Nurses' Health Habits - page 4

Part of an informal study to investigate the health habits of nurses. Comments welcome!... Read More

  1. by   Spidey's mom
    I exercise regularly and that's about it. I just got through eating a bag of extra-buttered popcorn.

    I was a vegetarian for a bit after Anatomy. I loved the dissection theatre but every time I cooked meat at home, it just reminded me too much that I was eating "flesh". That lasted about a year. I still have a hard time with raw hamburger.

    In my nutrition class (yes, I took one) there were some studies of Seventh Day Adventist members, who were the most healthy of all groups studied. However, along with being vegetarians, they also do not smoke, don't drink alcohol and are usually very physically active. (lots of physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, health career oriented people). So it is an all-around lifestyle that is conducive to health.

    I've never understood the draw of organic foods either . . . twice as much money and you really have to search and clean the brocolli - lots of worms!! Yuck.

  2. by   frannybee
    Originally posted by obeyacts2
    Here's a question for ya: How come so little attention is paid to nutrition in nursing programs? Our ADN_RN program does NOT require any nutrition course for entrance. I had a instructor advise our class if we were still finishing up pre-reqs IF WE HAD TIME(yeah right) to take a nutrtion class, as ITS NOT COVERED VERY MUCH IN THE PROGRAM. Am I dense or is something wrong with this picture? Diet is so interwoven with many of our illnesses you think it would be a critical part of coursework.

    Laura - who doesnt fit into the poll either
    My uni gave us electives in our last year, and one of them was Diet and Nutrition. Six months of learning about nutrition, special diets and risk factors for malnutrition. Our dieticians at work love me because I will *always* refer patients if I feel them to be at nutritional risk. So many nurses will fill out the nutritional risk tool and see that the lady in bed six looks well-fed and well-hydrated and completely disregard her recent weight loss and N&V since starting IVABx, yet they'll refer the slender elderly man who's been the same weight all his life and has a better diet than anyone on the ward because he 'looks like he could do with feeding up'.

    As for me, I fluctuate between saintly eating and bingeing on whatever I fancy. I do TaeBo regularly and walk all day on the ward so I figure it balances out in the end. As for vego diets being healthier, my best vego friend goes out for McD's and has 3 McChickens minus the chicken (sugary bun, limp lettuce and fatty mayo) and supersize fries. That aint healthy, and her diet at home isn't much better, yet she tells me off for eating and really enjoying a lean beef steak. (I'm anaemic thanks to PCOs so the steak is 'prescribed' by my GP!).
  3. by   dana d
    We should know better than anyone what's best. Many of the nurses I work with are over weight. All day long I hear "I'm so fat, I'm tired all the time" excuses are lame! My schedule is just as full as everyone elses, but instead of 30mins in front of the T.V., its on the treadmill and instead of that candy bar with 300 calories, apples are just as filling with far less calories. Its all in what you want and how bad you want it. Age is not an excuse, I'm 41.
  4. by   Scavenger'sWife
    Yes, sphinx...the "gross-out" factor got me off of some foods, too.

    But what actually got me to change my style of eating was when Hubby had a problem with his bowels and had to have surgery. (He would love it if he knew I was sharing his story!) But with his dad having had three bouts of bowel CA, this was a worry. He had to go on a high fiber diet. So I might as well do it too, right?

    We cut red meat down to 1 or 2 times a week (no prob for was never my favorite except for so-done-they-are-burnt hamburgers), and increased fresh veggies and fruits, high fiber breads (which I love), decrease fat intake, etc.

    Results?? I have to date lost 36 pounds (down from a size 20 to a loose size 16) dropped my cholesterol fro 202 to 167. I have more energy and feel lots better, arthritis is even better. Hubby has dropped his cholesterol from 190 to 132 (show-off). And has lost 22 pounds.

    I will not say I don't eat whatever I want......if I really crave something, well, DANG IT - I EAT IT! But I will say, the cravings are getting fewer and smaller amounts satisfy me.

    I would have slapped ya' and called ya' a liar if you had ever said I would not want Snickers bars, but I have not eaten one nor wanted one in over 6 months.

    Working the floors helps keep me busy. I hate exercise. I HATE to sweat and I have asthma. So I sure hope starting to work Home Health will not change the healthier habits I have acquired.
  5. by   eltrip
    One of my fellow nurses asked the question, "Would you rather spend x amount of dollars on joining a fitness center now or 3-4 times that amount every month in future years for meds due to a preventable health condition. It got me to thinking.

    Last year, we joined the Y. I didn't start going regularly until time, tired, pregnant, etc. In May, after a tubal pregnancy...and with the accompanying hormonal swings, I became rather distraught. Trouble sleeping, depression, etc. Seriously considered an antidepressant. Decided to go exercise instead. So, most mornings, I can be found at my local YMCA when they open the doors around 5am. I took several weeks off from exercising & began to have sleeping problems once more. I started back this week. Oh, and I did drop a dress size, too...even while having my daily doses of chocolates!

    I've decided that exercise does more for me than medication. Lots of side benefits to it as well. My next goal: avoid evening television viewing/surfing.

    That said, to each his or her own!
  6. by   sphinx
    regnurse, good job on ya and your hubby! As for the craving, I'm the same.....I will usually go for it, but I too, have fewer and fewer of them.
    As for home health and poor eating's not a given. I wasn't like that at first. I was actually following weight watchers and doing really well. It was only when I got really, really busy with no time to even stop (not even to pee!) that my eating when down the tubes. Previously I'd bring stuff from home like salads, yogurt....healthy stuff, but most of it you have to actually *stop* to eat. Later, all I ever seemed to have time to do was go through a drive through for a burger and eat while I was driving....not even eating, more like shoving food down my throat. But that was just me! Heck, for a while, my schedule was even flexible enough that I could stop and do a 30 minute circuit exercise at Curves! (but they have funky hours, and when I got a couple BID's, I couldn't find a time to fit it in)....

    and eltrip, sounds great you were able to get into the exercise groove and it's helped with your depression.....I have a long, LONG history of depression, and when it is severe, I can hardly get off the couch, and if I am able to work, that is all I can do, I can't do anything else, literally. I personally take meds, but once they kick in, it lifts my mood enough that I can get myself up and be able to exercise. Then I have that added benefit. A girl was talking at work about a *walking* video. Anyone here know anything about those? The one she mentioned was a Christian video with hymns and stuff, and not being a religious person that would not be for me. But if I could get started indoors now, than by the time the snow melts, I'd already be well on my way to getting in even better shape!

    And I wanted to mention.....About 2 1/2 years ago I was at my highest weight ever....245 lbs. Certain medications contributed to that, and going off one, I lost 15lb right away. Since that time I was at 245, I have lost 81 pounds. Must be doing something right!
    Last edit by sphinx on Feb 25, '03
  7. by   Tweety
    I exercise regularly, eat organic whenever possible and am an ovo-lacto vegetarian.

    I agree with the statement that vegetarian does not mean healthy.

    I disagree, however that is it hard to maintain adequate nutrition. It's quite easy, and no more difficult than a meat-eating diet. You have to plan to eat healthy on a meat eating diet as well as a vegetarian one, to get proper nutrition. (Considering the current state of American nutrition and it is mandated that certain foods be fortified, one can't argue this fact).

    I simply eat a wide variety (the key word being variety) of fruits and veggies of all colors (green leafy's, reds like berries, blueberries, carrots, etc.), whole grain foods like brown rice, whole grain breads, cereals; soy products like tofu and tempeh, soy milks; beans, legumes, and lentils, nuts like almonds and peanut butter (fresh of course), healthy fats like avacodoes, olive oil, flax oil and nuts; and the occasional organic egg and cheese.

    Not that I don't eat out and pig out too. I love pizza, chocolate and ice cream.
  8. by   mario_ragucci
    Nursing is a great teacher of neuro-transmitters and glucose. When a nurse is involved in many important tasks, it's hard to imagine what exactly is happening with the internal organs of the nurse. Often, nurses will not eat adeqately because of decreased time to eat, and neuro-transmittters that "get whacked out" due to not eating when they are hungry.
    Stress reduces appetite; For me anyway.
    You can avoid problems by forcing yourself to eat the right foods at the right times. The loneliest place to eat is in your car alone when your tired :-( I'm sorry.
  9. by   emily_mom
    I think because we're all stressed out, and it's easier to succumb to vending machine or convenience food than preparing a seven course meal.

    I know when I'm p*ssed off, tired, stressed, etc... I don't want a darn carrot stick. I want to shove my hand through the candy machine and eat it all.
  10. by   Keely-FutureRN
    I saw a dateline article that said that organic can actually be worse for you because they don't use pesticide so the bugs eat the food and go overboard and since it's "all natural" than we should eat it up. Just go with regular stuff. I usually eat healthy (yes, might add in a burger or two) but I just mainly watch sodium and fat % and eat fruits and veggies.

  11. by   renerian
    Ihave been one for about 7 years now.

  12. by   jenac
    Wow- says alot for nurses, doesn't it? I have to cringe everytime I "educate" someone about healthier choices. I say as I sit here munching on Girl Scout cookies, drinking my third cup of coffee today! Kinda goes along with the whole do as I say, not as I do thing. Interesting results....
  13. by   Scavenger'sWife
    Wow, sphinx.....that is so impressive!!! Keep up the good work! And since my HH job will be partly case management (inside the office) I will be able to pack a healthy lunch. Just gotta remember to take it with me!!!