How to Create Routine and Structure When the World Feels Out of Control by Registered Dietitian Nicole Osinga


It’s hard to believe that we have been in a Global Pandemic for about a year now. This situation has not only impacted our health, but also our daily routine. For a lot of us, our daily routines have majorly changed. We may not be going into our workplace/school, we likely have minimal after work/school activities, minimal face-to-face interactions, etc.

All of these changes (which we can’t actually control) likely have impacted our eating and self-care routines as well. However, those routines are the ones that we can control! Let me show you how I have created structure with my nutrition and physical activity routines, during these “out-of-control” times.

Meal Planning & Meal Prepping

Don’t. Stop. Planning.

I believe that a major reason why our nutrition has been impacted by the pandemic, is because we’re not meal planning or prepping in the same way! The perception is that we’re at home – so why do you need to prep? Food is always available! Well, when hunger strikes, we are not very likely to take 30-45 minutes our of our day to prep a meal. I mean, kudos to you if you do!

My advice: regardless if you’re working from home or not, always have at least a few meals ready or parts of meals accessible, that you can use throw together to create a quick and tasty meals.

Accessible Snacks

Snacking can get out of control while we’re spending more time at home. Especially when we are doing mindless activities, such as watching or playing a video game!

We have to remember that as humans, we eat for convenience. Let’s work with this natural tendency and have filling in satiating snacks on hand – ones that balance blood sugars so that we don’t keep snacking!

Key ingredients for these snacks? Nuts and dried fruits. The nuts give us staying power (from the protein, healthy fat and fibre) so that we feel full for longer and the dried fruits give us long lasting energy so that we can remain adequately fueled throughout our day.

For example, I love me a good chocolate avocado pudding with dates and nuts! This recipe can be easily whipped up, as you need it, within 5 minutes. This yogurt bark is also a winner, as I can easy store it frozen. We can’t forget about these cashew cheesecake bites either, which is also frozen! All of them are made with nuts and dried fruits, providing me with long-lasting energy and fullness!

Daily Movement

Be it running, walking the dog or biking on my workstation bike, daily movement keeps me sane but also provides structure.  Each day I “book” a meeting my calendar with the movement of choice that I plan to do. This way, I know I will get to it and it also provides a good break in my day. After my movement of choice, I feel so much more refreshed and ready to focus on my next task!

Let’s take advantage of working from home and incorporate a mid-day workout over lunch hour – because you can! Let’s watch our productivity soar!
Nicole Osinga is a registered dietitian, with the College of Dietitians of Ontario, holding a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Human Nutrition. Nicole aims to promote the pleasure and enjoyment of eating through her work. She highlights mindful eating concepts with clients and focuses on intuitive eating patterns. 

How to Create Routine and Structure When the World Feels Out of Control by Registered Dietitian Nicole Osinga



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