Just Add Veggies for a Happy Human

Blog Author: Melissa Evans LVT, CVT, VTS (ECC)
NAVTA CE Committee Member

I love fresh food. I love farmers’ markets, fresh fruit and vegetables, giant salads, and warm soup. I choose not to eat meat. I don’t have a big sweet tooth, but dark chocolate is a weakness. I’ll always choose salty over sweet. Barbeque potato chips are the best food ever made.

When I get hungry, it’s not pretty. My brain stops working very quickly when I don’t have fresh food. I’m a terrible person to take on road trips because, despite the fact that I consider BBQ Pringles to be a road trip necessity, I lose my mind if I don’t eat fresh food. That is not easy to come by on the road, especially for a vegetarian. I can’t have a conversation, make decisions or even speak without whining. I get HANGRY.

In emergency medicine (and in veterinary medicine in general), we often don’t have the time to feed ourselves. This is because things are moving so quickly, and if we are lucky, we have time to shove some chips or candy or whatever the hospital happens to have sitting around in our mouths in between rounds of CPR. Otherwise, we just hope we will have a lull to eat something that approximates a meal.

To take care of myself (and make sure the hangry doesn’t make me someone you don’t want to work a shift with), I started prepping vegetables and fruits so that they are available for me to grab in the morning and bring to work. I don’t like food prepping, but chopping a few extra fruits and vegetables when making dinner isn’t extra work. Then when I open the fridge in the morning, I see everything ready to go, and I feel accomplished.

It makes a huge difference to have something that I want to eat. Something that makes me feel good and elevates my mood.  It also gives me an excuse to stock onion dip; you know, the kind that comes in powdered form that you add to sour cream in the house. (Try making it with plain Greek yogurt. It’s amazing!) A bowl of that and some veggies, and I am a happy human. And some BBQ chips for good measure.