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Video: Managing Food & Feelings in Quarantine

food cravings

In this webinar, ILC’s Director of Nutrition Services, Mackenzie Reeser, MPH, RDN, LDN, shares tips on nourishing your mind and body while taking in a constant flood of mixed messages in our media during physical distancing.



Here are six takeaways from the Food & Feelings webinar:

1. Be mindful of the nutritional value of the foods you’re eating

You don’t have to put a lot of pressure on yourself to eat “perfectly,” however you can be mindful of the things you’re eating and how they affect you physically and mentally. Increasing your intake of plant-based whole foods can improve your mental health as well as have positive benefits on your immune system.

2. Get creative in the kitchen

Quarantine is a great opportunity to get creative in the kitchen. Not only does it allow you to use up foods that you’ve been holding on to or don’t exactly know what to do with, but those herbs and spices that have been taking up space in your pantry can add more antioxidants to your diet as well as flavor. Creating something fun and new in the kitchen can also reduce stress around meal time.

3. Get moving, but don’t be militaristic about it

Getting our bodies moving during what is otherwise a pretty sedentary time is important, but be mindful of your motivations behind it. Are you exercising from a place of fear? What are you afraid of? How can you shift that narrative to be one where you’re taking care of your physical and mental health?

4. Give yourself permission to not feel shame

Be kind to yourself and know that there’s no such thing as a perfect formula for how to eat during quarantine (or any time).

5. Take note of your cravings and line them up with your emotions

There may be an emotional metaphoric cue at the root of the foods you’re craving. Our Executive Director of Eating Disorders Programming, Dr. Anita Johnston, uses this side-by-side Cravings and Cues diagram to identify the emotion attached to food cravings in her Light of the Moon Cafe curriculum.

6. Work on removing judgmental language around food from your vocabulary

Diet culture and social media have so ingrained in us judgement around food and exercise that we don’t even notice how words like “clean,” “dirty,” “toxic,” and “junk” can affect our feelings about food and ourselves. Consider what it might look like remove these words from your vocabulary when it comes to your food and focus on

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