If you are struggling to keep food exciting during lockdown you are not alone. The longer lockdown goes, the more likely we are to get bored with what we are eating and can resort to things like takeaway and junk food to mix things up.
With the extended time away from cafes and restaurants, the focus has now shifted towards the kitchen. We are no longer able to have a break from our own cooking by heading out and it unfortunately will be this way for a while to come. It however, should be a big personal focus to keep food exciting during lockdown.
We should always be looking to have a healthy and positive relationship with our food at the moment. This is because with the combo of being at home & life stress, it is easier to slip into negative and unhealthy habits.
It is our obligation to end this lockdown in better shape than we entered so that we can resume a healthy life as best possible.
I don’t think that anyone would want to end this lockdown in worse shape than they were when lockdown started would they?
Maintaining a healthy relationship with your daily food intake is crucial to ensuring that you remain in the best shape possible.
So, what would a negative relationship with food in these times look like?
Spending a lot of time at home can increases the chance of bad snacks, home delivery and easy options (microwave meals, fast food, frozen dinners). This is because it is un-motivating and actually quite tiring being inactive, and as a result you tend to be inclined to put in less effort when it comes to cooking. A click of a button gives us access to all of the takeaway in the area and when we are tired sometimes the click of a button can see a delivered meal as the best solution.
Instead, if we need to focus on having a positive relationship with our food in these times.
So, what would that look like?
It would involve spending time researching, learning new skills and recipes. It would mean using a trip to the supermarket as a chance to buy some new foods you otherwise wouldn’t have tried, turning the cooking process into an enjoyable and interactive part of the day.
How we approach anything during these times will go a long way to how we actually come out the other end of it. Nutrition has always, and will always be a crucial part of your health.
Continue for our top tips to keep food exciting during lockdown
Cook 2-3 New Recipes Each Week
This is a wonderful way of keeping the cooking experience exciting because it is challenging you to try and think of new ways of cooking. More often than not we are in a nutrition routine, sticking to the same 3-4 main meals. You know you can cook them, and they probably taste great, but soon enough they become boring and uninspiring, causing excitement and motivation towards your food to drop.
If you spend some time over your weekend (before the food shop) to find some new recipes to try, you will get a bit more excited. Things that you might think are a bit of a challenge and outside the comfort of what you are used to, will keep your brain ticking.
It will actually get you motivated to undertake the cooking process and will also add to your repertoire (which is a huge plus).
Hint: Try not to cook something new every night, this could be a little overwhelming and in-turn have the opposite effect on the motivation levels.
Cook A New Cuisine Each Week
Working in line with the above recommendation, a great way to keep the food exciting in lockdown is to try a new cuisine each week. There is a whole world out there. Whilst we cannot necessarily go out and experience it at the moment, we certainly can try to cook meals from countries we would like to visit!
It is easy to stay in your lane when it comes to food, and stick with cuisines that you know and love (Italian, Thai, Japanese etc.). They are your favourites for a reason after all.
Why not try cuisines from other parts of the world?
Jump on Google Maps, find a location you would love to travel to one day. Research a meal they are famous for and give it a go!
It definitely adds a little variation on the regular meals that you would have. It enables you to ‘take a break’ overseas without any travel happening.
Here are 8 international cuisines you are probably missing out on.
Mystery Box Challenge
This is a bit of a fun idea that definitely keeps a few meals a week in the exciting category.
When you are doing your weekly food shop, simply ask your partner/kids/housemate to choose 4 random ingredients from the shops and you do the same for them.
You then give them an hour to use all 4 ingredients (and anything in the fridge) to create a main meal!!
Once the meal has been cooked, you get to score it on a few different areas (presentation, flavour etc). Be a bit of a food critic and see who wins. Loser does the dishes.
This is a great option that can be done between 2 people or with the family as it turns the cooking process into a fun challenge. It allows everyone to relax a little bit more. It definitely reduces any boredom or lack of motivation around food and keeps a few meals a week interactive.
Make Your Own Pizza/Tacos/Salad
The pure fact that we are at home most of the time now probably makes it feel like we have to do a lot more cooking and food prep than normal.
This in itself can get tiring and with that comes with a drop in motivation levels.
So why not get others to do most of the work instead?
If you do a ‘create your own’ night, you are leaving the hard work up to others.
Simply lay out all the ingredients required and the kids/partner/housemate can have a go at creating something themselves.
This makes the whole cooking process interactive. It becomes enjoyable and allows everyone to put their own flare on it. It makes food exciting during lockdown.
Hint: If you lay out healthy ingredients, then only healthy meals can be created. This all but guarantees that the kids will eat dinner. As they themselves have cooked their meal, they are unlikely to cook something that they do not like.
For some of our recommended recipes click here.
With anything, the key to success comes with commitment. This is especially true with nutrition and the way you approach your food will go a long way to improving your health over this lockdown period.
Treat yourself kindly, use forward thinking, embrace creativity and you will come out of it with more energy, feeling better, in great shape and with a great outlook for the times ahead.
Want To Learn More?
Since COVID-19 entered our lives, we have aimed to deliver some great weekly information as to how you can remain healthy, productive and in good spirits. This blog post is the latest addition to a growing library of information. Click to read more on our dedicated COVID support blogs.
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