Stress Busting Night Shift Puddings!

Shift work is undeniably stressful on our mental, physical and emotional well-being, and is often one of the reasons why we reach for the comfort food to help calm our frazzled nervous systems down – particularly during a hectic shift at work.

However when we think of comfort food, one of the first things to come to mind for many of us, is that deliciously decadent ‘I’m-not-allowed-to-have-it’ treat called chocolate.

Until now!

These stress busting night shift puddings are not only easy to make and super tasty, but unlike most store bought chocolate mousses and puddings, they don’t contain loads of processed and refined sugars, so your waistline will be happy with them too.

What’s great about them?

  • They are perfect for night shift as they’re really easy to digest, and can be made the night before.
  • Cacao is high in magnesium which helps to support the adrenal glands which bare the brunt of our stress.
  • Cacao helps to boost neurotransmitter production, which can enhance our mood.
  • Avocados are high in oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fatty acid which can reduce inflammation.  They are also high in fibre which helps to fill the void when you’re feeling ravenous at 3am in the morning!

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HSW 39 – Weight Gain, Food Timing and Chrononutrition.

Healthy Shift Worker Podcast Episode:

This week I chat about my all time favourite topic – Food Timing, or the more fancier, scientific way to describe it is Chrononutrition.

Chrononutrition involves the study of how nutrition impacts on our metabolism, via our internal body clock, which includes meal regularity (or in the case of a shift worker, meal irregularity), frequency and clock time.

Eating out of sync to our body’s natural circadian clock is very common in those who work 24/7 (thanks to some pretty crazy rosters), however this can disrupt our metabolism leading to weight gain as our body is not geared up for night-time energy and nutrient consumption.

Over time, it can also contribute to gut disturbances and various chronic diseases such as peptic ulcer disease and type 2 diabetes, both of which are quite prevalent in the shift working population.

So tune in to hear my biggest tip in helping to overcome weight gain whilst working 24/7, and why as weird as it sounds, we need to be thinking of ourselves as walking clocks … because as human beings, that’s exactly what we are – finely tuned walking clocks.

Audra x

 

Resources mentioned on the podcast:

The Obesity Code, by Dr Jason Fung available through Amazon

To book a Healthy Shift Worker Consultation with Audra Click Here.

Orange, Almond and Chia Smoothie:

A Great Energy Smoothie For Night Shift!

What’s great about this smoothie?

  • Almonds contain healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin E.  The proteins and healthy fats provide a slow source of energy release, and also help to slow down the release of simple carbohydrates or sugars into the bloodstream.  This helps to keep our blood sugar levels steady thereby reduce sugar cravings – something almost every shift worker struggles with thanks to ongoing sleep deprivation.
  • The oranges are bursting with immune boosting benefits including vitamins B and C, along with Flavonoids, Folic Acid, Carotenoids, Potassium and Dietary Fibre.  Vitamin C is also critical for adrenal function, one of our stress regulating glands which bear the brunt of a sleep-deprived lifestyle.
  • The Chia seeds are also high in protein and fibre, both of which help to keep us feeling full and have been shown to aid weight loss.

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Overnight Oats with Chia and Cherry Puree:

The Perfect Post Night Shift Breakfast!

What’s great about them?

  • The beauty of overnight oats, is they can be made the night before so make for a great breakfast option after night shift.
  • Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone required to induce sleep.
  • Both oats and cherries contain tryptophan, which help the body to produce melatonin.
  • Cinnamon helps to improve the efficiency of insulin, which assists in the regulation of blood sugar levels.  If our blood sugar drops too low whilst we’re sleeping, it can trigger the adrenal glands to release stress hormones that help raise blood sugar back to a safe level.  Whilst this is a good thing for our survival, this same stress response can be enough to wake us up from our peaceful slumber – which is not a good thing when we’re already running on little sleep!

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Breakfast Nutrition:

Chia Pot with Mango, Crushed Walnuts and Maple Syrup.

It was brekky on the deck this morning to soak up the winter warming rays of sunshine, before heading off to my local organic farmers markets.

These little chia pots are great for breakfast (or anytime really), as chia seeds are loaded with fibre, protein, healthy omega-3 fats, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.

They also contain high amounts of antioxidants plus certain micronutrients including zinc, potassium, vitamins B1, B2 and B3.

From a shift work nutrition perspective, what I absolutely love about these tiny little black seeds is they help to provide sustained energy which is super important when you’re faced with ongoing tiredness as a result of working 24/7.

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