3 Tips for Eating Clean During a Pandemic

By Coach Christy Wright

We all experienced it. The pandemic hit, the country started to shut down, things got SUPER weird, feelings were amplified x1 million and we all went through a moment of experiencing emotions from panic, grief, boredom, angst, whatever the word for you was. The whole world started picking up new hobbies from music to baking (tried that, failed miserably), hiking, professional Netflix binger (don’t worry, complete success). But through it all, the one thing for me that was a constant was food. It was something so challenging to regulate and create boundaries around due to boredom, emotional eating, ease of access, and well, the first pandemic we have ever experienced. Does any of this sound familiar? Thankfully though it all, the outcome of this crazy pandemic led me to find some tips to regulate food consumption, take back some control, and maintain an active lifestyle.

Eating became a comfort of sorts, but as time went on and the initial stress and panic started to diminish and I got in the swing of my new norm, it kind of hit me that now was a good time to start creating better habits and learn something new. I have never been a big fan of the word “dieting” – I think it comes with a bad connotation and one that rings as a short term fix for what I think is a long term game. I am a huge believer in the 80/20 rule when it comes to food and healthy eating, and I believe it’s something that can work for us, satisfy us, and fit into various stages in our life for the long term, the greater good.

What I’ve come to believe is that if I use food for “fuel” 80% of the time and allow myself the freedom to, enjoy that slice of birthday cake, that glass of champagne at my BFF’s wedding, my Saturday morning waffles, etc. I can strike a balance that I really enjoy. I have always been a health nut, conscious of what I eat, but Alchemy is where I realized food can really be used as a source of fuel to help aid performance. I have done countless 365 Challenges, tested the Paleo diet, completed Whole 30, and even dabbled with Keto, but I have come to find a solid balance of including everything in a healthy way.

If healthy eating is something that is important to you, changing it up and trying different things is critical to long term success. Unfortunately, there is no secret sauce here, but nutrition is something we all have control over, which is very liberating once you come to that realization. So if you are feeling like maybe some of that control has been lost, aside from general and constant experimentation, here are my tips and tricks to getting it back.

1. PLAN and Prep!!! – Sunday is always my day to come up with my plan for the week. Grocery run then get on that meal prep. I am absolutely no cook, but I have my staples (food list linked here!)). I always pre-cut my fruits and veggies, pre-cook my protein and pop it in a Tupperware in the fridge so everything is easy and ready to be consumed for the week. This makes “fuel mode” cooking much less adventurous, but much more successful. Pro tip: You can’t eat what you don’t have in the house – look, we are eating in our homes on a much more regular basis, if you are enticed by temptations, don’t buy it. I legit will never buy Oreos or cookies (except for on special occasions 🙂 because it’s a trigger food for me, and I know if I eat one, the whole box will be gone before you can say… anything.

2. Meal timing and tracking – schedule out when you are going to eat and what it is. I love using MyFitnessPal to track my meals and it also keeps me on a schedule of when to eat. Tracking what your eating is SUPER eye-opening and once you get the hang of it, it allows you to make intentional, informed choices about how you are fueling your body. When it comes to meal timing, have you had the days where you sit down to work and all of a sudden 2:00 PM rolls around and you haven’t eaten yet? Then you sit in front of the fridge and just with no idea what to do and an increasingly terrifying grown coming from your gut?. Ya, me too. Stick to your schedule, make sure you actually eat, so that way your hunger doesn’t catch up to you! Pro tip: Try to eat not at your desk/where you work!! That way your meals are intentional and enjoyed, and your desk doesn’t become a snacking playground! Hall of fame tip: Buy a one-gallon water bottle and keep it at your desk!! Keep hydrated!

3. Schedule time out of the house – So many of us are used to a much more active lifestyle and work from home is keeping us sedentary – schedule 15-30 minute blocks of time 3-5 times a day just to get up and MOVE, maybe it’s a walk around the block, maybe a short bike ride, rollerblade, maybe you get in 50 swings with your Torpedo, whatever it is get out and move! Pro tip: set an alarm or reminder on your phone for when you schedule these!! It will force you to actually take these breaks!

Look, nutrition can be overwhelming, it can find a way to control your life but once we take back that control it can fuel our every day and be used as a tool to push our goals forward. Start by implementing these three things, make small changes, explore what works for you, and implement consistency and positive change will come. Plus if you’re looking for somewhere to start, check out our favorite seasonal meal plans we just released our online shop. 

If you have any general questions about food, or healthy eating, macro counting, etc I am more than happy to be a resource! Email me at christy@alchemy365.com or hit me in the DM’s on Instagram @christyjennawright

GROCERY LIST:

PROTEIN:

  • Egg whites
  • Eggs
  • Lean ground turkey
  • Chicken breast
  • Bilinski’s Chicken Sausage (seriously best brand, get them at Whole Foods, super clean ingredients!)
  • Lean Ground Beef
  • Tilapia
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna
  • Deli Meat (Ham/Turkey)
  • Canadian Bacon
  • Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
  • Too Good Yogurt (target)
  • Protein powder – Ascent is my fav! Waiting for that sponsorship, ya know.

 

Grains:

  • Banza pasta
  • Siete Cassava and Chia tortillas
  • Dave’s Thinly Sliced Killer Bread
  • Simple Mills Banana Muffin Flour
  • Sourdough bread
  • Rice Cakes
  • Basmati Rice
    Oatmeal – love Bob’s Red Mill and Kodiak cakes instant!
  • Birch Benders Protein pancakes

 

Vegetables:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Mixed Greens
  • Coleslaw (cabbage)
  • Broccoli Slaw
  • Butternut Squash Spirals
  • Riced Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Red Peppers
  • Unsweetened canned pumpkin puree

 

Fruit:

  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Melon
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Lemon
  • Kiwi
  • Apples
  • Unsweetened Apple Sauce

 

Cheese:

  • Parmesan
  • Feta
  • Goat Cheese
  • Laughing Cow


Random:

  • Cucina Antica – Pasta sauce
  • Bolthouse Dressings
  • Tzatziki Sauce
  • Blue Owl Preserves – fruit spread
  • PB 2 – Peanut butter powder
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder 

 

Liquids – v important 

  • Waterloo or AHA, guys I hate to say it but these are the next La Coix.
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk/Cashew/Coconut
  • Topo Chico

 

ALCHEMY 365 Alchemy combines yoga, strength, and intense conditioning to change the body and renew the mind. A variety of fun and challenging class formats can be mixed and matched to meet any fitness goal.

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