doctorintraining

Having a hard time with timing of meals

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Hi Whole30 family,

I've been having a hard time, especially this round (round 3), with the timing of my meals. I know we're *supposed* to have 3 meals a day, 4-5 hours apart, and not eat a few hours before bed time. However, on my current medical school rotation my day starts at the hospital at 6 and I'm really never hungry at 4:30/5 am, no matter what I've eaten the night before or what time I ate dinner. There are sometimes morning conferences at 8 am that we're expected to go to, we can eat at those, so I try to pack something that I'm willing to eat cold at that hour if there is a conference (may 2x/week there is one). I'm usually running late from seeing a patient to morning lecture if there is one so no time to heat up anything. Other days when we don't have conference, there's no midmorning break, there's always a patient to see, and it seems it's not really appropriate to be eating at the nurse's station. We're supposed to get a lunch break around 12 for a half hour but patients first so this doesn't always happen so I keep extra whole30 snacks (almonds, larabar, epic bar, hard boiled egg, etc.) in my bag in case I'm not given a break or in case my break doesn't come until 2 or 3 pm. Something quick that I can eat in the hallway in just a few minutes. For lunch I usually back some combination of meat/veggies/starchy veggie like acorn squash, potatoes, butternutsquash, etc. Most days I'm done by 5/5:30 pm. I either go home and eat dinner (again, balance of meats/veggies/starchy veggie/fat), so then I do have a few hours of not eating before I go to bed around 9 (I do best on 7.5-8 hours of sleep so I try not to go to bed any later than 9:30). Or I'm going to my boxing class (from 6-7, have to leave at 5:30 to get there), in which case I'm not home until 7:15, usually done with dinner by 8/8:30 depending on how long it takes me to cook it, and then I just feel gross because I've eaten right before bed practically. Though I'm eating all compliant food, I'm not feeling that I'm really in the spirit of whole30. And I don't feel like I'm seeing a lot of those NSVs that I'd hoped I'd be seeing (clothes fitting better, less bloating, more energy, working out harder, etc.).  Any suggestions for how I can tweak my food/meal times throughout the day? 

Thanks! 

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I think you're going to have to advocate a bit for yourself and the fact that no one is really expected to go from 6am until 2-3pm eating nothing but snacks.    You may also need to 'force' yourself to eat an hour before school/hospital - you can train yourself to be hungry at this time by eating at this time and if this is your usual schedule, then your hormones will adjust to this waking/eating hour and it'll become routine.  Perhaps you can talk to others in your program or department about what they do to eat?  Maybe eating at the nurse station is okay and then you've got another option for how to help schedule your meals.

You're not going to see the more energy, better workouts if you're not eating enough and altho it's difficult to tell from the way you've laid it out, it looks like you're probably not eating enough during the day.

It's not ideal but if you can find 10 min to eat a snack, you can probably eat an entire whole30 template meal - I just ate a chicken ceaser salad and it can't have taken me more than 10 min... sitting down to linger over a meal is much more pleasant but if you've got these time constraints, start thinking about what you can pack and bring that takes just a little more time than a snack in the hallway

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Started forcing myself to eat at least *something* in the morning, building up to a normal meal. Unfortunately, we really are expected to go without lunch or breaks if patient duties call. I was given a 20 minute lunch break yesterday during my 12 hour shift but my senior resident wasn't allowed to leave. I check and per Department of Health rules no open food or drinks (besides water) are allowed on the floors/in patient care areas. Will do the best I can with eating bigger breakfasts in the morning and packing nutrient dense lunches to eat if/when I get a few minutes to leave the floor. Thanks! 

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As a retired professsor of nursing, I've always felt for you guys out there slogging in the student-MD trenches. It really is one of the toughest training programs in the world and I think, while well intended, it's a bit naive when someone suggests you should advocate for yourself to get your break. I wouldn't want to be there when you tried that! :) Hang in there, this too, will end.

I think you are going to have to be creative to get this W30 in during a clinical rotation. Big breakfast, big meal at the end of shift - no matter how tired you are and maybe no fruit or carb dense vegetables so you don't get that unwanted energy rush when you're trying to sleep? Super salad and protein? Maybe doesn't follow all the rules exactly but, you're not exactly the W30 norm, are you?

Anyway - I'm sorry we can't be more help. I, for one, am happy there's going to be another W30 advocate doctor out there though - we need them!!

Good luck to you @doctorintraining

 

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Thanks @Lorna from Canada! I did my first full whole30 back last July, started Day 1 of  Whole30 on my first day of my third year clinical rotations - oh boy what a mistake that was! Made it through the whole month without any non-compliant foods/restarts, but there were many days of just snacks during 12-14 hour shifts because I didn't get a break. I asked for a break once to go buy a bottle of water because I'd forgotten mine and I got a withering stare. Not trying that again. 

Will keep working at the big breakfasts, even though it's a bit hard still at 4:30 am - little by little!

Thanks for the support! Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle should always be a part of good medicine/health care, just apparently not for health care workers... 

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