Why Travel Therapists Need Good Nutrition Too
Why Travel Therapists Need Good Nutrition Too
by Tiffany Aller
While allied health professionals strive to help every patient possible while filling travel therapy jobs around the nation, they can easily forget how important it is for them to take better care of themselves. Neglecting personal health needs through unhealthy eating habits and cravings can hinder traveling therapists from living their best life. Just as in the airplane and oxygen mask cliché, therapists must first care for their own health needs and can then more beneficially extend help to the patients they encounter every day.
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Good nutrition goes hand-in-hand with work as a traveling practitioner
Your mother was right: You are what you eat. Good nutrition not only fills your body at each meal, it also defines how healthy you’ll feel in the future. The Department of Health and Human Services extols the power of good nutrition for its ability to help you maintain a healthy weight while also lowering your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.
Maintaining clean or strict rule diets while working in the travel healthcare industry may seem daunting. You’re in short-term housing, you’re scheduled for a million hours at work and you may not have access to a functional kitchen. Instead of considering this a problem or area of concern, flip the narrative and own the difficulty of maintaining good nutrition standards. To fulfill your nutritional needs, consider these ways to attain good nutrition.
- Sign up for food delivery services that deliver the freshest ingredients to your door for easy yet nutritious meals.
- Visit local farmer’s markets to maintain a supply of healthy fruits and vegetables.
- Become accountability buddies with other travel healthcare providers to take turns making healthy meals so your freezer offers a ready supply of dishes.
- Research dishes at restaurants in your travel city to always have a go-to meal when eating away from home.
Thwart hunger-based cravings by keeping healthy snacks on hand
Hunger, especially that hunger you may feel during a particularly long work day, leads to cravings that can lead you to unhealthy food choices. Angel Tuccy, an experienced professional who frequently travels for work, says that to battle hunger cravings, “I started packing my own snacks and protein bars so I could eat more often throughout the day, instead of one late-night heavy meal at the end of a very long work day.”
Many traveling therapists can relate to that struggle of when to fit in meals while at work and succumb to unhealthy eating rituals like ingesting whatever is readily available. The Huffington Post reminds us that while late-night, hastily consumed meals aren’t the boogie man many have claimed them to be, the pattern of late-night meals can lead to negatives like weight gain and deficiencies in key vitamins and minerals.
Tuccy maintains that her carefully selected snacks “include more protein and less sugar.” Healthcare professionals can easily and rapidly embrace a new pattern of bringing along healthy snack foods to provide all-day-long energy on the job. This prevents impulse buys of unhealthy processed foods that are likely to be high in sugar and sodium and provide only momentary feelings of fullness and energy that quickly fade away.
Nutrition is the next step in the improved health of traveling therapists
Choosing healthy food is just one way for traveling professionals to maintain good nutrition and eating habits. Complement that with activities that bolster the effectiveness of good nutrition: good hydration and time committed to healthy doses of exercise. Says Tuccy, “I drink more water, and I walk 10,000 steps a day.” Water intake and walking many steps through the course of your day helps the nutritious meals you select to create a healthier you.
Protein-heavy snacks, like those highlighted by Tuccy, can not only stave off hunger but also enhance workouts and offer sustenance just in time to prevent spontaneous food purchases. By the time you move to your next travel contract, you’ll have begun the journey of bettering your food choices and engaging in exercise programs to strengthen, tone and build endurance. Your newfound strength and even newer nutritious eating habits will make you a healthier allied health professional.
Whether your foremost nutrition concern is consuming the healthiest snacks, thwarting hunger and cravings or beginning an exercise regimen, it all comes down to making good food decisions to create better health and habits.