The Corona Diet
And you know I’m not talking beers with lime wedges.
As being at home becomes the new normal, I’m noticing a trend in eating habits around my place.
My friend baked us a loaf of warm bread. I ate most of it – slathered in butter as thick as cheese.
I love to bake. There is something wonderfully comforting about the process – the way the eggs and flour and sugar magically transform into cake and fill the house with delicious smells that feel like hugs. Banana bread, scones with lashings of jam and cream, a little apple tea cake, someone’s birthday. It’s easy for me to bake daily.
I get bored easily and so there’s a well worn path from my desk to the kitchen for whatever I can scrounge. Mainly nuts, or biscuits and cheese. Fruit. But only because I don’t allow Kettle chips in the house. Because if I did I would eat a large bag of those suckers every day with great happiness.
And more than one friend has said she watches the clock until 5pm so she can slip into that first glass of wine. I can’t go to the gym, so what’s the point? I may as well settle in for the long term and a girl’s got to have some pleasure, right?
At this rate we’ll all be fat alcoholics when we come out the other end.
If your sugar, bad fat and alcohol consumption has increased, you’re not alone, and there’s good reason for it.
We are living in a time of uncertainty and worry, When we’re under stress or pressure it’s natural to reach for the comfort foods, and often these are high in carbs and sugar. They taste good and they give us a hit. We not only get an insulin rush but endorphins like dopamine and serotonin make us feel immediately happier.
But not for long.
Depending on our metabolism this is followed by a crash, which makes us feel anxious and depressed and so we reach for the sugar again. Nicole Avena explains it well in this short TED video.
Because we don’t need any more stress in our lives than we currently have (trying to work while home schooling and screaming at teenagers to get off their phones, or self isolating alone in tiny apartments, let alone financial issues), I’m thinking it makes great sense to put some new Corona rules in place.
Exercise. Move that body, baby. This is individual and you have to find what works for you. I use a yoga app when I travel so now I use it 5 days a week. It’s full of classes of differing lengths and options. There are so many apps out there now offering all types of exercise and your own gym may be offering online classes now as well. Find something that works for you, even if it’s only stretching for 15 minutes a day.
If you’re a runner, don’t stop now just because you’re drinking every night and feel sluggish in the mornings. If you’re not a runner, walk. Both are still legal, free and come with a bonus prize of fresh air and a serotonin boost.
If you’re lucky enough to live near water you may be able to paddle board or swim.
Get yourself a routine. I like to exercise early in the day. Firstly, it’s done. Secondly, it gives me the energy I need to power through my day and keep my business alive.
To food. There are so many great alternatives to sugar filled snacks there’s no excuses, from protein balls, to muffins, soups, nuts and my favourite – brussel sprout crisps, baked in the oven with chilli and salt. But I’m not a nutritionist and so I’ve listed a few handy websites below to get you inspired and salivating on the food front.
Let me be clear. I will never give up cake. But I do bake less and halve all the sugar in every recipe I use. I still enjoy wine, but not every night, and not loads of it. It’s not a new message but moderation is critical when we’re all locked away right now in conditions none of us are familiar with.
The world is going to emerge from this time a different place. So will companies, and teams. None of those are within your control. But looking after yourself is. Be kind to yourself. Treat your body and mind with love and care, and just a little cake.
Lynne Schinella is a virtual speaker and online presenter who helps teams connect more effectively for less stress and greater productivity. She is addicted to Kettle chips.