Balance. That’s one thing FarmHer oncology nurse, Erica Loesel has figured out. From balancing two careers in two different industries to balancing her lifestyle, she does it all. After losing a family member to cancer, Erica (aka The Code Blue FarmHer) knew nursing was her calling. But she wasn’t quite ready to give up the farm yet.
Growing up on a cash crop farm (with a few organic crops too) Erica initially had no intention of returning home to the farm. Her mind was made up on oncology nursing. Then the dreaded year hit. 2020. Do I need to say more?
Once the pandemic began, she was at home full-time as she was still a nursing student. After completing her assignments and classes, Erica helped her family on the farm. Soon, she discovered she belonged there and didn’t want to give agriculture up.
So like many FarmHers, the balancing act of two careers began.
Nurse Who Is Also a FarmHer
In December 2022, Erica graduated (Go Erica!) nursing school and became a full-time Registered Nurse at a hospital. But for Erica, it’s not enough to just exist in both careers. She wants to raise awareness in two of the most important industries in our country: healthcare and agriculture.
That’s why she started an her Instagram account: thecodebluefarmher. There you can find content from farm safety tips, workout goals, healthy eating inspiration, and a peek into her everyday life. For Erica, so much of her “why” applies to both industries. As all FarmHers know, a healthy, balanced lifestyle is so important.
That’s why Erica meal preps and fits fitness into her schedule every week. Because farming and fitness go hand in hand!
Fitness and Farming
And whether Erica is gearing up for a 12-hour shift at the hospital or climbing up into the tractor for a long day in the field she can be confident her body is capable of keeping her safe through both thanks to fitness. Her workout of choice is Crossfit because she believes it is a form of functional fitness that is applicable to all aspects of life.
In the gym, she does farmer’s carry so she can carry heavy parts.
In the gym, she performs deadlifts to have a strong back to help lift patients in the hospital or pick large rocks out of the fields.
In the gym, she does heavy stone-to-shoulder lifts so she can load 50-pound seed bags for hours on end during planting season.
In the gym, she works on her cardio endurance so she can make it through a long nurse shift on her feet all day. Fitness helps her body stays safe while she lives a physically demanding lifestyle like most FarmHers.
A Balanced Lifestyle
Another place Erica feels right at home is in the kitchen. Her tips to maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle during the busy farm season and flu season as a nurse are:
- Try to prep whole-ingredient snacks for long days in the field. Erica is a HUGE fan of meal prep because you can never be too prepared.
- Do your best to get 7+ hours of sleep a night. We know this is easier said than done in the height of the busy season but make rest a priority in your schedule.
- Get your physical activity in! Maybe yours is dancing in your kitchen or walking in the morning. Hers is Crossfit.
- Check in on your mental health! Farming is a stressful career that can weigh heavy on your mind.
Erica’s platform inspires women to “do both” just like her! Because as a FarmHer or even just a woman in general, we know life is a balancing act. For Erica, consistency, a healthy lifestyle, and the drive to be an advocate for both nurses and women in agriculture are what keep her going. We had the best time following her life for the past month on our social media channels and hope you will give her a follow too.