Travel nursing assignments are both thrilling and challenging. Among the myriad of adjustments you need to make, maintaining a healthy diet can often fall by the wayside. However, with a bit of planning and know-how, you can eat healthily no matter where your Accountable assignment takes you. Here are some tried-and-tested tips to keep your nutrition on track:
1. Pack Your Snacks
Stock up on healthy snacks like almonds, dried fruits, or whole grain crackers. This helps avoid the temptation of unhealthy vending machines or convenience store options when hunger strikes.*
2. Hydration is Key
Carry a refillable water bottle with you. (Like the Klean Kanteen from Accountable) Staying hydrated not only benefits your health, but it also helps you feel full and reduces the likelihood of mistaking thirst for hunger.
3. Opt for Airbnb or Hotels with Kitchenettes
Having access to a kitchen allows you to prepare your meals. This ensures you know exactly what you’re eating and can control the ingredients used.
4. Meal Prep
Whenever possible, set aside time to prepare meals for the week. Store them in portable containers. This saves time and reduces the chance of opting for fast food.
5. Smart Dining Out
When eating out, start with a salad to fill up on veggies. Opt for grilled over fried foods and watch portion sizes. If the portion is too large, consider sharing or saving half for later.*
6. Visit Local Farmer’s Markets
These markets often offer fresh, local produce. It’s a great way to support the local community and ensure you’re eating fresh.
7. Use Technology
There are many apps available that can help you locate healthy dining options nearby, track your calorie intake, and even guide you through quick workouts.
8. Limit Sugary Drinks
Sodas, sugary coffee drinks, and even some smoothies can be calorie bombs. Opt for unsweetened beverages and use natural sweeteners like honey or stevia if necessary.
9. Make Breakfast a Priority
A healthy start can set the tone for your day. Oatmeal, Greek yogurt with fruit, or a smoothie with greens can be quick and nutritious choices.
10. Keep a Food Journal
By documenting what you eat, you become more accountable. This can help you identify patterns, such as emotional eating, that might be detrimental to your health.
11. Stay Active
While this isn’t directly related to eating, staying active can help regulate your appetite and boost your mood. Incorporate small activities like taking the stairs or going for short walks during breaks.
12. Have a Support System
Connect with other travel nurses or healthcare professionals in your location. They can provide recommendations, join you for healthy meals, or be your workout buddy.
While the nature of travel nursing can make maintaining a healthy diet challenging, it’s not impossible. Remember, every positive choice you make adds up over time. By staying proactive and prepared, you can ensure that you’re nourishing your body and mind, allowing you to be at your best for your patients and yourself. Safe travels and happy eating!