Support for me

Eat Well

There is research to suggest that what we eat may affect not just our physical health, but also our mental health and wellbeing.

A recent study found that a Mediterranean-style diet (a diet high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil.) supplemented with fish oil led to a reduction in depression among participants, which was sustained six months after the intervention.

Australian Guide to Healthy Eating adopting healthier habits click below to access useful brochure:

Tips for eating healthy at work

  • Try to bring homemade meals and snacks with you. 
  • Try to eat regularly around the same time every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner to help maintain a healthy eating pattern.
  • Don’t wait until you’re too hungry to eat. Be sure to include healthy snacks during your shift to keep your energy levels up. Avoid snacks high in fat, sugar and salt.
  • Avoid sugary drinks. Fill a large reusable water bottle with fresh water that can be refilled.  Select whole fruit over fruit juices. Limit soft drinks.

Shift work, eating, mental health and healthy habits

Shift work is difficult and associated with numerous problems as the normal working, eating and sleeping phases of the day are changed. Having more structure with meal times, planning and following a routine will help achieve or maintain a healthy weight, stay alert and feel your best at work and when you are at home.

Eating tips for surviving shift work

  • Eat minimally when digestive system is sleeping. Eating increases inflammation when body is caught off guard.
  • Eat mostly during daylight hours. Night time is when your digestive system rests.
  • Avoid eating large meals late at night. This will make you sleepy. You will be more alert with smaller meals.
  • Choose liquid meals at night. Soups/smoothies /slow cooker reduces the digestive load.
  • Avoid refined carbohydrates. Pancreas secretes less insulin at night time and you will have greater loads of circulating glucose which increases your diabetes risk.
  • Food increases blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates the most followed by protein and then healthy fats.
  • Choose nutrient dense foods. to support stress “Comfort foods” give the opposite effect.
  • Don’t go to bed hungry. It leads to increased bowel sounds and stress hormones which cause broken sleep.

Healthy convenience can help keep you feeling at your best

  • Try a bowl of cereal with low-fat milk.
  • Enjoy plain yoghurt topped with fruit and nuts or oats.
  • Have wholegrain toast with peanut butter or avocado.
  • Eat wholegrain biscuits with hummus.

Time poor for meal preparation? Tips to Try:

  • Cook in bulk and freeze leftover portions in single-serve size containers ready to just heat and eat.
  • Shop and cook with a friend. Spending time with others can also be great for improving your mood.
  • Consider a food swap. Trade extra portions of meals that you have cooked with a friend in a similar situation.
  • Keep plenty of convenient meal options on hand. Frozen vegetables are fantastic. Tinned fish and canned beans are convenient sources of protein.