In vain we do physical exercises, meditation if we pay a little attention to what and how we eat. We risk poisoning ourselves, on our own.
Being a topic quite important to me and which I didn’t pay attention to for many years (I even exaggerated with bad eating habits, becoming overweight), I approached it in the last period (last 8 years) with the utmost importance.
Eating healthy under quarantine is doable! In today’s article, I want to show you guys my quarantine meal plan with simple, tasty, and healthy recipes ideas you can cook, and your whole family can eat.
This quarantine is the perfect time to stay home, cook healthy meals, and boost your immune system with nutritious food! Start with this healthy quarantine meal plan!
Before I show you the healthy quarantine meal plan, let’s see a few nutritional facts:
What is the daily caloric requirement?
The number of calories we need to consume each day depends on age, gender, and degree of physical activity.
Thus, a sedentary young man between the ages of 16 and 18 years should be limited to consuming 2,400 kcal per day, while an active one at 3,200. Similarly, a young woman of the same sedentary age should not exceed 1,800, and if 2,200 are active.
For a man between 26 and 30 years of age with moderate activity, the caloric requirement is 2,600 and 3,000 if active, and 2,000 and 2,400 for a woman of the same age, moderately active, respectively active.
Between 41 and 45 years of age, an active man should be limited to 2,800 kcal per day, and a woman to 2,200.
An active 65-year-old man should consume 2,600 calories, and a woman of the same age 2,000 kcal.
The caloric intake must be distributed differently to the three types of nutrients that we need to function normally, respectively:
• 50-55% carbohydrates
• 30-35% fats
• 12-15% protein.
If we know these proportions we can make the menu with their respect.
How do we divide the calorie intake during the day?
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The calorie requirement should be divided into 5 meals, three of which are the main and the rest snacks. What is to be avoided is the consumption at a table of 1,000 kcal and 4-5 tables of 200 kcal each.
One way to spread your calorie intake throughout the day is to consume
• 30% of the total amount of calories at breakfast
• 30% at lunch,
• 20% at dinner
• 20% on the snacks
• Calories consumed by drinks are also included.
A simple program, per hours, could be:
• Breakfast – 7.30
• Snack 1 – 11.30
• Lunch – 13.30
• Snack 2 – 16.00
• Dinner – 7 pm
So now finally, let’s see what my nutrition meal plan looks like.
Breakfast gives you the energy of the morning – when you are most productive – and sets the tone for the day. Meals, in general, should be taken when we need extra energy.
They are also more active and have a better ability to concentrate on the first part of the day. A healthy breakfast consists mainly of whole grains, low-fat proteins, low-fat dairy products, fruits, and vegetables.
The most common mistake made by those who misunderstood the principle of breakfast is the most important meal of the day is the consumption of traditional preparations that are either loaded with fats (omelets or oil-fried omelets, to which they add ham, bacon, and sausage), fatty cheeses, milk or goat yogurt, whether high in carbohydrates or sugar – pies, donuts, pastries, cereals with added sugar or cereal bars.
10 Examples of healthy breakfast
1. Whole grain bread, turkey Pastrami, peppers, green salad.
2. Whole biscuits, fresh cow cheese, smoked salmon.
3. Oatmeal, skimmed milk, fresh or frozen red fruits, almonds.
4. Corn flakes, skimmed yogurt, peeled sunflower seeds, raw
5. Omelet with goat cheese and aromatic herbs
6. Smoothie with avocado
7. Smoothie with papaya and pineapple
8. Pancakes of whole-wheat flour with nuts and honey.
9. Eggs in the oven with spinach and pumpkin.
10. Pumpkin salad with walnuts and goat cheese.
It is the second important meal of the day and should be the richest in calories, plus it should never be excluded, as it provides energy and nutrients to effectively maintain the body and brain throughout the afternoon.
Lunch should include a diet rich in vitamins and multivitamins to maintain the right balance of foods to provide the nutrients needed to keep you healthy.
12 Healthy lunch example
1. Raw salad with tofu, lentils with vegetables
2. Grilled salmon, steamed broccoli with carrots, brown rice.
3. Grilled chicken breast, baked potato, baked carrots in the oven.
4. Whole wrap, grilled chicken breast, green salad, tomatoes.
5. Beef stew and arugula salad
6. Pasta with grilled chicken breast and spinach
7. Pasta with quinoa
8. Broccoli cream soup with spinach
9. Lentil cream soup with croutons
10. Turkey burger and vegetables
11. Green beans with garlic and chicken breast
12. Salmon with vegetables in the oven
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The evening meal should be as light and as far away as possible from bedtime so that the digestive tract has enough time to do its job.
It is most often the only meal we have with family or friends. If during the day we did not respect the schedule of the other meals we are tempted to put on the table everything we find through the pantry or refrigerator and consume everything we put in the dishes.
10 Examples of healthy dinners
1. Whole grain bread, vegetable broth, or vegetable soup.
2. Steamed lean fish, raw spinach salad or spinach sauce, brown rice with peanuts
3. Whole bread, tuna salad, fresh fruits.
4. Integral pasta with tomatoes and basil, fresh fruits.
5. Beef with asparagus, pepper, and rice
6. Potatoes with mushrooms in the oven
7. Vegan salad with beet and tofu
8. Chickpeas meatballs with vegetables and tahini
9. Spicy meatballs lentils with peppers
10. Pasta with carrots and parsnip sauce
- Delicious chickpeas stew with curry, coriander, and ginger
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Including snacks daily for both adults and children benefits the body due to the high content of vitamins and minerals and by preventing hunger and overeating at the main tables.
Snacks between meals do not fatten or cause other health problems, as long as we choose the right food from the qualitative and quantitative point of view.
The best choices for healthy snacks are fruits and vegetables, oilseeds, yogurts and cheeses, cereals, due to their valuable nutrient content.
Examples of healthy snacks
1. Fresh fruits, fruit sticks, cereals, and nuts.
2. Whole biscuits with fresh fruits, dried figs.
3. Fresh fruits, dried fruits.
4. Skimmed yogurt and almonds, dried fruits.
Alternatives for those who prefer sweets
• Fresh fruits: yellow melon, strawberries, grapes
• Dried fruits: a few pieces of mango, raisins, pineapple, bananas, blueberries
• Dairies: a skimmed yogurt + 1 handful of berries/ raisins
• Oatmeal biscuits, bananas, and berries.
Alternatives for those who prefer salty snacks
Instead of chips, salted and fried peanuts.
• Vegetable chips in the oven
• 1 handful of nuts/ hazelnuts (raw)
• 1 handful of sunflower/ pumpkin seeds (raw)
• 250 ml of celery, spinach, carrot, and apple smoothie.