My Experience with Covid 19

The last 15 days have been challenging. It was a normal day when I started feeling feverish after a run. I have recently signed up for a running program.  It was Women’s day and I had to complete my run. Once I was back home, I was feeling unusually sluggish. It was not normal after that day. 4-5 days of fever and Covid test that came positive. Medication, Steam Inhalation, Sleep, and Hunger is all I can sum up my experience with Covid 19. Loss of sense of taste and smell was an addition to the already dreadful situation. 

The weeks before Covid 19 test were hectic and though I pay a lot of attention to my food intake, these weeks were not particularly great. I was working on a calorie deficit and giving more emphasis on Intermittent Fasting. Walking 10k steps almost every day and fueling myself accordingly was a routine. The same routine could not have been continued given the number of medicines that needed to be ingested. The only way out was to fuel me properly to withstand the infection and come out of it. 

The changes that I immediately made to my schedule: 

Stopped any form of fasting, just continued with 4-6 small meals a day 

Slept through the day after taking medication and made sure to follow the steam and other basic methods of removing congestion. 

Avoided caffeine and extra sugar intake in total. 

Sipped warm water throughout the day 

Stopped any form of physical activity

Changes to make to the food regime

Included fresh fruits for breakfast: Breakfast has been my favorite part of the day, during the first few days, I included as many fruits as I could. The loss of taste and smell was horrible but fruits helped me out. They kept me satiated, fuller for a longer time. Adding unsweetened peanut butter has been a game-changer. 

Emphasis on vegetables: Indian food is carb-centric. We often tend to eat more carbs than fiber and protein. I started eating at least 2 -3 servings of vegetables for every meal. For breakfast, it was fruits, but for lunch and dinner, I made sure that I have loads of vegetables and a few complex carbs. For the first few days, till I had no energy to cook, it was white rice, later I changed it to roti, as it is my staple food.

More fluids: I can not emphasize the importance of drinking more water, warm water, kashayams, and different teas during this time. It helps you boost immunity and soothes the already sore throat. 

Work on increasing protein intake: ( We need at least 1 gm of protein for 1 gm of body weight, so if you weigh 65 kg your protein intake should be 65 gms) 

Indian Curd:  12 gms of protein for 100 gms of curd and all forms of curd like greek yogurt/buttermilk 

Paneer: 18 gms of protein for 100 gms of paneer 

Beans –  4 gms in 100 gms of beans ( french beans) 

Almonds – 4 gms in 7 almonds

Eggs – 6 gms in 1 whole hard-boiled egg. 

Protein powder – 23 gms of protein for 1 scoop of 30 gms.

Oats – 16 gms of protein for 100 gms of oats

Adding one protein source to your every meal is the easy way to go about it. Here is a sample meal plan that can be used to enhance the protein intake in daily diet.

Sample High Protein Meal Plan: 

Breakfast ( 25 gms of protein)

50 gms Oats Upma / porridge with 30/35 peanuts and vegetables ( carrot, beans, bell peppers) + Eggs / Yogurt 

( Options: Fruits/ Peanut Butter/ Smoothies with nuts and oats) 

Lunch ( 20 gms of protein) 

2 roti / rice ( 100 gms) ( 4 gms) + 1 cup okra stir fry ( 4 gms) + flax seeds chutney 2 teasoons ( 1 gms) + Buttermilk ( 6 gms) + Vegetable Kootu with moong dal ( 5 gms) 

( Options: Indian meals with boiled chickpeas/ Various dals sambhars/ Usili)

Snack ( 3 gms of protein) 

100 ml milk + tea with sugar + peanuts 

Dinner ( 20 gms of protein) 

Paneer ( 9 gms for 50 gms) + 2 rotis ( 4gms) + Tuvar Dal Tadka ( 6 gms) 

Eating less is not an option when COVID strikes or any of the illness for that matter but eating well is in our hands. 

COVID 19 is a new reality. Help and be there for others, it is the need of the hour. Mentally and emotionally covid 19 is taxing, it can break a very strong individual too. Be kind to those who get infected with it, nobody does anything deliberately. The blame game is of no use to be very precise. If you get it, just try and be away from the negativity. Fortunately, we got very caring people around, but not all are blessed so reach out to the people whom you count on. 

Last but not the least, do not take COvid 19 lightly even if you are vaccinated.