If you are like me, you are taking advantage of the extra hours of free-time and amping up your training. Maybe you are putting in more time on the trails (social distancing!) or you are starting a new work-out circuit in your home gym. What does that mean for your fueling? Especially when the grocery shelves are barren?
The body needs lots of protein to repair and build muscle while training. It also needs lots of protein to stay healthy (read, boost immunity). So it is important to ensure that at least 25-30% of your daily intake is protein.
Stock your freezer with extra chicken, beef, pork, and fish.
The more you have on hand, the less often you have to go to the store to re-stock. Freezer aisle edamame, lima beans, and fava beans are a great option to add a little extra protein and variety to your diet.
In general, COVID-19 has been shown to have good stability under frozen temperatures, so make sure you clean your packages really well before they go into the freezer to prevent infection down the road.
Beans, lentils, nuts, quinoa, and cheese.
These items all store really well so add a little extra to your shopping cart (real or virtual!).
Eat your Colors.
5-13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day!
This is a hard one when avoiding the grocery stores but getting your recommended fruits and veggies will help keep your immune system strong, especially when training.
If you need to go to the grocery store, mask and glove up, fill your cart, then rinse your produce really well in cool running water. Vinegar and lemon juice won’t inactivate the COVID molecule and soap can cause GI distress and other toxicity. If you are especially worried about the exposure, leave your produce out in the sun for a few hours, as UV rays are successful at breaking down the molecule. Just don’t forget them outside!
Stock up on items like kale, carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli that last a long time and also freeze pretty darn well.
If you have access to a CSA or other farmer’s box subscription, this is a great option to both support small farmers and get produce that hasn’t been handled quite as much.
Don’t be afraid of frozen
Frozen fruits and veggies are often frozen immediately from the field and contain more nutrients than those you can find at the grocery. Plus they last a long time in the freezer, and it’s easier to wipe down the packaging to ensure they are clean.
Daily Harvest smoothie (and soup) kits offer another way to get frozen nutrients delivered straight to your door. Here is a code to save $25 on your first box.
When you don’t have your normal stand-bys on hand, it can be hard to figure out what to eat and how to cook it.
Use what you have to create new flavors and combinations. Try not to worry too much about what the recipe indicates and substitute what you can with what you have on hand. You may find you have some new favorite meals.
Look through online magazines or cookbooks for inspiration.
I often turn to the New York Times Cooking for inspiration myself. A subscription is required to access the recipes, but I find it is worth every dollar – and it isn’t very many. I also really like theKitchn and SeriousEats because they always do the research on recipes so you know that they are scientifically sound. And right now, they have a number of articles to help guide through substitutions.
Does that creativity feel a little scary? I am offering a complimentary service right now in which you can email me with your pantry contents or questions on substitutions and I will help guide you to a delicious homemade meal. Just send me a note at email@example.com and I am happy to help. In the meantime, here is a recipe to use what you have available:
In the jar of your blender or food processor, combine the following:
2 cloves garlic, or 1/2 tsp garlic powder, or leave it out
1 lemon cut into small pieces, or 2 T apple cider vinegar, or other vinegar
2 T honey, or sugar, or 1/3 cup raisins
1 T salt, or 2 T soy sauce, or 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 T chili flakes, or sriracha, or diced jalapeno (canned or fresh)
1/2 cup pine nuts, pepitas, or really any nut you have on hand
4 cups of anything green: arugula, parsley, cilantro, basil, carrot tops, fennel tops, radish tops, kale, in any combination desired.
1 cup olive oil, or grapeseed oil, or whatever oil you have
1/2 cup water
Pulse together, adding the greens in batches, until the greens are chopped and the mixture comes together. You do not want it to be a smooth, homogenous mixture, but rather roughly chopped. Add more water or oil if needed to blend easily. Transfer to a jar or airtight container and store refrigerated about 2-3 weeks. Store frozen up to three months.
Serve dolloped on pizza, smeared on sandwiches, tossed together with pasta, or thinned out with a little more oil as a salad dressing.