Healthy Shopping List for Surviving the Lockdown
The Healthy Shopping List for Surviving the Lockdown
The foods you need to stock up on to improve your diet while staying at home
By Vittoria Pasca
The current situation is certainly unprecedented and dramatic, but we can also try and make the most of the self-isolation experience by staying positive.
Lockdown means more time at home and more free time to take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Why not take the opportunity to invest in your health and improve your diet once and for all ?
You may have wanted to do this for some time, so now let’s make it happen!
The first step to improve your diet is to have the right foods at hand when you’re hungry.
We all have these moments when we just want to eat whatever is available, so it’s better to find carrots and nuts rather than chips and cookies. 😉
So, if you want to eat the right foods, first of all you should make sure you have them available at home when you’re ready to cook or eat.
Planning your food shopping is key, especially if you are self-isolating – and therefore leaving your house less frequently than before.
In today’s post I’ll help you plan this important step by sharing my healthy shopping list with you.
There it is, I hope it will inspire you to add many new healthy ingredients to your diet. 🍍 🍉
The healthy shopping list
These are the food groups you should always include in your healthy shopping list.
1. Healthy carbs
Healthy carbs are complex carbs that have not (or have minimally) been refined. These include whole grains and starchy crops.
Healthy carbs are more nutritious than refined grains (such as white rice or white flour) as they contain more dietary fibre as well as more vitamins and minerals such as B complex vitamins, potassium, calcium, iron etc
These are some good options widely available in Fiji:
Starchy crops such as kumala, yam, dalo or cassava
Brown, red or black rice
Chakki or wholemeal flour
Other options: wholemeal pasta, quinoa, buckwheat noodles (soba)
2. High-protein foods
In Fiji there are many options of healthy high-protein foods that are cheaply and widely available.
When talking about high-protein foods, it’s important to keep in mind that some of them (such as cheese, eggs and a number of meat cuts) also contain high amounts of fat, saturated fat or cholesterol, which are harmful for our health.
The advantage of the foods in our healthy shopping list is that they are low in total and saturated fat as well as completely free from cholesterol. Most of them also last a long time and are cheaply available (a big advantage if you are on a budget).
Dried lentils, beans, chickpeas or peas
Chana, urdi or pea besan (chickpea, lentil or pea flour)
Fresh and long-lasting tofu
Tinned beans and chickpeas may be handy but are not necessary
All vegetables are good, so feel free to choose the ones you prefer. The more colourful, the better.
As these days we go shopping a bit less often, it’s important to buy some vegetables that last longer as well, so that you can eat them later in the week, when you run out of the fresher ones (such as the leafy greens and salads).
Any type of veggies, as colourful as possible (leafy greens, orange, purple, red-coloured etc)
Some vegetables that you can eat raw such as watercress, tomatoes and salad
Some longer lasting ones such as cabbage, pumpkin, carrots, cucumber, gobi (cauliflower), garlic or onion
Some frozen or tinned options (chopped tomatoes etc) could be handy but are not necessary
The same goes for the fruit: the key is to buy different colours and types as well as to include some fruits that last longer.
Better to buy both ripe and unripe fruits so you’ll have enough options until the end of the week.
Any type of fruit, as colourful as possible
Some longer lasting ones such as moli, kumquat, watermelon, apple, orange, unripe pawpaw and guava
Dried fruits such as sultana, dates or apricots
5. Nuts and seeds
In a balanced diet it’s recommended to eat a handful of nuts or seeds daily. It’s therefore a good idea to stock up on some of those as well.
Any type of nuts or seeds, as long as they are unsalted and not fried
6. Other useful ingredients
Some of these foods may also be useful, especially if you’re planning on spending more time in the kitchen, cooking or baking:
Oil (preferably olive or canola)
Yeast and baking soda
Salt and sugar (not too much!)
Soy milk or other non-dairy milks
Tea or coffee
Wholemeal / rye crispbread
And now that you have the healthy shopping list covered, are you ready to cook?
Check out Vittoria's delicious, healthy recipes here:
About the Author: Vittoria Pasca
Vittoria Pasca is a Suva based nutritionist who holds a Master of Sports Nutrition and Dietetics and a Master of Vegetarian Nutrition and Dietetics from the Polytechnic University of the Marche Region (Italy). Vittoria is a Diplomate of the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine and a Certified Lifestyle Medicine Professional with the South Pacific Society of Lifestyle Medicine.
You can connect with Vittoria and read more articles she has written at Healthy Eating Fiji.