Healthy Habits: Tips (and Recipes) for Eating Well Behind the Wheel
Eating healthy while you’re driving a truck can be difficult. There aren’t very many options for “healthy fast food” in America, and trucks stops offering nutritious snacks are few and far between. Until the day comes where healthy food is fast and readily available, truckers must fend for themselves. Fortunately, this is easier than you might think. Just be realistic, and ease yourself into these changes. With a few simple adjustments, you may find developing healthy habits is doable – and your body will thank you for it.
Understand Your Nutrition Requirements and Habits
First, understand what you do and don’t need. Age, gender, weight, and activity level dictate how much you should eat. If you don’t know what your body needs, you can’t exactly provide it. Here are a few guidelines to help you get started:
- Pay attention to portion. Too much or too little will lead to exhaustion on the road. More specifically, if you eat a lot before sleeping, your body has no way to convert those calories into energy. Thus, it’s also important to consider when you eat.
- Drink water. Sugary sodas load you down with empty calories, and they interfere with your internal fuel gauge. Drink more water, and you’ll have a better sense of when you’re actually hungry. This will do wonders for your new meal plan.
- Know what you crave, and find a good substitute. If you want chocolate or sodas, don’t deny or ignore those hankerings – this will just send you on a sugar bender down the line. Instead, be realistic and find a substitute that satisfies. For example, eating when you’re bored could be a major problem for drivers on a long stretch of California highway. Sunflower seeds or almonds solve this issue. So try changing snack types; if you’re aching for sugar, try dates or cherries, which are incredibly rich fruits.
Brown Bag It
Another trick is to avoid fast food entirely. This may seem impossible as a trucker, but it is more than doable. Try portable cooking equipment, such as a slow cooker. Moreover, pausing to make a quick meal gives you time to unwind and rest from the road. Use cooking to refocus and nourish your body with the filling meals it needs. This allows you to control what goes into your food, and these recipes are easy and satisfying.
Make a Meal Plan
If you just wait until your belly rumbles, you’ll probably find yourself scanning exit signs for your favorite fast food joint or greasy diner. Instead, schedule meal times when you plan out the rest of a trip. Calorie counting may not seem like fun at first, but it can improve the quality of your entire haul. To make it easier, you can plan to eat your meals at scenic stops or your favorite places to unwind.
With a little self-evaluation and honesty, it’s easy to find a path to healthier eating. Know what your body needs, be honest with what you want (and find acceptable substitutes), and plan ahead. Take these actionable steps for a healthier lifestyle, and you’ll notice a difference.