8 Ways to Shift Your Eating Routine When You're Home All Day
Your meals and snacks keep you energized, but can also help set a framework for the day.
JuliaMikhaylova; Getty Images
By Leah Brickley For Food Network Kitchen
When home, office and school have no physical separation it's easy for meals and snacks to feel like one big, nonstop buffet. With a little bit of planning and some creativity you can make a home environment where meals are defined and special. Here are eight things that can help.
1. Water: Make it interesting.
Staying hydrated is key — whether home or away — sipping on water throughout the day is a must. Water aids in healthy digestion, cushions joints and helps maintain electrolyte balance. Talk to a nutritionist or doctor about how much you should drink — 4 to 6 cups per day is average. Fill a pitcher in the morning with a measured amount and try flavoring it with fruits, veggies and/or fresh herbs (orange-fennel water, anyone?). This 2-quart pitcher has a handy infuser built in.
2. Caffeine: Don’t overdo it.
Being homebound doesn’t mean your mug is bottomless — it's no fun being jumpy and jittery from too much caffeine. Already had your daily cup, but craving more? if you want a cozy warm drink then consider some caffeine-free alternatives like herbal and fruit teas or a roasted grain beverage which is toasty and reminiscent of coffee — without the caffeine.
3. Breakfast: Fit for a non-commuter.
No matter how much time you have for breakfast, don't skip it. Game for a morning project? Then fire up the grill and make breakfast pizza with sausage gravy. Or fry some eggs to go with saucy and spicy chicken chilaquiles. Try cornflake crusted French toast for something sweet. If your morning routine is crunched for time, then grab some overnight oats, heat up a slice of frittata or make a homemade breakfast burrito kit — fill, wrap and heat.
4. Snacking: Nosh with purpose.
Snacking at home is scary easy; the temptation to peck all day is real. Pick snacks filled with functional ingredients: try fiber, protein, healthy fats and B vitamins. They'll help you feel satisfied and energized. Make a power snack mix packed with nuts, seeds, oats and fruit — perfect for hurried handfuls. If you have more time, take a stretch and then whip together some snacks under 250 calories: like an avocado masher or banana dipper.
5. Lunch: Unplug.
Make sure to take a proper lunch break: it's important to step away and nourish your body and mind. Video chat with a friend, read a chapter of a book or go outside and eat al fresco. Organized meal prep can alleviate lunchtime guess work or get creative and throw something together on the fly — these mix-and-match panzanella and chicken salad matrixes are great for inspiration.
6. Afternoon Tea: Step away to rejuvenate.
Greet the 3 o'clock slump with a pick-me-up: make a small pot of your favorite tea (we love this tea set for 2), savor an ice cold sun tea or sip on some kombucha. Pair your beverage with a little treat — maybe a cookie, piece of chocolate or an old school digestive biscuit.
7. Cocktail/Mocktail Hour: Officially end the (work)day.
Try a ceremonious way to welcome nighttime: Put on a playlist and shake up a martini or muddle fruit and herbs with booze for a smash. For non-alcoholic alternatives consider a mock mule or agua fresca. Snack on nuts and olives (break out a board or card game) and acknowledge that the day is done.
8. Dinner: Change it up.
Being home all day means dinner may need a little oomph: try an indoor picnic on the floor (or have a real one outside!), eat with chopsticks or play a game — a simple change can make dinner more exciting. If you're rushed for time then try any of these 15-minute meals: shrimp tacos, curry chicken, or grilled skirt steak are all balanced and easy to make. If you have time to prep during the day then these mix-and-match grids will up your meatloaf or baked pasta game. And if you're ready for a dinner project then consider savory crepes with multiple fillings or a three-cheese souffle with a green salad.