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.
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!
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.
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.
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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.
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.