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Scott Parker 08-06-2005 12:05 PM

in the last six months my diet has completely gone to crap for numerous reasons (work, practicum, finals, boards, etc.). now i am working as a full-time registered nurse in the ED of a busy trauma center, working 12 hour shifts. the problem is finding ways to eat properly while at work. when i say it's busy, it's an understatement. i'm lucky if i get a 30 minute break during the entire shift, but have time here and there to sneak off and throw something down, and unfortunately, lately it's been nasty hospital food i've been shoveling down, and it's all garbage and i feel like crap from it.

does anyone have any ideas for quick (this is key!) simple paleo friendly meals that i can make at home and bring with me? i also eat dairy here and there to add variety. i'm just getting sick (literally!) of the same old food, i.e. grilled chicken and sweet potatoes! some variety would be nice!

thank you all in advance for your advice and suggestions!

Kristian Palaoro 08-06-2005 03:09 PM

My take on your situation is that you are sick of eating. 12 hour shifts blow, I know. I do 15 hours every other night with 4 hours on in between days. I work from dusk till dawn, and sleep days. Plus, the long nights are on a small whaler boat.

Not sure how this will fit into the true paleo plan, but I make a ziploc baggy full of, well I don't know what to call it. I take a tortilla, the kind that's lard free, and canola? oil, so its lower fat. I then take three slices of precut smoked turkey breast (its around 10% fat by Calories, I get it at Costco), and put about three tablespoons of salsa and a few shakes of Tabasco for pep. I cut them halvsies, and stick six halves in a ziploc.

By my guess, its a total of ~48g protein. I suppose you could fault the salsa for 12g sugar total, but I use the peach mango salsa, so not much is added to it.

It only takes about four bites to down a half (the big 10in torts), and given your time constraints, it seems to fit the need there. I really haven't gotten tired of them, and when refrigerated (or a cooler), they don't get appreciably soggy after 12 hours. I'm sure you could tailor what you put in it to fit the diet better.

Hope this spurs more paleo friendly entries.

Jason Simpkins 08-06-2005 03:49 PM


How about a quick meal replacement? There are many quality MRP's on the market that come in travel pouches and can be mixed in a shaker in 30 seconds. Much better than the **** in vending machines.

Steven C. Herndon 08-07-2005 06:54 PM

Scott,congratulations on passing boards! I am starting nursing school on the 22nd and working full time as a Secretary/monitor tech in a surgical i.c.u., so I am just hoping to have enough time to work out and study. I always make a big pot of soup. I take 1 can of beef broth, 1 can ea. of spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, black beans, red beans and corn. I heat and put in the new zip lock bowls with some olive oil, Cheyenne pepper and lemon pepper and freeze 12 bowls worth. For the protein you can add your favorite meat or fat free cottage cheese. I know, sounds gross, but everyone who tries it likes it. Gives it a nice flavor, believe it or not. Not exactly paleo, but easy to make Zone proportioned, and quick to heat and eat. I also do a zone sized snack of 1 apple, 12 almonds and two low fat cheese sticks. Hope this helps a little.

Scott Parker 08-13-2005 10:33 AM

well, i've made one change that will hopefully allow me to eat on a more regulalr basis. i am leaving the ED and going to SICU. will only have 2 patients. it will still be very busy (i work at a regional level II trauma center in jersey city), but will be a bit more structured and i don't really see it being a problem to take a few mins. here and there to eat. i'll miss the ED, but since starting a few months ago i have been losing weight, mostly because i don't get a chance to eat on my shift. the ED is obviously my first choice, but honestly my healh is way more important.


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