YOU are what you eat.
That's the message that CQ Natural Health naturopath Lydia Baillie wants to promote to Gladstone workers - especially tradies who work long, hard, tedious hours.
With an increase of fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in-drive-out (DIDO) workers travelling to Gladstone to make the most of the work boom, many tradies are opting for quick-fix meals as their daily food source.
Working as a qualified naturopath for six years, Ms Baillie said many tradies in Gladstone were not getting enough nutritional value from the foods they were eating.
"A lot are living on takeaway and pub meals," Ms Baillie said.
The problem with this epidemic in fast food may seem harmless to some, but Ms Baillie said there were consequences to this sort of ongoing food intake.
"These sorts of eating habits can cause high increases in sugar, sulphates, weight gain, high blood pressure and diabetes," she said.
"Your immune system may become run down and can result in decreased energy levels."
In the past few years, Ms Baillie said she had seen a huge increase in people buying takeaway meals.
"Companies should be putting more education on the importance of eating healthy to help enhance their staff performance," she said.
Ms Baillie's advice to tradies is simple.
"They can't change their work, so they need to become organized with their meals," she said.
"If they've got everything at home, there's no excuse why they can't be prepared."
As an apprentice carpenter in Gladstone, Mick Messer sees many of his workmates eating takeaway meals every day.
"I take my lunch to work a lot," he said.
"Others eat Maccas or Subway."
Gladstone's Gourmet Grub owner Tim Van Ekeren is well aware of the need for healthier foods in the region and said this was the reason the business existed.
"We do pre-packaged meals that are the equivalent of what you'd call a home-cooked meal," he said.
- Chicken and rice
- Lean meat and vegetables
- Salad and tuna
THE hours of the day often slip away for drive-in drive-out carpenter Ben Mc Bride, but the busy tradie still manages to make time for a healthy meal to nourish his body.
Working 10-hour days, Mr Mc Bride, 23, said while he did not usually get time to eat breakfast, he still tried to eat a healthy lunch and dinner.
"I usually have salad sandwiches for lunch," he said.
"And dinners are usually a salad with whatever I feel like cooking with it."
Although he tried to stay away from fast foods, Mr Mc Bride said it was easy to get into the habit of eating take away.
"When I'm working long hours and feel tired and lazy I really can't be bothered to cook," he said.
"But it helps when takeaway outlets can do home cooked meals for us that still have nutritional value."
A worker from the Sunshine Coast, Mr McBride admitted he frequently used to eat ready-made frozen meals when he first started work in Gladstone.
"I would eat them if I was really lazy," he said.
"But it's not a habit I like to have."