Welcome, wonderful nurses out there! As caregivers, lifesavers, cheerleaders, confidants, liaisons, coaches and so much more, it’s important for us to practicesound nutrition so we can actually do all that we do in good spirit.
A proper diet is not only essential and beneficial to general wellbeing, but is key to preventing many chronic, inflammatory issues and obesity. For nurses, especially, it can help earn the credibility needed to educate patients on these topics. Talk about being a role model.
Nobody wants to feel uncomfortable teaching patients about health, knowing full-well that he/she practices bad lifestyle habits. Imagine lecturing a patient on smoking cessation while dressed in clothes emitting a sharp smell of cigarettes. After all, we want our patients to listen to us and incorporate our good advice.
So here are some basics to keep you hearty and alert:
- Prepare your food before you report to work: Sure. Preparing food takes time, but doing so will keep you from visiting vending machines and the cafeteria, one time too many.
- Monitor your nutrition intake: Make sure you have a sufficient balance of protein and vitamins daily and on a meal to meal basis.
- Measure portion size: It’s nice to feel full, but you don’t want to overeat, because overeating results in lethargy, clumsiness and, believe it or not, invites more feelings of hunger.
- Fill your plate with variety: Choices of vegetables (both raw and cooked), fruits, grains, meat, fish, and dairy should be evenly distributed throughout the day. Include an assortment of colored fruits as they each offer a smorgasbord of healthful nutrients.
- Drink water: Nothing hydrates more efficiently than H2O. Drink some and then some more. Water will help you stay awake and alert and keep you full between meals.
- Indulge in a treat: Acknowledge your hard work and thank yourself for your dedication by indulging in a delightful little delicacy. Limit it to once a day, though.
Breaking bad habits takes determination and focus. Deciding to eat healthy requires commitment and careful planning. However, once you master the skill, the benefits of healthful living will outdo any inconvenience or excuse you might give yourself. Remember, you’re a nurse and the first person you need to care for is yourself.