Life in Quarantine : 7 ways to bring back some routine and a sense of normal

Friday, May 29, 2020
Livliga Guest Blog 7 Ways to Bring Back Routine

We’ve all been forced into a very challenging time in our lives.

In quarantining at home, some of us have the company of our partners and/or kids, while others of us are completely alone. Some of us have lost our jobs, while the rest of us are trying to figure out a new routine in working from home. While we all understand that it’s a critical time to keep us and those around us safe, it doesn’t make this period any easier.

 We’re noticing some common trends in our clients who have been reaching out lately.


The top three types of panicky emails and calls are as follows:

– My weight loss is all of a sudden slowing down dramatically.

– My weight loss is completely stalling or plateauing.

– I’m re-gaining weight.


What’s happening?

Firstly, being quarantined or isolated at home has completely toppled our normal routines.
Our habits and behaviours are directly built onto our routines and daily structure. When the structure to our day goes out the window from one week to the next, understandably our habits and behaviours are affected.

And secondly, many people are experiencing intense and varying emotions.
Emotions like stress, anxiety, depression, helplessness, feeling overwhelmed, etc. negatively impact our ability to be resilient and adapt to new circumstances.


Below are the most common changes in behaviour we’re seeing among our clients who are out of work or are currently working from home.

– More comfort foods (most commonly chocolate, cookies, ice cream, and chips).

– More snacking and nibbling on food in between meals.

– Boredom eating.

– Less structured meal and snack times.

– Poor sleep schedules.

– Increased screen time.

– For some, less physical activity, for others, more physical activity.

– A relaxed attitude towards delaying fluids 30 minutes after eating and prioritizing protein.

In all honesty, these are ALL completely normal reactions to a drastic change in routine combined with an uncertainty of when things will return to normal.

None of these changes in habits or behaviours are “bad” they’re just our response to trying to adjust and cope with a new type of normal.


What changes have you noticed in your habits and behaviours?

If you recognize yourself in some of the points above and you feel ready to make some changes, the list below offers some good starting points. Pick just 1 or 2 points to incorporate each week. Go at your own pace.

7 ways to bring back some routine & a sense of normal in quarantine:


1. Establish meal and snack times.

Write down specific times for your meals and snacks. Be realistic. It’s okay if the times don’t match your schedule pre-quarantine. If you’re waking up at 9 a.m. now for example instead of 6:30 a.m., maybe plan your breakfast for 9:30 a.m. Post your new eating schedule on the fridge. The goal is to challenge the habit of wandering into the kitchen and opening up the fridge and pantry every hour.

2. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time.

Rather than having noon roll around and only then deciding “what’s for lunch?”, be intentional and plan meal and snack ideas for the week ahead of time. It especially makes more sense to plan ahead while quarantined because we’re grocery shopping significantly less often and/or you might have a tighter food budget than normal.

3. Do something active or restorative daily.

Think of the time of day when you struggle the most. For the majority of people, it’s late afternoon or evening. This is the perfect time to schedule in an activity or simply inhale some fresh air.

Some simple outdoor activities include: going for a walk, playing with your kids in the backyard, gardening, reading on your balcony, or simply people watching from your front steps while sipping tea and soaking in some sunshine.

If you can’t go outdoors for whatever reason, find some videos online. There is something for everyone! Maybe your body needs something calming like meditation, deep breathing, stretching, visualization, or yoga. Or maybe your body is craving movement, in which case you might want to try a dance class, a HIIT workout, a Pilates class for beginners, some muscle resistance exercises using just your own body weight (no equipment), or a series of exercises using just your upper body. Regardless of what activity you choose, don’t forget to breathe deeply to reap the full benefits!

4. Pack your meals and snacks the night before.

This strategy isn’t for everyone, but it can be especially helpful if you’re someone who doesn’t make the best choices when you’re at your hungriest. Having food ready and portioned means when it comes time to eat, there are no decisions to be made. All of a sudden, the easiest and fastest choice becomes the prepped option.

5. Eat at the kitchen table.

Did you know that eating quickly and not paying attention while eating can result in consuming more in a sitting and/or eating more often?

Start by picking one meal or snack that you want to dedicate to eating at the table without distractions. Ideally pick the meal or snack that you find the least satisfying or filling. Keep the following in mind: take small bites, chew slowly, really try and savour each bite, explore the flavours, notice the texture, etc. Don’t prep your next bite until you have swallowed. Check in with your stomach after you’ve eaten half of your plate (how do you feel? are you half full or maybe almost full?). Remember how cautiously and attentively you ate in those first weeks after surgery? Aim for this kind of experience.

6. Enjoy your treats.

Why should treats be a part of your plan? Because you’re human!! During this emotional and uncertain time, needing some comfort or fun foods is 100% normal.

You may be feeling like you’ve been treating yourself everyday as it is, so why would you want to continue if you’re trying to get back on track? Intentionally treating yourself DOES NOT mean binging on chips while watching TV to numb your anxiety and stress. Intentionally treating yourself also DOES NOT mean standing in the kitchen pantry raiding a box of cookies while the kids are screaming in the other room.

Treating yourself is INTENTIONALLY enjoying a special food while you’re calm, present in the moment, and truly tasting every bite. It’s also important to pick a food or beverage that you truly enjoy.

7. Catch up on quality sleep.

Poor sleep (meaning either not getting enough sleep or having poor quality sleep), not only negatively affects our mood (often then impacting our food decisions), but is also associated with a higher body weight. Similar to our first point on this list, establishing a daily routine is important. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Both too little and too much sleep have consequences. If you know this is one you want to start working on, search for “sleep hygiene tips” online.


If you feel ready to make some changes and 1 or 2 of the points above resonated with you, great! Go for it!!

If you’re barely treading water these days, you likely aren’t ready to make any changes and that’s okay too. We’re all coping differently right now.

Above all, be kind to yourself during this difficult time and remember that the conditions we’re living through right now are temporary. Take it one day at a time.


We’d love to hear your thoughts. How are you coping? Do you have a tip or two to add to our list?

– Lisa & Monica, your bariatric dietitians

P.S. Looking for support in your weight loss surgery journey? We encourage you to check out our Bariatric Bundle: Maintenance Toolkit and follow us on Facebook (@bariatricsurgerynutrition)!


Guest Blog Bio



 Lisa Kaouk, RD, MPH (left) and Monica Bashaw, RD, M.Sc(A) (right) are compassionate and enthusiastic registered dietitians specialized in working with adults before and after bariatric surgery. With over 15 years of experience and over 6000 patients counselled, they are the experts in all aspects of bariatric surgery nutrition. They are patient and committed, and most importantly, they understand that life after bariatric surgery is filled with many new challenges and lifestyle changes. Visit their website bariatricsurgerynutrition.com to view all the resources and content they've created to help others on their bariatric journey.



Explore Livliga's Bariatric Room
0

Monday Motivational Meal

Monday, May 25, 2020
Livliga Healthy Shrimp Tacos on Blue Kidliga

Enjoy this Simple Shrimp Soft Tacos recipe that is kid-friendly! This do-it-yourself meal is easy and fun to do with the whole family. Serve it up on our very own children's line, Kidliga!

Explore the Kidliga Dinnerware Line

Try this recipe here!
0

💥 Livliga's Memorial Day Weekend Sale is Here!! 💥

Friday, May 22, 2020
Shop & Save all weekend for your favorite portion control tableware tools! This is the time you can jump start your healthy lifestyle!

Start Saving


Livliga's Portion Control Memorial Day Weekend Sale 2020

Get 20% OFF all regularly priced products PLUS we'll ship it for FREE! Now is the time to invest in you and stay on track with your healthy eating goals. Become your healthiest you!


Shop Now
0

Monday Motivational Meal

Monday, May 18, 2020
Livliga Sunrise Egg Salad on Just Right Set bariatric

You will find that each bite of this Sunrise Egg Salad recipe is flavorful and satisfying...not to mention all the ingredients are easy-to-find and inexpensive. Right size this healthy bariatric-friendly meal on our Just Right Set® bariatric plate!

Explore Livliga's Bariatric Room 

Find this bariatric-friendly recipe here!
0

Three Favorite Spring Soups

Friday, May 15, 2020
Soups are so nurturing. They fill our stomachs and our souls with goodness. Soups are also very flexible. You can make them from what you have on hand and can adapt them to feed one or many. Another wonderful thing about soups is that they can reflect the seasons and our moods.

In spring it is time to freshen our palates and bring in brighter flavors and use the ingredients available. Spring can be mixed weather with storms and hot days. Here are three soups that fit the season and also the vagaries of this transitional season.


Freshen your palate with a fruit soup. Here is a recipe for:

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Fresh Ginger

Livliga Chilled Cantaloupe Soup on Halsa

Use the leftovers and bones of your spring lamb to make an immune boosting bone broth soup. Here is a recipe for:

Welsh Lamb and Root Soup

Livliga Welsh Lamb and Root Soup in Vivente

Beat the heat with a pantry-friendly soup. Here is a recipe for:

No-Cook Healthy Gazpacho Soup

Livliga Healthy Gazpacho Soup

Complement these soups with a muffin freshly baked! Click here to choose from ones we love on our blog.

Enjoy! And Live vibrant!

Discover Livliga Bundles
0

Monday Motivational Meal

Monday, May 11, 2020
Livliga Healthy Soup on Halsa Portion Control Dinnerware

There is nothing more juicy or sweet than our recipe for Chilled Cataloupe Soup with Fresh Ginger. This makes a great cold soup and a healthy summer meal. Get ready to spoon up this refreshing soup from our favorite Halsa bowl!

Find Your Favorite Livliga Pattern

Try this recipe here!

0

Best Diet for Healthy Eating—DASH Diet Comes Out on Top

Friday, May 8, 2020
Livliga Book Review DASH Diet
Dash Diet Comes Out on Top!

Every year the U.S. News and World Report comes out with a new list ranking the Best Diets. The battle for the top position seems to toggle between the Mediterranean and DASH Diet.  In 2020 it is a tie for these two approaches to healthy eating.

All of us have a sense of what the Mediterranean diet is but what is a DASH Diet? According to the Report “The DASH Diet…stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension and is promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to do exactly that: stop (or prevent) hypertension, aka high blood pressure. It emphasizes the foods you've always been told to eat (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy), which are high in blood pressure-deflating nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein and fiber. DASH also discourages foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy foods and tropical oils, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets. Following DASH also means capping sodium at 2,300 milligrams a day, which followers will eventually lower to about 1,500 milligrams. DASH Diet is balanced and can be followed long term, which is a key reason nutrition experts rank it as U.S. News’ Best Overall Diet, tied with the Mediterranean Diet.”

Livliga Cod Recipe on Vivente
From the Book: Spanish-Style Pan-Roasted Cod...served up on Livliga's Vivente dinner plate...oh...so...good!


When you compare these two diets it is evident that they are very similar in types of foods they promote and their focus on health as a lifestyle. I got to thinking that if you combined the two you would end up with the perfect long-term healthy lifestyle diet. It turns out Marla Heller, MS, RD has already done this in her book, The DASH Diet: Mediterranean Solution.

Livliga Lamb Tagine healthy recipe on Halsa
Livliga Healthy Lamb Tagine on Halsa Portion Control Dinnerware

Ms. Heller offers detailed information about our health and the impact the food we eat, in specific quantities, has on our health. She presents a compelling argument why all of us can benefit from these two methods of eating combined. As she states, “The Mediterranean and DASH diets have so many hidden benefits for the health of the whole body. These diets help reduce systemic inflammation, and risk of heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. They protect our bone health and kidneys, and may even be associated with a lower risk for depression.” She also provides an eating plan as well as a 14-day Meal plan to get you started. Recipes are provided like Spanish-Style Pan-Roasted Cod and Lamb Tagine. Of the recipes I have tried I found them to be simple and straightforward to follow as well as tasty to eat. Here is another version of Lamb Tagine available on the Livliga Live Vibrant blog.

Tending to our health is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves as well as the ones we love. It is amazing to realize that just by eating certain foods and cooking them in a certain way we can improve our health and live as our healthiest selves.  We all deserve to live a healthy life.


Download Your Free Copy of Healthy Lifestyle and Weight Loss eBook
0

Monday Motivational Meal

Monday, May 4, 2020
Livliga Healthy Muffin Tin Donuts Recipe

Create new memories and healthy traditions for a Mother’s Day Breakfast: Muffin Tin Donuts with Berries and a Homemade Latte. Treat yourself or the mom in your life by serving up this lovely pairing with our Celebrate dinnerware! There is nothing better than pampering those you love...including you!

Get Your Own Celebrate  Portion Control Dinnerware

Give this recipe a try! You can get it here!
0

Introducing Livliga's New Seasonal Grilling Bundle 🌞

Friday, May 1, 2020

 A hand-picked collection of our best healthy lifestyle tools to support you in healthy grilling! 


Livliga Healthy Seasonal Grilling Bundle

Look forward to spending more time outside and hanging out by the grill with the best suite of products that supports you in beautifully measuring and serving your food with ease. This special bundle of products is ideal for the prime grilling season months or anytime you enjoy grilling in your backyard. Create the perfect food environment with the essential products specifically for healthy recipes hot off the grill. Use and enjoy for all meals. Available in different patterns. Pick out your favorite bundle now!


Discover Livliga's Grilling Bundle

0