Are You Unconsciously Poisoning Yourself?

Could you be unknowingly poisoning yourself?

It might sound like an odd question to ask as none of us would ever want to intentionally harm ourselves, however, I remember back in my early 20’s when I was new to shift work (and eating crap food) – I went from being quite lean to becoming quite puffy.

By some miracle, I didn’t really gain much weight, but my face and hands became swollen and I was always bloated.

What I didn’t realise at the time, was that I was slowly poisoning myself by eating toxic foods containing refined sugars and inflammatory fats that were leading to systemic inflammation.

Besides sapping our energy, chronic low-level inflammation can damage blood vessels, weaken our muscles and cause absolute havoc on our hormones!

Ouch! As if shift work isn’t hard enough?!


Guilt Free Hot Chocolate

The Perfect Treat To Take Into Work!

Hi everyone,

Here’s a guilt-free hot chocolate recipe which is made from wholesome ingredients, and is perfect to have before, during or after your shift.  The only thing worth mentioning is that it does contain cacao which has traces of caffeine, so best not to have it close to bedtime, as it may interfere with your sleep.

This hot chocolate recipe is such a great alternative to the highly refined and processed ‘hot chocolate powders’ that we see on supermarket shelves, one of which being Cadbury’s Drinking Chocolate which contains the following:

Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Starch (Maize or Tapioca), Mineral Salt (501), Flavour and Cocoa Solids.

Note that Mineral Salt (501) is actually potassium carbonate which, in large amounts, can cause abdominal pain and diarrhoea.  Not great for shift workers who are already prone to gastrointestinal complaints!

On the other hand, raw cacao powder contains flavonoids, a naturally occurring antioxidant found in plant-based foods which have shown to be cardio-protective.  It does this by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol); suppressing the formation of platelets, which are small blood cells which can clump together and form blood clots; along with helping to regulate the degree of constriction of small blood vessels, which can lead to high blood pressure.

So don’t ever feel guilty about having chocolate.  On the contrary, historical evidence shows that just like I mentioned above, chocolate has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal benefits.

It just comes down to the quality of the chocolate, along with the quantity.

Guilt Free Hot Chocolate Recipe


1 1/2 cups of almond milk

1 Tablespoon of nut butter (almond, macadamia or cashew)

1 Organic Medjool date

1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 Teaspoon organic vanilla essence-extract


Throw everything into a food processor until smooth, then transfer to a saucepan and warm until heated through.  Drink straight away, or pop into a pre-heated thermos for the perfect hot chocolate treat at work.

Trust me, you’ll be the envy of all your chocolate-addicted shift working colleagues when you sit down to drink this.

After all, life’s too short not to have chocolate isn’t it?!

Audra x



Galleano ,M, Oteiza, P & Fraga, C 2009, ‘Cocoa, chocolate and cardiovascular disease’, Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, vol. 54, no. 6, pp. 483-490.


Fibre – Are You Getting Enough?

An Essential Ingredient for Shift Workers.

Fiber rich foods on wooden table. Healthy eating. Top view

Fibre – depending on which part of the world you’re from, you might refer to it as ‘fibre’ or ‘fiber’.  Either way, however you spell or pronounce it, fibre forms an essential requirement of our diet – every single day.

So what exactly is it, and why do shift workers in particular need it?

Well to begin with, everyone needs fibre whether you work 24/7 or not.  However shift workers need it even more so for a number of reasons.

Most notably because shift workers are prone to digestive complaints as a result of circadian rhythm dysregulation, which is a fancy way of describing the continual disruption to the sleep-wake cycle as a result of working 24/7.  This also weakens the lining of the gut, impairing the ability to fight off infections, which I chatted about in an earlier blog post titled – Jet Lag, Shift Work and Your Gut.

But back to today’s post.

Not only does regular consumption of dietary fiber help to reduce digestive complaints, but studies have shown it helps to protect against the development of many ‘Western type diseases’ such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, and obesity.

Unfortunately shift workers are prone to developing these types of chronic conditions, possibly as a result of a predominantly low fibre diet – i.e; one which is dominated with fast foods, takeaways and highly refined and processed foods.  In other words, very little whole foods, or “real food”.

So what exactly is dietary fibre?