TOP 10 TIPS FOR EATING SMART AND HEALTHY DURING LONG SHIFTS

Being a doctor is a lot of grueling hard work, sometimes it drains me not only physically, but mentally. But from my perspective, nurses are real hospital heroes to me. Your role as medical workers as well, is so important because you truly represent the “backbone” of every hospital and its driving force. Some-times, you even connect with our patients even more than we do and you spend large amount of time with them. Indeed, you bravely struggle to make every-one’s hospital experience easier and less stressful.

Besides all of the quality care you provide for our patients, you spend less time on yourselves while working long shifts with constant concentration and dedication. Your work requires alertness while everyone else sleeps, many weekends and holidays spent without the family and 24/7 on call all the time, especially stands for emergency room and patient care nurses. Speaking from experience, most of the time, the easiest way for us to survive it all, is to grab a quick bite of tasty pizza or burger for lunch or dinner and then get back to work. Junk food does not take much time to be ordered or prepared, it is super cheap, easy to find in every corner and unfortunately it is a quick way to satisfy our hunger. On the other hand, this kind of food may look like a delicious snack but associated with low or no physical exercise, can lead to many negative health effects on our body, including reduced quality of life, chronic diseases (diabetes type 2), cardio-vascular diseases, obesity, fatty liver, many types of cancer, depression and early death.

Hospital life can sometimes get pretty hectic for us, with no signs of slowing down and staying healthy has always been very tough and challenging. Preparing healthy meals does not seem like an easy task at all, especially when working asa nurse. Having in mind that one day, those habits will come and take their price on our health, with our 10 following tips, we encourage you to put your mind and heart by creating a strategy for a well-balanced diet.

1.) Make your work lunch at home – Saves your money, right? Pack your snack carrots in a bag, your chicken salad in a box and you are ready to go! Tip: glass container is always a better choice than the plastic one because it helps keeping the food fresh. And even if you don’t have fridge in your work-place, don’t worry! Food will still be eatable for at least 5-6 hours!

2.) Weekly meal prep – Chilling on Sunday at home? We have an idea of what you might do! Grab a pen and write your grocery list, go shopping and start cooking. Cook and bake some veggies and meat and mix them during the week differently instead of having the same meal over again.

3.) Drink water – We mean a lot of it! Staying hydrated can help you be more energized and therefore, more productive! If you have troubles remembering to drink water, take a bottle of water every where you go! Water helps you to remove toxins from your body.

4.) Juice is not the same as FRESHLY squeezed juice – Freshly home squeezed juice will get all the nutrients from the food, instead of buying juice that that is full of sugar.

5.) Use your leftovers from dinner to make lunch – Why to throw food to waste when you can use it?

6.) Eating more fresh fruit and vegetables – This one is probably one of our healthiest tips! Also, your meal or healthy dessert is more colorful and more delicious. Or if you don’t like raw vegetables and fruit, mix some of it, put ice, some milk or greek yogurt and blend it. There are varieties of smoothies and healthy drink at any time of the day.

7.) Eat on the table and take your time – Take small bites and eat on the table is main key to excellent digestion. The part of the brain that gets information whether or not you are full, gets the information 15 minutes after your last bite. So take your time, eat small bites and get your body do the rest of the things.

8.) Have small snacks more often – Keep always in handy places some nuts, granola bars, seeds, dark chocolate.

9.) Check the nutrition label (count the nutrients, NOT THE CALORIES!) – Why obsessing yourself with doing the math? Calories are units of energy, and even proteins contain calories.

10.) Less salt and sugar (white death) – We all know that eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure. The food you buy al-ready contains ¾ salt of daily needs. Excessive sugar use can lead to obesity and tooth decay. In exchange for white sugar use products that contain natural sugar like honey.

The thing is, it is very possible to eat healthy despite all the stress and long working hours that medical workers face. It is simply a combination of good planning, switching to the right diet and of course, a little bit of self-control and effort to stay on track. So, start with your healthy and smart habits right today!

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