The other day it was raining ☔️ here in my hometown of Brisbane, so I thought what better way than to experiment in the kitchen!
Now given the majority of shift workers experience “hangry” moments thanks to blood sugar dysregulation as a result of sleep disruption, I wanted to come up with a recipe that would help to keep sugar cravings at bay.
Meet Mr Macadamia Nut Hummus– the perfect sugar craving antidote whether you’re on an early shift, late shift, night shift or heaven forbid a “normal” shift – lol
Macadamia nuts are high in healthy monounsaturated fats to keep you feeling fuller for longer, and are a great source of magnesium, potassium, copper, iron, vitamins B1, B3 & E, phosphorus and zinc.
Chickpeas are packed with gut-friendly fibre which help to stabilise blood sugar levels (and fend off those “hangry” cravings), as well as making them great for insulin-resistant individuals or diabetics. Health conditions which are becoming increasingly common in those who work 24/7.
In addition, chickpeas are a great source of protein and contain minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and zinc.
What’s in it?
2/3 cup roasted macadamias
1 can chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Handful of parsley
How to make it?
Throw everything into a food processor for 10-15 seconds (I like a chunky consistency), or longer until smooth.
Store in a container to bring into work to have with crackers or veggie sticks and share with workmates (maybe?!) It’s also delicious as a base on sourdough toast topped with eggs, mushrooms and/or roasted tomatoes!
Sugar cravings are a massive challenge for anyone working shift work because the body instinctively seeks out sugar as a source of fuel when its been unable to obtain sufficient quality sleep.
This is because it can convert this sugar into energy much more quickly than it can from eating protein or fat.
However, eating large amounts of sugar over time – especially the highly refined and processed sugar found in most store bought chocolate and candy bars, can be a leading contributor to an ever expanding waistline.
In fact this expanding waistline forms one of the ‘Top Shift Working Struggles’ that I mention in my newly released book – Too Tired To Cook.
It’s why making your own homemade chocolate snacks can be a much healthier alternative – especially for your waistline!
Late shifts are undeniably the perfect opportunity to disconnect the alarm clock and have a bit of a sleep-in. OK, let’s face it. Anything after 4 am is classified as a sleep-in if you work 24/7, so when you actually get to see the sunrise (and you’re not at work) – that gets really exciting!
However, one of the downsides of a late-shift, especially if you’re starting your shift around midday, is that it can mean missing out on lunch, or having a really late lunch where you become so famished that you inhale anything in sight!
I’m talking the chips, burgers, donuts, choccy bars – you name it as I’m sure you can relate.
So what’s the best strategy to overcome those mid-afternoon munchies?
By delaying your breakfast.
Because delaying your breakfast is going to provide you with two benefits:
It lengthens the time that your digestive system can rest and repair.
It helps to reduce the time that you may be feeling hungry, soon after starting your shift.
Let’s talk about the first one – the digestive system.
Night shift. It’s such an incredibly ruthless shift in more ways
than one as it requires us to be alert and ready to make decisions when all
our body instinctively wants to do is sleep!
night shift also raises our risks of developing certain chronic health
conditions (due to a myriad of reasons) including things like obesity, diabetes
and cardiovascular disease – to name a few.
the key drivers is that our body digests and metabolises foods inefficiently
during the night – even if we’re awake!
In other words, eating food during the night as opposed to during the day, can have a negative impact on the body. In the scientific literature, this is referred to as “chrononutrition” which takes into consideration not only what we’re eating, but also when.
Of course I’m not telling you to not eat during the night, although that does work for some people. It’s more about being selective on the types of food to help minimise blood sugar, digestive and hormonal disruption.
So how can we nourish our bodies in a way that is going to help
maximise our alertness, but without adding to digestive discomfort
which plagues many who work through the night?