All in a day's work: Lisa the Police Dispatcher
Lisa, the police dispatcher
Lisa is in her early 40s and does shift work as a dispatcher for the police. Her job is sedentary and high-stress. Being in command and control of police units requires quick thinking and rapid response. The work comes in sporadically so breaks are dictated by work demand rather than the clock. Her meals need to be quick to prepare and eat, and transportable. Despite most shift workers struggling with their weight due to irregular eating and a propensity for junk foods/snacks (along with too much caffeine), Lisa has managed to maintain a healthy weight by being disciplined with meal planning, regular meals and exercise.
Doing the night shift 2145-0700 tonight
9.45am Finished last work shift at 2am so breakfast is later than usual. Green tea smoothie, 2 poached eggs, and 1 black coffee with 2 sweeteners.
11.45am Post 5km run: protein shake, 14 almonds. 2pm ¼ avocado, 1 tomato, 85g canned tuna, 4 Healtheries grain wafers.
Afternoon I would usually eat something here but instead I
have a nap before the night shift.
7pm 2 cups salad (baby spinach, carrot, ¼ avocado, capsicum, cucumber, tomato, pumpkin seeds), 280g baked salmon fillet.
9pm 1 cup black coffee with 2 sweeteners and 1 snack-size Snickers bar (pretty occasional to have a treat like this). This is my pre-work snack, as I don’t know when I will be able to eat next.
1am 2 cups salad (same as earlier) 85g canned chicken, 1 cup black coffee with2 sweeteners. I don’t feel like eating, but know that if I don’t the opportunity might not come again.
5am Breakfast #2 1 cup frozen mixed berries with ½ cup low-fat yoghurt. I find that if I have a little something before I finish work at 7am it holds off the end-of-night nausea that sometimes hits and makes it easier to get to sleep when I get home.
Nadia Lim’s quick nutritional analysis
I commend you on eating well in a job that is not conducive to healthy eating — it requires discipline and organisation. You consume a good amount of vitamins, minerals, lean protein and healthy fats from the abundance of fruit, vegetables and salmon. However, your diet is very low carbohydrate — the only complex carbohydrate in your whole day is the grain wafers. (Your fruit has some carbohydrate, but not enough for the whole day.) Carbohydrates break down into glucose for energy. Our liver stores glucose to turn to for energy when we are low or exercising. Add in a potato, some kumara or pasta to your salad and a piece of whole-grain toast with your eggs. You could also add more yoghurt into your diet – it is high in calcium that your diet is also low on.