The “Quarantine 15”

“Quarantine 15”, referring to the weight gain many people are experiencing during self-isolation in this pandemic and having a hard time staying healthy. Let me describe a scene : You’re at home, scrolling through Netflix wondering what to watch next. While picking through the next show, you become hungry. Picking up your phone, you click on DoorDash and order takeout. Does this situation sound familiar? Maybe you fell into this moment once. Or twice. Or five times. But ordering out has exploded since the lockdown began in April. From restaurants offering curbside pickup to delivery apps such as DoorDash, Postmates, or GrubHub growing in popularity, Americans relied less on cooking meals. People joked about not “flattening their curves” due to eating more, and the “Quarantine 15” became a dreaded part of staying home. It doesn’t have to be this way; there are two things you can do to navigate food apps and eat healthier during the pandemic.

1. Choose healthier options when ordering out

Eating takeout won’t go away, but that doesn’t mean you have to order pizza every time. When ordering online and choosing an item, look up the nutritional info of your meal from their website. Using Applebee’s as an example, they have a nutrition calculator where you can add or remove certain ingredients to a meal. If you choose their  Oriental Chicken Salad Wrap, it contains 1,190 calories, 2,920 mg of sodium, 20 grams of saturated fat. Most nutrition professionals suggest: <2,300 mg of sodium per day and  <10% of total calories from saturated fat So how would you make this a little healthier? You can remove the fries, oriental vinaigrette, and rice noodles. You can also swap the tortilla wrap and add chicken to one of their salad dishes. Eating takeout can be tricky if you’re trying to eat healthier, but it’s possible with a little research into your meals. Photo by Amina Filkins from Pexels

2. Try cooking at home more often

Ordering takeout can add up costs, so you save some money by using fresh ingredients at how to prepare dinners. You don’t have to be a culinary wizard to cook delicious food. All it takes is a little creativity to place a spin on some classic meals. What I recommend for meals is to cook with immune-boosting foods. Having a healthy immune system makes you more likely to fight off infections. They won’t completely protect against COVID-19 but eating foods rich in micronutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, and magnesium can aid in preventing diseases. Here are some examples of immune-boosting foods:
  • Eggs
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Green, leafy veggies
Fit.Digital has a wonderful detox smoothie packed with delicious fruits and veggies you should try out.

Staying Healthy Inside

The pandemic has been hard for everyone, and it is easy for us to reach out to our phones to order food online. We must remember, however, that we can make healthier decisions about what we eat. It may be scary to try that new recipe, but it will work to create a better lifestyle. So, while you’re at home, give that dish a shot.