Social Distancing: A Collective Approach

Estimated Read Time: 2 minutes 30 seconds

What a crazy time we’re in, no? Whether your work has been affected or not, most of us are spending much more time at home.

…and we should be! While those of us in good health may not be particularly concerned with COVID-19, it is important that we all do our part in preventing the spread of this very contagious virus.

Regardless of your current health status or your opinion on social distancing, I urge you to be considerate of those in the “at risk” population. This group goes beyond your obvious suspects—many of these individuals are young and their illnesses invisible. Undoubtedly, this demographic includes some of your loved ones.


Inconvenient as social distancing guidelines may be, I immediately took them to heart after considering:

  • My stepfather, Ted, who just completed what we hope to be his final round of chemotherapy!
  • My mom, Brenda, who has suffered from asthma since childhood.
  • My sister, Larissa, who is an autoimmune warrior. (Read her story here.)
  • My dad, Peter, a veteran’s hospital nurse who works long graveyard shifts. (I can’t WAIT for him to retire!)
  • My stepmother, Enid, who has an unresolved heart condition.
  • My grandpa, Gilbert, who lives in a skilled nursing facility.
  • Those who habitually smoke any substance, including cigarettes and/or cannabis. 
  • Every person I know over the age of 60, including my current and past clients, previous employer and next-door neighbor.

This infographic displays the powerful positive effect that social distancing can have on flattening the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is based on research done by the University of San Diego’s Signer Laboratory.

Similarly, the Washington Post created simulations of four different scenarios that are quite interesting to watch: a free-for-all, an attempted quarantine, moderate social distancing and extensive social distancing. You can watch them here

There is still so much we can do during this time. I encourage you to practice self-care and continue supporting those in your community.

Philosophies of a Farm-to-Fork Nutritionist

by Mallory Nowak, NTP

People often ask what I eat. Am I vegetarian? Vegan? Paleo? Do I subscribe to the keto craze? My response: “I eat real food.” 

I realized early-on that people usually assume I’m joking.

“Opposed to fake food?” they often chuckle.

To answer their question, yes: my primary emphasis is on real, unadulterated food. My overarching philosophy on nutrition is that all animals (including humans) should adhere to their native diets. Seems intuitive enough, right? Most of my philosophies on nutrition and wellness are! 

Living in the farm-to-fork capital makes clean eating an easy feat. From an agricultural perspective, the Central Valley of California is one of the most abundant regions in the world. Sacramento’s collective of local grocers (I love me some Corti Brothers!), real-deal butchers (Taylor’s Market, anyone?), slow foods restaurants (hi, Magpie!) and daily farmer’s markets make for quite the bountiful food scene. It’s easily my favorite attribute of the area. 

We have a lot of responsibility surrounding our food choices. The creation of all food (whether plant- or animal-based) requires sacrifice; it requires the use of resources. Food waste and food packaging are important concerns and we ought to give them the recognition they deserve. Fostering creativity in the kitchen and finding ways to utilize food in its entirety are ways to prevent unnecessary food waste. In addition to sporting reusable shopping bags, we can opt out of foods with excessive packaging (including pre-packaged produce) to lessen our burden on the environment. 

And then I have some rather unconventional beliefs: my stances on sun exposure, dietary cholesterol, salt and saturated fat all come to mind instantaneously (but we’ll save those for a future discussion!). I believe gut health is of utmost importance and water is under-rated. I believe ‘health’ embodies so much more than the absence of dis-ease. I wholeheartedly believe in the functional medicine model, which aims to address the root cause of disorder as opposed to symptom suppression. I believe food can be medicine, but our society is largely confused about what “food” is.

Broadly, I believe our bodies have the innate ability to self-heal when given the raw materials to do so. I look forward to sharing time-honored nutritional wisdom, local resources and earth-loving tips with my community! 

In health,
Mallory Nowak, NTP

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