Food and Anxiety During COVID-19

As we all muddle through this time of uncertainty and unrest, let us be mindful of our eating habits while practicing self-care and realizing that yes, we all intend to eat healthy foods for health but that sometimes we may “slip up” in our minds. Messing up the “perfect diet” is not going to derail all of your efforts for a day or week. Food is often very comforting and something that we KNOW and can alleviate some anxiety. We all can afford to be a little more forgiving of ourselves as we face the “new norms” and changes. 

Spring is usually a time where we get out of our wintry routines and enjoy socializing with others in our communities. This year is so different.  It’s as though Mother Nature is laughing at us on these nice days since we are now forced to distance ourselves from friends and family. This new age of isolation can cause increased fear, anxiety and depression in everyone. During this time, it is important for all of us to get adequate sleep and hydration.  Focusing on even these two lifestyle factors can help alleviate stress. If you’re able, getting out for a nice walk (at a safe distance from others) or participating in an online yoga class may do wonders for your physical and mental health.

Try new hobbies! 

Reading, puzzles, painting, writing, sewing, sending cards and other ways to exercise your creativity can be very therapeutic. Finally, try to connect with friends and family via video or phone calls. Although you may not be able to physically interact with everyone, being able to connect online is great. 

If you, or a loved one, do appear to be struggling more with disordered eating and/or mental health decline please know that there are many resources to help. We are all in this together and can make a difference.

Rebecca Kapsen, RDN, LDN, Corporate Registered Dietitian

 

Try this delicious salmon recipe! Salmon is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and protein. Omega-3 fatty acids provide us with many health benefits including decreasing inflammation and lowering blood pressure. I’d recommend pairing the recipe below with some delicious steamed vegetables or side salad. 

Bourbon Glazed Salmon & Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients for the salmon:

  • 4 6oz salmon fillets
  • ¼ C bourbon
  • ½ C brown sugar
  • ½ C reduced sodium soy sauce
  • ½ tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. In a small saucepan, combine bourbon, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and mustard. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for appx 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to thicken.
  3. Season dry salmon fillets with pepper as desired. Lay salmon skin down on baking sheet. Bake approximately 15 minutes (depending on size of fillet). When salmon is almost done,  remove salmon and turn broiler on in oven. Spread glaze on top of salmon generously. 
  4. Place salmon back in oven and broil for about 30 seconds. Repeat process again. 
  5. After removing salmon from oven, arrange on plates and drizzle with remaining glaze. 

Ingredients for the potatoes:

  • 3 lbs. small red or white potatoes (can use whatever potatoes you have handy)
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp minced parsley (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Cut potatoes in half (or quarters depending on size) and place in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Make sure potatoes are well coated. 
  3. Roast potatoes in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour until brown and crisp, flipping halfway through to ensure even baking. 
  4. Remove potatoes from oven and toss with parsley to taste.