Operation beached whale
The galloping housewife promised you a short how to guide for looking after your nutrition during lockdown. To be fair, it’s more of a how not to roll out of your house like the giraffe in Madagascar trying to drink water. This is not by any stretch of the imagination a way to get into the shape of your life in six short months because we’ve already had that talk now, haven’t we, and it’s a very bad idea. Losing weight or making massive changes in what you eat and how you exercise rapidly is never advisable and while you’re already under a lot of pressure it is positively terrible. And as much as you think you’re sitting around at the moment doing SFA, you really are under huge amounts of stress.
The particular issues with living in lockdown that we normally don’t have to consider are many. For a start we’re a whole lot less active so (sorry) our energy requirements are lower. We’re bored off our tits and feel like zombies most of the time. (Newsflash on that one, it’s a perfectly normal response to the emotional trauma of not having our lives anymore.) Baking seems like a fantastic idea to fill in some time. We’re day drinking. Someone told us to shop for the apocalypse so we have a cupboard filled with pasta. We’re only going shopping once a week and our local farm shops and the Saturday markets and stuff are closed. The panic buyers still haven’t got the memo that the food chain is intact and by the time we get to the shop we’re left with an artichoke and lamb necks. Did she mention that we’re bored and we’re day drinking?
The galloping housewife is an advocate of meal planning at the best of times and this is no different. She is also one to recommend removing choice. Although that may seem backward when you’re already bored to tears, it really does help to just have a couple of ‘go-to’ meals available that you know you like. Less waste, and less likely to give up while trying to make a decision what to eat and diving into the tube of Pringles. The other key is to eat little and often. Rather than resist the urge to be constantly snacking, embrace it. Just make sure it’s not an entire Victoria sponge you’re snacking on – pick something small and nutrient dense.
Another prevention for beached whale syndrome is to think about having your carb dense foods in the morning for energy and limit them in the evening when you can add some good fats to stop you from feeling too hungry. And eat lots of protein. All the time. It makes you feel satisfied. No, not like that. Breakfasts of porridge, rolled oat pancakes, some fruit, whole grain toast with an egg or avocado, lunches of wraps with salad and cheese, brown rice with veges and some chicken, a stuffed sweet potato (New Zealanders are allowed to eat kumara, but you’re not allowed to talk about it with the galloping housewife as she is still grieving for the loss of both these and the mighty feijoa from her diet). Snacks of a handful of nuts, some cheese and crackers, a boiled egg, a fruit smoothie. And for dinner – don’t get too complicated – meat and veges, a salad with whatever you can find in the fridge that doesn’t knock on the door from the inside, an omelette. If you’ve got a family that needs more calories, have your bolognaise sauce on zucchini noodles while they’re wolfing the pasta (a spiraliser caused the galloping housewife to possibly be the most excited she has ever been meeting the Amazon delivery driver) or make a pizza crust with a bag of cauli rice with an egg mixed through while they’re eating Tesco’s finest. Don’t make it complicated and just watch your bloody portions. When the galloping housewife says toast and egg – she means one piece of toast and an egg, not a loaf of toast and a carton of eggs. Remember that while all the geeks and gurus have been screaming that fresh is best forever, there really is bugger all difference in nutritional value between canned or frozen fruit and veges and what you buy ‘fresh’ in the supermarket. Just make sure your canned shit is not full of sugar. Salt is not really as much of an issue as the zealots say it is, unless you’ve got heart failure, and if you do, you really shouldn’t be listening to the galloping housewife over your nutritionist.
The bullet point version of the galloping housewife’s ramblings are: plan what you’re eating, eat little and often, look for nutrient dense food, don’t get precious – mushy peas are just as good as kale smoothies, keep it simple and take up cross stitch rather than baking to fill your days.
For those in the UK: if you’re really struggling to get your hands on fresh produce or come up with tasty but healthy ideas, the galloping housewife has one secret shortcut that she has been using for a while now – ever since she became the sole breadwinner for the family while still trying to keep her horses worked and her kids from being expelled from school – you know, normal mum stuff… she found this business called Mindful Chef – a delivery box meal service with a difference. These meals are properly healthy and the service is both ethical and completely flexible. They cater to all sorts of weird dietary preferences, even vegans… If you use the link below, it’s the galloping housewife’s personal referral option and you get £20 off your first box to try. If it’s any indication, the galloping housewife has been using this service for more than two years pretty much continuously. During the lockdown, she has a delivery on Monday and sends Mr galloping housewife out for groceries (she hates shopping at the best of times, and these most definitely aren’t those!) on a Friday, so they still get fresh veg in twice a week. It works out on average to cost about £7.50 per serve and with no waste, not to mention the time in prep & shopping and stuff, the galloping housewife reckons it save her money. It certainly saves her sanity.
Finally, while alcohol technically is a solution, and the galloping housewife is not going to tell you not to partake when she’s been having more than her fair share of late, your nightly tipple is not going to help keep matters under control. She’s not going to say you should be aiming for the same number of alcohol free days you ‘normally’ endure, but if you can manage a couple a week, your body will reward you.
Good luck and god bless…
Oh and just in cases someone wants the rolled oat pancake recipe (breakfast nearly every day for the galloping housewife), put ½ cup rolled oats and ½ tsp baking powder in a bowl (with optional 1 tsp each of cinnamon & chia seeds), blend ½ cup of fruit (the easiest go-to’s are a banana or an apple, but anything will do, including frozen or dried or canned) with an egg (if you’re being really good, just egg whites which you can buy in a carton, but a whole egg is fine) and mix through. Spray a smooth sandwich press with olive oil spray and cook pancake with the top up until nearly cooked through then lower the top. This is an awesome breakfast to make and take with you when life returns to normal – it’s portable and kind of like banana bread in taste and texture.