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IvyGraceD

12hr Shift Meal Times

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Hi All!  I'm starting my first Whole30 in January.  I am a nurse and work (3) 12hr day shifts a week.  I was wondering, for those with similar work hours, do you eat before your shift and when you come home?  Or do you consume all meals and any  snacks at work?  I typically don't eat before my shift and have breakfast and lunch at work.  However,  I am always STARVING when I get home at 8pm.  Then I  tend to overeat and go to bed within 2hrs of getting home/eating which I don't think is good!  Any suggestions or ideas would be very helpful!  Thanks!

 

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Ideally, what you'll do is eat your first meal within an hour of waking up (here's why), and then eat every 4-5 hours after for at least three full meals each day, and if you need an extra meal or mini-meal in there somewhere, that is fine. Being sure you eat first thing in the morning may help you be less starving when you get home in the evening, once you get used to it.

When you have longer than normal days, it's okay to eat more than three meals. You may end up needing a fourth full meal, or at least a mini-meal of smaller portions of protein, fat, and vegetables, or at least two of the three, and that's fine. The rules about three meals and no snacking are really just to emphasize that you're aiming for large meals that keep you satisfied for several hours, instead of "grazing" throughout the day on smaller meals. When you're first starting Whole30, I'd suggest making sure you have more food with you at work than you think you could need, simply because if you are hungry, it's best to have compliant food with you, since you can't always depend on being able to find it easily in most workplaces. As you go through the month, you'll figure out better what works for you. If you have a locker or desk or someplace that you can leave items, you might find cans or pouches of tuna or salmon (don't forget a can opener if you can't find pull-tab cans), small packs of olives, maybe a small bottle of olive oil, so that if you forget your lunch or are hungrier than you expected, you have something you can eat.

 

 

 

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I know it's not the same, but it's nice to know that there are other healthcare providers out there doing this program. Here's a link to a thread between some other of us medical people on the forums.

I usually can't force breakfast too early in the day or too soon after waking up, despite the recommendation. I try to wake up earlier so that it won't be so close to rising when I do eat breakfast, but try as I might, I have been unable to get up significantly earlier in the mornings, and when sleep is at a premium, I usually give in to that. So I try to eat as soon after getting report and seeing my patients as I can. It doesn't always happen though, as you must know, and so I often struggle with weird stretches of time without eating during which I can only manage water (sometimes) and will be starving until well after noon, like often until 2 or 3pm. I try to keep hardboiled eggs and other healthy easy-to-eat food but that doesn't always work out either. I also try now to keep RX bars in my bag, but I don't like eating them when I've packed healthy and delicious foods that I've slaved over in the kitchen. It's just tough all around. Different for us shift workers than it is for people who work a desk job or who work from home.

My big plan is to always bring two meals to work and either have something premade at home, or plan on eggs and steamed or sautéed veggies that I can throw together in mere minute on arriving home. Sometimes I bring so much food for my second meal that I can't finish, and I end up having a mini-meal before I go home, so that it won't be such a rush for dinner at night. That usually works the best for me. You'll find out soon after starting your Whole 30 what might work best for you.

Also, as Shannon has noted, leaving a few easy to eat compliant foods in your locker or backpack may be a lifesaver. During my last w30, someone cleaned out the lounge fridge and threw my lunch away TWICE! I saved the day by purchasing a plain salad in the cafeteria, and topping it with a can of compliant sardines packed in olive oil and a can of black olives that I had in my locker. I have since replenished my locker and have all but stopped using the fridge. What is that phrase-- once burned, shame on you. Twice burned, shame on me? Something like that regarding having my food tossed from some eager soul trying to clean up our lounge.

Good luck!

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I too work your hours except I recently went part time (2 days a week).  I cannot eat at 0530,  no matter what anyone might say.  I usually have a cup of black coffee as I'm cooking my eggs.  Around 9ish, after doing all the morning things (patients, meds, orders) I eat my eggs with pre-prepared bacon or homemade sausage from last weekend.  I bring leaf lettuce and make a wrap of scrambled eggs, meat, avocado slices (tomato slices too in the summer).  It's very filling and I could eat it 8 days a week.   I try to eat lunch around 2ish.  Bring my own dressing and get a simple salad from the cafeteria if  I don't have anything at home.  Our cafeteria usually has a simple grilled chicken.  I will have leftovers or a salad when I get home.  I used to die for a snack between 4 and 5 (especially when most of my coworkers are having chips or candy bars at that time) but found that if I ate a big lunch after a big breakfast, I was able to totally break that habit.  Whole 30 is totally doable while working but it does take careful planning.  Good luck

 

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