Are you lacking in your packing?

 In Nutrition/Healthy Holidays

One thing most healthy nurses have in common is engaging in the ritual of packing a bag of nourishing foods for work. Regardless of the time of one’s shift, each of us could benefit from a meal and/or snacks with adequate hydration for energy and mental clarity at the important jobs we do.

Sometimes there is time to mindfully peel an orange or enjoy a healthy salad, and occasionally we have just enough time to eat a hard-boiled egg. That’s why it’s important to have a variety of single portions of healthy items we can either eat slowly and mindfully, or quickly as a pick-me-up when energy is running low.

If you are the type to keep your snacking to a minimum, your calories are divided into three main meals. However, if you like to snack throughout the day, it’s best to arm yourself with lots of what I like to call “low damage” foods. By that I mean single portions of healthy foods that will satisfy hunger and leave you with plenty of calories left over for a hearty meal at home. Even if you don’t have the time or energy to prepare your nourishment, if you always have the following on hand you can get a healthy bag together in seconds:

  • hard boiled eggs (make enough for a few days)
  • bananas (satisfies a sweet craving) or apples
  • berries
  • carrots and celery divided into small bags (make little containers of hummus for the week)
  • low-fat string cheese
  • lightly salted rice cakes (a crunchy, very low calorie snack that satisfies a carb craving)
  • orange or grapefruit (refreshment AND aromatherapy in one!)
  • a single serving of nuts
  • yogurt (try to go for the plain and swirl in a teaspoon of honey or agave and fruit. Also, a serving of plain, fat-free Greek or Icelandic yogurt with a little onion dip mix makes a great accompaniment to raw veggies!)

If you’d like to check your BMI, plan out your caloric intake based on your weight goals, or see how the items in your lunchbox add up on a popular point-based diet, visit some of the fitness and health calculators on  Also, currently everyone who has a Premier Membership to ANA can get a “Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation” lunch bag. Claim yours before 4/30/18 on with your Premier Member number.

Happy packing!

Lisa Ertle, B.A., R.N. and Healthy Nurse Healthy New Jersey Team

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