A travel nurse usually needs fuel at some point in his or her shift to keep going. Of course, hospitals and other medical facilities often have vending machines stocked with salty and sweet snacks like chips and cookies. While simply getting a few dollars worth of barbecue-flavored potato chips may be tempting, it won't give healthcare workers the energy they need to remain alert throughout their shifts. Instead of snacking on sugar-laden treats, opt for these healthier options that will put the pep back in your step:
This option is great for when you're on the move, which is especially convenient for travel nurses who may not get even a moment of downtime. You can just pop a handful of cashews or hazelnuts in your mouth to get the energy you need.
Everyday Health noted that almonds are particularly effective at delivering an energy boost, as they're chock full of magnesium and vitamin B, both of which help boost your body's metabolism. One serving, or about 23 almonds, is the ideal amount for snacking. To save time with counting, pre-pack 23 almonds in a plastic bag before heading to work so you have the perfect portion ready to go.
2. Peanut butter
Peanut butter has everything you need to stay energized during your shift: protein, healthy fats and fiber. Plus, it's super versatile, so you have a variety of options when it comes to snacks. Swipe it on a slice of whole-grain bread, smear it on a banana or dunk some crackers in this creamy treat. In fact, you might find it worthwhile to keep a jar of peanut butter in your break room so you don't have to worry about packing a snack every day.
Want a more creative way to incorporate this energy-boosting food in your workday diet? Try peanut butter energy balls. According to Allrecipes, this snack involves a simple combination of peanut butter, flax seeds, oats, honey, chocolate chips and vanilla extract – you don't even need to bake them.
Yummy and versatile, hummus is packed with protein, carbs and healthy fats to keep you fired up. Men's Fitness explained that the combination of protein and fat controls the way your body absorbs energy-boosting carbohydrates, delivering long-lasting effects while stabilizing your blood sugar.
There are several ways you can eat hummus – use it as a replacement for cheese on your sandwich, dunk some veggies like red pepper or carrots in it, or smear it on pita bread. While you can buy a larger container of hummus and keep it in your break room refrigerator for several days of snacking, this dip also comes in serving-size packages, which are convenient for travel nurses' on-the-go lifestyles.
4. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is packed with protein to give you energy, and serving-size containers make it easy to grab and go. Plus, there are many ways to bump up the flavor factor and make it better for remaining alert during your shift. Consider mixing in crunchy cereal or bits of a granola bar to add more substance to the yogurt.
A word of caution: Watch out for added sugars, which can actually work against your energy needs. If you need sweeteners to balance out the natural taste of Greek yogurt, elect for healthy options like strawberries and blueberries.
5. Hard-boiled eggs
A traditional morning meal, eggs are a great addition to a travel nurse's workday snack. As research in Nutrition Today explained, eggs are packed with high-quality proteins, healthy fats and loads of B vitamins. Together, these nutrients boost power, strength and energy to keep you feeling good throughout your whole shift. They're also convenient, as you can make several at a time and eat them throughout the week.
Remaining alert and energized is important for travel nurses to stay focused and deliver quality care. Consider including these healthy eats into your on-the-job meals or snacks.