Do You Eat The Same Things, Over and Over?

Do you tend to eat the same type of meals over and over again? Maybe you’ve got a close relationship going on with your breakfast cereal?!!

Well I’d like to inspire you to live on the edge a little … and add some colour and variety to your plate (or bowl!)

Why?

When we eat a more diversified diet, particularly one that is rich in plant-based foods, it helps to feed the trillions of microscopic bugs in the digestive tract.

Now these microscopic bugs (which comprise of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses – yes you read that correctly, even viruses), they don’t just hang out in your belly, doing nothing.

They are responsible for producing important neurotransmitters such as gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, for short. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter which helps to calm the nervous system, needed to facilitate sleep.

They also produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter which is the pre-cursor to the sleep-regulating hormone, melatonin.

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Gut Loving Energising Smoothie

Do you experience gut discomfort and lack energy?

Yeah I know. It’s a bit of a silly question as most shift workers do.

This is due mostly to something called circadian misalignment, which is just a fancy way to describe eating out of sync to our natural body clock.

That being said, it’s not just about food timing.

When we’re tired we don’t always make the healthiest of food choices because let’s face it. It’s really hard to muster up the strength to whip up a culinary delight when we can barely keep our eyes open from exhaustion!

This ends up being a bit of a Catch-22 because it contributes to an even further lack of energy due to insufficient nutrients needed for energy production on a cellular level. 

This leads to a disruption in the regulation of the nervous system. In other words, makes us feel even more tired, anxious and frazzled!

The good news is, I’ve got a “can’t-be-bothered-to-make-anything-fancy” smoothie recipe that is not only quick to make, but will supply your body with a wonderful assortment of nutrients to give you more zing.

The apple cider vinegar and ginger in this smoothie will also help to settle an anxious tummy.

What’s In It?

100g blueberries (preferably organic)
250ml almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1 orange – juice and zest
2cm piece of fresh ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp coconut oil
a pinch of freshly ground black pepper

How To Make It?

Throw everything into a blender and blitz until smooth.

Drink immediately or pop into a chilled thermos to take into work and enjoy whilst on shift.

Note: you’ll need to give the smoothie a good shake once it’s been in the fridge for a while as the coconut oil will harden slightly.

Audra x

References:
.

Antunes, L, Levandovski, R, Dantas, G, Gaumo, W & Hidalgo, M 2010, ‘Obesity and shift work: Chronobiological aspects’, Nutrition Research Review, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 155-168.

Kanarek, R 1997, ‘Psychological effects of snacks and altered meal frequency’, British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 77, pp. S105-S120.

Nor, A, Norsham, J, Nur, T, Sahar, A, Srijit, D & Effendy N 2020, ‘Consequences of circadian disruption in shift workers on chrononutrition and their psychosocial well-being’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 1-17.

HSW 59: Better Sleep and Anxiety with Midwife Tomi Warren

Healthy Shift Worker Podcast:

This week we head all the way to California to chat with one of my Better Sleep Program clients – Tomi Warren, who has been working shift work for 11 years as a Midwife.

As a Midwife, Tomi often works with mum’s and babies in emergency situations so being able to make complex decisions quickly and decisively, all whilst working in a stressful environment is absolutely critical.

In this episode, Tomi shares her personal story of how ongoing sleep deprivation was having such a negative impact on her health and ability to make decisions, to a point where she even began to experience hallucinations.  This eventually manifested into a severe anxiety around being unable to get sufficient sleep – a Catch-22 which led to feelings of hopelessness and depression.

Tomi’s heart warming story of how she managed to turn her life around by reducing her anxiety and improving her sleep (and health), is absolutely inspiring.

Links mentioned in the podcast:
Audra’s Better Sleep Intensive Program – https://www.audrastarkey.com/case-study

HSW 56 – PTSD, Depression and Mental Health with Shaun O’Gorman

Healthy Shift Worker Podcast:

Did you know that suicide rates in Australia, are double that of the road toll? This blew me away when I heard this, and is why this interview with Shaun O’Gorman is such a powerful one.

Shaun is an ex police officer, critical stress consultant, keynote speaker, author and fellow podcaster – and knows first-hand, what it’s like to suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), depression, and to even battle with suicide. In fact, its the driving force behind his business – The Strong Life Project.

Tune in to hear Shaun’s amazing story of strength and resilience, and what he did to bring himself out of the depths of depression and turn his life around, to now helping others who may also be struggling, via his workplace training workshops.

This is a must listen for anyone who has ever experienced stress, anxiety or depression.

Audra x

Links mentioned in the podcast:

Shaun’s website – The Strong Life Project

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thestronglifeproject/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/thestronglifeproject/

Podcast – http://www.thestronglifeproject.com/category/the-strong-life-podcast/