Accountable Healthcare - Nurses and Healthy Eating on the Go
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July 17, 2019

Nurses and Healthy Eating on the Go

Writer Sallie Jimenez says to make self-care a top priority.

“As nurses we’re no strangers to things like stress, burnout or compassion fatigue, nor are we unfamiliar with physical, emotional or mental exhaustion,” writes Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN, in her article. “But we can’t just say, ‘it goes with the territory,’ because it doesn’t need to. Self-care can be the antidote that can help decrease each of those things, but the first step is to give yourself permission for that self-care.”

Good eats, healthy treats

Nutrition expert Julie Stefanski, MEd, RDN, CSSD, LDN, CDE, discusses ways nurses can improve their diets, providing tips such as planning simple meals and making breakfast a priority. She points out the irony of nurses working hard to ensure their patients eat healthy and stay hydrated without always following their own advice.

“Purchasing healthy food is the first step toward eating it,” Stefanski writes. “Focus on whole, unprocessed foods. This helps to avoid foods that have a long list of ingredients, artificial colors, preservatives, trans fat, etc. Try to replace processed items with fresh, lean meats, whole grains and whole fruits and vegetables.”

Nutritious “scrub snacks” will fuel you further than anything you might find in a vending machine or fast-food drive thru.

Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges

Natural, unsalted almonds

Rice cakes (with natural peanut butter, if you have time to spread it on)

Dried fruits (apricots, prunes, cranberries)

Low-sugar dry cereal

Trail mix

Protein bars

Pumpkin seeds

String cheese

Cut-up vegetables

Whole grain pretzels

Mini cheeses

Kale chips

Lentil chips