As chiropractors our jobs entail more than just utilizing manual therapy to help with pain. However, most people don't realize that. Our education includes extensive nutrition training that encompases gut health, hormone imbalances, and overall wellness support. For a time I think that we got away from our roots as holistic healthcare providers and focused a lot on the MSK portion of patient care. This year we have been bringing our strengths together, learning from each other and colleagues around the city, to be able to offer a VERY well rounded approach to health and wellness.
Within the last 3 months I have been asking my patients more about their diets than I have in the past. It is quickly becoming a huge part of our patient appointments and a necessary piece of patient education.
This last year has been tough for people mentally, emotionally and physically, but I think more and more people are beginning to realize that they are struggling to eat enough food and drink enough water throughout the day because they are masked likely 100% while at work. I know for me at least, I am not drinking anywhere close to as much water as I should be because I no longer take sips of water while my patient is in my treatment room. I have heard this from teachers as well. They are no longer snacking throughout the day because they aren't able to take off their masks while students are in their classroom. This is leading to people underfueling, while maybe continuing with the same level of activity. EEK.
So here are some easy ways to increase your calories throughout a busy workday when you don't have time to truly sit down and eat a meal.
If you don't have your first mask break until lunch or so, eating something for breakfast is going to be a good idea to give yourself some fuel for the morning. If you don't want to have to cook in the AM consider making a protein shake or smoothie. When choosing a protein powder, consider a whey powder that has at least 20g of protein per serving and less than 2g of sugar per serving. Dr. Mike and I like Gold Standard 100% Whey from GNC. Mixing a scoop of protein, a banana, mixed berries and chia seeds into a smoothie is a great way to get some decent calories early in the day and keep you feeling full during your morning rush. Bringing a piece of fruit, like an apple, into the car to eat on the way to work is a nice option too. Overnight oats are also a great option for an easy breakfast. They are nutrient dense, filled with healthy calories (as long as you don't load it up with sugary things) and will give you some much needed fiber. Here are some awesome overnight oats recipes: https://fb.watch/4Bw5KzLIi3/
This time of the day seems to be a bit easier for people to sit down and have a meal. Salads with some type of protein on top seemed to be go to for a lot of my patients. That is great, but sometimes salads aren't very nutrient dense unless you put some fancy stuff on top. Consider adding cheeses, hard boiled eggs, nuts and seeds to your salads to increase your caloric intake. Even having 2 hard boiled eggs pre-peeled as a snack each day is a great way to get some good fats and protein into your body! Cottage cheese with hummus or veggies is also a great way to increase your snack or lunch calories.
It is actually amazing how much better your body can feel if fueled appropriately. There is no reason to feel like hell on a daily basis just because you aren't eating enough! Our bodies require a sufficient amount of calories to just FUNCTION, add working and exercise into that and we NEED to fuel more!
If you have more questions about nutrition and adequate fueling, please consider scheduling a consultation or new patient appointment with Dr. Rachel Stummer by CLICKING HERE.
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