British Columbia

Here are 3 tips from a dietitian to help you eat better while stuck at home

Registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen can help you do better than spaghetti again and again. And again.

'One of the most powerful things we can do right now is cook'

Go ahead. Google what to do with that last can of beans. Now is the time to get outside your comfort zone in the kitchen and try a few things. (Shutterstock / Fractal Pictures)

Self isolation is a great time to shovel snacks into your face while flopped on the couch.

But meal time can be a challenge.

Maybe you only have a few staples you cook well, or maybe you are foregoing dinner because it is easier to forage for couch crumbs. Either way, registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen wants to help you eat better.

Nielsen joined The Early Edition Monday to offer up a few simple tips for British Columbians cooking at home these days. 

Just do it

"One of the most powerful things we can do right now is cook," said Nielsen.

Nielsen said humans have learned to take comfort in eating but should also start to take comfort in cooking, especially now while everyone's activities are on pause to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"To do anything tactile that gets you into the present moment and out of your head is really beneficial," she said.

Freeze things

Nielsen said a lot of people are purchasing instant and frozen meals and it can be a challenge to find frozen vegetables on the shelf right now.

Instant soups and packaged macaroni are selling as fast as they are stocked in some shops. But there is still a lot of fresh produce for purchase.

"Get your hands on those," said Nielsen, reiterating the importance of fresh food in your diet.

She said people can chop up, bag up, and freeze fresh produce so they have more on hand when they need it. This is also usually cheaper than buying pre-bagged frozen veg.

Spice it up

Made a spaghetti sauce last night? Why not turn it into a curry with a little curry powder and turmeric tonight.

Nielsen said utilizing the spice drawer is a great way to help extend a small amount of basic dinner options into a full variety of meals.

"It is about breaking out of that comfort zone and now is a perfect time to do that,' she said.

And if you don't know how to spice up what you have to work with, Nielsen says just ask the internet.

There are plenty of people sharing recipes and tips online right now and in a pinch, Nielsen said just Google, "What can I do with a can of beans?"

With files from The Early Edition

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