Meal Prep Tips for a Week’s Worth of Shifts

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Despite spending their entire day managing the healthcare needs of others, study after study reveals that nurses are shockingly bad at maintaining their own health. Unsurprisingly, the hectic schedule of your average RN doesn’t mesh well with healthy eating and exercise habits. When you’re constantly on the run, it can be tempting to reach for the easiest meal and snack options, but it’s time to make a change! These meal prep tips will help you stay healthy and energetic all week.

Planning Ahead for the Entire Week

It’s easy to set healthy goals about controlling your sweet tooth and avoiding comfort food, but every obstacle you put in your way makes it that much more likely you’ll give into your tired side. Shopping for fresh food, planning your diet, and preparing healthy meals are simple, reasonable goals – that feel literally impossible after a 12-hour shift! If you take advantage of these tips, however, eating healthy will become second nature.

1. Streamline Your Shopping

Which is easier: Shopping for fresh ingredients, or having junk food delivered to your home? Actually, it’s a trick question (apologies if we gave you a nasty flashback to your NCLEX). Thanks to online shopping, almost every city in the country offers delivery or drive-through options for fresh groceries. No more sorting through the aisles or standing in line behind someone trying to pay with a check. If you can order pizza, you can order fresh groceries, making it that much easier to stick to your meal plan.

2. Get Creative With Your Cooking Style

Even with the perfect ingredients, cooking can still be an inconvenient chore at times. Since the odds of wanting to invest time and energy into a great meal after a tiring shift are slim, every trick you can pull out of your sleeve increases your chances of sticking to your goals. Busy people in all professions have looked to the slow-cooker as their meal prepping game-changer. Just toss your ingredients in before going to work, turn it on, and you’ll have a hot and healthy meal waiting for you when you clock out.

What if you forgot to prep your meal before you left for work? That’s where the pressure cooker comes in. Pressure cookers allow you to prepare meals in a fraction of the time traditional cooking methods take. Can you imagine having fresh cooked veggies – or even meat – on the table in well under 30 minutes (mostly unattended)? The pressure cooker is your friend. If you can’t decide between cooking styles or have limited space, just get a cooker that does everything. Nothing stands between you and healthy eating.

3. Prep Meals in Bulk

Dedicating time to cooking fresh meals every day is a tall order for nurses. Fortunately, you can simply consolidate your efforts into one push. Using the methods we’ve been through, preparing large quantities of food to freeze or refrigerate for the whole week takes almost the exact same amount of time as cooking a single portion. With your own healthy, pre-prepared meals ready at hand, you’ll find yourself making healthier choices while saving time and money on your food.

Get Organized With Nurse Backpack

Getting organized and planning ahead isn’t just for your meal plan. We believe every part of your career should be as streamlined as possible; that’s why we made the Nurse Backpack app! Designed for busy RNs in every specialty, the app allows you to consolidate, track, and share all your professional credentials with the tap of a finger. Find out how the Nurse Backpack app works today!