This article was provided by Supplemental Healthcare.
March is annually celebrated as National Nutrition Month. Considering the events of the past year, it is increasingly important to remind people of the role diet and nutrition play in keeping your body fit and better equipped to ward off illness. And our diet can be another line of defense to keep ourselves healthy enough to continue caring for others.
Proper nutrition is not a new idea, but for travel nurses who have been on the pandemic’s front lines for the past year, healthy eating is easier said than done! We’ve compiled some tips for National Nutrition Month to get started developing healthier choices this March.
Let’s face it, healthy food choices and fruits and vegetables aren’t going to magically appear in your refrigerator or pantry. It is going to take a conscious effort to ensure that you have smart nutritional choices available. Fortunately, there are a number of food delivery and personalized grocery shopping services for even the busiest of lifestyles.
Now that you have filled your pantry and fridge with healthier choices plan your meals during your time off. When you have a day off, prepare healthy meals and snacks and freeze them for when you don’t have the time to cook. Chop up a variety of fruits and vegetables to pack for your snacks and lunches during the workday.
Don’t Skip Breakfast.
One of the worst ways you can derail your healthy nutrition goals is to skip breakfast. Think back to times where you ran out the door without eating breakfast and then ended up grabbing something completely unhealthy on your way to work. Instead, grab one of those breakfast burritos you made on your day off and defrost it for a healthy start to your day. Or take a portion of those chopped fruits you froze and put them in your blender with some low-fat milk or yogurt for a power smoothie. Either is a better choice than that buttered bagel you order with your coffee from the drive-thru.
We know you know, but it is always a good reminder to keep yourself hydrated. While it may not provide carbonated cola’s temporary satisfaction, plenty of water is a much healthier option, especially when you are running from patient to patient throughout the day.
Order Out without Compromise.
No one will ever totally eliminate ordering out or eating prepared foods in the cafeteria. Just make a promise to yourself that when you are in a position where eating out is the only option, you stick to the healthy eating plan. Order smartly by choosing options that are grilled, baked, broiled, or steamed. You can also stick to your plan by making extra healthy choices during the day when you know you are eating out that night.
Experiment and Keep it Fresh.
Just “brown bagging it” is another way to derail your best intentions. Keep your brown bag fresh by being inventive and experimenting with foods from different cultures. Put a Middle Eastern spin on your sandwich by stuffing cabbage leaves with roasted cauliflower and yogurt. Or try the Asian-Indian-inspired Upma, a rice-based porridge with green beans, carrots, and nuts. There is no shortage of cuisines worldwide to use for inspiration in spicing up your lunches.
Seek Help from an RDN.
We all need a little help sometimes, and if you are really struggling to implement healthier food choices and habits, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) can be just the push you need. RDNs are experts on diet, food and nutrition, and how it plays a role in promoting mental health and disease prevention. As a healthcare professional, there is a good chance an RDN is already working in your organization. Reach out for pointers or tips, or schedule an appointment and get the help you need to put together a plan that works for you and your lifestyle.
National Nutrition Month presents the perfect opportunity to take a closer look at our diet and nutrition habits and to educate our patients, families, and friends. For travel nurses and other frontline healthcare workers, consuming healthier foods and practicing proper nutrition is just one more way we stay healthy at work.
While you’re focusing on your health, don’t forget that Supplemental Health Care has travel nursing contracts across the country in various specialties and settings. Contact our recruiting team today!