Nourishing Night Shift Jellies:

The Perfect Gut Healing Snack for Night Shift!


After spending a year in clinical practice chatting with shift workers from an array of different occupations, one of the things I noticed when undergoing individual dietary assessments, was how many of my clients would succumb to eating ‘comfort foods’ whilst on night shift.

Now if you’re a night shifter, then I’m sure this is something you can relate to.

And I completely understand why.

Night shift is tough.  Really tough.

So when everyone puts money in to order a pizza, brings in a bag of lollies or cake to share, this ‘party food’ or ‘comfort food’ brings a bit of fun into the workplace, and helps to jazz up an often long and tiresome shift.

But nocturnal eating, or more specifically, eating out of sync to the body’s natural circadian clock can actually make us more susceptible to gut disturbances.

Things become even worse when we consume foods that are low in fiber, and high in simple carbohydrates (such as white flour, white bread and white rice), because the body converts these foods into sugar very quickly, leading to blood glucose dysregulation.

Sleep loss or circadian disruption is also a form of physiological stress that can disrupt the gut microbiota leading to intestinal permeability, otherwise known as ‘leaky gut’.  This imbalance of gut microbiome can lead to low grade inflammation which, over time, can increase our susceptibility of developing chronic conditions such as autoimmune disease.

So gut health is absolutely key for anyone who works 24/7, which is why I’ve included this great gut healing alternative to take into night shift.

Introducing my heart-centred ‘Nourishing Night Shift Jellies’ … because every shift worker needs a hug – particularly when on night shift!


  • 3 tablespoons of organic gelatin powder (I use the brand – Changing Habits)
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon of organic honey


Mix gelatin with half of the coconut milk and leave to become gelatinous.  Warm the other ingredients together in a pot on the stove, but on low heat.  Don’t let it get to a boil.

Then mix the warmed milk in with the gelatin mix and give it a good stir with a metal spoon.  Pour in to molds of your choice, and pop into the fridge to set.   Keep stored in an air-tight glass jar in fridge.


Audra x


Recipe inspired and adapted from @anourishingnook.


Reynolds, A, Paterson, J, Ferguson, S, Stanley, D, Wright, K & Dawson, D 2016, ‘The shift work and health research agenda:  Considering changes in gut microbiota as a pathway linking shift work, sleep loss and circadian misalignment and metabolic disease’, Sleep Medicine Reviews, vol. 2016, p. 1-7.


Healthy Shift Workers: Why It’s Not All About The Food On Your Plate.

Despite studying nutritional medicine and working shift work for over 20 years, one of the things I’ve learnt along the way is that becoming a “healthy shift worker” is not all about the food.

Food is important – absolutely.

In fact it’s essential that we eat good, wholesome nutritious food to help nurture our bodies against the debilitating effects of fatigue and tiredness.

However eating lots of fruits and vegetables is not going to make other issues in our lives disappear.

By this I mean it’s not going to fix broken relationships; it’s not going to improve our finances; and it’s certainly not going to boost our cardiovascular system if we’re leading a sedentary lifestyle.

All these ‘other issues’ – combined with having to work 24/7, add to our stress levels and end up weakening our immune system (the body’s natural ability to ward off infection and disease) to a point where our defences become compromised and we become sick.

In a nutshell if you’ve got too much stress going on in your life then you’re going to get sick – no question.

The big problem however, is when work and stress pile up on top of us (particularly shift workers), instead of finding ways to help reduce and resolve these ‘other issues’ we reach for food and/or alcohol to help relieve the pain.

But stuffing yourself with food for comfort and solace does not work.

It might make you feel good for a little while, but it’s only temporary. It doesn’t address or fix the root cause.

Essentially there comes a time when you need to look beyond the food on your plate and consider other forms of nourishment that feed you in different ways.

Try applying some of these simple techniques:

• Dedicate 15-20 minutes a day to some kind of physical activity. Exercise is the perfect antidepressant.
Seek financial advice if you’re having difficulties trying to make ends meet.
• Take up a hobby or do something creative that really feeds your soul and makes your heart sing.
Smooth out tense relationships. Sometimes it’s just better to forgive and move on.
Clear your head of negative, mindless chatter – yoga and/or meditation is great for this.
Cultivate an optimistic outlook on life because it’s very tiring being negative all of the time.

And remember … don’t worry be happy!