As a caregiver or nurse, it can be very challenging to live a healthy lifestyle as you are always on-the-go and working to keep your patients healthy. March is National Nutrition Month, and that means it’s time to focus on ways to improve our diets and stay healthy.
Home Health Companions has put together some tips to help you maintain your healthy lifestyle as you continue to provide exceptional patient care. Although it can be tough to find time for meal prep or to pack healthy snacks, it can be very beneficial and key to getting a nutritious and balanced diet. Here are a few tips you might consider:
1. Meal prep lunches.
If you have a few hours on the weekend, set aside some time to cook up some healthy lunches for the week. This will save you time and money, and it’s a lot healthier than eating out or buying pre-packaged meals. You can cook up simple meals like grilled chicken or fish, quinoa bowls, or salad jars. If you have a bit more time, you can also try out new delicious and healthy meal prep recipes.
2. Pack healthy snacks.
When you’re on the go, it’s important to have some healthy snacks handy. This will help you avoid resorting to unhealthy options, like fast food or sugary snacks. Some healthy snack ideas include fruit, nuts and seeds, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, veggie sticks with hummus, and whole-grain crackers with cheese.
3. Reduce caffeine intake and drink more water.
Caffeine can be a major drain on our energy levels, especially if we’re drinking it throughout the day. Try to reduce your caffeine intake and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water instead. A great way to be sure you are drinking enough water is by keeping a refillable water bottle handy. This will help you stay hydrated no matter where you are. A study published by John Hopkins University showed that drinking more water can help reduce calorie intake and promote weight loss. This is especially important for caregivers and nurses who are often on their feet and burning lots of energy.
4. Keep in mind a balanced diet.
It’s important to remember that our diets should be balanced and include all of the major food groups. When we’re busy, it can be easy to forget about this and fall into bad habits.
According to experts, a balanced diet includes:
- Fruits and vegetables of all different colors
- Grains (at least half of which should be whole grains)
- Protein (lean and plant-based options)
Be sure you’re getting enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats. And if you can, try to get most of your nutrients from real food instead of supplements.
5. Try to get enough sleep.
Last but not least, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. This can be extremely challenging depending on your work schedule. However, it’s so important for our overall health. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night and create a bedtime routine that will help you wind down before bed.
National Nutrition Month is a great reminder and opportunity to refocus on our health and make some positive changes. Following these tips will hopefully help you make better choices for your health and improve your overall wellness. Make it a point this month to put your health first and develop healthy habits. You will be your best self for those you provide care for daily.
Looking to make a career change? We are always seeking caregivers to help keep our clients healthy. Search our home health careers and apply here.