Prevent Medical Error (PME) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. As part of our mission to advance best practices that mitigate medical errors, we will be posting and/or reposting information and links to help you, your family and your providers make the best decisions during the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease that it causes, COVID-19.
So, you've tried to buy healthy foods to eat during the lock down. You may have even done some research on how to stock your pandemic pantry with healthy foods. Somehow, a few bags of potato chips and chocolate chip cookies accidentally showed up at your house the last time you shopped for groceries.
Stress eating is a normal response to being stuck at home by yourself (or with your kids) with a pantry full of food in a world that has changed overnight.
What to do? Do you cave to your salt and chocolate cravings and eat them in one sitting? Do you lock up your pantry so that you can't eat or just feel so bad that you can't eat?
Here are a few resources that might be helpful:
The Washington Post's article "Stress-eating for comfort in a time of anxiety? Here’s how experts say you should deal." Explains why stress eating junk food, or eating too little or not at all can be detrimental to both your psychological and physical health. It gives readers tips on how to identify whether or not you are eating (or not eating) because you're stressed and advice on how to make healthy food and eating choices.
Prevention's article "12 Ways To Stop Your Stress Eating, According To Nutritionists And Food Psychologists" also offers quick tips to help you avoid eating overeating the wrong things or simply overeating.
Psychology Today's article "How to Stop Overeating" written by Susan Biali Haas M.D., an expert on stress and resilience tells how from the ages of ten through twenty she was "obsessed" with dieting and how she looked.
The article describes how a chance appointment with a dietician changed all of that. The clinician explained that given the how much exercise she was getting and the minimal amount that she was eating her dieting was suppressing her metabolism and potentially causing weight gain.
The dietician gave her a rule to follow: '...only eat when you're truly hungry, and stop when you're full".'
Twenty years later Dr. Biali Haas is still following that rule and she weighs slightly less than she did when she was dieting.
HEALTHFLIX is a new online community designed to help everyone get through the stress and isolation of the pandemic. They offer both live streaming and You Tube recording of health and wellness programs led by experts.
You might want to check out their YouTube recording: How to Manage Emotional Eating in Quarantine.
HEALTHFLIX's Chelsea Roff is the founder of Eat Breathe Thrive a nonprofit organization that works to prevent and help people overcome eating disorders. They offer courses and workshops for clinicians, eating disorder patients and everyone else that combine yoga, meditation and community support to enable mindful eating, resilience and feeling good about your body.
- Self-quarantine; if you need to go out for essentials, maintain at least a six-foot distance between yourself and others.
- When you return home, throw your clothes in a bag and spray disinfectant on them or wash them. Wash your hands and face or take a shower. Wash your towel, wash cloth, and/or hand towel.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds plus, the length of time that it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
- Keep your hands and hair away from your face. Sanitize hair accessories.
- Wash and dry hand towels, wash cloths, dish cloths and pillowcases in hot water and more frequently.
- Eat a healthy well-balanced diet with as few processed foods as possible.
- Do not stop or start any new prescription drug, supplement, over the counter medicine or diet before talking with your doctor and pharmacist.
- Keep your list of medications, supplements and over-the counter drugs updated and available to providers and first responders.
- Maintain a good self-care practice and a healthy sense of humor.
Click here for a video by Dr. David Price from Weill Cornell Medical Center: “Empowering and Protecting Your Family During the COVID-19 Pandemic
CDC Information and Self Check tools
If you or someone who lives with you has a fever or cough, and you fear it might be COVID-19, contact your doctor.
The CDC's What To Do if You Are Sick page is a good source of information that includes a self-checker to help you decide if you need more care.
Medical professionals may direct you to go directly to the CDC’s COVID-19 testing and self- checker page.
Another self-triage tool
This tool was developed with the help of primary care physicians using the latest recommendations from the CDC. While it is not a substitute for your doctor, it will help you determine what to do if you think you might have symptoms or may have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2.
Stat News has more information on The self-triage tool to help you decide if you need medical care for Covid-19 and what to do next.
Click here to get started with the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s Self-Triage tool.