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Back to the basics during tough times

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The COVID-19 pandemic affected many aspects of life during 2020, including routines, relationships and overall health. At this point in the pandemic, Lorain County Public Health (LCPH) wants to remind you of some basic principles to maintain a healthy mind and body – even during tough times.

Staying active is good for the body and mind. Physical activity can decrease blood pressure, reduce body fat, lower the risk of heart disease, and reduce stress levels. Stretch or march in place while watching TV. Dance to your favorite music. Or, try an exercise video online. Visit UnitedWeSweat.org for free exercise videos from LCPH's partners. Schedule time to connect with loved ones - video chat or take a distanced winter walk. Try classic and creative ways to stay connected – write letters, pick up the phone, or discuss books or movies via video chat.

Find balance in what you eat. This holiday season enjoy treats in moderation. Prioritize fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables helps you maintain a healthy weight and have more energy. Check out the recipe below for a vegetable-packed winter stew. Balance is also important if you choose to drink alcohol. Ask a healthcare provider or pharmacist if it’s OK to drink alcohol based on the medicines and vitamins that you may take – especially if your medicines recently changed. Find fun, festive alcohol-free drink recipes at LorainCountyHealth.com/drivesober.

We know you’re tough during tough times, yet be gentle with yourself – and others. Listen to and respect others' decisions about how to celebrate the holidays. Make a plan for yourself on how to enjoy this season safely. Then, talk through your plan with any loved ones with whom you normally celebrate. Refer them to LorainCountyHealth.com/covid19resources for a COVID-19 holiday decision-making guide.

During tough times it’s also normal to ask for help. To talk with someone who’s a good listener, call 1-800-720-9616. Or, text "4HOPE" to 741 741. Keep this phone number close by for you or to share with a loved one.

LCPH is always here for you to answer your COVID-19 and other health-related questions – from basic to big. Call us at 440-322-6367, or email us at contact@loraincountyhealth.com.

Recipe: Three Sisters Stew


  • ½ lb. ground beef or turkey
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups red potatoes, cubed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, low-sodium, drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce, low-sodium
  • ½ can kidney beans, low-sodium, drained
  • ½ can vegetarian beans, low-sodium
  • ½ cup yellow squash, cubed
  • ½ cup green squash, cubed
  • ½ cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • ¼ cup quick cooking oats
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste


In a pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground meat and onions for 8-10 minutes, breaking up the meat with your spoon. Drain any excess grease. Add the water and potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 25 minutes. Serve.