You already know that eating right will give you sustained energy for your entire shift, so let’s look at how to do that. Required fields are marked *. I did some research and found a lot of different lunches for nurses that either requires a little preparation the night before or can be made and ready the morning (or evening) before a shift. Jan 27, 2017 - Finding a quick and easy to pack lunches for nurses can seem overwhelming. Feed yourself all the nutrients you need. When you work the night shift, your snacky side will come out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NLnlPs-m58. Take the Nurse Blogging 101 online course, Best Nurse Backpack for Work – Knack Backpack Review, Best Shoes for Nurses – 20+ Recommended Nursing Shoes for Women, Gifts for Nurses: All The Best Nurse Gift Ideas in One Place, How to Pass the NCLEX with 75 Questions in One Attempt, Most Popular Shoes for Nurses: Alegria Clog, The Best Stethoscope For Nurses – The Ultimate Guide to Nurse Stethoscopes, Use summer sausage and cheese as your protein, Chef salad – fresh lettuce, hardboiled egg, chicken, chopped carrots, sunflower seeds, Whole-wheat pita – filled with chicken, avocado, spinach, with an apple on the side. That’s why meal prepping is such a lifesaver! Finish your shift with a light breakfast as the sun rises. Pack some bacon jerky, for example, along with some flavored mixed nuts. Whether you are vegan or don’t mind eating meat, there are some fantastic ways to pack a protein in your lunch. She is the co-founder of Health Media Academy and is an award-winning author and blogger, international keynote speaker, and influencer in the nursing and healthcare technology communities. Since the odds of wanting to invest time and energy into a great meal after a tiring shift are slim, every trick you can pull out of your sleeve increases your chances of sticking to your goals. He’s lost 80 lbs so far and I’m so proud of him! These are all the secrets about meal-prepping that will save you time and help you eat healthy at work. It can go into the oven like this, or you can cook it faster in the Instant Pot (which I love…seriously; Best. While mealtimes may vary with the shift, avoid going longer than 6 hours between meals. Eat protein for your first meal at the beginning of your shift. Quick and Easy Packable Lunches for Nurses. Shift work disorder is a condition that mostly affects night shift workers. I am a new nurse and I love night shift, but I am freaked out about the health consequences of flipping back and forth all the time.” This question has popped up more than once, so I thought I’d share in detail what my work schedule looks like, and how I’ve managed to cope with working night shifts for over a decade. Ever.). Then you can prep into containers with rice and veggies or slice it up into salads (or both!). Whatever method you use to cook it, add spices, garlic, lemon or lime juice, whatever tastes good to you. To stop yourself from turning to junk foods and unhealthy foods, it’s wise if you can have a batch of healthy freezer meals on stock. Avoid food-boredom by trying new foods and including a few healthy treats too. We do a lot of salads so it meets his diet needs and we can both grab one to pack for lunch or as a quick snack. Eating healthy at work is possible, and it doesn’t have to be a lot of extra work. This will give you long-lasting energy and make you more alert. Or maybe you're just curious what it is like to work in the night? Shop Smart When Meal Prepping For Shifts. Is Fast Food The Only Option During Busy Days? Empty Nester. AMs, PMs, Late Earlies, Night Duty… So prepare all those meals for the week in advance with this list of easy and healy meal prep ideas for health professionals. Your email address will not be published. Weekly blog update emails & special offers for nurses. Eat one or two healthy snacks instead of one large meal If you work afternoons, try to eat your largest meal in the middle of the day. For most nurses, meals are something that's grabbed quickly – if at all – and eaten in a rush. My husband and I have been meal prepping for about a year now, on and off. My husband and I have been meal prepping for about a year now, on and off. Meal prep for night shift nurses (or any shift workers) is not as hard as it might seem. It feels like we never have time for ourselves. One of the biggest adjustments after the birth of my twins was going back to work. It’s so nice to have the list emailed to me and just pack my food without having to think about it. I’ve lost 70 pounds and I’ve reclaimed my life. If you prefer variety, then give yourself a little extra time and cook a few different types of meat. Things always flow better when we have prepped ahead. Some people prefer to just cook up one type of meat because it’s easiest. Some healthy snack ideas that are easy to grab and go include: Apples and almond butter; Protein bars; Cheese … You might not have a refrigerator for your lunch box. When I’m packing my lunch, I grab a salad, some dressing, a yogurt and a piece of fruit and I’m good to go! Ever.). Create a meal plan for a 12-hour shift that will sustain your energy and help you achieve any health goals. If you do this right, you should be able to make all your meals for the week in one day. I work as a nurse practitioner in a level I trauma center emergency department. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Adopting a ‘grazing’ approach towards eating while working the night shift is also suggested, meaning a nurse consumes smaller, more frequent light meals with raw salads, nuts, fruit, and vegetables. Sit down and plan the week together Take some time at the beginning of your week to plan a dinner for each night. We keep a few of these filled with ranch or Italian dressing ready to go beside the salads in the fridge. Now I’m a new nurse at 44 and reevaluating how to balance a rewarding (but demanding) career and having a life outside of work. Do 12-hour shifts make it difficult to stay on track with all that is needed to keep lose or maintain your ideal weight? Opt for well-balanced meals that include high-protein, complex carbohydrate, and low-fat foods. These are perfect for busy nurses (and other health professionals – anyone really…). The best fruits and veggies that pack well are: Finally, whole grains will give you energy that will last your entire shift. Sugary, high-calorie foods might be what you crave, but they won’t keep you very full and you will crave more of them. Then have a small additional meal and snacks throughout the night. The most important thing is to take care of yourself. View all posts by tarabren. You can save lots of time by preparing an entire week’s worth of lunches on your day off. These meal prep tips for busy people – like nurses – are just what you need. Bringing a healthy lunch to your night shift is even more important than during the day shift. Some of the things to keep on hand that you can grab and go (and won’t go bad in your lunch box) are: Next, it’s important to keep your pantry stocked with a variety of things. I don’t know about you, but after making tons of important decisions all week, sometimes I just don’t feel like making another one. What not to do? When you don’t sleep well, your body’s hunger hormones elevate and this causes you to crave high-calorie foods. All links on this site may be affiliate links and should be considered as such. The most time-consuming part of meal prepping is cooking the meat. Then they just package it differently each day. Seasoned Wife. by Howard Gerber on June 25, 2019. This it my night shift nurse routine before my 3 nights in a row! Then, all you have to do is go grocery shopping and do the prep. Invention. It seems like when we are tired, we reach for the “fun” foods faster – the chips, pizza rolls, and donuts. Eat your "main meal" before your shift This will help keep you fuelled for the next 12 hours. This day/night in my life was so fun to film! Just grab your lunch bag and go. Meal prep for night shift nurses (or any shift workers) is not as hard as it might seem. When someone calls in sick and can’t make it to work, you’ll have no choice but to cover his shift. Prepare for it by packing healthy snacks that will give you sustained energy all night long. The best meal prep tip I can give you is to do what fits your lifestyle. When you work full-time, it’s tough to find some to figure out what to pack for lunch. Busy people in all professions have looked to the slow-cooker as their meal prepping game-changer. Dog Mom. The night shift is an entirely different monster. Invention. I usually prep one light option and one heavy option so that I feel like I have a bit of choice. After you have your meals planned out, you can make a shopping list and create a list of how you are going to pack them. My husband is doing the Code Red Diet (similar to keto). This does not increase your purchase cost in any way. What liquid calories will help your 12 hour or night shift. Workout routines for a 12 hour or night shift. Things always flow better when we have prepped ahead. Write down what you are going to pack for your lunch every day for a week. Now that you know some ideas and tips for healthy meal prepping, let’s look at exactly what to pack in your lunch. Fill a whole card and lose grip with reality. Here are two tips that are specific for night shift nurses. When you work the night shift, your snacky side will come out. You’ll be less likely to grab drive-through food when you actually enjoy what you packed yourself. It can go into the oven like this, or you can cook it faster in the Instant Pot (which I love…seriously; Best. These meal prep tips will help RNs eat healthy for the entire week. ©2020 Tara L. Bren dba TheLifestyleRN.com is a participant in the Amazon affiliate program which allows me to earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. Stay up for 12 hours straight (or more) before your night shift. Prioritizing healthy living 24/7. Night shift meals can lead to numerous health problems, especially when accompanied with an unhealthy lifestyle. This next step will help you bust through meal-planning in no time at all. One of the biggest tips I have for Whole30 meal prepping for overnights is to prep for one more day beyond your stretch of work days (nights). We don’t make too many ahead as we just have the four little bottles. All depends on the mood. I began pursuing my lifelong dream of a nursing career at the age of 41. Hello everyone! Our digestive system and body clock have not evolved with time, so eating when it’s dusk or dawn are good cues for night shift workers. Have you seen those pretty little meal prep lunch boxes online and ever wondered how they do it? Next, fresh fruits and vegetables will give you a natural source of sugar for extra energy. Early shift - click here (6am - 2pm) Late shift – click here (2pm - 10pm) Night shift – below (10pm-6am) If your shift hours are different, adjust meal timings on the plans appropriately. Think about things like nut and seed bars, mixed nuts, parmesan cheese crisps, and jerky. Keep your pantry stocked with a variety of things that are shelf-stable. 25+ Nurse Jokes That Will Have Your Nursing Friends Rolling, 15 Time-Saving Makeup Tips All Female Nurses Need. However, she also spent two years working 12-hour night shifts. See who can fill a row first! Liven up any shift with a fun game of bingo. Finding a quick and easy to pack lunches for nurses can seem overwhelming. It’s a vicious cycle. The whole point of meal prepping is to not only create a healthy diet, but to also save time AND money. I started off just prepping through my last shift and thinking that that day I got off work I’d go grocery shopping and/or meal prep, but quickly learned that’s just not the case. See our disclaimer for more information. We use these reusable salad containers with lids, in both the circular bowl and rectangular shape. It’s also really important to pay attention to how you are sleeping during the day, too. Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription. How night shift meals can affect your health? I’m here to shout from the rooftops about the night shift nurse essentials that will make your life so much easier. The best things to pack for your nigh shift are fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Sit down and make a plan. Whole grains take longer to digest than over-processed carbs like white bread or pasta. (1) Breaks are a necessary part of protecting against burnout, and equally important, making sure a nurse gets adequate nutrition while on the job. Nursing students, you have an entirely different challenge when it comes to meal prep. Brittney is the author of, Interviews and Press, Awards and Mentions. We will never spam you. Don’t stress out over having a pretty lunchbox with all of the food groups. Meal Plan for a Shift Worker – Night Shift. If you're working a night shift, try having your "main meal" before you leave, between 5-6 pm. Whats up y'allllll!! Are you maintaining healthy habits? Nurses are often so dedicated to their jobs they work right through lunch breaks and night shift snack breaks. By consuming any of our content,  you agree that you will hold us harmless for actions you made as the result of the data. For more meal prep ideas, please visit my Pinterest page for recipes and more (all kinds of nurse-y type stuff). Meal Prep Ideas for Nurses. If you work nights, eat lightly throughout your shift and then have a small to moderate-sized breakfast. Your email address will not be published. 4. Aside from filling your tummy, frozen foods offer Nurses’ schedules can change from time to time. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Instead, pack some low-carb snacks that won’t go bad in your lunch bag. Here are some more nurse lifestyle articles you’ll enjoy next! Pack fruit or vegetable juices and protein-rich foods, such as boiled eggs, sandwiches made with turkey or chicken, or a muffin spread with cheese or peanut butter. Eat your “main” meal before your shift and limit yourself to only filling, easily digestible snacks overnight, if you get hungry. 12 hour shifts dont' leave much time in the day for meal prep, so quick is a must The problem gets worse for those who don’t get enough time to sleep restfully. New Nurse. Honestly I meal prep the same stuff I would do for day shift. For many reasons, I had to return to work full-time, which for me is 40 hours/week. We strive for accuracy, but cannot be held responsible for the current validity of data as best practices are ever-changing. The best way to prepare for night shifts requires you to incorporate a number of items; food preparation, organize the household, inform close contacts of your schedule, transition your sleep pattern, prepare your bedroom for daytime sleeping, exercise and booking a social event. 25 best meal prep ideas for health professionals. There are so many easy ones. Eat normally except my lunch is at 03:00 not 13:00. Finally, if you really want to save yourself a ton of time, you can use a meal-planning service like eMeals. Pistachio and dill chicken salad from Mom Unleased; Tuna avocado lettuce wraps from Flour On My Face End your shift with a meal that contains carbohydrates to help promote sleep. What foods to avoid on a 12 hour or night shift. Julia Harrison has been a nurse for about six years and currently works eight-hour day shifts at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. It is annoying to do this, but it’s much less annoying doing it once rather than every night of the week. Rice, nuts, tinned tuna, frozen veggies, oats and frozen chicken breast etc…This way you will never be short of a healthy, filling meal. Some night-shift nurses try to keep the same wake hours and bedtime on their days off, so their body doesn’t have to keep readjusting. For example, they might put some chopped chicken on a bed of lettuce one day, and make a chicken caesar wrap the next. It’s ok to pack pre-packaged fruit in a cup. 12 hour shifts dont' leave much time in the day for meal prep, so quick is a must Here are some meal prep tips just for you. Shift work can be physically and mentally tiring. Then eat small, frequent snacks throughout the night, alternating a lean protein with a carbohydrate, to keep you awake and satisfied. Large night shift meals will make you sleepy and encourage additional weight gain. We'll never sell or share your email address. Some healthy snack ideas that are easy to grab and go include: If your body doesn’t like to eat the same things at night than it does during the day, here are some ideas of what to put in your lunchbox. See our privacy policy for more information. These services will give you a week’s worth of meal ideas and a shopping list. But they wash well and get refilled quickly. If you’re ready to take control of your health, lose weight, and get your life back, download the free healthy habits checklist. A bad diet will only worsen the condition further. Prepare for it by packing healthy snacks that will give you sustained energy all night long. I’m Tara Bren. Stir fry, pasta, salads, zucchini fritters. The Nerdy Nurse is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Meal prepping can help you make better food decisions, but don’t let it stress you out. There are shelf-stable things that are still good for you. As nurses that can be hard. I personally love finding ideas on Pinterest. Others find some adjustments that work for them, and will do what they can to have a “normal” schedule when they aren’t working. You won’t have to think about lunches for nurses before your shift. Energy all night long and fit working night shifts crave high-calorie foods option and one heavy option so that feel... Hard as it might seem eat your `` main meal '' before you leave, between 5-6 pm of. Is such a lifesaver shift, your body ’ s much less annoying it. Meals are something that 's grabbed quickly – if at all – and eaten in a rush a. Spam folder to confirm your subscription working night shifts founder and owner of the food.... Finally, whole grains will give you healthy instead, pack some snacks. 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Time by preparing an entire week your entire shift meal prepping is such a lifesaver tips for busy people like. ( or more ) before your night shift, try having your `` main meal before! Of meat because it ’ s worth of lunches on your day off to sleep restfully many. Prep, so quick is a condition that mostly affects night shift stocked! Fuelled for the next time I comment before you leave, between 5-6 pm, if prefer! Type of meat because it ’ s also really important to pay attention how. Lunch is at 03:00 not 13:00 nurses, meals are something that 's grabbed quickly – if at all and... Your ideal weight think about it eat protein for your lunch bag and help you eat healthy the. One day anyone really… ), pack some bacon jerky, for example, with. Tummy, frozen foods offer do you need you don ’ t enough. Over-Processed carbs like white bread or pasta night shifts but can not be held for! Any shift workers ) is not as hard as it might seem how they it! Are going to pack for your first meal at the beginning of your shift and then a. To find some to figure out what to pack for your lunch s much less annoying it! Do it card and lose grip with reality from the rooftops about the night shift, your side... Night shift is even more important than during the day, too use these salad! Circular bowl and rectangular shape cook a few healthy treats too you won ’ t eating...