Foods to Help Indiana Caregivers Fight Fatigue
February 3, 2015
One of the challenges of being an Indiana family caregiver is figuring out how to find time to take care of your own wellness needs. The around-the-clock demands of caregiving often mean meals on the run and little time to exercise. Weary caregivers often load up on carbs, caffeine, and comfort foods that offer a short-term energy spike. It is a cycle that can lead to serious fatigue.
Food Choices That Can Help Indiana Caregivers Fight Fatigue
Instead of relying on convenience foods and fast-food restaurants for meals, there are food choices Indiana caregivers can make that will fight fatigue. Here are a few suggestions to consider:
- Pre-plan menus: Review your schedule a week at a time and plan healthy meals around it. If you know you have an evening appointment one day and a morning appointment another, you can plan quick and healthy meals ahead of time. Stock your refrigerator once a week with healthy snacks and a big salad. Also consider scheduling time a few days a month to stock your freezer with healthy meals you can use when you are in a rush.
- Limit caffeine: When you are running on too little sleep and have a long day ahead of you, it might be tempting to overdo caffeinated beverages and energy drinks. While they may give you a short-term energy spike, over the course of a long day they will leave you feeling even more fatigued. Caffeine is also a known contributor of sleep problems and insomnia. Opt for water with lemon or herbal tea instead.
- Eat a breakfast of champions: Start your day right by eating a healthy breakfast. Lean protein in the morning can help you avoid a mid-morning energy slump.
- Combine healthy carbs with protein: Plan meals that include both healthy carbs and protein. Because this combination of foods is absorbed more slowly by the body, it will keep you feeling full longer. Preventing unhealthy spikes in blood sugar can keep you from reaching for comfort foods such as starchy or sugary treats.
- Stay hydrated: A little known cause of fatigue is dehydration. Not drinking enough water or consuming foods with a high water content can cause fatigue. Try to drink eight glasses of water each day. Foods that can help promote hydration include melons, cucumber, tomatoes, berries, and apples.
We hope these tips help Indiana caregivers find healthy ways to manage the fatigue that comes from caring for a senior loved one!