How to Maintain a Healthy Diet as a Traveling Nurse

September 23rd, 2018 | Posted by bbarr in Travel Nursing, Travel Tips, Traveler Tips

The old adage “practice what you preach” just may have been thought with nurses in mind. As a travel nurse, you are often the educator, helping others reach a healthy lifestyle, so they can live their best life.

Yet daunting stats led the American Nurses Association to designate 2017 as “The Year of the Healthy Nurse,” for reasons like:

  • An average BMI of 27.6
  • Only 16% eat the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables
  • Less than half perform the recommended quantity and time of muscle-strengthening exercises

It might be 2018, but the common pitfall to want to put others first remains. That mindset can sideline you from your passion, so in order to keep “practicing,” make sure you are your number one patient.

Ways to maintain a healthy diet as a travel nurse:

  1. Plan ahead so meal skipping is not an option.
  2. Pack a serving of healthy protein.
  3. Use a mason jar for diet friendly snacks.
  4. Team up with a health-minded coworker.

Planning = Not skipping meals

Working as a nurse often means you are not in control of your work day. Priorities shift as regularly as patients’ needs, and this can mean your plan for a meal break gets interrupted. If you set time aside to plan and prepare your meals before work, then it takes the stress out of having to figure out what to eat, finding time to step away to go get something, and ensures you are fueling with nutritious food that doesn’t come with the extra helping of salt and fat that restaurant or cafeteria options have.

Pack a serving of healthy protein

Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. Plus, it will give you energy making you less likely to grab the bag of chips or candy bar when you’re feeling sluggish. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, active women and most men should get two daily servings for a total of 6 ounces, and be sure to pack healthy options like fish, lean meats, beans and nuts. Other protein sources include Greek yogurt, string cheese and legumes.

Snack that’s Mother Earth approved

Swap your plastic snack bags for a Mason jar. It can easily store a rainbow of veggies like cucumbers, carrots and bell peppers. Bring along a favorite dip like guacamole or healthy salad dressing, and you have an easy to grab-on-the-go snack.

Lock arms with a health-minded coworker

We are wired to want to eat around other people. Find another nurse or colleague who wants to make it a point to eat healthy. You can help keep one another on track, share recipes, and grab a walk or exercise class together before or after work.

Maintaining a healthy diet especially as a travel nurse takes time and energy, but investing in your health will always pay dividends. At PPR, we pride ourselves in making sure our travel nurses find a contract that fits their needs and lifestyle. We’d love the chance to work with you.


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