What a nurse really eats after a 12-hour shift

Everyone’s got a food story to tell… Welcome back to Fridge Raid, the delicious. interview series where people from all walks of life answer our nosiest food questions. Each week, we ask real people to reveal the quirky realities of how they really eat – and the food experiences that shaped them.

This week, nurse and cycling fan Isi Routledge shares exactly what she looks forward to eating after a long day of work, what she treats herself to at M&S – and the snacks that fuel her bike trips.

What a nurse really eats after a 12-hour shift

Pick ‘n’ mix

What do you always have in your fridge?
Blueberries, greek yogurt, veggie sausages, peppers, mushrooms and milk.

How do you organise your fridge?
Haphazardly! I should have a system, but I don’t.

What are your go-to ingredients for making a meal taste good?
I love adding fresh herbs, especially basil and chives, plus paprika and cheese.

What food can you eat on repeat?
Brie and chutney sandwiches, sweet potato soup and crusty bread.

What food can you not stand?
I absolutely loathe root vegetables.

What do you cook for yourself when nobody else is around?
After a 12-hour shift at the hospital, I like nothing more than spaghetti hoops on toast.

It’s hard to beat spaghetti hoops on toast


What’s your corner shop treat of choice?
A bounty bar.

What recipe do you know by heart?
I can make lasagnes and crumbles without a cookbook in sight.

Do you have any food rituals?
I always have porridge for breakfast with berries, seeds and honey.


The main meal

When did you learn to cook?
At university, when I shared a house with friends and we would cook each night.

What attitudes towards food did you grow up with?
Finish everything on your plate, don’t be fussy and food is fuel not something pleasurable. I now know it can be both.

Do you have any strong food preferences or restrictions? 
I’ve been vegetarian for 30 years. It used to be difficult, but it’s become so much easier to eat amazing meals when I go out and cook at home.

How does your job affect how you eat?
On work days I’m always ravenous, so take lots of snacks to keep going. Sometimes we don’t get time for breaks, so I eat on the go or when I’m doing paperwork.

How do your hobbies affect how you eat?
When I’m active I definitely eat more so I have a good supply of snacks on hand. I take Trek bars, fig rolls, bananas, apples, jelly babies and cashew nuts with me on cycling trips.

"On work days I'm always ravenous, so take lots of snacks... Sometimes we don’t get time for breaks, so I eat on the go or when doing paperwork"

What does eating healthily mean to you?
Eating everything in moderation. I try to eat lots of protein and reduce my sugar intake. And as a veggie, I try to have enough iron and vitamin C.

Hearty energy bars help fuel cycling trips


My bite-sized week

What was the best thing you ate this week?
I went out for a curry and had a vegetable balti with mushroom rice and naan bread – it was so tasty!

What was the most mundane meal you ate?
A big bowl of Shreddies after work.

Did you cook a meal off the cuff?
I made a macaroni cheese and used up all the veggies in my fridge – leeks, spinach, mushrooms and peppers.

What food/drink did you buy on the go?
A latte halfway round my bike ride.

What was your treat of the week?
I made a banana and fruit loaf from the Mary Berry cookbook I received for Christmas, and it was as lovely as it sounded.

Where did you shop for food – and what did you buy?
I did a big shop at Lidl and then a few extras from M&S as a treat – their posh hotdogs and brioche hotdog buns.

And what did you do to relax?
I went to a ballroom dance class with my partner, walked my dogs, did some cycling, went out for a curry with two of my sons and went to see Michael Mosley speak.

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