4 Tips to Help You Stay Healthy During COVID-19

Cassandra Bursma, RD | Registered Dietitian
03/27/20  10:17 AM PST
mantenerse saludable durante el COVID-19

With the COVID-19 outbreak, many of us are staying home to prevent further spread of the virus. Staying at home poses many challenges that affect our daily routines. At Shield HealthCare, we are committed to helping you and your family stay physically and mentally healthy during these trying times. Below are some simple nutrition and exercise habits to help reduce stress and keep you and your family healthy.

1. Make Weekly Meal Plans

Before you head out to the store or place an online grocery delivery order, have an idea of the meals you will be making for the week ahead of time. Planning your meals ahead of time keeps you and your family organized, reduces the number of trips to the grocery store, and helps you use the food you’ve purchased, minimizing waste.

You can get as creative as you like and involve the family (even with planning!)—think Tuesday Taco Night or Pizza Friday. You can also choose a cuisine theme for the week, too. For example, if your fridge is stocked full of shredded cheese and ground beef, you can have a Mexican-themed week—make burritos one night, quesadillas the next, and tacos the following. We’ve found dinner meals to be the most difficult—check out our dinner meal plan guide below to help you.

MONDAY – Pasta night
Whole Grain Pasta • Pesto or Marinara Sauce • Broccoli • Parmesan Cheese
TUESDAY – Taco Tuesday
Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese • Romaine Lettuce • Tomatoes • Tortillas
Ground Beef  • Taco Seasoning • Plain Yogurt or Sour Cream
WEDNESDAY – Chicken Dinner
Chicken Breasts • Asparagus • Potatoes
THURSDAY – Breakfast for Dinner
Eggs (Scrambled or Omelet) • Toast or Whole Wheat Waffle or Pancake
Fresh Berries
as a Side or Topping • Maple Syrup
FRIDAY – Pizza Friday
Shredded Mozzarella • Naan Bread • Pesto or Marinara Sauce
Veggies and Toppings
SATURDAY – Soup (and Grilled Cheese) Saturday
Low Sodium Canned Tomato Soup • Whole Grain Bread • Cheddar Cheese
Spinach and Tomatoes (For Sandwich)
SUNDAY – Leftover or Takeout Sunday
Taking out and/or ordering delivery 1x/wk can be a healthy habit and supports your local businesses.
Some business will even throw in a roll of toilet paper or fresh fruits and veggies!

It’s also good to have some non-perishable items like soup, herbal tea and healthy frozen meals in the home. This will be helpful if you or a family member fall ill.

2. Focus on Produce

Always try to incorporate produce in your meals. Having a side of fresh fruit or adding frozen veggies to a dish is a great way to get some additional nutrition in your meals and keep your immune system up. If fresh fruit is hard to come by or is rather expensive, you can feel comfortable purchasing frozen produce. Frozen fruits and veggies are more nutrient-dense, meaning they contain more nutrients compared to fresh. Frozen produce is picked and frozen right away, whereas fresh produce is exposed to different temperatures as it makes its way to your local grocery store, losing some of its nutritional value. Below are ways you can start adding fruits and veggies to all your meals.

  • Breakfast Cereal: Add fresh blueberries or bananas.
  • Pasta Dish: Add broccoli, edamame, spinach, fresh tomatoes, etc.
  • Omelet: Add cooked spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, onions.
  • Pizza: Have a side salad or have a veggie-loaded pizza.
  • Salad: Add some dried cranberries or fresh apple slices.

3. Snack Smart

Snacks such as pretzels, cookies, and chips may sound like the perfect options while you are curled up on the couch or sitting at your home office desk, but distracted eating can lead to overeating, leaving you feeling full and fatigued.

Snacks are important to have throughout the day; they help you sustain your energy and prevent you from overeating during your next meal. But when it comes to snacks, there needs to be an emphasis on selecting the right type of snacks and sticking to an appropriate portion size. Select options that provide carbohydrates and protein, like an apple and peanut butter. An apple provides carbohydrates to give you ready-to-use energy and peanut butter provides protein that will help you stay full. If you choose to snack on cookies, chips, and pretzels (there is a time and a place!), try to stick to the suggested serving size listed on the packaging. Here are some healthy snack ideas below.

Healthy Snacks:

  • Celery sticks with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1 ounce of raisins
  • 5 whole wheat crackers and 2 ounces of cheese
  • Handful of almonds and a piece of fruit
  • Granola bar (make sure it has at least 3 grams of protein)
  • 6 ounces of Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
  • Carrot sticks and 2 tablespoons of hummus

Healthful tip: Smaller meals eaten every 2-3 hours are better digested and keep your energy levels up. Going 5 hours without eating can lead you to overeat at your next meal.

4. Get Active

Staying active is extremely important for your physical and mental well-being. It’s important to find time to get moving. Go for walk in your neighborhood or run at the local park. You can even subscribe to YouTube exercise channels or plug into a live workout session through Instagram or Facebook. Finding time to get your heart rate up releases endorphins (feel-good hormones) that will boost your mood and immune system.

With all this uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, it’s challenging to stay positive and calm. Making conscious choices that will keep your space and family as healthy as possible will improve your mental and physical well-being.

DISCLAIMER: This information is designed for customer use only and does not represent the advice of a medical health professional. Please contact your doctor for explicit advice on your prescription and/or feeding program.

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  1. Thank you for telling us about this. After the pandemic began, I realized that working from home is not a dream job, but another ordeal due to the coronavirus. Now I understand why people who work from home are trying to get out somewhere on weekends. Because you end up with an office and a house at the same time. It makes a depressing impression when you just sit at home and do not even have the opportunity to really communicate with your colleagues or friends. Therefore, I now understand those who do not really like to work from home. So now I realized all the benefits of working in the office, not at home.

  2. Thanks for sharing the wonderful article! Covid-19 and the strict lockdown have forced gyms to shut down completely. People forced to stay home. And I know it’s quite tough to maintain a fitness regime while sitting at home. Thanks for sharing these tips to stay healthy and fit.

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