The weight I gained since the coronavirus pandemic started was proudly caused by sheltering at home with my family, stress eating the treats I stress baked while not going to the gym, and overeating comfort foods as my form of therapy. It was pretty great, actually, to take a break from working out and just enjoy food, and I wasn’t worried about weight gain because, as registered dietitian Brenna O’Malley, creator of the health blog The Wellful so eloquently explained, “It’s very very normal to find yourself eating when you aren’t hungry to cope with emotions that come up at a time like now.” Thank you, food!
But now I’m less stressed, my kids are (thankfully) back in school four days a week, I’ve gotten into a groove working at home with my husband, and a vaccine is here. I felt ready to get back to feeling like myself and taking care of myself.
Back in July 2020, I went from eating a not-the-healthiest, mostly plant-based diet to a whole-food, high-carb, low-fat vegan diet. I stopped using oil, moved away from vegan junk food, and embraced food in its natural form. Most of the food I ate that helped me drop that pandemic weight gain came from my BFF: Trader Joe’s! Since I was only making Trader Joe’s runs about every two weeks, here are the products I stocked up on that helped me feel full and satisfied without going hungry.