Tips to Stay Healthy in the COVID-19 Lock-Down

With love from Chef Mackenzie ...

Healthy Tips from Sanford Chef Mackenzie …

When we are stuck at home for a period of time it’s really easy to fall into a routine of not getting out of our pajamas all day, binge-watching our favorite shows, and snacking on whenever and whatever we please. If you are one of those people, you are not alone! It is really important to keep a normal daily routine while distancing at home for one’s health and sobriety. Staying healthy while in COVID-19 lock-down is totally possible.

Stay Active

Many states are mandating closures of public facilities, including gyms.  For those who use the gym as their daily exercise outlet, it can be difficult to change exercise routines/plans. We should all use this time to create healthy habits and learn new ways to keep active. Here are a few easy things to do at home: 

  • Take a walk around the neighborhood
  • Light stretching or yoga
  • Walk up and down the stairs 
  • Turn on your favorite song and dance like no one’s watching 
  • Find workout videos on YouTube that you can follow (Tip: Try using cans of soup as hand weights if you don’t have them)
  • Do squats, crunches, jumping jacks, and high knees while watching your favorite show.


What’s cookin’? Chef Mackenzie in her own kitchen (with raw cauliflower),


Don’t confuse snacks with treats …


Watch What You Eat

Did you know that boredom eating is probably the number one emotional eating trigger? If someone says they don’t snack when they are bored, they are probably fibbing. Sometimes I find myself standing in front of the fridge with the door open just looking at what’s inside – even when I am not hungry. It’s very easy to snack all day and skip-out on regular meals. Here are a few tips to help you eat healthier during this time of being house-bound:

  • Resist the urge to snack during the day. If you are working from home, work in a room that’s not close to the kitchen
  • Remove the temptation– Try putting snacks out of sight (don’t leave the delicious Girl Scout cookies out on the counter)
  • Take-out. If you are thinking about take-out (and helping a local restaurant) look up the menu online or call the restaurant to make a healthy choice
  • If you do choose to munch a little between meals, try to choose a healthy snack
    • Yogurt and berries 
    • Mixed nuts
    • Cucumber slices and hummus
    • Cottage cheese
    • Apple slices with peanut butter
    • Dark chocolate (helps curve your sweets craving)
    • Hard-boiled eggs 
    • Cheese
    • Beef jerky


 Bring out your inner chef at home, challenge yourself by making new recipes and seeing what you can create with items that are in your pantry and freezer.  


Healthy Vegetable Dip


2 Cups Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt 

1 Tsp. Garlic Powder

1 Tsp. Onion Powder or Dried Minced Onion

¼ Tsp. Dried Dill

½ Tsp. Salt



  1. In a small bowl mix all ingredients together! 
  2.  Serve with vegetables (carrots, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, etc.)
  3. That’s it. Woah that was easy!



women holding knife

House Chef Mackenzie is responsible for all aspects of nutrition and wellness programming at Sanford. Her smiling face is a bonus to the delicious food she provides. Her groups on nutrition, exercise and wellness are some of our clients' favorites. Mackenzie has her Culinary Degree from Secchia Institute for Culinary Education. She also has a certificate in Hospitality Management. And was awarded 2019 Junior Culinarian of the Year from the American Culinary Federation. Mackenzie writes about all aspects of wellness, nutrition and the importance of eating healthily in early recovery. In her free time, Mackenzie coaches Special Olympics. She is also Marketing Chair on the board of directors of the American Culinary Federation of Grand Rapids.