Below is my latest blog post for Huffington Post. You can read it here.
Hurricane Sandy is coming. As a New Yorker living in a crowded neighborhood, I could not help but notice the long lines in the supermarkets today! Everyone was stocking up on food preparing for the worst, as if they will not get out of their house for days on end. Of course, as a nutritionist, I could not help but notice the food choices my neighbors were stocking up on.
In times like this, with all restaurants closed, what you buy, is what you will eat! For the good news, if you keep healthy foods on hand, you’ll eat those foods. And for the bad news, if you stock up on chips and ice cream, that is what you will most likely end up eating. Unless of course you exert lots of willpower.
Keeping a little bit of comfort food around the house is ok, of course, but try to choose mostly healthy food choices.
Here are my 5 top foods to keep on hand.
1. Water. I would suggest keeping bottle water on hand while also filling up some jugs with tap water. Drink generously.
2. Fresh fruits and vegetables. As I’ve written before , fresh fruits and veggies impart so many nutrients, contain fiber, are low in calories, and are filling. Choose a variety and keep your favorites on hand. Carrots, broccoli, berries, apples, pears are a few best bets. And for the good news: you don’t have to worry if you eat too much.
3. Nuts and nut butters. Peanut butter, cashew butter and almond butter are all great options, as are the actual nuts. Nuts and nut butters contain healthy fats and protein. Walnuts, in particular, are high in the heart-healthy fat, omega 3 fatty acids. Stick with unsalted nuts where possible. Be sure to watch your portion as nuts and nut butters are high in fat. Aim for 1-2 tablespoons of nut butter or ¼ cup nuts at a sitting.
4. Whole grains. Whole grain breads and crackers are better options than white bread, muffins, and oversized bagels. Whole grains are packed with vitamins and minerals and contain fiber which will keep you full. Popcorn is also a great snack and yes it is a whole grain. Make some air-popped popcorn and store it in zip lock baggies. For some good news, 3 cups popcorn = 1 grain serving so you can have a decent size portion.
5. Canned vegetarian soups and beans. Try for the low-sodium varieties. Canned chick peas are terrific and can be thrown into a salad, and canned low-sodium lentil and split pea soups are good choices. As I previously wrote, beans and legumes are high in protein and fiber and low in fat.
Wishing you a safe–and healthy–few days!