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Best Meals For A 24-hour Shift In The Hospital

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Jennifer Allen, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. Jennifer Allen

    Jennifer Allen Young Member

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    Has this ever happened to you? Just as you settle down to finally eat during your busy 24-hour shift, a call comes right in. You have to throw down your fork if you are even lucky to get a meal that requires using a fork and off you go. By the time you get back to your food, it does not look attractive any longer, and you either no longer have an appetite for the food or are so hungry you eat the entire food in one bite. But is there anything you can do to combat this endless cycle of dash-and-hope-to-dine? A team once asked its Facebook fans for advice on this topic. Specifically, they asked: How do you get your three-square meals during a very busy 24-hour shift?

    Although some people thought it was crazy for even suggesting that anyone might eat three meals in a day, others have come up with some creative ideas to ensure it happens. Some said they bring their own food to work, they get up an extra hour early to prepare their food. Another said, you don't, the only hope is a dispatch system that helps keep you in one area and you do not have to cross the city after each run. Or you rather do your own version of ‘Supersize Me’ and eat only fast food throughout the day.

    While you are at work, working long hours, you need a healthy, high-energy diet to keep you going. Sometimes, on a tight schedule, it can be really tempting to have coffee for breakfast and fast food for lunch. If your work hours still extend beyond dinnertime, you are less likely to eat a meal, but may rely on the vending machine. Quick fixes such as this may lead to obesity and a host of other health related problems, as well as reduced energy and even your focus at work.

    To help accomplish eating best meals, you need to plan ahead, when you think about your meals ahead of time, you're less likely to involve yourself in last-minute fast food. Plan your meals and, if you know you would not have access to healthy foods at work, pack and take them with you. Freeze portion-sized containers of pasta, sandwiches, casseroles and more for your dinners; move them to the refrigerator a day before you really need them. Keep fresh vegetables and fruits, whole-grain crackers, cheeses and peanut butter on hand to bring as snacks.

    Have better breakfasts; you've heard it before: breakfast help gets the day started right. After a night of sleep, your body needs a real boost of energy. Caffeine may be able to wake you up, but its effects are short-lived, leading eventually to a caffeine crash and a need for source of energy. Too much coffee can also lead to dehydration and insomnia thereafter. An ideal breakfast should consist of a whole carbohydrate like oatmeal, a lean protein like a hard-boiled egg, turkey sausage or any fruit in season.

    Pace Yourself rightly. Instead of packing three enormous meals, make your meals moderate and include healthy snacks to eat in between meals. Granola bars, carrot sticks, crackers, rice cakes, fruit and cheese all are good options. Always pace yourself, eat something every three to four hours instead of once every long six hours. This is important as it will help keep your blood sugar levels steady and your energy high.

    Also, avoid sugars and refined grains. We all know that sugar gives us an almost-instant high, but this is just like the high of caffeine, it is temporary. It has been proven that the sugar rush can wear off to leave you with hunger cravings. Nutrient-dense whole grains take longer for your system to process, meaning that the energy produced is released slowly and consistently.

    Brain foods are very important. It has been shown that omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to the development of brain cells, especially of the fatty membranes through which nerve signals must pass. The brain needs these fatty acids to receive and transmit messages, and to regenerate and refresh itself. Though Americans eat plenty of fat, most of us do not get enough of omega-3s. Try out a fish oil supplement, walnut oil or fish for more of these important fats. Also, supplementation with B vitamins can help. Choline, a B vitamin found in eggs has been discovered to enhance memory and decrease fatigue in animals, according to research.

    Finally, working late at night usually interferes with the body's natural rhythms, thereby causing gastrointestinal problems, changes in appetite and significant weight loss or gain. The key to healthy eating in a late-night job is to discover a meal schedule that fits your "day," whatever the hours. Avoid fatty, salty foods and sugary soft drinks. Stick to healthy foods that won't weigh you down and always drink enough water. Working late nights does not usually have to mean weight gain.

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