Diane May Nutrition Blog

How To Best Handle Corona Virus

March 14th, 2020

You cannot turn on the news, listen to the radio or talk to a friend without Corona virus being discussed.  I am not going to get into statistics or the global impact that this virus is having, the CDC and the Department of Health are wonderful resources for that, but I do want to discuss the basics of how to stay as healthy as possible and things that you can do. For those who feel this is nothing to be concerned about or that it does not affect them, think not just about yourself, but those that are at greatest risk. This is NOT just another flu.  Now is a time to think not just about yourself, but others as well. What are the most important basics we can do?-P.S.-we should ALWAYS do these things!

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds. Turn on the water, put your hands under running water to get them wet, then turn off the water and apply soap. Lather with soap and rub together vigorously-front, back and nails. Scrub for at least 20 seconds. Rinse and dry your hands thoroughly.
  • Do not touch your face-seriously, its harder than you think! Don’t shake hands.
  • If you have a fever or cough, STAY HOME.
  • Social distancing-Staying within 6 feet of others, do not put yourself in large groups right now. This does not mean to ignore those you love. Have common sense. Keep distance from those at greatest risk-those that are elderly or who have immunodeficiency. Check in on those in need. See if they need groceries delivered, call/skype/facetime to let people know you care. Help when and where you can.

Do not use Google as a resource for how to take care of yourself. There is way too much misinformation floating around on the internet. Look for well known, respected sites for information.  We cannot mega dose vitamins or take oregano oil for example to wish away Corona virus, but we can strengthen our immune system to help keep us as healthy as possible. Beyond food, getting good quality sleep for 7-9 hours, keeping a healthy weight, quit smoking, only consume alcohol in moderation, reduce stress (hard right about now!) and exercising help with immune function. Some healthy food choices-by no means all food available, to incorporate into your diet include:

  • Sweet potato: Have a high Beta Carotene content, an antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radicals.
  • Blueberries: Contain flavinoids, Vitamin C, A, potassium and manganese.
  • Beans: A great plant based source of protein, beans play an important role in building cells.
  • Oily Fish: Fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna are high in EPA and DHA-important Omega 3’s.
  • Dark leafy greens: Loaded with fiber, iron, calcium, Vitamins C and K and folate.
  • Probiotic rich foods: Foods such as yogurt, keffir, sauerkraut and kimchi can help boost gut function.
  • Almonds: Contain Vitamin E, manganese, fiber and magnesium.
  • Green Tea: Polyphenols-another antioxidant are found in green tea-more specifically, the polyphenol called catechins.

Avoid fast food, refined, highly processed foods, high sodium meals, artificial sweeteners and greasy, high fat foods.

Now is a time of high stress and anxiety. Take this time to create new, healthy habits. Add more vegetables and fruits into your diet-the more color, the better, try meditation or watch a new show to reduce stress, start that exercise routine you vowed to start in January, reflect on how you can make positive change,  reach out to those most affected and offer help where you can. Be considerate of those around you. This too shall pass, but until it does, please follow these guidelines.  If you do feel ill, call your healthcare provider before you go into the office. Many facilities  are putting protocols into place to make sure we all stay as safe as possible. Do not strain the resources that health professionals need-do not wear masks unless you feel ill, and do not take medical stock-gloves, masks, gowns out of medical facilities, which are limited as it is. Listen to only reputable sources and stay safe.

Southwestern Three-Bean & Barley Soup

Serve this zesty bean and barley soup garnished with chopped fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime, if desired. Source: EatingWell Soups Special Issue April 2016


Recipe Summary

Total: 2 hrs 15 mins

Servings: 6


Ingredient Checklist

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 9 cups water
  • 4 cups (32-ounce carton) reduced-sodium chicken broth, “no-chicken” broth or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • ⅓ cup dried black beans
  • ⅓ cup dried great northern beans
  • ⅓ cup dried kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon salt


Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add water, broth, barley, black beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Bring to a lively simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 1¾ to 2½ hours (adding more water, ½ cup at a time, if necessary or desired). Season with salt.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: About 1 1/3 Cups

Per Serving:

205 calories; 3.2 g total fat; 0.5 g saturated fat; 455 mg sodium. 466 mg potassium; 36.4 g carbohydrates; 10.6 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 8.8 g protein; 2463 IU vitamin a iu; 4 mg vitamin c; 110 mcg folate; 83 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 65 mg magnesium;


2 Starch, 1 Vegetable, 1 Lean Meat, 1/2 Fat