I’m sitting in my home with no work (none of my clients have power, so I can’t do business) and limited gas, yet wondering what I can do to help others who have been hurt by Hurricane Sandy. While not a certified nutritionist or anything special, health has been a passion of mine for over 10 years and I do know quite a bit.
I can confirm this by sharing that one of my doctors (actually a chiropractor/nutritionist) once had me make a list of everything I ate for a week and told me, “Of all my patients, you and one other person are the only people that know how to eat right.” And two years ago I had a health column for an online local newspaper and I was also the editor for NJ Health & Fitness before it folded.
So, as my gift to anyone who is struggling right now, I am offering some tips on how to eat as healthy as possible when choices are limited due to grocery stores running out of fresh produce and having limited amount of gas to travel to places that have better food choices. Or the fact that trying to get somewhere and many streets are still blocked off.
I hope this list helps many, and feel free to pass on. If you are used to shopping at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or even your favorite health food stores that you can’t get to, and now are stuck with your local supermarket, give it a chance, you might be pleasantly surprised.
When fresh fruit is limited. If you have to resort to non-organic fruits, go for the fruits with a thicker skin: bananas, oranges, pineapple.
When fresh greens are limited. You can find concentrated greens in a lot of local supermarkets (go to the vitamin section). Mix with water and you have your greens for the day. Some supermarkets carry kombucha. GT’s makes one with greens.
Best canned protein choices. Canned sardines are a great choice. A sardine is a small fish, so there is less mercury than tuna. Go for “wild” instead of “farm-raised.” Beans are also a good choice of protein. Find brands that have low sodium. You can also find protein enriched pastas.
Nuts. Nuts are an awesome source of protein. If you can find raw, that’s the best.
Pastas. All grocery stores are now starting to carry healthier pastas: quinoa, whole wheat, protein enriched, spinach, rice noodles, etc.
Soups. This is the easiest to find! Healthier versions (with low sodium, low sugar) include: Amy’s and Imagine.
Other canned goods. If you’re lucky, go for the obvious: low/no sodium, organic, no sugar. Beware of labels that say “fat free” or “low fat” — as they are probably loaded with sodium and sugar.
Treats. During a crisis it’s so easy to get carried away and pig out. Some of my favorite “pig out” foods include: Paul Newman’s cookies and Annie’s Bunnies natural crackers (YUM!)
Milks. Many local supermarkets carry a variety of shelved milks that can last in the refrigerator up to 10 days: soy milk, rice milk, almond milk. I’ve also seen goat’s milk in a can.
Good luck on your shopping trips. Stay safe. Stay calm. And please note, this is not the time to be fanatical about what you put into your body. Just do your best. Remember being less stressed is the most important thing for your health!