First Day Food for Gypsies: Food Tips for Travel Nurses

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By Lori Boggan

August 16, 2020



First Day Food for Gypsies

On your first day, the last thing you want to worry about is where to get your lunch from.  Chances are that you have just arrived in your new city and are still finding your way around.  In my experience, the cafeteria is best left as back up.  Though many hospitals are improving their options, I like to bring my own food. The cafeteria is for those moments when I have forgotten my lunch.  A little planning ahead can make all the difference.  The following are some suggestions for success on your first day and the days to follow.


Start your first day right.  Get up early enough that you can fit breakfast in.  It is so important.  Don’t skip breakfast!!  A nurse’s brain is tasked with critical thinking, multitasking, and long hours.  A travel nurse’s brain is tasked with all of this as well as learning the unit is essentially one day.  A great, easy, and quick breakfast is oatmeal with fresh fruit.  Oatmeal is high in fiber, stabilizes blood sugar, and is heart-healthy.


If you (like most of us) are working three shifts in a row, prepare something ahead of time so that all you have to do is grab a container from the fridge on your way out the door.  A perfect option that will give you lunch for several days is soup.  Click here for one of my favorite soup recipes that is super easy to make.  I give both vegetarian and meat options.


Fruit and nuts are the best and healthiest options to sustain your brain for that long, information-packed first day.  Bananas are an easy snack that will continue to sustain your blood sugar.  Nuts such as walnuts or almonds are a great hunger fix.


I can not emphasize enough the importance of drinking water.  Try to drink as much as possible.  I keep a bottle of water with me at all times.  Dehydration is a headache trigger for me so I have learned the hard way.


This is my daily treat.  Every day I wake up, the first thing I think of is my first cup of tea, then the second.  I bring my tea with me to work.  I like to use honey as a sweetener instead of sugar.  Honey sweetens with the added benefit of vitamins/minerals and more.

I hope this inspires you on your first day.  Wellness and well being are at the center of our profession.  Eating right makes a huge difference in our well being.  Take the time every day to take care of you.  What are your eating routines at work?

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