to eating right and staying healthy during quarantine: higher stress levels and easy access to the kitchen.

“While the so-called comfort foods like sweets, starches and packaged snacks can provide a lift in mood, that boost will always be short-lived with those quickly-absorbed, refined foods,” Basbaum notes.

So how do you help your body create serotonin, the calming, mood-boosting hormone, while not kicking calories to the wind? “Focus on complex carbohydrates and lean protein,” Basbaum says.

Fortunately, even with limited pantry items, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Basbaum suggests:

  • A bowl of oatmeal in the morning
  • Hard-boiling a dozen eggs for snacks
  • Enjoying a roasted sweet potato for lunch or dinner
  • Making a pot of beans or chili
  • Thawing out and batch-cooking some chicken breasts

Convenient Recipes to Counter the “Quarantine 15”

These use healthy proteins that you should be able to find in your pantry.

Tomato Bell Pepper Quiche

No peppers or tomatoes? Most any other fresh vegetable combo will do.

Get the recipe for tomato bell pepper quiche.

Sweet Potato, Kale and Farro Salad

If you don’t have farro on hand, try brown rice or quinoa

Mediterranean Bean Salad

Don’t be afraid to substitute the black beans and chickpeas with whatever beans you have. The pita bread isn’t necessary for outstanding flavor!

Do You or a Loved One Have Symptoms?

Having symptoms? Call your primary care provider. If you don’t have one, find one near you.

If your symptoms are severe, call this number before coming to the emergency department: 434.98.COVID (982-6843).

Fettuccine with Sugar Snap Peas

Frozen peas work for this recipe as well, and it’s still tasty even without arugula or pistachios.

Vegetarian Quinoa Wraps

Out of quinoa? Try brown rice. No collard greens or Swiss chard? Just eat the filling.

Easy Breakfasts

You don’t need a lot of ingredients or time to make:

  • Slow cooker oatmeal
  • Egg muffins
  • Breakfast quesadillas
  • Spinach feta egg wrap
  • Quinoa bake

In the end, Basbaum says now is not the time to swear off your favorite comfort foods. “Just keep your immune system, weight and stress levels in check by focusing your daily meals and snacks on tasty, wholesome foods.”

Tags: covid-19

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