Written by Dan Vale
The short answer to the above question is that an emphasis on good nutrition will help you to stay healthy during difficult times such as the recent winter storms. Good nutrition also will help you to keep your immune system as strong as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, what is good nutrition and how do you achieve it without becoming a food Nazi? This article will discuss those topics.
Healthy Food Storage
Since you are a prepper, you probably will want to eat food that is not only nutritious, but also food that will store well. Here are some examples of nutritious foods that store well:
1) Powdered milk
4) Spices and condiments
5) Large jars of peanut butter
6) Olive oil
7) Whole wheat crackers
8) Vacuum packed nuts
9) Canned tuna, salmon, chicken, or turkey
10) Canned beans
11) Dried food such as apricots and raisins
Where do people go wrong with their diets?
Diets can be challenging enough even during normal times, but during this COVID-19 pandemic, many people are suffering from cabin fever. Bored, depressed, or stressed people who are confined to their homes often will eat when they are not truly hungry. Too many unhealthy comfort food snacks can result in these people eating mainly the least nutritious foods while becoming obese. As Montel Williams said, “Whenever I feel like having some sort of comfort food, I’ll have some of it but won’t have tons of it.”
Unfortunately, comfort food too often is junk food. So, how much comfort junk food is too much? If your clothing starts to shrink, that might be one indication that you are eating too much comfort junk food.
Exercise helps but may not be enough
Too many people have the attitude that they can eat what and as much as they want to eat, and then, they can burn off the excess calories when they exercise. Exercise helps in weight control and has many other benefits. However, exercise cannot totally undo the harm of toxic food, and an enormous amount of exercise is needed to burn off excessive calories of even healthy food.
During a Thanksgiving dinner, for example, the food consumed per person delivers about 3,000 calories. A 160-pound person would have to walk for four hours to burn off that many calories!
Thus, exercising without carefully selecting the quality and quantity of foods you eat is like going through life with one hand tied behind your back.
Comfort food is often junk food
What makes too much comfort junk food so harmful? This type of food usually has too high a percentage of sugar, salt, or fat. It probably is high in calories and low in vitamins and minerals. It most likely was grown on corporate farms and has harmful food additives and colors to enhance its flavor, texture, appearance, and shelf life. It often is responsible for obesity, dental cavities, Type 2 diabetes, strokes, heart disease, and many other health problems. These medical conditions are dangerous enough during normal times, but during disasters, when medical help is not as available, these medical conditions can be even more life threatening.
Corporate food companies generate “food porn” to entice us to buy their junk food. Food porn is advertising that presents junk food in a glamorous and provocative manner. You can help to diminish the effects of these ads on your family members by serving as a good role model when you make nutritious food choices in reasonable amounts.
What are examples of comfort junk food?
2) Fried foods
3) Fast foods
4) Hot dogs
8) Sweetened breakfast cereals
10) Potato chips
11) Ice cream
12) Candy bars
12) Processed meats
14) TV dinners
Healthy ways to cope
Rather than coping with stress, depression, and boredom by eating excessive amounts of comfort junk foods, preppers would do well to find other ways to cope. Your suggestions below this article are welcome, but some examples of healthy coping are:
2) Walking in nature
3) Listening to soothing music
5) Laughing often
6) Saying “no” to excessive demands you might be putting upon yourself
7) Petting your dog or cat
8) Using a special lamp for light therapy to counteract Seasonal Affective Disorder
9) Stretching your muscles
10) Helping others
We would do well to remember the quote by La Rouchefoucald, “To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”
About the Author:
Dan Vale has a Bachelor Degree in Physical Education. He won the Mr. Delaware Bodybuilding Contest in 1968 and earned his karate Black Belt in 1973. He has had a lifelong interest in physical fitness. Furthermore, for over seven years, he wrote 785 of articles for the Examiner Online Newspaper. Most of these articles were written in his capacity as the Baltimore Prepper Examiner. To see his Amazon books, visit his Amazon author page.
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