One of the biggest struggles for nurses is finding time to EAT!!! Can I get an “Amen?!” I am one of those nurses that is very possessive of my patients. I don’t really like to have other people “watch my people” because well, I just don’t! That can be hard because in order to really eat and take a “break” I have to be able to let go of that control. The problem with breaks for nurses is that they can be really late in the day before things settle down for them! Sometimes we physically can’t get away depending on our team acuity and events at hand! And “quick” meals and snacks in the hospital tend to be PACKED with sugar, lots of bad fats, and unnecessary ingredients. Those kinds of snacks (chips, sodas, fried foods, and candy bars) will set you back in your day and ultimately make you feel worse!
I can tell you this….when I’m hungry and physically CAN’T eat, I am NOT a happy nurse! I become hangry, and you don’t want to talk to hangry Kelsey! “Healthy snacks” are my BIGGEST LIFE SAVERS!!! I’m not talking traditional granola bars, or “peanut packed” candy bars, or bags of “healthy check mix.” I’m talking REAL, HEALTHY, and WHOLE snacks that give you vitamins and nutrients to thrive, and help sustain energy throughout the day! Okay, okay, so you’re probably thinking, “What kind of granola/hippie nasty snacks is this chick going to tell me about?” Listen up. These are my A-TEAM when it comes to snacking on my shift and I CAN’T live without them!!
LARABARs are date-based snack bars. Dates are sweet in their nature, but they are also a nutrient power house! They are packed with potassium and magnesium, which are two amazing electrolytes that our bodies and muscles need to function correctly on a cellular level! Dates also are a good source of fiber, which can not only keep you “droppin like it’s hot” if-you-know-what-im-sayin, but fiber also keeps you full! LARABARs are typically combined with nuts (good source or protein and omegas) and other natural fruits and flavoring! Check your ingredients and stick to more of the fruit based flavors! These are the jam and relatively inexpensive at most every grocery stores at a 1$ a piece! They also conveniently fit snug in scrub pockets. My favorite flavors are Key Lime and Cherry Pie!
2. Homemade Trail mix!
I love to keep a big bag of homemade trail mix at my house because its so convenient to just grab a handful and go on my way! If you ask my husband, I am ALWAYS eating! And it’s no different for me on the floor! I like to make my own because store-bought trail mixes tend to be packed with processed sugar, chocolate, and other not-so-good ingredients. I love to use almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries (sweetened with fruit juice, because most are just soaked in sugar which you can get at Wholefoods), pistachios, and dried cherries! All of these are AMAZING sources of vitamins, minerals, and the nuts have the good fats and protein to hold you over in your shift and give you energy! I keep a small bag in my jacket pocket, and take a handful if needed!
3. Banana and Almond Butter
My last favorite snack I’m going to share today is “Banana and Almond Butter!” I LOVE LOVE LOVE me some almond buttaahhh! I keep a big jar of it in my work bag at all times! I will eat it on anything and everything! It is a really good source of protein, and keeps me feeling satisfied and full! It also helps serve as a healthy breakfast with fruit like bananas or apples! I love bananas and almond butter because it’s easy, accessible, inexpensive, and nutritious!! Bananas are a good source of potassium and the almond butter provides protein to sustain! You just can’t go wrong!
The reason I love these snacks so much is because they are so convenient, super nutritious, and they get me through my day! With being as active as we are on our feet, we need to keep our muscles, mind, and cells moving! Sometimes the reality is that we DON’T make it to lunch when we should or even at all! Having these convenient and healthy snacks on hand will assist in sustaining energy and providing you with the nutrients that you need to get through your day. I promise when you stay away from the vending machines, focus on drinking water, and eat these “whole” snacks, you will be so thankful and notice a difference!
Your Heart Is Mine,