Tanya Zuckerbrot is a registered dietitian and author of The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss, as well The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories & Fat Disappear — With Fiber. Celebrity fans include Ralph Lauren’s daughter Dylan (the founder of Dylan’s Candy Bar), model Molly Sims and Olivia Culpo. Many of the people who swear by her system pay $10,000 for her guidance.
Zuckerbrot works with New York socialites and beauty queens – she was the official dietitian to the Miss Universe organization.
We caught up with Zuckerbrot, who has more than 110,000 followers on Instagram, to get her advice when it comes to eating healthy during self-quarantine.
She had plenty of suggestions, from what to buy when you finally get a grocery store order, what type of delivery you can indulge in (spoiler alert: all of them) and how to focus on staying healthy while at home.
If someone can still get to the grocery store, what should they be buying that’s relatively shelf-stable?
Frozen fruits and vegetables are ideal during this time. When frozen fruits and vegetables are flash-frozen at their peak of ripeness, so they provide the same nutrients and benefits as their fresh counterparts – except they won’t spoil. The best frozen vegetables include spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, riced cauliflower, artichokes, peppers, mushrooms and edamame. For frozen fruits, buy berries like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or mango.
Canned/jarred items are great to stock up on. My suggestions include hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, pickles, canned soups, beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, salsa and tomato sauce.
For proteins, keep in mind that they can be frozen when brought home from the store. More shelf-stable protein options include turkey pepperoni, jerky, smoked salmon, tofu, eggs and liquid egg whites.
Nuts and nut butter (almonds, pistachios, peanut butter, almond butter), whole wheat pasta, chickpea pasta, and beans and legumes are also good to have on hand.
F-Factor products are still available for delivery and shelf-stable.
Get fruits and vegetables that stay fresh for longer times. For nonstarchy vegetables, try onions, baby carrots, squash, garlic, beets, cabbage, celery, jicama and radishes. For starches, I suggest potatoes, sweet potatoes and winter squash.
The best fruits are apples, pears, lemons, limes
Do you have any healthy pantry recipes you recommend?
All shelf-stable ingredients (just 5 ingredients)
The recipe uses Unflavored 20/20 FIBER/PROTEIN powder, which packs 20g protein per serving and minimizes need to include a protein source with meal.
Pair with pasta or pasta substitute of choice.
Easy soup that uses mostly pantry ingredients
1 serving is less than 110 calories and packs 8g fiber and 8g protein
Healthy comfort food
All pantry ingredients except for eggs and Greek yogurt
What about ordering snack options that are super nutritious?
Look at the appetizers and side dishes that restaurants offer to find good options for snacks. Try broth-based soups or bone broth (in New York you can order from Brodo, Juice Press or Village Den).
Some options are hummus with crudité, guacamole with crudité, or vegetable side dishes like steamed broccoli or spinach. Take advantage of these as fresh products become harder to get.
If you have a bagel place or deli nearby you can order chicken salad or tuna salad and pair with high fiber crackers for snack.
What advice do you have for sticking to eating healthy during such a stressful time?
While many things outside your home feel out of control right now, what you can control is how you nourish your body. Rather than indulging in processed, high-fat, sugar-filled comfort foods, eat whole foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
View this time as an opportunity to nourish your body with healthy foods, knowing they will help you honor your intentions to look and feel your best.
Aim for 35g of fiber or more per day: Focusing on high fiber foods will keep you feeling full on few calories. Fiber is the zero-calorie, non-digestible part of a carbohydrate that adds bulk to food. It boosts metabolism and supports gut health. High fiber foods are packed with antioxidants and nutrients.
Pair fiber with protein: Fiber and protein at every meal make losing weight no big deal. Clinical evidence shows that fiber and protein have a high satiety benefit in calorie-controlled diets and in weight reduction. The combination keeps you feeling full, for the longest period of time, on the fewest calories.
Stay hydrated: Aim for three liters of water per day. Not only is water involved in nearly every bodily function, but the symptoms of dehydration and can mimic those of hunger—and that can lead to unnecessary snacking and eating. Staying hydrated is also great for digestion, and plump, beautiful skin.
Eat breakfast: Breakfast jump-starts your metabolism for the day, making it extremely important to consume. Skipping breakfast slows down metabolism and leads to weight gain. Eating breakfast is also the perfect opportunity to meet a good portion of your daily fiber needs before noon. This will ensure that you begin your day feeling full and less inclined to stress eat.
Get plenty of sleep: The amount and quality of your sleep affect the hormones (leptin and ghrelin) that control feelings of hunger and fullness. As little as one night of tossing and turning is enough to throw them out of whack. Aim for eight hours of quality sleep to help prevent you from overeating the next day.
Cook: Prepare healthy, nutrient-dense meals. It’s no secret that preparing meals yourself can be much healthier than takeout or delivery. When you’re cooking for yourself you’re in complete control over what goes into your meals. Cooking is also a form of self-care. It can help to ease anxieties and many people find it meditative.
What delivery options do you recommend?
Regardless of cuisine, look for certain words on the menu: broiled, baked, steamed, poached, grilled and papillote typically indicates healthier options. Items described with words like fried, battered, buttered, creamed or creamy often indicate a dish is loaded with excess fat and calories.
If you’re ordering Indian food, embrace Tandoori proteins cooked in a clay oven. The flavor comes from marinade, not from oils, so fat is limited. Get Chana Masala (chickpeas in a tomato and onion sauce with garlic, chilies and spices) or Aloo Gobi (potatoes and cauliflower mixed with ginger, turmeric).
For Thai food, order Tom Yum soup, Green papaya salad, Summer rolls, or basil chicken. If you’re craving a pasta dish like Pad Thai, order it with extra vegetables.
For Japanese food, get Miso soup, the House salad with ginger dressing, Seaweed salad, edamame and Sashimi.
For Italian food, I recommend Chicken cacciatore, Zuppa di pesce and grilled calamari.
For Mediterranean food, get Greek salad, grilled octopus, grilled calamari, kabobs, horta (boiled leafy greens) or gigante beans in tomato sauce.