Ways to Navigate Body Image Struggles During a Pandemic / Pasta with Tomato and Roasted Eggplant

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Ways to Navigate Body Image Struggles During a Pandemic

As the current pandemic has kept us at home and changed our daily lives, it has also led to changes in how many of us feel in our bodies. Below are some ways to navigate the struggles that may come with this.

1. Celebrate what makes your body powerful. Try to think about the positive things that your body does for you.

2. Limit social media time and consider who you follow. Social media has a large impact on how we feel about our bodies. Limiting our scrolling time or following body positive accounts may help this.

3. Get back into a routine. It is common to feel better when you get up, brush your teeth, shower, and get ready for the day. Even if you are staying home.

4. Connect with loved ones. We tend to struggle with our thoughts when we are isolated. Even virtual time with family or friends can make a big difference.

5. Talk to a mental health professional about body image issues. Telehealth has provided new opportunities for connecting to therapists. If you are struggling, this may be a chance to get started.

Remember that just as so much of our lives have changed during this time, it is normal for our bodies to change as well.
Pasta with Tomato and Roasted Eggplant
Servings: 4
2 large eggplants, or four smaller Japanese eggplants
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound pasta (rotini, gemelli, penne, macaroni, etc.)
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (or one 15 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups fresh basil, chopped
1/2 pound ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the eggplant in 1/2 inch cubes. Toss them with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large bowl until they are coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place them on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes, until they are soft.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until it is al dente (lower end of time allotted on the box).
3. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet to medium. Pour in the other 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until starting to turn golden, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute.
4. Dump the roasted eggplant into the skillet along with the diced tomato, red pepper flakes, basil. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and season with kosher salt and pepper, tasting till the balance is right. Then add the pasta and ricotta cheese. Toss until the pasta is coated, and serve.
Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe 

Nutrition Information per Serving: 443 calories, 19 grams total fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 58 grams carbohydrate, 17 grams fiber, 14 grams protein, 361 milligrams sodium, 1094 milligrams potassium, 14 grams sugar
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