How to stick to a diet when grocery stores are bare

Dairy is wiped out. There are two packages of chicken left. The vegetables are mostly gone. 

These are the sights that have met Americans in grocery stores across the country as fears about the coronavirus pandemic have led to panic shopping. The absence of staple food products – like bread, eggs and chicken – is stressful for everyone, but particularly hard on those people who follow special diets for medical reasons or personal preferences. 

When canned beans or pasta aren’t options for you, it may seem like getting through a long stretch of social distancing might be impossible. But there are ways for those who follow vegan, gluten-free or keto diets to make it through with substitutes, home cooking and a lot of patience. 

More:I tried weight-loss app Noom for three months—here’s what happened

You won't find shelves this full anywhere during the coronavirus pandemic.

For vegetarians and vegans

Go for long-lasting produce. Root vegetables, cabbage, squash, apples and citrus fruits will stay ripe longer than many greens and berries. 

Make your own nut butters and milksWhizzing nuts in a high-powered blender or food processor can replace almond butter from a jar

Embrace vegan baking. Cookies made with aquafaba (aka, the liquid leftover from a can of chickpeas or other legumes), vinegar instead of eggs and butter in cakes, coconut oil instead of butter or lard in pastry – many vegan baking tricks are more shelf stable than their traditional counterparts. 

Many bread recipes are gluten-free.

For gluten-free

The good news for those who must avoid gluten is that gluten-free products are less in demand than the regular wheat varieties, so you may not be facing shortages at your local store. But if you are, here are a few tricks. 

Try veggie substitutes. If there is no gluten-free pasta at your store, grab some zucchini and make zoodles (with a spiralizer, or use a vegetable peeler to make long strips that resemble fettuccine) with your favorite pasta sauce. An eggplant or portobello mushroom can be a burger bun

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