Tips On Creating A Diet Plan Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic

The spread of COVID-19 is affecting every aspect of our lives right now, and this includes food-related practices. More and more groceries and supermarkets are operating on a limited time table, if not closed. Some restaurants only allow takeaways as well. Lastly, a couple of items on your grocery list might not be available in the stores due to supply constraints.

Despite these happenings, it is essential that we still take good care of our health. It is also crucial while we’re in the middle of the pandemic since we need a healthy immune system to fight back the virus. With this in mind, here are some tips that can help you draft your diet plan despite the said crisis.

Plan Ahead

Do not just think about what you’re going to prepare for you and your family for the next three days. Instead, you should visualize your meals from breakfast to dinner for at least a week. You have to consider which viands you have to prepare, the exact ingredients needed, the food preparation method, and the amount of time and energy you will need to make the meals.

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Once you have listed down everything you need, that’s the only time you should go to the grocery. Take note that you should minimize your trips to crowded places like these as it’s too dangerous. Therefore, make sure to maximize your shopping time by buying enough stocks for 1 to 2 weeks.

Prioritize Fresh Products

You should also make it to the point that you maximize the food available in your pantry. However, you should know how to prioritize. The most important rule that you need to keep in mind is to use the fresh ingredients first or utilize those with shorter shelf life.

Examples of these include reduced-fat dairy products, vegetables, and fruits. One technique for your fruits and vegetables to last long is by freezing them. Do not worry as they will retain their original nutrient profile despite staying inside the refrigerator.

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Listed below are some nutrition-packed food that has longer shelf lives.

  • Grains: frozen brown rice, instant oatmeal, refrigerated pizza crust, couscous, and quick-cooking pasta
  • Bread: whole-grain English muffins, bread, bagels, corn tortillas, frozen whole wheat waffles, and wraps
  • Sauce: salsa and tomato pasta sauce
  • 100% Juice: shelf-stable cartons, canned, frozen
  • Eggs: egg whites in packages, fresh eggs
  • Soup and Broths: shelf-stable cartons, frozen, canned
  • Vegetables: plain frozen, sun-dried, low sodium canned, sturdy fresh vegetables (onions, potatoes, broccoli, and celery)
  • Fruits: plain frozen, dried, canned in water or juice, and sturdy fresh fruit (citrus and apple)
  • Cheese: cubed or grated hard cheese
  • Nuts and seeds: canned, bagged, nut butter
  • Seafood: fish fillet, canned tuna, sardines, and salmon, and frozen shrimp
  • Frozen chicken, pork, and beef

Control Portion Sizes

Being at home for an extended period due to lockdowns and quarantine may lead to overeating. Partner this with this inactivity, then you’re prone to a health disaster. Therefore, if you’re drafting your diet plan, make sure that your portion sizes are at par with the standard.

You can do this by seeking assistance from national food-based dietary guidelines. Here you’ll find what constitutes a right yet healthy portion. Be mindful that adults and young children have different allocations, and you need to consider this when preparing a meal.

“The healthiest meals emphasize whole grains, vegetables, and fruits—serve them in the greatest amounts. Meat portions should be smaller—this will save money and help keep dietary saturated fat in check,” share Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Ph.D., RD, FAND, and co-authors.

Try Online Shopping

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We’re living in the digital age now. Most food companies who are trying to control their losses brought about by the pandemic are now extending their services via the online platform. As a household, you should utilize this approach. It will not only save you a lot of time but will also minimize your people-to-people interaction.

Keep in mind, however, that unlike supermarkets, you have to wait for a day or two to receive or pick up your orders. Therefore, it is vital to plan and manage your groceries.

Limit Sugar Intake

The World Health Organization recommends a maximum of 6 teaspoons of sugar intake per day. This amount is equivalent to less than 5 percent of an adult’s total energy intake; therefore, if you crave for something sweet, better to consume fresh fruits than any other delicious dessert.

Always remember that one can still achieve proper nutrition amid these unfortunate circumstances. All you have to do is follow the tips above and partner this with a physically active lifestyle.

IBD: Overview, Causes, And Symptoms

Abdominal Pain, Pain, Appendicitis, Bloating

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The distinguished organizers of the 2019 Gastroenterology Conference did well with structuring the program and topics of the event. There were discussions, presentations, and the exchange of knowledge and insights among the various participants focused on gastrointestinal health research. The conference further brought together a diverse scope of gastroenterology, including a brief explanation of common GI diseases such as infections, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancers of the GI tract.

Below is a brief discussion of a specific GI condition, inflammatory bowel disease.

Overview

Inflammatory bowel disease or IBD is composed of a range of intestinal disorders that cause long-term inflammation of the GI – specifically – the digestive system. The digestive system consists of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine, respectively. The system functions to break down the food that a person consumes, extract the healthy substances from it, and get rid of waste products. If there is swelling anywhere along with the digestive system, this interrupts its normal process. IBD can ultimately be very painful, troublesome, and in worst cases, life-threatening.

Causes

The precise cause of IBD is not known, but genetics and abnormalities in one’s immune system are apparently associated with the disease.

Genetics. If your parents or other siblings have been diagnosed with IBD, then there is a higher likelihood that you to may develop the disease. This is why researchers have associated it with having a genetic component.

Immune System. Typically, your immune system protects your body from organisms that cause infection and illness. If you have IBD, on the other hand, and a viral or bacterial infection occurs in the digestive tract, this may evoke an autoimmune response, wherein your immune system attacks your body’s healthy cells.

Symptoms

The symptoms of IBD depends on where the inflammation is located and how severe it is. These include:
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  • Diarrhea
  • stomach pain, bloating and cramping secondary to bowel obstruction
  • bleeding ulcer
  • anemia and weight loss.

 

Exercise For A Healthy Digestive System

 

Exercise helps us feel good and healthy inside and out.

Our digestive system works with great effort to keep our whole body nourished.  And for it to perform its function well, we must learn to take care of our gut, and one important thing we can do for our digestive tract is to exercise regularly.

 

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Exercise Heals Holistically

Exercise helps in digestion a great deal as it activates the digestive enzymes and the bowel movement.   The digestive enzymes play a significant role in digestion and nutrient absorption.  Regular exercising improves your circulatory system and keeps the nervous, endocrine, and muscular systems going.  It makes your body healthy holistically. “Physical wellness is affected by physical activity, healthy nutrition, and adequate sleep.” Marjie L. Roddick, MA, NCC, LMHC eplains.

 

Workouts That Can Benefit A Healthy Digestive System

 

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Yoga

Yoga poses and deep breathing calm down the gut.  It’s like massaging your abdominal tract.  Stretches and contractions through yoga improve gut function and digestion flow. “Many practitioners and teachers of yoga claim it offers benefits for one’s mental health. It seems like an obvious conclusion, given that most yoga focuses on exploring one’s inner world of consciousness.” John M. Grohol, Psy.D. said.

 

Belly Dancing

Most of the belly dance moves involve the torso and the stomach which feels like massaging your internal organs.  Belly dancing movements, like the swaying of hips in a circle, helps in the digestion process.

 

Walking

“Exercise, even if all you do is to take a walk.” Yocheved Golani, a life coach suggests. A study done in 2008 revealed that after a meal walking increases the rate at which food moves through the stomach.

Brisk walking helps promote and raise metabolism and is a good kick start for our digestive system, thus, regulating our bowel movement.

 

Swimming

No matter what style you do – breaststroke, butterfly, backstroke, or even freestyle – swimming is proven effective in calming down irritable bowel syndrome.  It reduces cramping and bloating.

 

Aerobics

Doing aerobics accelerates breathing and heart rate, stimulating the natural contraction of the intestinal muscles.  Comfortable abdominal muscle contraction helps in the passage of the stool to move out swiftly.

 

Exercise Is Not Just For Losing Weight

Many are encouraged to exercise because of the promise of weight loss.  What they are not aware of is that there is more to just merely losing weight when you work out.   It keeps you healthy and stress-free.

 

Always remind yourself that inactivity causes you to feel constipated, bloated, and gassy.   This feeling can make you feel stressed and depressed.   Exercise helps prevent this from happening and even helps prevent diseases of the digestive system like colon cancer.

 

Many exercises target the abdominal muscles, boosting digestion efficiency, helping toxin removal, nourishing the intestines, and promoting balance and quintessential metabolic state.

 

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Never Start Abruptly After Your Meal

When it says after-meal exercise, it does not mean that you should start your activity immediately right after eating.   Wait at least an hour after your big meal before starting your regimen.   Exercising all of a sudden after eating may lead to the weakening of intestinal muscle contraction and inadequate production of the digestive enzyme, which causes the intestines to move sluggishly, making you feel bloated and gassy.  It can cause you to become constipated.  So it’s important to give your body the time to digest what you’ve taken in before doing the exercise regimen you prefer.

 

Tips For Starters

For inactive individuals who want to start exercising, walking is the best way to start it.  You can do a 5 to 10-minute walk first, and gradually increasing it as the day goes by until you feel you’re ready to do low impact exercise.   Make it your goal to do it daily, rather than aiming to increase your activity abruptly.

 

If you want to do a brisker type of exercise, consult your doctor first, especially if you have some health issues and if you’re taking some kind of medication.

 

Stay healthy and keep that gut moving!

How Your Weekly Meal Plan Affects Your Partner’s Gastrointestinal Function 

You are a reflection of what you eat. Whatever your diet might be, its effects on your body will show up one day. If you have a balanced diet, you will reap the rewards of it. Consequently, poor meal planning can make you prone to lifestyle diseases. You need to be careful about what you put inside your body. Moreover, if you are responsible for your partner’s diet, be extra careful when planning their weekly meals.  

 

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Gastrointestinal Problems And Marriage

Having a chronic illness is unfortunate in a marriage. When your husband acquires a gastrointestinal problem that is believed to last for more than a year, there is a high possibility that his attitude towards you would change. Take note that the physical pain that he is feeling can make him feel anxious, stressed and depressed all at the same time. Because of this, it is expected that he will cause some problems in your relationship.

 

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How To Be Strong For A Loved One Who Is Sick 

One of the worst things that could happen in your life is finding out that the person you love is suffering from a disease. It hurts to see your husband go through a lot of pain, especially if you think that he does not deserve any of it. At the same time, it can also give rise to some financial troubles since hospital bills and medications usually go up as the sickness becomes serious. Because of this, it can be easy to show sadness and grief. Unfortunately, the more you show that your beloved one’s illness affects you, the more painful it will be on his part. 

  

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Should GERD Patients Seek Online Therapy?

Many kinds of gastrointestinal diseases can affect many people. One of the most common is GERD or gastro-esophageal reflux disease. Another common term for this is acid reflux or heartburn. It is considered as a chronic digestive disease. According to a recent study, around 20% of Americans suffer from GERD. The effects of GERD usually take place at least twice or thrice a week.

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Live, Love, Eat – Healthy Gut Means Happy And Healthy You

 

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I belong to a women’s group called Deborah, and I can confidently say that our common ground is food – food for our soul and food for our physical body.

We meet once a week for Bible study, and what else is there to do after feeding our soul with the word of God – we feast!  Our pigging out time is happy and full of laughter (and sometimes tears) because it is also our time to share our stories, give our praises and thanks for surviving another week – may it be a week of trials, joy, or both.

Some of us will bring fruits and vegetable salads while others will pack finger foods, rice, meat, and kinds of pasta.  We are all adventurous when it comes to food, and so whenever a new food outlet opens up – whether a small coffee shop or buffet – we make sure to pay it a visit and try what they have to offer.   For us, FOOD is LIFE!

 

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Live To Be Spiritually Healthy (Healthy Spirituality Is A Healthy Gut)

We live not just with the food we feed our body with but most importantly the food we feed our souls with.  Our whole being will reach its state of well-being if we care enough not just about the food we eat but our spirituality. In an article of Marjie L. Roddick, MA, NCC, LMHC she emphasizes that “Signs of strong spiritual health include having clear values, a sense of self-confidence, and a feeling of inner peace.”

Spirituality is not just about religion or what you believe.  For me, it is about self-awareness, being aware of what is good and bad for the mind, body, and soul – the end-result of my religiosity.

Being aware of what is good and bad for you will put balance in all aspects of your life and will yield happiness, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Jennifer Bradley, Psy.D., HSPP, Clinical Psychologist once stated that “When we are imbalanced, we develop various types of difficulties, including psychological and/or physical symptoms, and we begin to use ineffective or damaging coping mechanisms.”

When it comes to the matters of the gut, self-control is of utmost importance.  God gives us a lot of vast choices so that our palate will enjoy and be able to feast on everything He created – plant-based or animal-based – and it is up for us to choose.

Self-control will lead us to make good choices about food and will produce good results as we enjoy our healthy body.

 

Love Your Gut

A healthy body is a healthy mind, a manifestation that we love the one who created it and ourselves as much as we love what we eat.  Enjoying our eating time, slowly chewing our food, and giving our tummy enough time to digest everything means we care about our gut, not to overwork.

In one of our study sessions, we learned about breath prayer, a practice that if you do with your heart will become a natural part of your system like breathing.  Breath prayer allows me to focus and digest the spiritual food I take in to keep me going for the day.

Just like a breath prayer, proper breathing supplies our digestive system with enough oxygen so that it can digest the food efficiently and provide all the nutrients our every cell need.

A healthy mind is a healthy soul; a healthy digestive tract is the foundation of a healthy body.  It pays to love your gut!

 

Eat-In Gentleness

Functioning in self-control, choosing the food you want to eat, which will help maintain the ecosystem in your body, making your body healthy, enabling you to do things you would like to achieve is the true freedom. “Eat a healthful diet, that is low in fat, high in fiber, and rich in vitamins and minerals. Specific dietary factors that may be beneficial in depression are the B-complex vitamins (found in whole grains) and omega-3 fatty acids (found in cold-water fish, fish oil, and flax seeds),” says ADAA member Stephanie Kriesberg, PsyD

Whether in a coffee shop or pigging out in a smorgasbord, God wants us to enjoy and be happy with all the food He prepares for us.   It is for us to choose which and how much of each we are going to take in that we think is gentle enough to our gut but will still keep us going and not hogtie us into the bed of illness.

Don’t let the feast lane be your ticket to get in the fast lane of sickness.

To be able to live, love, and eat is the freedom that changes my whole being to its well-being, a manifestation of what my God has done in my life.