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Tips and tricks, recipes, workouts to stay safe and healthy at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Scroll down for tips, recipes and workouts from Katie.

Extracts from the article "Fostering Wellness During The COVID-19 Outbreak" by Bethany Thayer, MS, RDN posted on the Henry Ford Health System LiveWell Blog. To read the entire article go to

"Over the past [month], concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, have turned our daily lives upside down. (..). In the midst of all of this change, most of us are rightfully concerned about our health and well-being.

(..). First, instead of fixating on what you can't do, focus on how you can survive and maybe even thrive during this unsettling time. Not only does attending to different dimensions of health and well-being help you remain grounded during times of change, it enhances your ability to help others.

Stress Well

Reduced access to food and daily essentials is stressful. With gyms closed, sporting activities shut down, and bars and restaurants off-limits, we're also being cut off from our friends and loved ones. But you have more control over your stressors than you think. A few ideas:

  • Limit the news. Watching the news all day can increase anxiety levels. Tune in to the morning or evening news and turn to reliable sources of information, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization only once or twice a day.
  • Take advantage of stress management techniques. Think meditation, deep breathing and journaling. This is also a great time to practice gratitude. Meditation and breathing apps are available to make it easier.
  • Stay in touch with friends and family. Touch base through phone calls, online games, video chats and virtual happy hours.

Eat Well

(..) With grocery stores limiting the purchase of specific items and advising people shop less often, eating well can be difficult. Make it more manageable with these strategies:

  • Purchase shelf-stable and frozen foods. Staples such as frozen and canned produce, beans, and lentils will keep longer and are easy to incorporate into recipes.
  • Take inventory of the items in your kitchen and get creative with cooking. Choose a recipe site where you can plug in ingredients you have on hand and see what pops up. (You can also browse our collection of tasty, healthy recipes.)
  • Pay attention to portion sizes. When we're cooped up inside, it's easy to overindulge. Try to maintain your regular eating habits as much as possible and minimize your reliance on takeout and drive-thru options.
Move Well

Exercise is critical for both mental and physical health. Take advantage of virtual workouts and the great outdoors while gyms are closed. A few suggestions:

  • Go for a brisk walk or run.
  • Hop on your bicycle for a tour of your neighborhood.
  • Try a new activity like yoga, Tai Chi or Zumba.
  • Create an obstacle course at your home. Include activities like jumping jacks, pushups and squats. Then challenge your loved ones to virtual competitions.
  • Invite your kids to get moving. If you've got children at home, incorporate them into your workouts and make it the PE portion of their day. Freeze dance, jump rope, break out a hula hoop. The options are seemingly endless.

To help you further, we have asked Katie Ruffino, a student graduating in Biomedical Sciences this year and doing a Master's Degree in Physician Assistant studies at Marquette University, if we could use some of the practical tips and tricks, recipes and exercises she shares in a Wellness Newsletter. 

Katie introduces herself: "Katie, aka sunnysidekt, loves everything about healthy cooking and wellness. She spends most of her time creating culinary art in the kitchen, practicing yoga, and spending time with her family and friends. Her recipes often consist of nutrient-dense ingredients that nourish you from the inside out. She is currently obtaining her masters in Physician Assistant Studies at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She believes that food is medicine and plans to incorporate nutrition into her practice as a PA. Stay tuned for more recipes and helpful wellness tips. Check out her instagram (@sunnysidekt) for inspiration!"


sleeping tips

  1. Make sure the room is completely dark. (
  2. Dim the thermostat to lower 70s. Your body temperature set point lowers in the evening, so turning down the temperature assists the natural process. (
  3. Keep a consistent schedule. Going to sleep at around the same time every day will help signal your body and mind when it’s time to start and end the day.
  4. Create a bedtime routine. It helps to separate your work day from your evening. It will also create a sense of normalcy in these abnormal times. (I.e.consider taking a long hot shower and add lavender essential oil or body lotion, turn off your phone and dim the lights 30 mins-1 hour before bed, practice a stretch routine, meditate or deep breathe, give your muscles a massage to release tension, etc.)
  5. Avoid eating heavy meals or sugar-rich foods before bed. If you are feeling peckish, try a magnesium-filled food, like Brazil nuts, chia seeds, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.


(all recipes have been created by Katie; she is a health AND culinary wizard!)

Green Smoothie

health & wellness

  •  1/2 frozen banana
  • Large handful of spinach
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 Tbs almond or peanut butter
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup almond milk or coconut water
  • (1 scoop plant based protein powder)
  • (1 dried date or tbs of honey if you want to add sweetness)
Blend ingredients together until smooth. Add ice if you want it colder.


Sitting all day workout


  1. Weighted reverse fly 12 reps x 3 Or stretch arms wide and back for 15-30 sec x 3 (pecs)
  2. Weighted lunges 8-12 reps each side x3 (hip flexors)
  3. Plank for 45-60 sec (core and spine stabilizers)      
  4. Pigeon or figure four stretch 30 sec each side (piriformis)
  5. Pull toes back with hand, hold for 10 sec each foot, then alternate flexing and extending toes (plantar fascia)

The website has pictures to show you how to do each exercise and also includes a better description of them.