Scrubs aren’t just comfortable work clothes, but they help us hide that extra 10, 15, 20 lbs that we usually gain at work. Why? One of things that we have all noticed working in a chaotic and stressful Emergency Department, is how hard it can be to get enough time to eat.
As a result, we “graze” all day long and even worse on night shift as we look to calories, especially sugars, to keep us awake. Just about every ED I have worked at has the bottomless snack zone where all the wonderful, well-meaning doctors, nurses, secretaries, EMS personell, etc. bring us goodies and treats to help us get through the day. Had a tough patient? Here, these cookies will make you forget all about them. Who needs Percocet when you have such home-made delights?
When I noticed my own weight getting me to the tight stage on my large scrubs, I realized I had better do something about it before those 2X scrubs were looking inviting. Here are a few tips that I have picked up along the way that might help turn our snack zone into a healthy grazing area, and help us keep the weight off:
Dried Figs: A delicious dehydrated fruit that’s high in fiber – you might get a little gassy, but hey, we’re all friends right? “Figs will give you slow-burning energy to see you through a workout,” says Cynthia Sass, M.P.H., R.D., a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. They also pack a lot of potassium, to help repair muscle.
Sunflower Seeds: With their shell, they keep our tongues busy with something other than high sugar candies. Also high in protein, at 5 grams per half cup, which helps us feel more full.
Shredded, unsweetened Coconut: Also from the experts over at Men’s Health, although high in fat, more than 50% of its saturated-fat content is lauric acid. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that even though lauric acid raises LDL (bad) cholesterol, it boosts HDL (good) cholesterol even more. Overall, this means it decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Filling and won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar (followed by the dreaded crash and craving for more sugar).
Beef Jerky: High in protein, tasty and doesn’t affect your insulin. Avoid brands high in sodium content though by going with more organic, preservative-free options. Also, try to get ones that come from grass-fed battle, as studies show that, unlike grain-fed products, grass-fed beef contains the same healthy omega-3 fats found in fish.
Apples: Apples have no fat, cholesterol or sodium, and contain small amounts of potassium, which may promote heart health, help maintain healthy blood pressure and a healthy weight. If you cut them and sprinkle some cinnamon on them, they taste even better and you get the added benefits of cinnamon!
Quick bowl of Cheerios and Light Milk: Not enough time for a meal and need a quick energy burst that will satisfy the growling in your stomach? try this easy snack that has only 150 calories (skim ilk included), no cholesterol, 3grams of protein and loads of other good things. Fiber One brand cereals are lower in calories, but if you had the dried figs, you might need to use a space suit to contain your fumes.
Almonds: A personal favorite of mine. A health gold-mine that acts as a natural appetite suppressant, reduces bad cholesterol, regulates blood glucose and even has phyochemicals, that help prevent some types of cancer. All that and they taste great, especially now in flavors like Wasabi, Jalapeno and Vanilla!