How to stay healthy and cut costs during COVID-19

Coronavirus

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – With many people eating at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, Brooke Gacek, a clinical dietitian at USA Health tell us how we can stay healthy while eating in, how to plan meals, and how to save money at the grocery store.

Gacek says that now is the time to start finding your own version of health that is comfortable for you. She explains food plays a major role in our mental, physical and emotional health.

To start off, if you are cooking at home, make sure you are practicing proper food safety. Gacek reminds us to clean surfaces and dish towels as often as you can, keep your raw meat seaparate from ready-to-eat foods, and refrigerating leftovers within two hours. All of this will help reduce your risk of food-born illness.

To limit trips to the grocery store, it is important to plan ahead. Before you even make a grocery list, try to make use of the items you have on hand. Next, make a list of meals for the week and add those items to the grocery list.

Another option to save money and trips to the store is buying versatile foods that can be used for different meals. For instance, plain greek yogurt can be used as sour cream on your potatoes, on top of your taco, or in place of mayonnaise in chicken salad. Gacek adds, “Instead of using flour for brownies, you can make brownies made with black beans and they are delicious. Healthy swaps like that.”

As far as snacking, fruit is always a good option, but if you do eat processed food, be sure you only take out the right portion to eat, and put the package away. A balanced meal is also important such as having a good source of protein, non-starch vegetables, and whole grains. If you are still hungry, go back to those non-starch vegetables!

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