Healthy hurricane supplies
With five tropical cyclones in the Atlantic at the same time — for only the second time in recorded history — it's hard to ignore the fact that hurricane season is here.
It says a lot about climate change and, on Monday, I was thinking — as I held a pillow over my head and prayed the roof wouldn't pop off — that we just have to do better on that front. It seems like we've taken a major step back.
Covid-19 introduced a lot of single-use, disposable plastics. And then there's the masks! Why are there so many masks on the side of the road? Do people just throw them out of the car window when they're driving? That seems ridiculous. But then 2020 has been ridiculous all-round!
However, there's nothing like an emergency to bring people together. Covid gave everyone a common goal and the same is true for hurricanes. Everywhere I go I hear chatter about the storms, with advice being given left, right and centre. Someone asked on Maj's List if they should crack their windows during the storm. Talk about a healthy debate!
I also learnt you can turn your top-loading washer into a cooler … that's amazing lateral thinking right there. I'll test it out during Teddy and let you know how I get on!
Here's my two cents on hurricane survival though. There's just something about “non-perishable” that seems to give us all a green light to buy junk. But does it really have to be that way? If you found yourself holed up with some Bacardi Breezers and Cheetos during Paulette, then have a little look at the list below and see if you're willing to make some upgrades. We're lucky in Bermuda, our lives really aren't at risk from hurricanes — so let's look after them. (PS Beat the Couch starts soon, hurricanes or no hurricanes! I'm so excited, check the details online!)
Healthy hurricane supplies — quick tips: choose healthy party drinks
If you are getting through the hurricane with an alcoholic drink in hand, then go for wine (red is best), champagne (lower in sugar) or a white spirit (vodka, gin) with a sugar-free mixer (naturally flavoured sparkling water is great) and a wedge of lime. For kids, try weaning them onto naturally flavoured sparkling water or, if it must be something sugary, then just try diluting real fruit juice with sparkling water and lots and lots of ice. Belle loves the Black Cherry Waterloo and both of mine think that the Val de France organic sparkling juice from Miles is just about the best thing ever. It's lower in sugar and has a champagne cork so it's fun to pop!
Give your chips an overhaul
Let's ditch the Cheetos because, if you look at the ingredient label, they are really pretty awful. My favourite alternatives are the Hippeas chick pea puffs and the Lundberg brown rice chips. They are packed with fibre, free from artificial food dyes and the flavours are all natural. Have the rice chips with hummus or guacamole for a hearty snack.
Watch the sweet stuff
It's easy to slip down the sugary slope! If you're buying a little candy then at least go for dark chocolate or candy that's free from artificial dyes (avoid things like #red40 and #yellow5). Chocolate Smarties are dye-free, whereas M&Ms are laden with them. It's simple to make a switch! For kids, you might also want to check out Smart Sweets at Miles — a line of candy that's naturally sweetened, without sugar alcohols! The Made Good line of granola bars and rice crispy treats is an amazing low sugar option for kids too.
Pasta and soup!
If the power is out and you're cooking off a one-ring burner (or your BBQ), try cooking pasta, draining it and then adding soup. If you have some spinach defrosting in the freezer, then add a handful of that too. Most grocery stores have some really healthy soup options, just keep sodium and sugar on the lower side. Also avoid anything with MSG (monosodium glutamate) which can trigger migraines and hyperactivity, neither of which sound good in a hurricane! MSG is also known to overstimulate taste buds, leading to junk food cravings.
Realistically, you can still eat fresh food from your fridge for a day or two so make sure you do have some fruit and veggies in there somewhere! Just because there isn't any power doesn't mean you have to be on a strict diet of chips. Skip the berries because they go off so quickly, but kiwis and oranges are two great examples that are packed with antioxidants and last a while in the heat. Carrots and peppers are great with hummus or guacamole … and it's basically raining avocados right now!
Protein keeps you full for longer, but you don't want to be dealing with semi-defrosted chicken. Eggs are easy on a burner (scrambled, omelette or boiled) and smoked salmon is so handy, too. Mixed beans (try Amy's chilli) and hummus are great sources of vegetarian protein too. Nuts, seeds and dried organic edamame are quick and easy snacks. Stock up on the lower sugar Kind bars (Nut & Spice range) and the high protein Go Macro bar options, too.
• Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram