Given the current coronavirus pandemic, most of us are practicing social distancing. Undoubtedly, many people are experiencing significant shifts in their daily routines and schedules. The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have indicated that as more cases of COVID-19 are detected, an increase in quarantine requirements may be necessary. Despite these changes, aiming to maintain your health and wellness goals is important. It’s likely that you’ll have to discover a new routine that works for you to best address these changes in our day-to-day lives. Whether you’ve been following a keto diet for a while or just beginning, the following tips will help you succeed on a low-carb diet during this time.
- Stock up on kitchen essentials
A number of shelf-stable items are handy to have in good supply. While it may not be necessary to get all of these ingredients, think of the ones that you might like to use based on your preferences. Plus, since it’s unlikely that the pandemic will cause a loss of power, you can stock your fridge and freezer to get you through voluntary self-isolation or an imposed quarantine. See below for the recommended items to keep in your kitchen.
Stock these items in your pantry:
- Nuts and nut butters – choose from peanut, almond, and cashew butter, in addition to raw almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, etc.
- Seeds – sesame seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc.
- Canned fish – tuna, salmon, sardines, etc.
- Shelf stable oils – coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, etc.
- Seasonings and spices – garlic, ginger, turmeric, oregano, cumin, rosemary, cayenne, paprika, cinnamon, salt, pepper, etc.
- Dried meat and jerky
- Canned coconut milk
Stock these items in your fridge:
- eggs — eggs can last in the fridge for about 5 weeks
- cheese — cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella, cream cheese, cottage cheese, etc.
- longer-life vegetables — low-carb vegetables like kale, zucchini, celery, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, and jicama can last up to a few weeks in the fridge if stored properly in the crisper drawer.
- Butter – butter can last up to about 9 months in the fridge and can come in handy for many keto recipes
Consider shopping for the following items to keep in your freezer:
- Seafood – fish filets, shrimp, scallops, etc
- Frozen veggies – spinach, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, etc.
- Frozen berries – blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are great to have on hand for low-carb smoothies.
- Meats – beef, chicken, turkey, and lamb are great to have on hand. Keep both cuts of meat and ground meat in your freezer to increase versatility in your cooking.
- Keep a supply of supplements
There is no better time to make use of dietary supplements, especially for your keto diet goals. Shelf-stable and highly versatile, ensuring you have a variety of supplements on hand is a great way to help you meet your needs. Here are some of the top recommended keto supplements:
- Protein powder: It’s always a good idea to keep protein powder on hand. When following a keto diet, it is recommended to consume about 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For a 150-pound individual, this means they would need about 82-102 grams of protein daily. Adding protein powder to smoothies, or even to keto baked goods, is a great way to help keto dieters meet their needs. Choose from pea, soy, rice, or whey protein.
- Keto Fat Bombs: A go-to keto product is powdered MCT oil. It’s shelf-stable and can help you meet your keto goals during quarantine. Fat Bombs are great for adding to smoothies and shakes or even having with plain water. But, make sure to avoid artifical ingredients and added sugars. One that is more pure is the Naked Keto fat bomb supplement. They consist of powdered MCT oil which is a vital supplement for all keto dieters, as well as powdered sunflower oil which contains healthy, anti-inflammatory fats. Choose between chocolate, vanilla, plain, or all three. For more about this, here’s an article on the keto benefits of MCT oil and fat bombs.
- Electrolytes: There are several electrolyte supplements on the market. It’s recommended that those following a keto diet focus on increasing their intake of sodium, potassium and magnesium to prevent symptoms of the “keto flu” such as headache, fatigue, and muscle cramping.
- Stay Hydrated
Ensuring that you’re staying well-hydrated is super important, especially for those following a keto diet. It’s likely that your routine has changed, and therefore, certain habits that you may have implemented prior have to be adjusted. However, don’t compromise your hydration status during this time. If you typically keep water with you during the day at work, make sure to keep a water bottle with you during the day when you’re working from home. Some great bottle brands that will keep your drink hot or cold all day long include Klean Kanteen, Yeti, and Corkcicle. If you are unsure if you are adequately hydrating your body, a good rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. To encourage yourself to drink more water, try flavoring your water with mint and raspberries, or cucumber and lemon, for an exciting boost of flavor.
- Plan ahead
The key to success when adopting any new habit or routine is to plan. COVID-19 is no excuse to let your low-carb keto diet goals get away from you. Perhaps, now more than ever may be the perfect time to focus on your health and well-being. When it comes to creating a plan, knowing where to start may seem overwhelming. However, breaking your planning into smaller segments is an easy way to tackle a new routine. Start by planning your grocery list. You can use the shopping list included above. AnyList is a great app that can help make planning a grocery list a breeze. Next, plan your meals and snacks for the week and write them down to hold yourself accountable. Ensuring a plan will not only hold you accountable to your goals, but will likely put you at ease during this time of uncertainty.
- Practice self-care
Self-care is an integral aspect of our well-being, especially now more than ever. There are several self-care practices that you can adopt to help you feel grounded and at ease during even the most turbulent of times. Plus, self-care practices help reduce stress, which in turn strengthens your immune system. Firstly, it’s best to continue your keto diet as before to help reduce your stress levels. Maintaining a normal schedule as best you can will help reduce stress levels as well. Please see the following self-care practices that you may choose to integrate:
- Listen to calming music
- Take a warm bath
- Diffuse essential oils
- Do a face mask
- Call friends and family to stay connected
- Exercise regularly
- Keep a food diary
Although maintaining our normal routines may pose a challenge, it’s important to keep your health and keto goals a priority. These changes in our routines may in fact give us more time to plan, prepare, and attend to our goals and well-being. By making sure you stock your kitchen with the necessary food and supplements, stay hydrated, plan ahead, and practice self-care, you will do more than just succeed.
By Ashley Sobel RD, CDN