Late shifts are undeniably the perfect opportunity to disconnect the alarm clock and have a bit of a sleep-in. OK, let’s face it. Anything after 4 am is classified as a sleep-in if you work 24/7, so when you actually get to see the sunrise (and you’re not at work) – that gets really exciting!
However, one of the downsides of a late-shift, especially if you’re starting your shift around midday, is that it can mean missing out on lunch, or having a really late lunch where you become so famished that you inhale anything in sight!
I’m talking the chips, burgers, donuts, choccy bars – you name it as I’m sure you can relate.
So what’s the best strategy to overcome those mid-afternoon munchies?
By delaying your breakfast.
Because delaying your breakfast is going to provide you with two benefits:
- It lengthens the time that your digestive system can rest and repair.
- It helps to reduce the time that you may be feeling hungry, soon after starting your shift.
Let’s talk about the first one – the digestive system.
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.
When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, weight loss would have to top the charts hands down – every single year, every single time.
But when you’re a shift worker – achieving this goal can become even harder to reach.
In fact you probably go to bed at night (or the day, depending on your shift), wondering if you’re ever going to get back to that svelt figure that you once had when you were 16 years of age.
OK, if that’s what you’re aiming for then we may need to readjust your goals a little!
However if you’re trying to lose weight around working crazy and irregular hours, it can often feel as though it’s one step forward, two steps back.
Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard?
Well there are a number of reasons why but in a nutshell, whenever we’re sleep deprived our body essentially becomes biologically stressed (*).
Yep that’s right.
Our body is stressed even before we’ve walked through the front door and started our shift! (more…)
Stuck for brekky ideas? Well you might like to try this nourishing Carrot Cake “Bircher-In-A-Jar” style breakfast – a recipe which I’ve adapted from well renowned Nutritionist Lola Berry’s 20/20 Diet Cookbook. Lola completed a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutritional Medicine from Endeavour College a few years ago (the same degree and campus) where I’m also studying. Her recipes are also a bit funky which I love :-).
This porridge / bircher style brekky is made up of Quinoa which is high in protein and very nutritious – rich in vitamins and minerals.
What I really like about this breakfast is that it’s very filling so helps to sustain you through even the longest of shifts!
It’s important to note that the outer layers of the Quinoa grain contain a toxic phytochemical called saponin, which can irritate intestines, so it’s important to make sure you rinse the grain before cooking.
1 cup quinoa flakes
2 cups almond milk
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cup sultanas
4 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
extra sultanas to serve
extra cinnamon to serve
Place the quinoa flakes and almond milk in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir to combine. Add the carrot, dried fruit, spices and salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until thick and porridgey. Keep stirring to avoid sticking to pan.
Serve topped with walnuts, Greek yoghurt and cinnamon.
This is great to have hot but I love taking it into work in a jar with a dollop of Greek yoghurt!