What is the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)? | The Need to Know | Healthy Hygiene

What is COVID-19?

The novel coronoavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of the coronavirus, which has been newly discovered. Unlike, the coronavirus that has commonly circulated among humans and has resulted in mild cold like symptoms; the novel coronavirus is a severe respiratory illness. This virus is reported to have developed in Wuhan, China, where the first cases have been identified and documented (CDC,2020).

Observations of Transmission:

This particular strain had not been previously identified in humans and is suspected to have been transmitted from a live animal to human, causing a rapid spread of the virus through person-to-person contact. This outbreak has spread so rapidly that it is considered a community spread virus, highly contagious.

COVID-19 is suspected to be spread between people who are in close contact with each other (about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets (cough or sneeze). These droplets if inhaled or lands into the mouth of others nearby can be inhaled into your lungs creating an exposure (CDC, 2020).

Best Practices to Minimize Exposure:

It is best to avoid public and closed in areas until more information is collected and gathered regarding this virus. It is possible that one can become infected by touching surfaces.

The World Health Organization has the following advice for the public regarding protecting yourself and others from getting sick (WHO, 2020):

  • Wash your hands frequently (at least 20 seconds)
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Practice respiratory hygiene: cover your mouth and nose, cough or sneeze in your bent elbow, dispose of tissue promptly
  • Clean and disinfect surface areas frequently
  • Seek medical care early: if you experience fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, or if you have reason to believe you have been exposed through contact or travel

COVID-19 Cases in the United States:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2020)
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2020)
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2020)

Treatment:

Currently, there is no antiviral treatment available or recommended to treat COVID-19. However, if you suspect that you have had exposure or are having any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, or shortness of breath – please be advised to contact your healthcare provider immediately or contact your local health department. Although, there is no antiviral treatment for this virus, it is advised to receive supportive health care treatment in order to support vital organ function (CDC, 2020).

Higher Risk:

Those with underlying health conditions and age which all contribute to a weakened immune system are at an increased risk if exposed. This risk applies to all viruses, and should be noted when comparing and reviewing the data of those who impacted by the coronavirus and seasonal flu.

Recap:

We all must do our part in responding to this emerging health threat by taking the necessary steps to reduce the spread of this virus. With it still being flu season it is recommended that if you are sick to seek medical attention and stay home from work or school.

If it can be avoided do not visit public areas where you place yourself at risk of infecting others or further hindering your illnesses. If you can postpone travel that is also advised. Be mindful that with travel (via airplane), air is being circulated in a closed and confined space and this is a contributing factor to the spread of airborne viruses, further increasing your exposure.

COVID-19 vs Seasonal Flu:

Continue to implement and encourage healthy habits with yourself and family members. We must treat all viruses with high alert and severity. Data shows that we have had a greater impact of hospitalizations and deaths related to the seasonal flu, compared to the coronavirus.

Data reports that the “new coronavirus has led to more than 89,000 illnesses and 3,000 deaths worldwide. But that’s nothing compared with the flu… In the U.S. alone, the flu has caused an estimated 32 million illnesses, 310,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)” (Rettner, 2020). [link to article]

Continue to use precaution and take all the necessary steps to keep yourself well and healthy. As more data is collected I will continue to blog on this issue and source any new information or findings in the coming weeks.

Have a happy Wednesday!

Erica ❤

References:

CDC. (2020, March 1). 2019-nCoV Frequently Asked Questions and Answers. Retrieved March 4, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

Rettner, R. (2020, March 2). How does the new coronavirus compare with the flu? Retrieved March 4, 2020, from https://www.livescience.com/new-coronavirus-compare-with-flu.html

WHO. (2020). Advice for public. Retrieved March 4, 2020, from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

BLOG LIFE WITH ERICA | BLOG MILESTONE | CELEBRATING 100 DIRECT WORDPRESS FOLLOWERS

I want to thank all of my followers for supporting me on my blogging journey. Just a few hours ago I hit a blog milestone of hitting 100 direct WordPress followers.

A special thank you and shout out to my #100 direct WordPress follower, Penelope Burns.

Each of you made this celebratory milestone possible. Each of you are the reason why I blog and with your support I will continue to produce content that you are interested in.

~

To celebrate this milestone I am opening up to a Q&A. I am accepting questions via the comment section below, social media (IG or Twitter), and you can even submit questions via the contact me page here at Blog Life With Erica. I will post answers to appropriate questions via a blog post next week.

Continue to like and subscribe to Blog Life With Erica in order to receive updates on my latest post. Later this week I will be discussing health and wellness and ways in which we can prepare as we continue to face preparation for the current Coronavirus (COVID-19).

❤ BLWE

New Year. New Vision. Healthy Me.

New Year.

I am sure you are going to see a lot of new year, new me posts from today throughout the first of the year. Disclaimer, this is not one of those posts. I am not blogging to tell you about my new year resolutions. Each year I often join the crowd and make a firm decision to do something, whether it’s committing to incorporating gym time in my daily schedule or simply crossing soda off my list of guilty pleasures.  

New Vision.

This year I am taking a different approach. I cancelled my gym membership last year when I realized that I noticed results when I stopped going 3 times a week. Yes, you read that right. I completely gave up on the gym and focused on making better decisions with my meals and that is when I noticed a change in the numbers on the scale. My husband told me that I didn’t have to go to the gym to lose weight and despite him being living proof of this I didn’t believe him. I thought I was actually doing something by checking in to Planet Fitness a few times a week. Showing up made me feel good but I still wasn’t getting the results I expected. And on the days my excuses won and I skipped out on the gym, all it did was made me feel defeated. Yet, I still found pleasure in monitoring my fitbit stats. Did burning those calories after working out help me reach my goal weight? ABSOLUTELY NOT! 

I reached my goal weight by changing my diet to a low carb diet. Each meal consisting of meat and veggies. I don’t even count calories anymore. (Bye-bye myfitnesspal) As long as you are sticking to eating meats and vegetables you don’t need to count your calories. A nice portion of meat and vegetables fills me up and gives me all the energy that I need.

Healthy Me.

So, for 2020 I am focusing on health and wellness exclusively. I can control what I put in my body and I will be eating for nourishment. When I eat well, I feel better and sleep better. This is very important to me and my entire household. My husband and I don’t just eat well for ourselves but we make sure our children are eating well also. This often is a challenge with our picky eater of a 5-year-old. But, we know and understand how much your diet affects your mental and physical wellness. We even make sure our 7-month old is eating well. We are anti-junk and do not purchase any foods with bogus ingredients.

 I challenge each of you to start your new year out with reading ingredients labels. If the ingredient list is long or contains items that are not natural—put it back on the shelf. Make your selections of foods wisely; only purchase items with pure/natural ingredients. It’s even better if you are able to purchase fresh and raw foods. Share in the comments if you are going to be joining me and going into the new year making healthier choices. If you have already made changes in your diet to eat raw and natural foods, please share your experience in the comments with others. Did you find anything specifically difficult or was it an easy change to make? What advice could you share with others to encourage them to stick to this lifestyle change?

If you are interested in learning more about how our family has been so successful at sticking to eating “good” food, be sure to follow and subscribe in order to be notified of my next blog post.

FLWE ❤

Sunday Meal Prep: Shrimp & Chicken Alfredo w/ Broccoli

Broccoli side not pictured

Menu Items:

  • Shrimp
  • Chicken
  • Alfredo Pasta
  • Broccoli

I have been craving pasta and shrimp for a few weeks now so I decided last week that I would plan a meal prep around my cravings as I approach my final weeks of pregnancy. When planning my meals I always try to select food items that I will most likely not get tired of throughout the week and meal prep time is important for me as well. I am not for spending hours in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove. Alfredo is a convenient meal that I can just warm up servings of throughout the week.

Disclaimer: If you are following a low carb or no carb diet this meal idea is not for you.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Breast
  • Frozen Cooked Shrimp
  • Penne Noodles (or Noodles of your choice)
  • Parmesan Romano Cheese
  • Ragu Classic Alfredo sauce (use as needed to supplement sauce if needed)
  • Heavy Cream
  • Salted Butter
  • Broccoli
  • Seasonings: Italian, Basil, Garlic Salt, Pepper, Old Bay

Prep Time: 30 minutes

When making my Alfredo I basically prepare my own sauce using cheese, butter, and heavy cream. I season it to my liking and supplement with Ragu classic Alfredo sauce if needed to stretch my sauce. I had originally intended to steam my broccoli and mix it into my Alfredo but completely forgot and missed this step. This week I will have my broccoli on the side, topped with grated parmesan.

Are you meal prepping this week? If so, what have you prepared? Comment below-

Sunday Meal Prep: Barbecue Meatballs, Brown Rice, & Broccoli

Sunday Dinner & Meal Prep

Menu Items:

  • Barbecue Meatballs
  • Brown Rice
  • Broccoli

When preparing my grocery list last week I wanted to pick some easy menu items for the upcoming week. With only 6 weeks left in my pregnancy the last thing I want to be doing is standing on my feet in the kitchen chopping vegetables. Last weeks items (chicken, cabbage, and carrots) had me on my feet longer than I anticipated. It also becomes very difficult for me to stand for long periods of times as I tend to get lightheaded. So, at that rate last week meal prep did take longer than it should have due to my need to take frequent breaks from standing on my feet.

This weeks items: barbecue meatballs, brown rice, and broccoli took little preparation. When I woke up this morning I prepared breakfast and in the mist of preparing breakfast I pulled out the crockpot and tossed in my meatballs with barbecue sauce (original and honey barbecue) and a little grape jelly. I let that cook for about 3 hours, while I washed my hair and prepared for the day.

Neighborhood Library

After, all the McKinney’s were dressed and ready for the day ahead of us (Library visits and a birthday party) I turned my meatballs down to “keep warm.” We left the house for a few hours as we returned library books and picked out new ones. Abby even made some new friends. The library is now her favorite weekend event and I am proud that she enjoys the library. I honestly enjoy the visit myself each weekend. After, the library we went bowling to celebrate our cousins 7th birthday and we all truly had a great time.

Once we returned home I prepared my brown rice on the stovetop (5 minutes) and tossed a bag of steamable broccoli in the microwave (5 minutes). My sides for this week was effortless. I prepared enough servings of brown rice for the week and purchased enough bags of broccoli from Wegmans to prepare on demand. I even have a few different vegetables options (brussel sprouts and spinach) in case I need a variety change throughout the week.

Meal Prep Sunday

All this to say– meal prepping does not have to be hard. I would say that most time will go into your main course (meat) preparation. The are endless options for you. I have noticed that I am using my crockpot more for my meals. However, my husband uses our air fryer daily for all of his meat. He literally seasons his meat and tosses it right in the air fryer.

Have you implemented meal prepping into your routine? What has been successful for you in your meal prep? Have you come across any setbacks or distractions? Please share your experience, as it can help others.

FLWE ❤

[Table Talk] Does your Doctor really know best? – Video: Health Theory- Keto Conspiracy w/ Ken Berry

Watch for more information

I highly encourage you to be your own advocate when it comes to your health. Do your research. Anyone who speaks against the sustainability of eating meats and veggies for the long term simply lacks knowledge.

Healthcare professionals push the incorporation of fruit, dairy, grains and starches in your “balanced” diet. However, they advise you to reduce sugar in your diet. Be mindful that these foods break down ultimately into sugar. Consuming these foods in excess can result in many health problems as sugar is linked to inflammation and the breaking down of needed blood vessels.

The most proven way to accelerate weight loss and improve your health is to reduce sugar in your diet. In order to reduce sugar in your diet, you must eliminate the consumption of simple carbs (ceral, pasta, soda, bread, etc.) Aside from what you are consuming your body makes and regulates its own sugar. Adding excess sugar will result in excess weight gain. This is a fact that I did not learn from my personal doctor. There are so many enlightened individuals like Dr Ken Berry, who have medical degrees and are actively sharing supported information on these issues.

Doctors are working for the healthcare industry and they are expected to follow certain guidelines which are regulated. If they really told you the truth on how to “get healthy” it would be a fall in our healthcare system. There would be no need for monthly follow up appointments, or repeat labs. Pharmaceutical companies would see a decrease in profit, since medication sales would also decrease.

Medication is not the answer to controlling your levels or getting healthy. There are far too many risks associated with medications that are recommended to “treat” medical conditions. Medications are not the cure or answer to your health problems. I personally would not choose to medicate a problem. I support solving and eliminating the problem.

Please share your thoughts on the shared video and my post below.

FLWE ❤

6 Ways on How to Begin your Fitness Journey

6 Ways on How to begin your Fitness Journey

Many of you may have thought about embarking on a fitness journey. Yet, something always seems to get in your way. The most common excuses that I hear from those that I coach, all stem from pure procrastination. You are setting yourself up for failure– if you are lacking a plan.

This week I am bringing you:

6 Ways on How to Begin Your Fitness Journey

1. Set Your Goals

It sounds easier said than done. Setting your goals and having a clear understanding of the expectation that you have for yourself is a crucial step in beginning your fitness journey. If you lack clear goals you are not going to know what you are working on or why.

This was me January of 2017. I declared as my New Years resolution that I wanted to start working out. Well, what I failed to do was set my goals. It was easy for me to sign up for a gym membership. I even committed to the gym several days out of my week. However, I did not see any results in the mirror or on the scale. I was doing at least 45 min – 1 hr of cardio on various machines (treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bike). The vision I had for myself was not clear. I didn’t have a purpose. I knew I wanted to lose weight but I didn’t have a goal weight set. I didn’t know what exercises would benefit me the most based on my goals; all because my goals were non existent.

When beginning your fitness journey it is imperative to set your goals up front. Write it out. You have to be able to see your goals on paper (the vision).

Ask yourself: What is my goal weight? Do I want to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain? Is strength training my goal? Have I checked my BMI? How many calories should I be consuming daily?

These are all important questions to ask yourself when developing your goals. Having a clear vision of your goals will set you up for success.

2. Get Motivated

After you establish your goals– get motivated. You can not wait for someone else to motivate you. You have to seek to motivate yourself. Without motivation, you will not be able to sustain in your fitness journey. There are going to be days when you don’t feel like sticking to your goals. You may feel tempted to have a cheat day or skip the gym. Motivation can push you through these negative thoughts and keep you on course. Setbacks will set your further away from your goals and results will be further out of reach.

I challenge you to think about what are the motivating factors in your life. If you are lacking motivation- you need to find motivation ASAP. Motivation is crucial to your personal success.

3. Form a Routine

A routine is a habit. Start incorporating good and health habits in your life. For me I start my day out with listening to my favorite podcast (personal development). While listening to my podcast I make my shake and tea in the morning to start my day. Since I am a working Mom, my day begins before the sun comes up while the house is still quiet. My quiet time is first thing in the morning. This is also the time where I can accomplish the most out of my day. How I start my morning, sets the tone for the remainder of my day. Waking up on the right side of the bed is real.

After I listen to my personal development podcast and enjoy my shake and tea, I am then ready to begin my day. This is my routine. If I miss this step in the start of my day, my momentum declines and I find that I am more inclined to excuses.

Your routine also includes your commitment to workout. Plan the days you are going to commit to the gym. Fitness is 80% nutrition, and 20% workout. If you plan your workouts into your schedule, it promotes self accountability which is also a crucial aspect to your success.

Do you have a routine? (Please share below in the comments) I would like to know what motivates you. Sharing what motivates you may encourage someone else in their journey.

4. Take Action

Now that you have your goals set, motivation, and routine in place; it is now time to take action. Incorporate these changes into your daily life. Consistency is key!

Remember, any distraction from your goals, lack of motivation and routine is a set back to your overall results. You can not achieve success if you are failing to put in the necessary work. Your results depend on you and your willingness to make the necessary changes within your life.

5. Document your Progress

Documenting your progress is important because it is motivating to see your progress and track how far you have come. Seeing your results over time is the most encouraging feeling. Progress is what drives success. If you see that you are making progress you will want to continue.

Do not get discouraged in the beginning if you know you are staying on course with your goals, motivation, and routine but are not noticing any results. Consistency is a major factor and results are not achieved over night.

Keep this in mind:

Results- 6 Ways on How to begin your Fitness Journey

6. Revisit and Revise Goals/Progress

On your fitness journey I highly encourage you to revisit and revise your goals/progress often. With progress, you may need to alter and make changes to your goals and routines accordingly.

For example, if your goal is to lose weight you may realize that you need to incorporate strength training or need to focus on a certain area now in order to tone.

It’s ok if your goals change over the course of your fitness journey. Being able to revisit and revise your goals is imperative to the success of your progress. What you may be currently committed to as far as goals and routines may not be working for you as they did months ago when you initially committed to them.

Be flexible and listen to your body. Take a look in the mirror. Do you like what you see? Have your goals changed? Is there more that you are looking to achieve, than what you are holding yourself accountable for?

Your biggest competition is not going to be the next person beside you or in your circle on their fitness journey. Your biggest competition should be YOURSELF! I encourage everyone to follow these 6 ways on how to begin your fitness journey. Hold yourself accountable for your health and wellness. You are held accountable for the results you are seeking to achieve.

As the coming weeks progress I plan to revisit some of these topics and blog deeper into the importance of certain areas. Keep personal development on your radar. I would love to share with you my favorite podcasts that I listen to daily for personal development.

FLWE ❤

Started on Instagram- Now, I’m Here

I am sitting here typing away on my laptop thanks to the encouragement of my husband, Andrew.

Sitting here… trying to contemplate what to write about for my initial blog post. Well… I suppose I should share with you how the thought of a blog came about. I was encouraged by Andrew to expand my methods of reaching people on their fitness journey. As my followers grew on instagram, it became evident that people are interested in my personal journey as they travel on their own.

On Instagram I share my life: morning routines, meal planning, meal ideas, results, motivation, etc. I have received a lot of feedback and engagement from followers. While, instagram is a great method of reaching people it is limited regarding posts and details. Blogging offers more options for documenting my journey and offering more information to others.

I plan to use my blog to share recipes, fitness plans, motivation, personal development, and health/wellness related posts. I encourage every reader to comment on each blog post as we grow a community here at Fit Life with Erica (FLWE).

FLWE ❤