CHEK Upside: Healthy eating tips to cure quarantine cravings

CHEK Upside: Healthy eating tips to cure quarantine cravings
WatchA Victoria-based natural chef offers simple solutions to fixing bad eating habits during self-isolation.

Whether it’s potato chips or freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, many people are turning to their favourite comfort foods as they adapt to a quarantine lifestyle.

There are many possible reasons to indulge, including more time at home and easy access to the pantry or fridge and heightened anxiety amidst the pandemic, but perhaps there’s an appetizing alternative to unhealthy eating habits.

“If you’re going to be reaching for the snacks, they may as well be something healthy that still tastes great but also nourishes your body at the same time,” said Heather Pace, a Victoria-based health food blogger and classically trained natural chef.

“My motto is have your cake and eat it too and I do believe in eating dessert every day,” she said. “Usually, I have around three treats a day.”

From plant-based Easter-inspired Nanaimo bars to dairy-free peanut butter donuts, Pace has built up a reputation on creating desserts with an emphasis on healthy ingredients.

“Everything I do is really, really simple. For example, I have a peanut butter sundae in under 10 minutes from start to finish, or one-bowl chocolate chip cookies that are vegan and gluten free and you can whip them up in like 25 minutes,” she said.

Pace admits natural ingredients tend to be pricier and recommends buying in bulk, when possible.

The cookbook author says healthy ingredients don’t necessarily compromise taste.

“When you’re using like nuts and coconut, oats, dates, dried fruit and things like that . . .  those are whole foods and if you’re using those instead of sugar and white flour-laden treats, it makes a difference in the body,” she said.

With a seemingly unlimited supply of recipes online and many people searching for different ways to cure their isolation boredom, perhaps a new kitchen challenge could provide some entertainment while also fixing those bad eating habits.

“You may find a new passion along the way,” Pace said.

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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