Nothing burns calories like nursing, and that's the truth! Some days, you barely have a minute to spare to fuel back up, so it's important to make sure anything you are eating packs a punch and isn't going to wear off on you after that initial rush. Proteins are an excellent bet, since they digest slower and offer up a good source of energy. Here are our recommendations for high-energy snacks to keep you going. Don't forget to stay hydrated, too!
Nuts - Great protein, healthy fats, and lots of energy. Make sure you get shelled nuts, since you're not going to have a lot time to bust open pistachios during a busy shift. We recommend going with raw or unsalted cashews or almonds. If you need the flavor boost, go with something lightly salted rather than the various coated-in-sugar-and-salt flavors available in the snack aisle. Buy in bulk to save some cash!
Protein and Grain Bars - If you have any nutritionist experience at all, you likely know which are the best bars for your buck. Protein bars can be pretty hit or miss, so it's a good idea to check the ingredient list to see exactly what you're getting. If you find one that both tastes great and keeps you going, stock up! Lara and Clif Bars are our favorite, but there are tons of options available. Pure Bars are great, too! Bonus: these are super easy to grab and eat on the run.
Fruits & Veggies - You're probably not going to want to lug around an entire salad, but stocking up on bite-sized fruits and veggies is a great way to get some healthy sugars and carbs into your stomach. Rather than waste money on pre-cut stuff, buy fresh whole items and cut them up yourself between shifts before you sleep or right when you wake up. Dried fruits and veggie chips are another option (the freeze-dried vegetable kind, not the potato chip kind).
Nut Butter Sandwiches - Okay, we're doubling up on nuts, but that's just because they're both convenient and a great snack. Add in some great fiber-packed multigrain bread and you've got a sandwich that's both satisfying and energizing. You don't have to limit yourself to peanut butter -- try almond or cashew butter, or even chocolate hazelnut butter for the occasional treat. This appetite-curbing mix of proteins and grains will keep you moving.
Do you have any suggestions for healthy go-to snacks that fuel you through a long shift? Let us know your secrets!