A Merry Shift Working Christmas

With just 3 more sleeps until Christmas, are the kids getting a bit restless and excited about the man in the red suit popping in for a visit?

How about you?  Are you also getting super excited about the impending arrival of Christmas Day or are you rostered to work (again) this year?

As most of the world gets ready to slow down and stop for a few days – no doubt there are many shift workers like you, who are working away furiously because Christmas can be just like any other day of the week, be it a whole lot busier depending on your area of work.

Of course it can certainly be a crazy, stressful time of year and a time when we tend to eat way too much of the Christmas Pudding, Rum Balls and Glazed Ham!

But it is Christmas after all, and I think it’s important not to get too stressed or hyped up about what we can and cannot eat – particularly at this time of year.

Because good health is not just about eating well.  It’s also about having a healthy family and social life too, and yes, even with those relatives who may be a little irritating at times!

And whilst you may be working part (or all) of the festive season, it’s important to try and enjoy it as best you can.

So I couldn’t wrap up a Christmas post without sharing a little recipe which is perfect for shift workers not only because it’s really easy to make and you can bring it into work, but because it contains cabbage – a phenomenal gut-healing food.

In it’s raw form, cabbage is an incredibly nourishing food because:

  • it contains ascorbigen (also referred too as Vitamin U or glutamine) – a powerful compound which heals and protects the stomach against ulcers, a condition prevalent amongst many shift workers around the world, in particular peptic ulcers.
  • it contains vitamin A which is great for healing and rejuvenating connective tissue.
  • it contains sulfur which is great for fighting off infections.

So make sure you get stuck into the Christmas Pud and Rum Balls over the holidays, but maybe mix it up a little with a healthy salad or two this Christmas (and maybe a glass of wine if you’re not working).  It’s all about enjoying the festive season with friends and family … which also includes your shift working family too.

Balinese Cabbage and Coconut Salad

(Serves 4)


  • 1/4 small cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup of beansprouts
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts (optional)
  • 1/2 long red chilli, halved lengthways, deseeded and sliced


  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 long red chilli, thinly sliced
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 1 lemongrass stem, white part only, thinly sliced
  • pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil


  1. Blanch the cabbage in a saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute, then take out and place on a clean tea towel and gently pat dry.  Blanch the spinach for 15 seconds and pat dry in a clean tea towel.
  2. Wash and drain the bean sprouts.
  3. Place the coconut in a frying pan and toast over medium heat until golden and nutty.  Remove and set aside.
  4. In a bowl, mix together the cabbage, spinach, sprouts, coconut, peanuts and chilli.
  5. For the dressing, mix all the ingredients together, then pour over the veggies, toss and serve.

Recipe inspired and adapted from Janella Purcell’s cookbook – ‘Janella’s Super Natural Foods’.


  1. Titus Mwanzia Kitonyi

    Since i started getting your teaching on health shift worker, my health have improved alot. Thanks, God bless you.

    • Audra Starkey

      Awwwww, Titus thank you so much – you’ve made my day! I’m so glad my blog posts have been able to make a positive impact on your shift working life. Big hugs xx.


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