Bite by Bite: Quarantine Edition -Trying to stay healthy while sheltering in place

National Nutrition Month 2020 is March and this year’s theme is “Eat Right, Bite by Bite” with the overall message being that quality nutrition isn’t restrictive, but that small changes to diet can have a cumulative effect on health over time. Every healthy nutritional choice is a choice in the right direction. But eating healthily, as well as getting enough exercise, can be challenging in the best of times but even more so when most of the country is currently sheltering in place within their homes.

Preparing Healthy Meals with Limited Ingredients

With many grocery stores having bare shelves and/or limiting how much can be purchased at a time it may seem an impossible fete to prepare healthy and nutritious meals.  Do you ever look through your pantry and fridge wondering what you could possibly make with what seems to be an impossible mystery basket off of “Chopped”?  The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts provides an article outlining the top apps/websites for inputting what you already have on hand to find that perfect meal. The top three choices are:

SuperCook: This website is simple and effective, and there’s no need to download or install anything to your phone. Start by selecting ingredients you already have on hand from several categories (such as meat, seasoning, and dairy). As you add available ingredients, SuperCook suggests recipes, updating results for each new item you include. From there you can narrow down your results by selecting type of meal you want to make, type of cuisine, and/or the star ingredient. If you want to save your ingredients and favorite recipes, you can make a profile.

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner: Allrecipes is available on multiple devices, including tablet and smartphone. You can find recipes by browsing through categories such as dietary restrictions, ingredients, cuisine type, meal type, season and cooking technique. Searching by ingredient allows you to set your parameters based on what you have available. The easiest search is with the “dinner spinner,” a tool that lets you quickly spin through a combination of options by dish type, ingredients on-hand, and how long before the meal is ready. You can save your recipes and ingredients by creating an account.

BigOven: This app lets you navigate and brainstorm in a number of ways. For instance, check out the Ideas section to browse through meal inspiration. There you’ll find categories like “Use Up Leftovers,” which curates recipes based on reusing ingredients. The Collections area includes recipe ideas for healthy breakfasts, healthy snacks, meat-free, soups, low-carb, and more. Most recipes come with nutritional facts that include the number of calories per serving. The Grocery List section allows you to sort by ingredient and keep tabs on what you’ll need to make a certain meal.

Indoor Exercises Geared Towards Seniors

According to Medicare  staying active – even if you’re exercising for only 15 minutes – can significantly improve senior health. For example, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that elderly adults who exercised spent 25% less time disabled or injured than those who did not. Physical activity can boost mood, add extra years to your life, help you maintain or lose weight, reduce the impact of illness and disease like Alzheimer’s, and enhance mobility, flexibility, and balance.

Exercise Videos: The National Institute on Aging at NIH has a great collection of free “Go4Life” exercise videos on YouTube.  Try these Go4Life workout videos to help you fit exercise and physical activity into your daily life.

Balance exercises – Balance training exercises strengthen the muscles that help keep you upright to improve stability and help prevent falls. Older adults at risk of falls should do balance training three or more days a week and do standardized exercises from a program demonstrated to reduce falls. These chair exercises, for example,  effectively assist elderly individuals to exercise and move without putting undo pressure or strain on their bodies.

SilverSneakers: Many Medicare Advantage recipients are eligible for a free gym membership through SilverSneakers. You can check your eligibility here. They are also currently offering free exercise videos geared towards seniors that can be done safely from inside your house on their Facebook page.

Need Cooking Supplies or Healthcare Equipment?

ILA offers many products that can be delivered right to your home to help stay healthy while obeying Social Distancing.

Kitchen and Cooking Aids: From slicing and dicing, measuring, cooking, to eating there is something for everyone. Most of these products are geared towards persons with visual impairments and therefore are also great for anyone safety conscious in the kitchen.

Healthcare: ILA sells a wide variety of healthcare products and aids, including talking scales, bathing and bathroom aids, glucose meters and diabetic aids, pill and medicine organizers, and much more.

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