Expert Advice from Hanah Cannon BSc RD, Registered Dietitian at Island Nutrition
There’s no doubt that contract and consultancy work can be tough both physically and mentally, from heavy duty physical roles in construction to high skill electronics requiring full concentration. We know these jobs won’t wait and it is not uncommon to hear of long working hours with skipped meals or grabbing food on the go, when you can. But is this leading to the healthiest work force or the best performance?
A healthy diet is vital for day to day performance as well as your long-term health. Eating well helps concentration levels and reduces fatigue which ultimately could lead to doing a better job in a safer environment.
EATING ON THE JOB
Start the day right with a good breakfast – grab a piece of fruit such as a banana on your way out of the door and if you are picking up on the go, look for oatmeal or choose whole wheat toast over white, which will release its energy more slowly across the morning. Include a protein such as eggs
or a low sugar Greek yogurt to keep you feeling satisfied.
At lunch, try taking leftovers in a thermos or to be reheated. Alternatively prepare a hearty wrap or sandwich. Again, choose the wholegrain bread options and fill with lean protein such as tuna, fresh turkey or chicken. Swap mayonnaise or cheese for mustard or salsa. Include a side of chopped veggies with salsa or hummus or a piece of fruit instead of chips.
At the buffet counter, fill ½ your box with steamed, boiled or fresh vegetables before looking for the starch & protein such as meats/fish/legumes. Skip the fried chicken or fish and choose baked or grilled to reduce your fat intake, protecting your heart. Look for wholegrain brown rice or quinoa for that sustained energy source instead of mac n cheese, white rice or French fries.
Good snack choices should help you stay focused rather than cause spikes in energy (and concentration!). Swap full sugar soda or juices for diet versions or flavored, sparkling water. Choose a small portion of popcorn or fruit, a handful of nuts or trail mix, a low sugar yogurt or some olives rather than chips, cereal bars, candies or chocolates.
OFF THE CLOCK
Preparation is key in all areas and your nutrition is no different. If you have time on a day off, prepare your meals in advance and use a cool bag or thermos to take food with you. If you don’t have time, choose to pick up food from a restaurant or café where you know there is a healthy option available.
Try to plan your day around including a small lunch break to refocus and recharge – you’re likely to be more productive after a short break than if you just work through!
If you are concerned about your or your child’s nutritional health and feel you would benefit from support from a Registered Dietitian please contact us at Island Nutrition on 295-4082 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.