PRN Healthcare provided this article.
For many travel nurses, eating healthy can often feel like a chore due to them being on the go and not having enough time. Many travel nurses will often get into the habit of “eating out” and ordering “take-out food” as options while traveling. These options may be convenient at the time, but they can get expensive. Also, many takeout meals are not the healthiest for you and can contain high levels of sodium and sugars, which can increase your risk of heart disease or stroke. In the meantime, save some of those takeout meals for a day when you want to treat yourself with some friends or coworkers. Below are some tips for healthy meal prepping as a travel nurse.
1. Start Planning Early
The first step to eating healthy as a travel nurse is to plan meals you want to eat during the week. If you don’t preplan, you can waste groceries because you are unsure what to make. Once you figure out what meals you want to have, then you can start to write a grocery store list on paper or on your phone of what food items you need from the store. There are also some meal planning apps and options out there for travel nurses to use with calendars to help plan meals for the week.
2. Grocery Shopping
After creating a list of meals, you want to eat during the week; then it is time to put together a list of foods that you need to buy at the grocery store for your meals. It has become popular for travel nurses to use grocery shopping list apps to help set reminders, keep the necessary ingredients organized, and prevent more trips back to the store.
A few examples of grocery store apps that can be useful when it comes to organizing ingredients and saving money with store coupons include:
3. Meal Prepping
Now onto the meal prepping stage, which is the most important step to pay attention to! First, you want to plan out what day of the week you want to start to meal prep. Most people would typically pick a day or night that they have the most free time. For example, some may want to grocery shop on Sunday and then meal prep for the week on Monday night. Meal prepping allows you to eat a healthy and balanced meal during the week when you decide to cook your first meal; you want to make more than you typically would because you want the meals to last a few days at most. Just a reminder that you don’t have to meal prep for every meal during the day. You could just meal prep for your lunch at work if you want. Meal prepping can seem tedious at the beginning when you first start doing it, but it will be worth it and save you money!
If you need some good inspiration on ideas for different recipes and meal prepping ideas, make sure to check out Pinterest. Pinterest has a bunch of great options for easy-to-make recipes at home or on the go. Also, some other websites that are good for recipes include All Recipes, The Food Network, Yummly, and Epicurious. All these websites have a variety of fun and healthy recipes to make and meal prep for.
4. Stock up on Snacks
Most people don’t know that snacking is a part of healthy meal planning. When you go to the grocery store, make sure you are grabbing work-friendly snacks. Some people have a snack break between meals or when they start to get hungry but don’t want a huge meal. The snacks can become dangerous when the choices are not healthy (chips, candy, chocolate, crackers, etc.).
Avoid the salty and sugary snacks from the vending machine or cafeteria and try some of these snacks as a replacement!
- Fruits (Apples, Blueberries, Bananas, Oranges, Strawberries)
- Vegetables (Carrots, Broccoli, Green Peas)
- Nuts (Almonds, Pistachios, Walnuts, Cashews, Pecans)
- Whole-grain crackers
As you can see, the importance of healthy meal prepping is key for travel nurses. It can save you a lot of time and money, and lead to a healthier lifestyle and help with portion control. Remember, if you keep good food in the fridge, you will eat and feel good!
Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. If housing is an issue, we have you covered with our housing page. You can search for what you are looking for.