5 Meal Prep Ideas and 5 Tips for Busy 12 Hour Hospitals Shifts

We’ve all been having the following dilemma. – Should I eat healthy cooked food, or should I save valuable time and get some fast food on the way? It’s like we always have to choose between our health and our time. This situation is even more familiar to the healthcare professionals. The struggle there is real. Between the 12 hour day shifts, the night shifts and the lack of sleep, they also need to think about their food.. 

Meal prepping is becoming the new fast food! Healthy fast food.. This is the ultimate solution to having it both – healthy meals while not sacrificing your valuable time. Okay, let’s be honest here. Have you ever seen your colleague eating homemade food in the hospital canteen and though: Are you even a real nurse? It’s like they have full control over their lives, right? Well.. you can do this as well! It takes only 1 day of preparation for the whole week. No, not a full day! Phew. Let’s say this day is Sunday. The meal prep will only take you 1 to 2 hours of the whole day. You can do it every day of the week when you have few hours available in your busy schedule.

5 Meal Prep Ideas for Busy Healthcare Professionals:

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5 Tips on How to Plan Your Meal Preps For The Week:

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

Somewhere in between theory and execution stays the crucial task of planning. Meal prep can be a joyful process only if planned accordingly. If you need a reminder – set one. But don’t leave things for the last minute. All below aspects of planning are important, so take a pen and paper and prepare a meal prep plan for the week.

Write down your weekly meals plan day by day. Make your research. What meals can you cook in big amounts and maybe freeze? Above in the blog, we have shared with you a few ideas if you would like to take as an example.

Shop smart – Do your grocery shopping according to your meals plan. Usually when you go to the shop you get distracted by so many things which you ‘may use for something’. No, you don’t need that oyster just in case. Focus on the ingredients you need for the planned dishes and snacks.

Think about cooking time -Once again, do your research. Roasting the vegetables will take around half an hour. Let’s say that you’re boiling lentils – another half an hour to one hour depending on the type and half an hour for your snacks. This makes one hour in total. You can find different cooking instructions with approximate timing online. It will give you a clearer idea of how much time you need to put aside on the selected day.

Use high quality containers – You don’t want to shop, cook your meals and end up with no storage boxes. Make sure you have enough for the whole week. Get yourself food containers of good quality. You will keep your food there for the whole week – will heat it, freeze it, etc. So look for containers with the following characteristics: dishwasher friendly, microwavable, freezable, durable.

Identify which one is to be frozen which to be left chilled – Cooked grains, for instance, can be frozen. You need to get portion-controlled freezer bags where you can store all your rice, quinoa, lentils etc. On the other hand, you can’t do the same with the roasted vegetables. For them you just need normal microwavable containers and you can store in the fridge. One tip for chilled food -put food that goes bad fastest at eye level so you don’t forget it.

Hospital shifts can be dynamic and exhausting, we know.. But hey, your health is your number one priority. Nurses and other healthcare professionals, please make sure you eat healthy food and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget to take care of yourselves while caring for others!

Have you tried the meal prep method? If yes, please share more ideas and advice in the comment section.

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