The following is a Guest Post via Elizabeth Scala
As a travel nurse, I bet you’re hit with a ‘double whammy’ when it comes to eating healthy.
First: you’re a nurse.
Every nurse knows what a nurse ‘lunch’ looks like… standing up, eating between patients, while answering the phone, and checking orders – if you’re lucky to find time to eat at all!
Secondly, you’re traveling. From what I gather, being in a new place, a new environment, a new organization… it’s tricky, challenging stuff. And what do most people do when they are uncomfortable, looking to make new friends, and trying to fit in? They eat! Ever notice that food is linked to celebration, praise, recognition, meet-and-greets, networking, and all sorts of activities that have us eating, socializing, and possibly making unhealthy choices.
Today I’d like to talk about this: Healthy eating and how you can do so even when you’re away from home. And it doesn’t have to do with food at all! No matter what food it happens to be that we put into our mouths; we are able to make it a healthy meal.
So let’s talk about how all of the foods we eat have the potential to be ‘healthy’ for us. I’ll share with you a couple of reasons how and why we have the ability to make each meal nutritious for us.
- Bioindividuality. I learned in my Institute for Integrative Nutrition course: ‘one man’s food is another man’s poison’. What I eat may be good for me, but not for you. What you eat may be wonderful for you, but harm another. We are all unique individuals and so we all have to find what foods ‘work’ for us. There is no one be-all, end-all diet that is going to help every single unique person out. Fad diets don’t work. What you’ve got to do instead is listen to your own body, find out what foods are ‘healthy’ for you, and create a plan.
So you may be thinking (screaming), “Wait a minute! Wait a minute! I thought she was going to HELP me!! “How am I going to know if I am eating healthy?”
- Meal Routine. Notice how you eat and start to reflect on your own habits. Who do you usually eat with? Do you typically do anything else during your meals? How does your food taste? Do you enjoy your food? What did you think when you eat? Notice your mood when you come to a meal. How do you usually decide you’re done eating? How do you usually feel after your meals? When we are more aware of our intake practices we can get a handle of our eating behaviors. We become more mindful of our intake; creating a healthier eating environment.
- Mindful Eating. Try to eat in a quiet place, eliminating as much distraction as possible. Breathe in between bites. Allow the body to taste, experience, smell, notice, feel, and digest the food. Pay attention to the meal. Express gratitude for the nutrients, for those who created the meal, and for the food preparation and shipment process itself. Bring awareness to your intake so that you experience the meal and can tell when you are full. When you eat the food mindfully, you will be more satiated… needing less food later on quickly after mealtime.
- Find Like-Minded Friends. Being in a new place, with new people, and unfamiliar tastes and places… look around for a networking group, meet-up, or colleagues from work who are interested in eating healthy. See if you can search for any whole foods resources in the area. Is there a cooking class, health foods store, or farmers market where you can talk to people? Find out where the farm-to-table restaurants, healthy markets, or organic establishments are.
I’d love to hear how either of these tools worked for you, or if you have any others you’d like to add to the list. If you’re interested in finding out more, come visit me at www.livingsublimewellness.com. Sign up for my newsletter and receive my special gift, a 3-Part Video Series, “Here’s Time for Your Health”.
About The Author:
Elizabeth “Coach” Scala, MSN/MBA, RN is passionate about helping healthcare professionals, nurses in particular, to embody holistic living and embrace self-care. Through her business, Living Sublime Wellness, she writes regularly on the topic of self-care, conducts wellness workshops, and offers both in-person and online seminars for busy nurses.
Elizabeth is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach and holds Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Master’s degrees in both Business and Nursing. Originally from Carmel, NY, she now lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband and two dogs. Visit http://www.livingsublimewellness.com for more information.
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