Whether an EMT or a firefighter, finding the time to eat healthily can be a challenge. From getting up early, working long hours, and never knowing when you’ll be able to have a few minutes to yourself — let alone cook — making healthy eating choices is tough.
But when properly fueled, EMTs and firefighters are prepared — not only physically, but mentally too — to do their jobs at their best when needed.
A recent article from Medic Madness shared a first-person account of a nutritional guide that worked for the author in hopes of other EMTs will adopt a similar mindset.
Below is an excerpt from the Medic Madness article.
First things first…you gotta get on some sort of a plan. Notice that I’m not saying “diet”. Diets deprive, restrict and lead to failure. A nutrition plan is a set of guidelines to follow. For me, I just do basic clean eating. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated.
Here are my basic rules:
1: Avoid processed foods. If it comes out of a bag, can, or box, it probably has more ingredients than you need.
2: Stick to foods that your great, great, great grandparents would recognize (thank you, Tony Horton). For example: Fish, meat, vegetables, eggs, fruit.
3: Avoid simple or “empty” carbs. Try eating whole-grain instead.
That’s pretty much it. My only other thing is portion control. The only exception I can think of when it comes to processed foods are nutritional supplements like protein powders or recovery drinks. However, it is extremely important to pay close attention to the ingredients as many “health” shakes or supplements are actually not very healthy at all. I eat clean about 80-90% of the time and reserve my “cheat meals” for things like going out with friends, enjoying beer and food at a baseball game, etc. I still enjoy all the same things I did before, I just do it in moderation now.
This is what works for me. You might be interested or require a completely different nutrition plan and that’s just fine. Whatever it is, just figure it out so you can start to plan!
To read the full article from MedicMadness.com about meal planning on an EMTs schedule, click here.