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Ambulance Nutrition

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  • Ambulance Nutrition

    Heyo! I work as a full time EMT for a rural (yet busy) ambulance service. We are the sole advanced life support provider in the area, responding to all 911 calls. Presently, all shifts are either 12 or 24 hours on call. During this time you're assigned to a unit which operates from posting points around the county (the 12 hour unit), or comes from a station (the 24 hour unit).

    Downtime is rare. While I am relatively new to this profession, I knew from the start that the health and fitness level of the common responder was nothing to admire. This observation is painfully true, as most of the individuals in my agency are not models of good health.

    To put it simply, I absolutely do not have adequate time to maintain proper nutritional intake while working this profession. If we stop for food, it's usually at a location where we can get something quick for obvious reasons. If one person wants to go here, and the other elsewhere, we're knowingly sacrificing our eating time; we're bound to get a call with a full mouth. I'd consider myself to be a fit and healthy person -- I do not intend to let myself slip into a life of lard.

    My question is this:

    To those of you who work a busy schedule, how do you maintain nutrition throughout the day? I currently carry gratuitous amounts of healthy snack food on the truck, but am looking for quick alternatives. Preparing food prior to shift is a difficult task, since hours worked vary daily. What say you? Do you have any suggestions for on-the-go eating?

  • #2
    My wife and I make meat wraps all the time for situations like this. Cold cuts (roast beef is my favorite) wrapped around avocado, peppers, and spinach. Also copious veggies and fruit, of course.


    • #3
      I don't have any great suggestions. I just want to thank you for serving!
      Ancestral Health Info

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      • #4
        Prepare large batches of stuff on your downtime. This doesn't have to be food you need to reheat. My dad has a strategy where he makes all his sandwiches for the week on Sunday and then freezes them so he just grabs one each morning--this also solves the refrigeration problem because it thaws slowly through the morning. Obviously, you don't want to eat sandwiches, but you could set up something similar (like the cold cut wraps john_solo describes as long as you use freezer-friendly fillings).
        “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

        Owly's Journal


        • #5
          Yup...cook huge batches of meat at once. I tend to grill as much meat as will fit on my large grill all at once. Slice and freeze in individual serving sizes.

          Twice a week....basically whenever you get a chance cut salad veggies and store in a tupperware. Carrots, peppers, celery and other hard dry veggies last quite a while pre-cut. Cucumber probably only last 2-3 days max. Lettuce, washed, spun dry and packed between paper towels can last a week - do not tear leaves until day of use.

          Hardboiled eggs last about a week in the fridge

          5 minutes in the morning Grab yourveggies, make your BAS, grab a packet of meat out of the freezer and toss it in, Toss in a HB egg if you have time. Buy the small size of gladware (small rubbermaid is a pain to open) and have your dressing stacked in the fridge in individual servings. The meat will thaw by lunch and keep everything else cool.

          And pre plan. Make a list of the most common places they go to eat and know EXACTLY what you are willing and not willing to order from there.

          In a pinch keep non perishable staples with you. Nuts, protein powder and a shaker, etc.
          MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

          "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7