Paid for by Grubhub

I’m A Fitness Instructor. Here’s How Food Delivery Helps Me Live A Balanced Life In Quarantine

It's my quarantine mega time-saver.
RYOT Studio; Photos courtesy of Kara Liotta

Like many of us, I could never have imagined how my life would change in so many significant ways throughout the past five months.

I was the VP of talent development and innovation at a popular boutique fitness company, where I had been teaching classes, creating fitness content and leading expansion for nine years. And, although I had been thinking about what was next for my career, the way my life was about to shake up and turn upside-down was well beyond my imagination.

In early-March, when COVID-19 started to become more prevalent, I was still teaching weekly fitness classes, riding the subway, seeing friends socially and enjoying eating out on the weekends. I remember a distinct turning point here when, in a matter of days, I went from “life as normal” to second guessing my day-to-day activities and wondering what and how soon I should start eliminating items from my weekly routine.

With gyms being a controversial topic and extremely high on the list of places to avoid, my perspective quickly shifted, and by March 15, it was clear that my fiance, Kate, and I needed to temporarily stop teaching. We obviously couldn’t see beyond that decision and could never have predicted the series of events that began to unfold in the coming weeks.

The very next day, our company decided to temporarily close for the foreseeable future, laying off the majority of employees. With the future of fitness unknown, Kate and I knew we needed to move quickly to provide an alternative to in-studio classes for our clients. Within a week, we launched our digital fitness business,KKsweat, right from our living room — and our lives are forever changed.

Courtesy of Kara Liotta

Teaching together for the first time ever, we dove in head-first, worked around the clock to figure out how to run classes on video conferencing, built a website in two days and shoved our furniture into corners of our apartment to allow for optimal filming space every day.

Without ever needing (or wanting) to leave our apartment, our schedules flipped entirely to programming virtual fitness classes and training private clients. Each day was a new challenge and we found ourselves needing to pivot and adapt quickly in order to manage the overwhelming positive response and demand for our new workouts.

Insert our quarantine mega time-saver: food delivery apps like Grubhub! When we factored in meal prep, cooking and cleaning, it was simply not realistic to think that we could also devote multiple hours each day to prepping lunch and dinner in addition to running a home business. We needed to optimize our time for the success of KKsweat and our mental health, as well.

Courtesy of Kara Liotta

And for those who think eating from restaurants isn’t compatible with a healthy lifestyle, here are a few tips I offer my clients:

If you want to make meal delivery options healthier, stick to your regular meal schedule and order in advance. Many apps include a pre-order function so that your food arrives when you’re hungry and not hangry (when we’re hangry, we’re less likely to portion control). Always ask for dressing or sauce on the side. Ask for whole grain options or brown rice when applicable, and skip the side of fries. Add an extra protein instead, and be sure to tell the restaurant to skip the plastic utensils!

These tips will make you feel better about your food choices, open up time in your day and help reduce your use of plastic. And, when apps like Grubhub offer deals or Perks, it’s less stressful on your mind and wallet. I consider that a quadruple win!

I think that Kate and I have a long (and exciting) road of virtual classes and training sessions ahead of us, and relying upon the convenience of food delivery apps will remain a part of our new — always healthy — quarantine lifestyle.

Courtesy of Kara Liotta

From Grubhub:

Download the Grubhub app to discover Perks: always on deals, free food and rewards from local restaurants and national favorites. With over 300,000 restaurants nationwide, you can discover something new wherever you are and see which of your favorite restaurants are offering Perks. Click here to learn how to make every delivery more rewarding with Grubhub Perks.

This article was paid for by Grubhub and co-created by RYOT Studio. HuffPost editorial staff did not participate in the creation of this content.