And hardly eaten again? Just a standing up chocolate bar, a fruit yoghurt and a small cheese roll just before your visit?
The perfidious thing about eating in between: You usually eat foods that are rich in fat and sugar, but in the end you never have the feeling that you have eaten right and that you are full. These 10 tips and a little self-discipline will help you get through the service (and the day) despite the stress without snacking.
Tip 1: conscious breaks instead of intermittent fasting
With intermittent fasting, there is no need for any energy supply for longer, usually for 14 to 16 hours. But contrary to what the hype about the topic suggests, it is by no means healthy for everyone. Recent studies show that intermittent fasting, for example, is not a generally sensible way to lose weight.
It is also hardly suitable for those who need energy in the morning to get going, or who need three regular meals to avoid hypoglycaemia. Intermittent fasting is also not recommended for anyone who, like caregivers, has a very strenuous job. Deliberately taking breaks between meals, exercising these downtimes and allowing the intestines a night’s rest, has a positive effect on health much more quickly.
Tip 2: bring calm to the digestive tract
Instead of hastily snacking in between, use the break in one shift to consciously eat a healthy meal – one that will really fill you up. After that, try to skip any more calories for three to four hours. Because during this time your bowel literally cleans itself once – and that is important for your health. With longer breaks overnight, these processes take place even more thoroughly: Then repair processes are set in motion and inflammation is reduced. Twelve to thirteen hours of sleep are ideal for the intestines – on the other hand, nibbling a few nuts or drinking a glass of wine just before going to bed will throw it out of sync.
Tip 3: a trick for more self-care
Are you warm, empathetic and devoted to caring for others? On the other hand, do you take yourself far less seriously? Then a psychological detour can help you to take care of your own well-being, especially with the help of your charity: Just consider the bacteria that live in millions of your intestines as your friends from today – friends who you can do with everything that is good for you she is wanting to pamper. Serve them healthy (see tip eight to ten) and give them a little rest after each meal.
Tip 4: Fruit and vegetables make you just as happy as industrial sugar
Sugar is popular in the food industry because we are evolutionarily polarized to eat as much sweets as possible. In the past, this preference for sweet foods ensured our survival in barren winters. Nowadays, high sugar consumption is more likely to result in diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. It therefore makes sense to reduce the consumption of such industrial products to a minimum and to avoid refined sugar as far as possible.
Tip 5: natural instead of light
The consistency and taste of sugar can be easily replaced with fruits, for example with bananas in ice cream or dates and almonds in cake. However, you should avoid sugar substitutes: They can alter the microbiome of the intestine and deceive the brain. The head registers that something sweet has been eaten, the body pours out insulin – but in fact there is no glucose at all. And so it comes first to a massive drop in blood sugar – and then to a ravenous hunger attack for something really sweet. For this reason, calorie-free soft drinks, light products and sweeteners are downright counterproductive. If you want to eat healthily, you should first banish it from the menu.
Tip 6: outsmart the gummy bears
We cannot make well thought-out decisions under stress, including about our food. Therefore, think about what you want to eat before you start work. If necessary, prepare the food and bring it with you to work. Then later on, without having to think about it, you will automatically have something healthy to hand. If it is particularly easy to reach for gummy bears etc. when you are under stress, develop alternative actions: For example, just walk past the sweets in the ward room, take a deep breath and talk a few words with a colleague. With strategies like this, you are less exposed to stress.
Tip 7: use team spirit
Get your colleagues on board and motivate each other: Those who like to bake could bring a delicious wholemeal bread instead of cake for everyone, someone else might make a nut butter and the next person might take care of a guacamole. Especially in stressful jobs like nursing, it is all the more important to create the space so that employees can take care of themselves and good nutrition. If you make a plan on your ward and everyone contributes something, you will experience the food much more consciously and at the same time strengthen the team spirit. Order pizza during the night shift? Here, too, you are guaranteed to find a healthy alternative such as salad with wholemeal bread.
Tip 8: healthy for lunch
Eat filling and full meals during your break. Take your time and enjoy your meal consciously. Are ideal
Food brought from the day before, such as rice, pasta or potatoes, either warmed up or as a salad with vegetables, feta cheese / mozzarella / halloumi, nuts and herbs or spinach leaves
prepared soups that can be heated. For many people, soups are a feel-good food
Bowls, for example, made from a grain base and various vegetables, legumes such as chickpeas or white beans, crunchy salads and a delicious sauce – they can also be taken ready-made with you
If you eat in the canteen instead: It is best to choose easily digestible dishes with lots of vegetables and some fish or meat and a fresh salad. Heavy meals put a strain on digestion, which leads to fatigue.
Tip 9: five-minute snacks
One snack usually leads to the next after a short time, because chocolate bars, cakes, etc. cause the blood sugar level to fluctuate significantly. But when things have to go fast and there is no time for a proper meal, healthy and longer-lasting additional energy can be used, for example
Whole grain bread topped with cheese, avocado or leftovers from the oven from the day before, combined with a few leaves of lettuce, herbs or cress, and some vegetables to nibble on (carrots, peppers, cucumber),
Bircher muesli made from oat flakes, yoghurt, seeds, nuts and fruits; Blueberries or other types of berries are very good,
Natural yogurt with nuts and berries,
Hummus with vegetable sticks for dipping.
Tip 10: When it has to be done very quickly …
… then help:
– a banana that is still slightly green and a bar of dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 85 percent, preferably together with nuts; this combination is great for intestinal bacteria, nerves and wellbeing. Those who love milk chocolate can gradually switch to a higher proportion of cocoa – here too there is a habitual effect over time;
– Homemade energy balls made from dried fruits, nut butter, oat flakes, ground nuts and spices such as vanilla, cinnamon or ginger;
– Spelled bread sticks with creamy avocado-chocolate mousse (made from avocado, cocoa powder, banana and, if necessary, some milk).