Top 10 Tips for Healthy Eating in the time of Covid…When all you want is Chocolate!

From Nutritionist and Shomrei Congregant, Lynne Kurzweil

  1. Establish a routine for meals and planned snacks.
  2. Make time for planning and cooking.
  3. Portion meals and snacks. Don’t drink out of cartons or eat out of the bag.
  4. Practice mindful eating and avoid the 3 G’s-GOBBLE, GULP, GO! Sit down, eat slowly, chew before swallowing, savor the texture, aroma and flavor.
  5. At home, you are the gatekeeper of what comes into your house. Surround yourself with healthy foods. High fiber, healthy fats, lean proteins. Lots of vegetables, whole grains, seafood, nuts, seeds, healthy oils like olive and avocado.
  6. Always include lots of vegetables! Half your plate should be vegetables. Include interesting salads and try making your own dressing using EVOO, limiting quantity of dressing to 2 Tablespoons per serving. Use a measuring spoon and don’t be afraid of the healthy fat. Make it taste good so you will want to eat the whole salad.
  7. Buy and roast a lot of vegetables at one time to use during the week. Use them in salads, serve as a side dish, eat them up as a snack with a drizzle of tahini sauce. If you haven’t been roasting your vegetables you’re really missing out. Roasting turns the starch in vegetables to sugar! (Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, Mini Peppers, Asparagus, Cauliflower, Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Onions).
  8. Cut up raw veggies and store them in see through containers in the refrigerator at eye level. Serve with hummus or guacamole. Do the same with fruits that are easy to grab like cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, orange slices.
  9. Some other healthy snack ideas: 1/4-1/3 cup of nuts (buy raw, unsalted and roast them yourself…so much more flavor! Apple slices with nut or seed butter. Fruit and a string cheese. Small cup of plain Greek yogurt with berries or mix in some defrosted frozen, unsweetened cherries…so good!
  10. Finally Chocolate! Or other sweets you like. Treat yourself. Keep the portion small and really savor it. Dark chocolate has antioxidants! Try a mug cake, but not every day. Remember this: After you have filled up with lots of nutritious foods, you really won’t have room for much more!

    Chocolate Mug Cake

    Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake is the easiest and fastest way to make dessert for one or two.  This mug cake recipe is made with chocolate chips and no eggs.
    • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
    • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    • dash salt
    • 3 tablespoons milk (any kind of milk)
    • 1 tablespoons canola oil (or melted butter)
    • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp chocolate chips , or your favorite flavor baking chips


    • Spray the bottom of a microwave-safe mug or coffee cup  lightly with cooking spray.
    • Add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and stir together.
    • Add milk, canola oil, and vanilla extract and stir until smooth, being sure to scrape the bottom of the mug. Stir in chocolate chips or sprinkle them on top.
    • Cook in microwave for 70-90 seconds (see note) until cake is just set, but still barely shiny on top. (see notes below). Allow to rest in microwave for 1 minute before consuming.


    *Because all microwaves are different, it’s difficult to give a precise cook time.  Start with 70 seconds, wait 1 minute while it cools, then look to see if it is set.  Add an additional 15-25 seconds if needed. Allow it to rest in the microwave for 1 minute.
    • The trick with mug cakes is to stop cooking the cake earlier than you think, because you want it to be soft on the inside, and the cake will also continue to cook as it cools.


    Servings: 1 | Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 25mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1.8mg

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Lynne Kurzweil

Lynne Kurzweil

Lynne is a long-time Shomrei Congregant.She is co-chair of Shomrei's MESH Cafe (Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless) which provides a hot dinner and respite for homeless individuals every Tuesday night. She is a registered dietitian and lives in Montclair with her husband, Lanny.
Lynne Kurzweil

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