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How to survive (and thrive) in Lockdown 2.0

As the UK enters Lockdown 2.0, we’re looking to optimise the time we’ll be spending indoors and reflecting on the lessons we learnt about our eating and drinking habits the first time around.

‘Lockdown 1 was the rehearsal’, says our Head of Nutrition and Dietetics, Mandy. ‘Now everyone has the chance to plan their nutritional intake for 28 days and see what they can really achieve. Choose an objective like spend less, cook more, eat something new every day – this will give you something to work towards and will see you emerging from lockdown with a sense of achievement!

If you found yourself reaching for the crisps and chocolate last lockdown and are worried about repeating old habits, you’re not alone! A new survey by the British Nutrition Foundation  revealed that 63 percent of people in Britain attribute ‘boredom’, and 45 percent of people attribute ‘stress, anxiety and tiredness’ as their main reasons for eating unhealthier than usual during Lockdown 1. And while a pandemic is a good reason to indulge in a bit of comfort food, if you’re looking to take Mandy’s advice and adopt a more nutritious approach to Lockdown 2.0, here are our tips:

Experiment with vegan alternatives

November is National Vegan Month, so while you’re whipping up your meals at home sneak some plant-based ingredients in – you’ll hardly notice the difference!

Not sure where to start? Seitan is a wonderful substitute for duck, bacon and sausage and can be found in most supermarkets.  It’s also a great a healthy alternative if you’re craving something indulgent, you can fry it in chunks with seasoned batter for a fried chicken substitute. For a healthier alternative, it can be roasted, grilled or oven cooked.

Get creative with your pantry’s forgotten treasures

‘Mixing it up in the kitchen is a great way to reduce boredom and keep food interesting!’ says Mandy. Your cupboard can be a treasure trove of long-life goodies. Last lockdown, we had a great time getting creative with your kitchen cupboards on the @lexyfood Instagram! You told us what ingredients you have collecting dust in your pantry and we got creative, coming up with a delicious recipe using your miscellaneous lentils, condiments and various tinned foods.

We’ll be doing this again over the next few weeks so keep an eye out! In the meantime, try our original pantry scavenge favourite from last time:

Eat your stress away

This year has been tense and with Lockdown 2.0 upon us, it may be easy to let anxiety get the better of us. As mentioned, this can lead to unhealthy habits. Mandy advises reaching for a different type of comfort food this lockdown, foods containing Vitamin C, magnesium and B vitamins that help regulate cortisol levels (your body’s main stress hormone) and support the immune system.

Not sure where to start? ‘Good old fruit and vegetables are a must for Vitamin C. Eat a variety. Eat a rainbow.’

Include dark green leafy veg, wholegrains, nuts and seeds for magnesium and milk, cheese, eggs, legumes, lean meat and fish to top up  the B vitamins. ‘B vits are first line of defence and can become depleted when stressed!’