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Eating Disorder Tips & Tools During COVID-19, by Lori Herold, RD, LD

Eating Disorder Tips & Tools During COVID-19, by Lori Herold, RD, LD

I hope you all are well and taking care of yourself.

I was asked to comment on the challenging time we face with the stress and shortages at the grocery stores due to this virus.

Wherever you are in your food recovery journey, making the decision to stay abstinent will help you stay grounded mentally as well as physically. Reverting back to old behaviors of under eating or overeating will, of course, cause more stress for you.

With that in mind, I have a few suggestions for you:

  • Dedicate yourself to following your food plan by planning ahead as much as possible. Remember how you planned your food in treatment
  • Plan a 7 day menu and make a grocery list
  • Keep in mind the need to be flexible, in the event certain food items are not available
  • Consider buying an extra box or bag or can (don’t hoard) of beans, rice, oats, quinoa, cereal, etc.
  • If your favorite fresh produce is limited, you can use low sugar canned fruits and canned veggies. If there are plenty of fresh fruits, you may want to make some of your own frozen fruit in portioned servings. Berries, cantaloupe, and grapes freeze well
  • Try a produce stand if your grocery store selection is low
  • While many people are staying home more, this is a great opportunity to cook from scratch in the oven, crockpot or Instapot. Google recipes that you want to make and are appropriate to your food plan.
  • Meal prepping can be a great way to put some meals together for the refrigerator or freezer. Many foods can be frozen for later like cooked rice (portioned out servings), cheese, whole grain bread products, most proteins, and certain veggies.
  • Most importantly, try to keep a structured eating schedule as far as meal times.
  • And last, but certainly not least, practice mindfulness. Remember, Gentle Breakfast. Take deep breaths throughout the day. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. This helps to relieve stress and helps you with positive thoughts.

I wish you good health and good nutrition and I hope to see you soon!

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