How to Eat Right While Traveling on Locum Tenens Assignment
When traveling for work, it’s easy to turn to convenient, grab-and-go foods or indulge yourself as if you’re on vacation. These actions may not seem too damaging in the moment, but over time, these little habits add up:
- Unhealthy habits associated with business travel can lead to “a higher body mass index, body fat percentage and belly fat” and a “higher risk of developing chronic disease” (Emory ).
- 44% of business travelers age 23-35 said they’d gained weight on business travel (Businesswire).
Locum providers have the edge over most business travelers regarding health knowledge. Due to their extensive clinical training, healthcare professionals deeply understand why and how unhealthy eating habits can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and more.
Further, clinicians know that the human body can’t function at peak levels without the right balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, water, vitamins and minerals. However, because healthcare professionals can become so busy providing care for others, their own health may fall by the wayside.
Prioritize Your Health While on Locums Assignment
It’s critical to prioritize your health while on locum tenens assignment. You can work to preserve your health if you set aside just a bit of time to make meal planning part of your overall preparation strategy before your next locums assignment.
Healthy Eating Tips for Locum Tenens Providers
Here are some options to help you avoid unhealthy habits on your next locums assignment:
|Hitting the drive-through for a fast-food burger, soda and fries on your commute to and from work or during lunchtime||Packing a cooler with a healthy homemade meal (like a chicken, spinach and avocado roll-up, sliced apples, and fruit tea)|
|Eating chips or candy bars from the snack machine during your breaks||Grabbing a handful of blueberries and walnuts from your snack pack|
|Trying a new restaurant every night||Visiting the local grocery store the night before your assignment begins to shop for the next several days, and saving the restaurants for the weekends|
|Ordering pizza delivery||Making a healthier homemade version or heating up a frozen pizza|
|Drinking alcohol as if you’re on vacation Moderating your intake of alcohol||Drinking alcohol as if you’re on vacation Moderating your intake of alcohol|
|Filling up on ice cream and desserts||Filling up on ice cream and desserts Choosing fresh fruit when you have a craving and limiting your desserts to weekends|
Healthy, Quick Snacks for Locum Tenens Providers
Here are some healthy snacks to prepare in advance and grab on your way out the door:
- Banana with almond butter
- Yogurt, granola and berries
- Carrots, bell peppers and hummus
- Celery with peanut butter and raisins
- Beef, chicken, turkey or bison jerky
- Hard-boiled eggs and ham
- Mixed nuts and seeds
- Cottage cheese and fresh fruit
- Sliced apples dusted with cinnamon
- Avocado toast
- Salted edamame
- Sardines and crackers
- Cheese and olives
- Cucumber salad
- Roasted chickpeas
- Kale, beet or sweet potato chips
- Ham or roast beef and cheese rollups
- Dark chocolate-covered almonds
- String cheese and clementines
Quick and Healthy Meals for Locum Tenens Assignments
For healthy meals to make the night before your shift, try:
- Grilled chicken strips with sides of blueberries and sweet potatoes
- Chicken salad on a bed of lettuce with tomatoes, carrots, and balsamic dressing
- Tuna salad wrapped in lettuce with sides of steamed broccoli and fresh grapes
- Quinoa, kale, pear and walnut salad
- Turkey sausage with sauerkraut and apples
- Arugula, butternut squash, sunflower seed and goat cheese salad
- Egg salad sandwich with cassava chips and bean dip
- Beef tacos with black beans and rice
- Boiled eggs, cheese, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, nuts and hummus
- Leftovers from the night before
With some planning, you can ensure you’re well-fueled and taking care of yourself over the long run. Before you head out on your next assignment, make a list of your favorite snacks and meals. Once you arrive, schedule time before each shift begins to purchase, prepare and pack healthy foods. You’ll be glad you did.
Ready for your next adventure? Check out our locum tenens opportunities across the nation.