Travel nursing is one of those jobs that can feel like you’re on a rollercoaster. We start in our home town, end up in another part of the country, begin our usually lengthy shifts in the hospitals or facilities we have been hired to work in and then start discovering our new destination. Not only is it a whirlwind of excitement and newness, but it can also be a little draining mentally and physically. As staying on top of our health is a top priority as a nurse, we need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves to the best of our ability.
When we are able to stay healthy, we not only feel better but we can think better too. Eating Well even states that “Research shows that foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavanols, polyphenols and omega-3 fatty acids can help protect your brain. They can help to improve memory, concentration and overall brain health.” Staying concentrated and having a clear mind while working is a top priority, so, what can we do to make our transition from place to place and our relationship to our health stronger on our travel nursing assignments?
Every state is different. Various grocery stores, food prices, restaurants and fast food options are waiting for you wherever you go. What is best is to do your research before heading out on each assignment. This can give you the front runner in knowing right off the bat where to go and not only what good food options you have, but even what prices can keep most of your money in your pocket.
Some great things to research are:
- What grocery stores are in your area?
- Which of those grocery stores are the most affordable. (this may have you going to different grocery stores for different things.)
- What fast-food options are available on my trip to and from work and furthermore, which of these options will be the healthiest and most affordable.
- What are popular dishes in your area?
- Are these popular dishes affordable and are they healthy?
While for some this may seem like nonsense information, it can undoubtedly save you a lot on your health and wallet. You can find the most affordable fruit and vegetables in one supermarket, but find more affordable products in another. When you are in a rush and need a quick bite for breakfast or are too tired to make yourself dinner, having your go-to spots will make life a whole lot easier.
Know Your Food
We each possess our own ideas of what we consider to be healthy for us, and that’s okay. The most important thing is it makes us feel good and allows us to bring our best quality of work to the table.
For those a little unsure but wanting to make the change to healthier lifestyles, here are a few things to know.
- Your fruit and vegetable consumption, better known as whole foods, is a significant part of a healthful diet. Harvard Health discusses the importance by stating “A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check.”
- The more fruit and vegetables you can add to your diets, the more your overall health can flourish.
- The Mediterranean Diet is known as the healthiest diet in the world and has been stated so for many years. While there is no set calorie amount you have to stick to; it’s likely to also ”lower inflammation, improve insulin function, and reduce body mass index (BMI)” according to Everyday Health. Two other great diets you could follow are the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and the Flexitarian diet (Flexible and Vegetarian).
- Grabbing something on the go is often a daily task we have to do, so where can we go? Knowing your best spots for what you crave can make this part of eating much more simple. For example, the Eat This, Not That! Food awards list Smoothie Kings Vegan Mixed Berry Smoothie as its healthiest beverage, Starbucks Kale and Portabella Mushroom Sous Vide Eggs Bites as its healthiest breakfast food, California Pizza Kitchens Smashed Avocado Focaccia as its best full-service restaurant item and Arby’s Creamy Mediterranean Chicken Wrap is its healthiest fast-food wrap. Keeping it on the go but nutritious at the same time.
Once we have our shopping list done and we have grabbed our favorite and healthiest food options to hold us over for the week, we now go into the – when do I have time to make it – mode. Meal prep is an option many athletes, gym junkies and busy individuals take to keep their meals healthy and fast. What it essentially means is spending one large chunk of time making bulk meals, placing the meals into containers and freezing them. Leaving you with the simple task of removing it from your freezer, heating it up, placing it on a plate and Bon appetite. This curbs your need to grab something unhealthy and unnecessarily spend money, as well as keeping yourself from exerting even more energy cooking.
If you are someone who isn’t great on the cooking front, but still wants some help in having this same sort of meal prep, check out the local meal delivery service. These services deliver you your food ready to eat and present you with the options of choosing your meals and picking out healthier options.
Nursing is a demanding job. When you throw in some travel and go into a new environment with new people, it can become a little stressful. Although there are positives in what you are doing and the adventures you get to have along your journey, keeping healthy is one you also need to focus on. By carrying out your research, knowing your food and following a healthy diet plan or working on some meal prep skills, you can be on top of your health while you spend your time staying on top of your patients!
If travel nursing is a career path you are interested in getting involved in, let us answer your questions and guide you through the process by clicking here.