HSW 89 – A Book For Shift Workers!

It’s finally here.

A book exclusively for shift workers!

After many years of writing on and off, my new book – ‘Too Tired To Cook:  The Shift Worker’s Guide To Working (and Surviving) In A 24/7 World’ has finally hit the stores of global online book retailers, along with being distributed within bookstores around Australia.

In this podcast episode, tune in to hear all about the book, why I wrote it and what it’s all about – along with some of the 5-star reviews and feedback from people who have already read it since it was first launched just a few short weeks ago.

One thing I do want to make mention is that this book is written very much from the heart, as my soul intention for writing it was to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of some of the most misunderstood people on the planet – those being shift workers.

To purchase your copy click on the ‘Shop’ tab above, or if you live in my home town of Brisbane, head on down to Riverbend Books in Bulimba as they are now stocking it in their store too!

Feeling Fatigued? Try This Revitalizing Banana, Passionfruit and Maca Protein Smoothie.

passionfruit smoothieAs shift workers we certainly live at the mercy of our alarm clocks and it’s near impossible to ever feel “energized” when we’re running on 4-5 hours’ sleep or less, particularly if you’re a night shift worker.

The actual process of sleep is regulated by two body systems:

  1. Sleep/wake homeostasis
  2. The circadian biological clock

When we have been awake for a long period of time, our sleep/wake homeostasis tells us that a need for sleep is accumulating and that it is time to sleep. Our internal circadian biological clocks, on the other hand, regulate the timing of periods of sleepiness and wakefulness throughout the day (source: www. sleepfoundation.org).

The problem for shift workers however, is when we work such crazy, irregular hours we’re disrupting the body’s ability to carry out these 2 very important functions.

And as long as we continue to work shift work – we will continue to feel exhausted and fatigued in some way, because the body can never catch up.

So besides quitting your job, what else can you do?

Well the best tip I can give you is to feed your body with nutrition that’s going to give it energy and not take it away. Fast food and over-processed food does exactly that – it drains your body of energy trying to digest food which it does not recognize, and when you eat a whole lot of processed foods (as a lot of shift workers do), you’re weighing your digestive system down even further making you feel even more lethargic.

In his book “Eating for Energy“, nutritionist, kinesiologist and fitness coach, Yuri Elkaim describes the power of Maca – which is a powdered supplement originating from the Peruvian maca root. It contains amino acids, complex carbohydrates, vitamins B, C and E, and many important minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, and iron.

Its many benefits include balancing hormones, building muscles and wait for it … enhancing stamina! A must have for every shift worker on the planet!

Maca also helps to support the adrenal glands and alleviate stress on the body which is perfect for those who are stressed and/or suffer from adrenal fatigue.

So as promised, here’s my “Fatigue Busting” Banana, Passionfruit and Maca Protein Smoothie:


15g almonds
1/2 tbsp. sunflower seeds
1/2 tbsp. linseeds
1 tbsp. maca powder
1 egg
60 g ice cubes
1/2 tbsp. honey
150 g almond or rice milk
1 organic banana
1 organic passionfruit


Place almonds, linseeds and sunflower seeds into a food processor/blender and mill until it turns into a powder.

Add all remaining ingredients into a food processor/blender and combine to achieve the consistency you desire.

This smoothie is great for a fast, on-the-run style brekky – or when you’re just feeling too tired to cook, no matter what time of the day!

Too Tired To Cook? Try This Super Nourishing Soup Ready To Eat In Under 20 Minutes …

This scrumptious Pistou Soup originating from France is super quick and healthy to make – particularly when you’re feeling too tired to cook.

It contains plenty of vegetables, garlic and legumes (in the form of beans) which are all immune and energy boosting ingredients which have been slightly cooked making them easily digestible and thereby enhancing sleep. Consuming heavy meals before bedtime can interrupt our sleeping patterns as the body struggles to digest the food properly which is not good news for those of us running on precious little sleep thanks to our 24/7 lifestyle.

In fact what I really like about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a whole lot of preparation time (a dream recipe for energy-depleted shift workers), nor does it require a great deal of time spent hovering over the stove watching it simmer or boil away as this often leads to higher losses of essential vitamins and minerals.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
1 garlic clove
1 carrot, peeled, cut into 1cm cubes
1 large potato, peeled, cut into 1cm cubes
2 cups (500ml) good-quality chicken or vegetable stock
1 tomato, peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1cm cubes
420g can four-bean mix, drained, rinsed
50g green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 2cm lengths
1 large zucchini, chopped
4 tablespoons (1/3 cup) good-quality basil pesto
Chargrilled bread or baguette, to serve


Step 1: Heat oil in a large saucepan, add leek and garlic and saute over low heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the carrot and potato and cook, stirring, for a further minute.

Step 2: Add stock and 1 cup water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes, then add tomato, four-bean mix, French or green beans and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Cook for a further 2 minutes, stir in half the pesto, then ladle into serving bowls.

Step 4: Add a dollop of remaining pesto. Serve with bread.


Recipe adapted from taste.com.au

An Easy, “No Chewing Required” Breakfast When You're Feeling Too Tired To Cook

This super nourishing brekky will have you bouncing with energy not only because of its nutrient dense ingredients, but for another important reason as well.

There is no chewing required!

Despite the obvious, your stomach has no teeth so it’s important that you chew your food well to reduce the strain on your digestive system. The harder your food is to digest, the more energy your body needs to actually process the food.

As shift workers we’re already struggling to find extra energy – let alone having it taken away from us. This explains why people feel so tired after eating a heavy meal, particularly one that includes animal meat which can take forever to chew.

So if you’ve just got home from night-shift, or you’re just wanting to make a quick and easy breakfast because you’re feeling too tired to cook – forget the bacon and eggs Mcfeast! Get stuck into a super smoothie like my Banana-Coconut-Breakfast and your body will feel a whole lot less sluggish!


1 banana
½ cup coconut meat
½ cup almond milk
1 tbsp organic honey
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp cinnamon


Throw everything in a blender – except the cinnamon, and blend for 20 seconds. Pour into a serving glass (complete with a straw to get that “tropical feeling”) and enjoy!

What To Take To Work: The Lunch Box Dilemma!

I don’t know about you, but I have so many memories of opening the refrigerator door and staring into oblivion wondering what I’m going to cook for dinner – and hoping that I may have enough left overs to pack into the lunch box the next day.

Because let’s face it, wondering what to take into work every day can be a real “lunch box dilemma,” – particularly when you’re suffering from fatigue and exhaustion.

Which is why I’d like to share with you my ‘Stamina Boosting Thai Fish Cakes with Lemon and Parsley Quinoa’ because it passes my 4 “Too Tired To Cook” mandatory checklist:

1. It’s easy to prepare
2. It’s fast to make
3. It’s tasty to eat and most importantly …
4. It’s particularly nourishing for an energy depleted body!

Health Benefits of Quinoa

Quinoa was once called “the gold of the Incas” by native South Americans, because they recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. (Now that’s got to be good for tired, exhausted shift workers!) It’s also high in protein, a good source of manganese and magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorous, and B vitamins.


450g snapper
2 tsp fresh coriander
3 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
3 egg whites
1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
1 kaffir lime leave (shredded)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon avocado oil

1/2 cup quinoa
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
small handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped


Finely chop the snapper in a food processor. Add the coriander, fish sauce, chilli sauce, egg whites, garlic, lime leaves, lemon zest and juice and avocado oil. Mix together and shape into 8 patties.

Lightly oil a non-stick frying pan and cook the patties in batches for 3 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, wash the quinoa in plenty of cold water and drain. Put in a saucepan with 250ml of water. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 10-12 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then mix with the lemon zest, juice and coriander.

Serve the fish cakes on a bed of quinoa and drizzle with sweet chilli sauce.