At almost 4.2 million registered nurses in the United States, nurses make up the largest portion of America’s healthcare professions. With long hours and high-stress situations, many of us find it difficult to eat a decent meal while on the job.
Chronic stress has been associated with increasing appetite and preference for high fat and high sugar foods. This can lead to obesity and eventually chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoarthritis.
For some of us, their day-to-day meals consist of cafeteria food, fast food, or a simple granola bar at the nurses station. Skipped meals are all too common.
Here are five ways you can tweak your at-work eating habits to get more fruits, veggies, and delicious proteins in your diet to keep you going and help your patients.
- Make healthy eating a group activity. Maintaining a goal is so much easier if you get your work besties involved to keep you accountable and motivated. Try making a healthy eating calendar together so you can track your goals with fun stickers or markers, and maybe even set up a reward system. You can even read a healthy cookbook or blog together on your breaks to get nutritional inspiration.
- Encourage your local grocery stores to carry clean, shelf-stable meals. Having easy options at the grocery store can help you stock up on meals to bring for several days at a time. This way you’re not left hungry and tempted to make a last-minute fast food run.
- Forming good habits: Get rid of the candy bar drawer, and replace it with healthy trail mix, and keep water closeby to help you avoid sugary drinks. Make healthy eating convenient for yourself. You can even order healthy, shelf-stable meals like Proper Good online to be delivered to your door and keep with you at work.
- Think about the BIG reasons for eating healthy: While of course you want to eat healthy to take care of your body, think about who else needs you to have a healthy body – your parents, your partner, your kids. By eating healthier, you’ll have more energy to play with the kids, cook a nice meal with a loved one, or help a friend with a project. Your health impacts those in your close circle and community.
- Seek out healthy companies that offer discounts for nurses. Track national recognition days honoring nurses throughout the year, and you’ll find lots of discounts from healthy food companies for first responders. Top days include Certified Nurses Day (March 19), National Nurses Month (May), National First Responders Day (October 28), National Nurse Practitioner Week (November 13 – 19) and more.
About Christopher Jane:
Christopher Jane grew up on the south coast of England, earned his finance undergraduate degree in London and then moved to Bozeman, Montana. He then was a co-founder of Montana Mex, a clean-label condiment company that launched seven products to thousands of grocery stores. After a number of years, he stepped away to do his MBA at Stanford where he came up with the idea for his newest food brand Proper Good, which launched direct to consumer in April 2020 with a focus on 90-seconds meals for keto, plant-based, and other diet and lifestyle needs. Outside of all things consumer products, Chris is an avid snowboarder, one-wheeler, yoga sculpt enthusiast, and kitten fosterer.