Tips for eating healthy on the job
Nursing students typically learn about good nutrition and eating habits in college, but the second they graduate and start to work in a real healthcare facility, even the simplest nutrition practices fly out the window.
It’s no surprise. The combination of an intense schedule and a hectic atmosphere of a hospital can make “eating right” a very difficult challenge. But there are ways to ensure that that while you’re busy saving lives, you’re helping to keep yours in tip-top shape as well. Below are some easy and effective ways to eating healthy during your shift.
Drink Lots of Water
Sometimes that tumbling in your belly occurs because you’re thirsty, not hungry. Before you rush off to grab a couple of cookies, drink water. Consuming the standard 6 to 8 glasses a day will not only help ensure you have a stable diet, but will also hydrate you, which will in-turn make you more alert during the day.
Despite what you think, experts say eating more is good. So it’s imperative that you don’t skip any meals. Just be aware of portion-sizes (keep them small). A good way to stay full and prevent yourself from indulging in a heavy meal come dinner time is to snack regularly throughout the day. Healthy snack choices include fresh fruit, nuts such as almonds, carrots, dried fruit, yogurt or a granola bar. Fruits, like apples in particularly, are known not only to satisfy your hunger cravings but also restore energy. This is because fruits are more easily digestible than many other foods and can give you the instantaneous fuel you need to keep going. Need a pick-me-up but don’t have an apple on hand? Try a fruit smoothie instead.
Despite the convenience, avoid vending machines and fast food
If you have no other choice but to grab a quick bite from the vending machine, make sure to choose low-fat and whole grain options and be cautious of serving portions (a bag of chips can actually be two servings, not one).Here are some of the more healthier options to select: turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread, baked chips (especially sweet potato or veggie), nonfat yogurt, unsweetened tea and water.
Make wise food choices in the cafeteria
This includes adding fresh vegetables, fruit or a salad to your meal. But remember that just because you opt for a salad doesn’t automatically make it a better choice. Choose lower calorie dressings if the option is available. Creamy dressings like ranch, even if low calorie, are usually not the best options. Try to go for vinaigrettes. Pass on the croutons and take it easy on the cheese. Also, avoid salads with dressing already in them.