We live in an area with a hurricane season. That means there are times when we are facing the possibility of, at the least, a disruption of our regular routine. When we listen to all the hurricane warnings and news reports, and monitor those graphics that show possible paths, it’s normal for anxiety to ramp up higher than usual. They’re not called ‘cones of uncertainty’ for nothing!
Just like it’s crucial to implement a hurricane preparedness plan, it’s also best to create and stick with a food plan. It’s easy to fall into a habit of overeating when you are cleaning out the freezer and fridge in advance of a power outage, but it is not the solution. It might even make your emotional state worse in the long run.
Key here is to stay mindful about not eating from anxiety. After all, consuming inflammatory, high sugar and high fat junk foods will only stress out your body more. What I recommend, even in times of disaster preparing, is to keep only healthy snacks around like carrots, blueberries, avocado and unsalted nuts.
Also stay conscious of how you feel so you can notice the urge to eat and process whether you are really hungry or just anxious as all get out. Put some time in between the urge and the action to figure out how else you can soothe and create balance. You may find that doing things like taking deep breaths, a moment to meditate, talking to a friend, writing out your anxiety in a journal, or spending time with your pet, can calm you right down.
Planning Food For Uncertainty
You can prepare for the unknown by pre-thinking what you are going to eat. Make a plan that includes three meals and a variety of snacks that will stay ok even if you lose power. Pay attention to combining different food groups in your choices. For example:
- Protein: Unsalted nuts, hard-boiled eggs, tuna packed in foil, canned chicken breast and boxed milk that does not require refrigeration.
- Complex carbs: Low-sodium, high fiber crackers and raw oatmeal, which can be mixed with water or long-life milk.
- Fruits: Apples, grapefruit or oranges. Single serving containers of fruit with no added sugar and dried fruit like raisins and apricots.
- Vegetables: Veggies that do ok longer without refrigeration include carrots, cabbage and celery. This is also a time when unsalted canned vegetables are welcome.
- Water: Make sure to have electrolyte-enhanced water on hand in addition to buying bottles or filling up containers of regular drinking water.
You can’t control Mother Nature, but you can take control of your food habits even if uncertainty is coming your way.