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.
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
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?
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:
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