Obesity has long been associated with driving a truck. It’s a mainly sedentary job and despite the lack of physical activity, it can be exhausting. After a long stretch behind the wheel, drivers want to relax and rest up for the next shift. Fitting in adequate exercise can be difficult so maintaining a healthy weight can be challenging.
It doesn’t have to be that way. With effort and planning, it is possible to make healthy meals while you’re out on the road. One of the keys to healthy eating on the road is to keep your truck well-stocked with healthy choices. If you don’t have them on hand, it’ll be harder to resist picking up truck stop food.
Start by using the right equipment. Space in a truck is always limited so think about the foods you’d like to make in your truck. There are numerous cooking options such as a hot pot, microwave, toaster, small slow cooker, portable stove, and two-burner stovetop. A fridge is a necessity and one with a freezer is best.
When you make your own meals, you are in total control. How many calories, how much salt, and fat are entirely up to you. Processed foods tend to be higher in all of these things, especially sodium, and if you are overweight and have heart issues or high blood pressure, it’s important to watch your salt intake.
Protein helps you feel fuller for longer. Having a protein-packed breakfast will help keep you from reaching for snacks. Some delicious ideas to start the day are:
- Whole wheat toast with peanut butter (lots of protein)
- Instant oatmeal
- Cottage cheese with fresh fruit
- Whole-grain cereal
- Low-fat yogurt with fresh fruit
- Omelets (throw in your favorite protein, cheeses, and veggies)
- Wraps are great for lunch because you can eat with one hand and fill them with anything you like. Use lean meats like sliced turkey, or tuna, and add tons of fresh veggies. Use a low-carb or whole wheat wrap to make it even healthier.
- Soups (pick the non-creamy, low-sodium varieties)
- Veggie pasta salad
If you have a freezer (you should), stock it with healthy treats like frozen yogurt or fruit bars. Other handy snacks:
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Cheese and whole-grain crackers
- Dried fruit (great snack that doesn’t need to be refrigerated)
- Unsalted mixed nuts
Meal prep is your friend. Many websites show you how to make a week’s worth of meals in one day. Make them the day before your trip and pack them in reusable plastic containers. Meal prep often involves cooking a protein, like chicken, and then adding rice or noodles, various veggies and sauces and spices, varying them so each meal is different. It’s an inexpensive way to give yourself some variety in your healthy dinners.
Rotisserie chicken can be thrown in with some pre-cooked rice and veggies and a little soy sauce, made into a delicious chicken salad wrap, or tossed on a salad.
Tuna casserole can be cooked on a stovetop or in a slow cooker. Egg noodles, tuna, cream of mushroom soup, cheese, and frozen peas, and you’ve got a hardy meal.
Mac-n-cheese can be made in a crockpot with cheese, macaroni, milk, butter, and eggs. It’s not the healthiest, but you’ve got to indulge every now and then.
When you do eat out on the road, try for healthier options like food that is grilled instead of fried, skip the hamburger bun, and drink water instead of soda.
By planning and prepping your meals before you head out on the road, it’ll be easier to maintain a healthy weight, you’ll have more energy, and you’ll feel better about yourself.
If you’re looking to start a career in the trucking industry, Trucker Search can help. Connecting truck drivers and employers is what we do. It’s quick, easy, and it can get you that dream job on the open road. Get started today at TruckerSearch.com or call us at (888)254-3712.