March 15, 2023 Culinary Nutrition and Decreasing Caregiver Stress with Daily Duties
As a caregiver, you can become so busy sometimes with caring for the patient or loved one that you may forget to keep your own nutrition and health in mind. The caregiver can sometimes provide up to twelve hours of assistance in a day. This responsibility along with other job duties and chores, can take a toll on the caregiver, which can result in experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and overall bad health.
Caregiver Stress & Diet
All of this stress can lead to having limited time to grocery shop, cook, and plan meals that can then lead to unhealthy eating habits such as fast food, sugars and sweets, and too much processed food. This style of eating will eventually lead to lack of nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, minerals, fruits, vegetables, etc. This can then lead to risk of malnutrition and lots of stress.
Eating a healthy diet can reduce stress, bad mental health, and your overall physical health. It is important to remember while the caregiver is focused on caregiving and providing healthy meals, they need to care for themselves. There are some easy and helpful tips to begin with keeping your nutrition at its best.
The first way is to include beverages with each meal, and two or three times between your meals. Some of these drinks could be water, milk, healthy juices, or non-sweetened beverages. Sip but don’t drink too much because it may water down stomach acids and lose digestion rate.
The next important step is to focus on protein, which is very important to build strength and provide important minerals to your body. Some foods you can implement that will increase your protein are organic:
• Greek yogurt
• Nut butters such as peanut butter and almond butter
• Protein drinks and shakes
It is also very important to remember that eating healthy does not always mean you have to eat perfectly. It is important to try your best to stay away from foods that are unnatural and filled with a lot of added sugar. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, it’s most likely harmful and should go in your body!
Just do your best to include foods that have more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Meal planning and prepping some healthy meals ahead of time is also another simple way to avoid too much takeout and fast food.
Although there are only so many hours in a day that go towards work, responsibilities, and just life, it is still very important for you to take care of your own nutrition and overall health.
Once again, being a caregiver and caring for another person all day can be very draining and time consuming. It can also cause you to forget that you need to take care of yourself just as much as you are for that other person, because self-care and healthy nutrition should be a top priority for you and your community.
Author: Natalie Braslau
Editors: Keith & Kat Demps