Healthy Nutrition Tips for Student Nurses

  1. 0 I gained a few unwanted lbs last year in nursing school too, so I developed a small plan to do something about it. I just wanted to share what I've got so far and ask for any and all tips for good nutrition. I work full-time and go to school full-time and I can't afford to not be at my best, physically and mentally! Here's a list of healthy snacks that I personally think taste great. I plan to keep a few of them in my backpack during a long day of classes so that I have something to snack on or eat for lunch inbetween classes.


    Healthy snacks

    carrot sticks
    unsweetened applesauce w/cinnamon sprinkled over it
    yogurt (plain + your own fruit, or low-cal yogurt)
    1 slice whole wheat bread + thin layer peanut butter
    1 ziplock bag of dry cheerios
    raisins (small boxes are handy for putting in your backpack to cope with a sugar craving)
    almonds (unsalted, unroasted - pleasantly sweet and satisfying. only a few can fill you up!)
    hard boiled eggs (i just eat the whites, the yellow parts don't taste good to me and have quite a bit of cholesterol)
    pretzels and mustard
    any piece of fruit
    any vegetable
    AND
    my trusty water bottle that I can refill at any water fountain should I need to

    I've tried to just drink pure water lately with just the occasional cup of 100% fruit juice. I've felt better and it hasn't really been a challenge. If we go to a restaurant and I really feel like I want a soda, I just order a diet soda, and try not to overdo it on the refills because I know it can't be that great for me.
    When studying I drink quite a bit of room temperature water. It helps me focus and gives me something to do besides munch on chips or candy. I also like to take a 5 min break every hour or so just to walk around and rest my brain. I heard that drinking too much water could cause damage/stress on your kidneys so, as always, keep things in moderation and listen to your body.

    Did you know...
    "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" of any sort is basically Crisco!? Now go check through your cereals, boxes of snack crackers (even the healthy ones!), and so forth and feast your eyes on what you are really putting into your body.

    Consuming white bread, white flour, and white pasta can make your blood glucose go up more than consuming the equivalent amount of pure table sugar. Whole wheat is a much better route and make sure your bread or pasta says "Whole wheat" and not just "Wheat." Lots of the stuff that is simply labeled "Wheat" is dyed with caramel and made with whole flour combined with white.
    My husband always complained about whole wheat pasta in the past because the texture is different and it's sort of rough and grainy. I decided to mix half whole wheat pasta and half the regular old white pasta and he had no clue. It's a great way to start out slow if you have a family to please at the dinner table.

    That's all I've got for now.
    What are your tips (big and small) for healthy eating?

    Shel
  2. Enjoy this?

    Join thousands and get our weekly Nursing Insights newsletter with the hottest, discussions, articles, and toons.


  3. Visit  shel_wny} profile page

    About shel_wny

    shel_wny has '8' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Critical Care / Psychiatry'. From 'CNY'; 34 Years Old; Joined Mar '04; Posts: 473; Likes: 8.

    30 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  student_girl} profile page
    0
    These are quite good. There's also vegetarianism or veganism. It's a fact that those who don't eat meat are less likely to be fat. And since cholesterol can be fond in animal products, not eating meat reduces your cholesterol level. Before I went vegan, my cholesterol level was through the roof and I had anemia. Not anymore.

    The water bottle tip is great. Many nursing students drink coffee, and I do too, but coffee causes dehydration. I always carry a 1 litter bottle around, and try to drink at least 2 of them.
  5. Visit  sabrn2006} profile page
    0
    Great tips, Shel! I also like:


    soy protein bars for a quick breakfast - think clinical days

    trail mix - you can make your own with what you like - sometimes I will use cashews, cried cranberries & cereal

    little packs of fruit, or buy a bigger can and break up into your own smaller containers to save money

    yogurt

    I have a little softsided cooler/lunchbox that I can throw in my car. I don't plan to leave the house for the day without healthy food inside it.
  6. Visit  Jen2} profile page
    0
    My favs:

    Frozen grapes

    dry cerial especially Special K ( I plan on snacking on a huge bowl when studying instead of chips)

    Shelled sunflower seeds (unsalted)

    I love turkey burgers

    Chili is really good for you and very filling if you make it with ground turkey and you can freeze it.

    Jello cups

    Whole wheat pita bread stuffed with salad and some olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. (get a really small tupperwear container to put the dressing in)

    I am planning on going grocery shopping every Sunday this semester and buying healthy foods for all meals and snacks for that week only so nothing goes bad. Then I am going to vow to pack lunches, and snacks everyday so that I am not eating crap all day long. I figured if I pack my food before I go to bed at night and just put it in the fridge I have no excuse to grab and go in the am. Now if we can only stick to it.
  7. Visit  blue eyes} profile page
    0
    the water is a good idea. i usually take a water bottle for 2 hour lectures or straight lecture-tute/ tute-lecture.



    i don't usually take snacks to lectures or tutorials as i live on campus. when i had back to back lectures this yr i found there was enough time to run back to my unit eat lunch (which just a pre made sandwich or left over pasta) then make it on time for the next lecture.







  8. Visit  calliou} profile page
    0
    Keep the ideas coming...I don't have anything new to add, but I sure do appreciate all of the ones here!
  9. Visit  angelac1978} profile page
    0
    string cheese! it provides protein and calcium and studies have shown that 2-3 servings of dairy a day can help you lose weight!

    At Walmart yesterday, I found these little packets of generic Crystal Lite (the walmart brand) that you add to your bottled water. I personally like water, but for those who don't care for it or it gets a little old, this might help.

    I will also measure out Honey Nut Cheerios into a baggie and take those with me to munch on if I start to get hungry. I also sometimes mix honey roasted peanuts with raisins and other dried fruit for a snack. It's great because I don't have to worry about keeping it cold.

    A
  10. Visit  maliat} profile page
    0
    I often take dried fruit with me. Can sometimes be costly, but need to know where to get such as in bulk at a health food store. I also saw great prices at Trader Joe's. Do I miss Trader Joe's. The one thing about dried fruit is that I was at my dentist's office and according to that little informational thing they run, its bad for your teeth. High sugar. So brush often.
  11. Visit  MereSanity} profile page
    0
    Quote from student_girl
    These are quite good. There's also vegetarianism or veganism. It's a fact that those who don't eat meat are less likely to be fat. And since cholesterol can be fond in animal products, not eating meat reduces your cholesterol level. Before I went vegan, my cholesterol level was through the roof and I had anemia. Not anymore.

    The water bottle tip is great. Many nursing students drink coffee, and I do too, but coffee causes dehydration. I always carry a 1 litter bottle around, and try to drink at least 2 of them.

    Well...I don't know about the vegan thing. I don't eat meat but have a huge addiction to "fat". It may be just as good an idea to cut out deep fried foods, chips, high-fat goodies, ice cream, sigh, those are what kill me.
  12. Visit  Jen2} profile page
    0
    I have an idea. How about we cut 1 bad thing from our diet every week. Then maybe we won't miss it after a few months. This week I vow to not eat any chips.
  13. Visit  nursingismydream} profile page
    0
    These are all great tips. I think that the cutting things one by one is a good idea. I found that over the course of the last 2 and a half years I have eaten a lot of things that I never used to. Candy bars and potato chips are two of many. I like to take popcorn and put it in a baggie. I don't use salt or butter. The water thing....love that!! Another thing that I have found is to try and schedule three healthy meals a day. If you are in class then try to plan around it. I usually eat a yogurt for breakfast, take a sack lunch, and eat dinner at 5 or 6 (depending on my schedule). This way I have energy to get through the day and I am always full, so snacking doesn't become an issue. I might have something at night while I am studying, but I try to keep it to fruit, popcorn, etc.
  14. Visit  NurseFirst} profile page
    0
    One of the docs who has a nutrition program for combatting heart disease (one other is Dr. Dean Ornish--whose program includes meditation, etc.)--Dr. John McDougall -- has packaged meals in those "just add hot water" cups. His meals are vegan, low fat, low sodium -- what you would want and expect for a "heart healthy" meal -- and quite reasonable (compared to, say, eating in the school cafeteria or eating fast food).

    You can find them at:

    http://www.rightfoods.com


    NurseFirst

    P.S. -- when I went to give blood and had too little iron (by 1%!), one of the high-iron foods they recommended was Grape Nuts. It has an amazing amount of iron in it. So, crunching on Grape Nuts is a possible idea, and I did quite a bit of that over break. While it's no longer a concern for me, may be something to consider for "that time of the month".
    Last edit by NurseFirst on Jan 5, '05
  15. Visit  WickedRedRN} profile page
    0
    "P.S. -- when I went to give blood and had too little iron (by 1%!), one of the high-iron foods they recommended was Grape Nuts. It has an amazing amount of iron in it."


    I keep a ziplock baggie of Grape Nuts and add them to yougurt. Changes the texture and makes for a great filling breakfast.

    (I overheard my hubby the other day telling our daughter that "Mommy only buys sticks and twigs for cereal" I had to laugh, just the way he said it was funny! I only buy healthy cereals like Grape Nuts and oatmeals)


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

Top