By Mary Ellen Posthauer RDN, CD, LD, FAND
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annually designates March as National Nutrition Month and the theme this year is Savor the Flavor of Eating Right. My blog usually focuses on what we as caregivers can do to improve the nutrition of our clients/patients with wounds. However, how often do you as a busy wound care clinician think about your nutrition or what you are eating or probably not eating?
After spending over 30 years working in the health care field, I know that many clinicians, especially nurses, place their health and nutrition needs on the "back burner." Yet, your energy level and health can affect the outcome of the your client's care. Mistakes are made when we are tired and can't concentrate on accurately completing each task. Time is the excuse we use most frequently, no time to eat, no time to prepare a meal or no time to grocery shop.
Healthy Eating Tips for the Busy Clinician
Consider starting each day with breakfast. Fruit smoothies are easy if you have all the fruit cut up and ready to pop in the blender with perhaps soy or almond milk, or plain yogurt. Blueberries, blackberries, and cherries contain flavonoids that can boost your memory function, so add them to your smoothies, eat them on your cereal or as a snack between meals. Hard-boiled eggs are another easy breakfast choice, along with a slice of multigrain toast. I enjoy grated cheese melted on my toast. Individual yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is a good protein source and is portable, and so are energy bars, granola bars, trail mix, almonds, walnuts, cheese cubes, or whole grain crackers with nut butter.
Fresh fruit is a healthy snack option for clinicians and can replace those candy bars or chips that you grab from the snack machine. My favorite ad is the one for Halos where a dad tries without success to pass up the display in the store for those cute little oranges. They are definitely quick and easy, so buy a box and share them with your family and colleagues.
Time-Saving Nutrition Strategies
Taking your lunch or meal to work can save time and money when you plan ahead. Try whole grain wraps with Swiss cheese, leftover baked chicken, sliced beef or lean ham with lettuce, mustard or low fat dressing. Carrot, celery, cucumber, grape tomatoes, broccoli, or zucchini slices, small snack peppers (yellow, green or red), and snap peas are all portable options to add to a meal or as a snack. Try a salad with spinach or kale loaded with raw veggies or berries. Individual cans of ready to eat soup along with fresh fruit are another easy option for clinicians on-the-go.
Remember: our wound care clients count on us to deliver top-notch care. Be good to yourself and Savor the Flavor of National Nutrition Month. Log on to eatright.org or Nutrition411 for more nutrition ideas and tips.
About The Author
Mary Ellen Posthauer RDN, CD, LD, FAND is an award winning dietitian, consultant for MEP Healthcare Dietary Services, published author, and member of the Purdue University Hall of Fame, Department of Foods and Nutrition, having held positions on numerous boards and panels including the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and the American Dietetic Association's Unintentional Weight Loss work group.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.