I've gotten several email from friends wondering what they should be eating when they are working 12 hr shifts. The biggest complaint seems to be that the food needs to not be perishable, yet tasty and healthy. I too have been in this situation. After having Reese, I was working on set a few days a week, so I know how it feels to be exhausted and to be grabbing crappy food, because it's convenient . So finally...here's my response back to all you guys working in hospitals, on set, in the health industry and every other job that has you working too many hours. :)
Here are my tips and hopefully they will help you a little:
- Always start your day off right and eat breakfast. The mornings that I had to get up at 4am I would make a healthy protein shake (quick and easy). Add berries, a handful of fresh baby spinach, a scoop of GREENSuperFood, and you are good to go.
- Bring your own snacks with you always. Whether you are working 12 hrs or a busy mom, you must have food with you. My favorite go to snack options are: almonds, cut up apple, celery, grapes, blueberries, rice cakes with peanut butter, pretzels, string cheese, whole wheat crackers with slices of cheese, sliced turkey meat, etc.
- Get a freezable lunch/cooler bag. You will need to keep your fruit and veggies cool, so find some ice packs, a lunch box and plan out your meals. (I know that this takes time, but if you are serious about achieving your goals, then you have to make your own lunches.)
- For lunch you can either make your own sandwich the night before (whole wheat bread, pesto, turkey, tomatoes, spinach, and cucumber) or opt to eat whatever greens are available if you are working on set. At lunch you should always skip sugary snacks, forget the soda, and opt for protein with as much veggies as possible to fill your plate.
- Don't drink your calories, and while diet soda's doesn't have calories just don't drink it! Buy huge water bottles; yes, size does matter in this case. Ha! The more water you drink the better you will look, the better you will feel and the better you will eat. Also, consider buy some green iced teas that are not sweetened that you can have in case you need a little pick me up.
- I'm not a huge fan of protein bars, but they are great for when you are too busy to eat a whole meal. Rach, did a post on protein bars that you can read here. My favorite bars are from healthFULL foods (the cafe inside Spectrum). I love love loooveee this place, and eat there everyday. I actually go to Spectrum a few days a week to just eat, not to work out. Haha! When I'm planning to work with my husband in LA, I make a stop there first and buy all types of delicious snacks. So try their protein bars if you can.
- Trail mixes and dried fruit can be a nice option for later in the day/night when you are craving something sweet. I'm a big fan of apple sauce as a sweet little treat, but recently found out that a lot of my clients hate it...I of course couldn't believe this. lol
- In case you want more meal options than read this post.
Hope this helps everyone. Just remember that you have to make yourself a priority, and you have to take the time to eat well and pack your own lunch....after all you deserve to feel your best and look fabulous! Xo