This Pediatric Nurse Hasn’t Seen Her Family Since March: See How She’s Staying Positive and Healthy During COVID-19

Last Update: December 9, 2022

Welcome to What I Eat in a Day, a blog series that showcases the daily lives and meals of Thrive Market members like you. Today, we’re talking with Tracie V., a certified pediatric nurse in South Florida. She’s sharing how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how and when she sees her family, the parts of her day that bring her the most joy, and what she eats in a day to stay healthy.

Hi, Tracie! Tell us a bit about yourself and the work that you do.

I’m a certified pediatric nurse on a twelve-bed pediatric unit in South Florida. My job responsibilities include total patient care of children from one-day-old to 18 years old. I also work part time at an IV hydration spa, where my job is to mix prescribed IV hydration bags with vitamins and minerals. It is a great variety of work! I have been a nurse for 30 years and truly love what I do—I can’t imagine doing anything else.

When you’re not super busy, how would you describe your eating habits?

My typical day is dependent on what role I’m in. At the hospital, I work nights, which is 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. I generally eat dinner with my family before coming to work, and then I’ll have a late night meal around 1 a.m. Then once I’m home, I’ll have a small snack before going to bed at 8 a.m. Typically, I’ll sleep until 3 p.m. if I have to be ready for another night shift that day, which we call a back-to-back shift. If I’m not going back to work that night, I’ll try to get up around noon so I can enjoy more of the day (but I don’t always succeed!)

What do you eat in a day?

For fast and easy options at home, I’ll usually cook a burger with no bun or make it into a burger salad. Thrive Market has some great salad dressing options! My two favorite salad dressings is the Sir Kensington Buffalo Ranch and the Thrive Market Green Goddess. I use the Green Goddess for a marinade for chicken!

I’ve been doing keto for about a year and a half, and have lost 50 pounds—I feel amazing! I had to buy new scrubs, which was a great feeling. So most of my diet consists of meat and veggies. I love any kind of grilled vegetables and utilize a variety of spices to keep things interesting.

And I’m a big snacker. One of my favorite snacks is the Smart Sweets Sweet Fish. I also like a variety of snack bars as well as mixed nuts, and of course, cheese.

What’s your biggest challenge with healthy eating and/or keto?

My biggest challenge in the keto lifestyle is eating out. I will sometimes have a “cheat day” and just get it out of my system. My biggest weakness? I love those “foo-foo drinks” with the mini umbrellas, but they tend to have a lot of sugar, so it’s definitely a treat.

How has your work life changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Work life has certainly changed since COVID-19 began. At work, many different procedures have been put in place to keep both ourselves and our patients safe. The biggest change is wearing a mask for the entire shift. We also have limited visitors—only one at a time, which can be difficult in the pediatric population.

How has your life outside of work changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?

My home life since COVID-19 has changed more than my work life. I live with my 76-year-old mother-in-law, my husband, and my 13-year-old daughter. So to keep them safe—I’ve actually started living next door so that I do not infect my family. I would feel so incredibly guilty if I inadvertently infected any of my loved ones. Our neighbors offered up their home as a safe place for me during this time. It touched my heart that they were so very kind to offer that! It has taken a huge burden off of me. But I haven’t been home since March 20. I went to work that night and went to the neighbor’s after work. I haven’t been home since. I miss my family and my dog Lucy tremendously.

That sounds really hard. Are there moments throughout your day that bring you joy?

Moments that bring me joy are when I see people showing kindness! I have had so many people reach out to me during the last few months. It has really brought joy to my heart. My make-up lady, Younique, sent me a moisturizing mask and face cream, since these masks really dry out your skin and lips. I have had some friends make me homemade masks and ear savers. All of this gives you a sense of well-being in such uncertain times.

What keeps going when you feel overwhelmed?

That is a loaded question! I think one thing is to be deemed “essential.” I have never looked at myself in that light. I think when you feel overwhelmed it’s so incredibly important to remember the “power of the pause.” Stop, take a deep breathe, and recenter yourself.

What do you love most about your job?

That one is easy. My patients and their families. For the most part, our patients are so incredibly grateful and appreciative. A smile or a hug during some of these people’s most vulnerable times is so very important. I’m committed to taking care of each family and giving them the best care possible.

For sharing her experience, we’re gifting Tracie Thrive Cash to shop healthy essentials at Interested in sharing your story? We’d love to hear from you! Please email with your name and occupation.

This article is related to:

Keto, What I Eat In A Day

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Lily Comba

Lily Comba has never met a baked good she didn't like. When she's not baking, you'll find her writing, taking a Pilates class, or collaborating with the editorial and social team as a Senior Content Writer at Thrive Market.

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