Travel Life: 6 Ways Improve Your Fast Food Menu

 

It’s hard to avoid all fast food when every truck stop has a fast food restaurant attached to it. But as your trucking fitness company, I believe that you don’t have to avoid every fast food restaurant, but you do need to be smart when at them or making your own meals. Living a travel life doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and be healthy. Food is fuel, but the food is also meant to be enjoyed, and when you have a better baseline of knowledge as to what to eat and how to eat, it can take the stress off of the actual eating experience. 

 

There is no question, we all need to eat, but for truck drivers, and those living a travel life, convenience often plays a role in what food choices to grab when the dinner bell rings. I’ve been in the health and fitness arena for nearly 20 years, and when it comes to fast food, other people are telling you not to eat the stuff, but I’m telling you to be smart about it. 

 

Not all fast food is terrible, and with a bit more understanding of what you are looking at and looking for, you can turn a pounds-packing meal into a healthier one. Truck driver health is essential, without your health, you can’t drive. But it might be time to tune in and pay attention to what you are putting into your mouth on a daily basis. As a trucking fitness company, I believe that it’s about the small simple changes that you make on a daily basis that will lead you to the results you are looking for for a lifetime. 

 

5 Ways to Improve Truck Driver Health And Eat Better living a travel life.

 Google it.

Yes, Google the fast-food joint you are going to eat at BEFORE you go to eat. Fast food chains with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name that sells restaurant-style food are required to provide customers with calorie and nutrition information. By before? Well, when you walk into a restaurant, you will more than likely be hungry, and that means you will be picking and choosing your menu options based on hunger, not on health, which means what you leave with might be more than a burger and fries, but the pounds to go with it.

 

A study posted in Science Daily shared that Dr. Benjamin Vincent from the University’s Psychology department found that: “hunger significantly altered people’s decision-making, making them impatient and more likely to settle for a small reward that arrives sooner a larger one promised at a later date.” The study above means that out the window, go your intentions to eat healthier, and stay on track. Once you walk in the door and smell the food and see the food photos shot in perfection, your brain goes nuts. 

 

Eat smart, and that means doing a little prep work beforehand. With COVID, you can now order your food for curbside pick up, which means you don’t even have to walk in and smell those smells. And with apps now making it easier to have food brought to you (even as a truck driver), you can order before you get hungry and make those good choices. My suggestion, make a list; if you know that there are certain fast-food chains at your regular stops, make a list of the menu options you feel are better options and write them down. That way, when it’s time to stop, you don’t make a decision you will later regret. 

Aim for 500 calories.

It’s easy to grab that brown paper bag and jumbo size drink and in just 10 minutes have ingested upwards of 800 calories per meal. A published in MBJ noted that the average adult consumes 847 calories every time they eat fast food, but what I found was interesting is that those adults all thought they were eating less-175 calories less. What if you are someone who eats fast food three times a day> Well, that’s oversight of 525 calories, an entire meal! 

 

What does a 500 calorie meal look like?

At a burger joint, that could be a small burger and fries. Hungry for chicken? How about a four-piece chicken nugget and a side salad or grilled chicken sandwich and side salad. Are you feeling Mexican? Ditch the tortilla and go for a chicken burrito bowl with black beans instead. Or how about a single chicken and beef taco to go?

You can find all of these options at various fast-food chains, and when in a pinch, they can do the trick and are a better option than the Double Big Mac with XL fries.

Be mindful of unhealthy possibilities in disguise, salads loaded with cheese, croutons, and other toppings can tip the calorie meter well past 500, as well as the new rage on veggie burgers. Not only can these options account for way more calories, but they can also take your sodium through the roof. Truck driver health is not just eating a burger without a bun, although that’s a good start, it means you start to pay attention to what you are putting into your mouth first and what that looks like in reference to what maybe you should be eating. 

Mix n’ Match- Bring your items.

Some drivers do not have space or the ability to travel with a fridge in their truck, but the good news is there are many food items and condiments that you can travel with that do not need refrigeration. If you like the convenience of fast food but know it’s not the healthiest choice, why not mix and match some of their food with some of yours. Items like nuts, seeds, seasonings, and dried fruits and veggies not only travel well are super yummy when added to a salad or as a replacement for your fries. 

Swap it out.

That swap can create a better balance of healthy fats, proteins, and an overall boost in nutrition, for those of you who don’t regularly travel with food and prefer to buy as you eat. I suggest you head into the truck stop first and grab a container of carrots and hummus, or a bag of nuts (lightly or unsalted), hard-boiled eggs, an apple or orange, and you have yourself a well-rounded meal once you order that single burger or DIY salad. 

Understand Portion Sizes.

Do not fall victim to the “value” menu advertising angles. Your waistline and heart health are not worth a few pennies saved. As the fast-food industry has grown over the years, so has the size of their food. Although the appeal is there, “buy more for less.” Do you need a 20 piece chicken nugget? Do you need five roast beef sandwiches? Now I know the logic would be “I’ll eat them later,” but let’s be honest, how many people save them for their next meal? It’s a vicious cycle that needs to stop, and the best way to stop it is by becoming more aware of how much you should be eating. 

Portion Sizes Guide To Better Truck Driver Health.

As your trucking fitness company, I take your health seriously and want to make it as easy as possible for you to be healthier. Check out my portion sizes guide made just for you.

  • Fist/Computer Mouse = 1 Cup (veggies, fruits, rice)
  • Cupped Hand = ½ Cup or 1 Ounce (nuts: almonds, cashews, cheese)
  • 2 Cupped Hands = 1 ounce (popcorn, pretzels, chips)
  • Palm = 3 ounces (lean meat, dairy, roughly 1 serving protein)
  • Fingertip/Thumb Tip = 1 Teaspoon (fats, butter, mayo, sugar) 
  • Thumb = 2 Tablespoons (peanut butter, hard cheese)

Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Hand Portion Sizes for Truck Drivers

If I were to say you should never eat at a fast-food restaurant again, I would be a hypocrite. I do not believe in black or white, but rather many shades of gray. How can you paint your fast food pitstop more of a gray tone? How can you improve your menu choices a little bit at a time? Next time you stop for a bite, remember this: is it a good option? Is it better than what I could have chosen? Is it the best option? 

We may not always (be able to) choose the best option, but I believe there is still an opportunity to do better and find one good choice to put a checkmark in the healthy eating category. Over time, those small little changes add up, and that, my friend, is how you create a healthier, happier you. 

Join Other Drivers Just Like You.

Did you like this blog? Did you find this truck driver health information helpful? For more health-focused graphics, guides, and videos. Check out our NEW Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART Membership Platform & APP for FREE for 30 days!

Use the code: MTY30

Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART App and platform image

National Drink Water Day – 6 Reasons Science Says You Should Drink Water

6 Reasons Science Says You Should Drink Water

March 22, 2022, is National Drink Water Day, so drink up truck driver because your body depends on it.

8 glasses of water is a recommended volume that your body needs to hydrate itself. But what does it mean to hydrate our bodies? There are many benefits of drinking water, and this article is written especially for truck drivers. Yeah, I’m talking to you over there. As someone who needs to have good truck driver’s health, water can be the key ingredient that you’re missing. Today, we talk to you about the 6 scientific reasons drinking water is good for you.

Many drivers are living on the verge of dehydration and that dehydration could be what is causing all those symptoms you may even be taking medications that could dissolve once you hydrate yourself.

6 Scientific Benefits of Drinking Water for Better Truck Driver Health

Improves Brain Function

Water is an element that our brains require to stay functioning optimally. Studies were conducted on dehydrated focus groups that showed increased signs of distress, fatigue, mood swings, and lack of concentration. It is known that by hydrating yourself, you can make your brain perform optimally and have better truck driver health.

Keeps Body Active

Hydration can keep your body in good shape, especially in high heat or exerting conditions. Experts have noted that losing just a little as 2% of your water content can cause extreme effects such as fatigue, low cognitive functions as well as reduced motivation. Optimal hydration has been shown to avoid the problem of a tired body, and for truck drivers, fitness is of importance.

Helps in Weight Loss

Long trips filled with stops to the nearest steakhouse or burger spots are an easy way of gaining weight. To lose it, you’d need a dedicated workout routine and perhaps trips to the gym that you’re not able to take. Here’s where drinking water can help you lose some weight.

Prevents Headaches

Social isolation and fatigue are common amongst drivers. Long hours stuck in traffic with no sense of entertainment can leave one with a lasting headache and a short temper. If you’re easily being agitated and have a recurring headache, drinking water can make you feel better in your headspace.

Relieves Constipation

Diet is something that truck drivers are unable to focus on due to the trips they have to make and the comfort they can find on the road. Unbalanced diets with low fiber intake can cause constipation, but drinking water can help you if you find yourself in that spot.

Cures Hangovers

12.5% of truck drivers in the US fall under alcoholism due to the conditions they have to deal with as part of their jobs. One can casually have one too many, but the consequence of hangovers can decrease work performance and can make driving an impossible task. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water is the most effective method of curing hangovers.

Conclusion

This article is your wake-up call to drink the water your body needs to keep itself healthy. In the long run, staying dehydrated can lead to severe health deteriorations that can be avoided if you start drinking plenty of water today. For the drivers who spend hours on the road, doing their duty, it is essential that they keep themselves fit, and there isn’t an easier way to achieve better truck driver health than to drink some water.

March – Nutrition Awareness Month: 5 Fantastic Foods to Fight Premature Aging 

March – Nutrition awareness month: 5 fantastic foods to fight premature aging 

Pre-mature aging is a biological condition when aging occurs before the set standard. This happens mainly because your biological age is more than your chronological age. Fighting premature aging is not easy, especially if you are a truck driver. Because during work, many other free radicals affect your skin. Hence, this nutrition month, we’ve brought you the 5 fantastic foods to fight premature aging and maintain optimal truck driver health.

Free radicals can build up in cells and cause damage to other molecules, such as DNA, lipids, and proteins. Free radicals are highly reactive and unstable molecules that are produced in the body naturally as a byproduct of normal metabolism, or by exposure to toxins in the environment such as tobacco smoke and ultraviolet light.

And as a truck driver, you want to pay attention to this process and fight back!

5 fantastic foods to fight premature aging 

Avocado:

Avocado is one of the healthiest food for our overall good body health, and along with that, it also has premature anti-aging benefits. This fruit has many nutritional elements to fight premature aging. The nutrients found in avocado include folate, magnesium, potassium, Riboflavin, vitamin E, and vitamin C. 

All of these nutrients help to keep your skin plumper, provide skin nourishment, fight skin radicals, etc. Moreover, avocado is also rich in a certain type of antioxidant known for reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It is called glutathione, which is also found in many cosmetic medicines and treatments to combat aging.

Papaya:

Papaya is another pick for the nutrition month blog. Why? Well, papaya is amongst the foods rich in antioxidants that help skin stay younger and wrinkle-free. Other than this, papaya is also rich in Vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. 

Along with this, papaya also contains essential minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. All of these nutritional qualities of this food enable to limit or prevent premature aging. Because these nutrients help make your skin more elastic and fight aging signs like fine lines and wrinkles.

Berries:

Berries include all kinds of berries, from blueberries to strawberries. All of them have strong anti-aging nutrients that help fight premature aging. In addition to this, berries are also a good source of fiber and essential vitamins such as Vitamin C. 

Vitamin C is one of the most beneficial and essential nutrients for your skin to say healthy and nourished. Apart from this, berries are a good source of flavonoids as well. In conclusion, berries will help you fight wrinkles and fine lines that result because of premature aging.

And the best part is for a truck driver who may not have access to fresh berries on a regular basis, traveling with freeze-dried berries is a wonderful way to get those nutrients without having to wonder where you will be able to stop to shop!

Healthy trucker food to fight premature aging can be easy to find if you know what to look for.

Sweet Potatoes:

Potatoes are indeed a fantastic food to stop premature aging. I mean, who doesn’t love potatoes, especially sweet potatoes! Apart from being delicious and tasty, sweet potatoes have the benefits to combat premature aging. 

It has important nutrients such as Vitamin A, B, C, D, zinc, thiamine, etc. But more importantly, it has an antioxidant known as beta carotene: which converts Vitamin A that consequently aid in restoring skin elasticity.

Spinach as a healthy trucker food to fight premature aging :

The last food in the list of 5 fantastic foods to fight premature aging to have good truck driver health is spinach. Popeye obsessed over spinach for nothing. Spinach is one of the best sources of heme iron, lutein, magnesium, and Vitamin A, C, E, K.

Spinach helps stimulate collagen production in your body: which in return makes your skin tight and smooth. Plus, vitamin K also helps reduce inflammation inside your body and on your skin too. Spinach is a wonderful healthy trucker food to fight premature aging look for those salads at the truck stop mixed with baby greens and spinach rather than iceberg lettuce, your body will thank you. 

Try A New Food This Month:

That’s all folks for our nutrition month blog. I hope you’ll start including these foods in your diet to see the results of limited or reduced premature aging. Hence, if you are a truck driver facing issues of premature aging, do at least try out eating these foods, and you’ll know how good they are for a truck driver’s health. You might not have access to every one  of these foods on a regular basis, but when you do, grab em, even if it’s just one meal, that’s one meal worth eating! Plus they sure are yummy.

Ready for that next step?

Your Wellness Pitstop Starts again on April 11th, 2022! A powerful 90 days to the best version of yourself! JOIN HERE

Your Wellness Pitstop

7 Reasons to Ditch the Soda and Switch to Kombucha

Most people think I am speaking another language when I tell them to drink kombucha. But I am totally serious when I ask them to ditch the soda and consider a healthier alternative. And when it comes to truck driver health it’s about the small simple changes that add up and lead to the big results you are looking for.

But what am I really asking you to drink when I suggest such a thing?

The kombucha you find at a local grocer and now even truck stops is usually a sweetened tea (usually black) fermented with kombucha.

But what exactly is kombucha?

Kombucha Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Well, it’s a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY for short), which is made by steeping the kombucha culture in tea and allowing it to ferment.

After it ferments, usually 7 to 30 days, the soda alternative is ready to be served.

But why drink kombucha instead of soda? And do they even taste the same?

Yes and no.

Yes, because they are both carbonated. Yes, because they both have fruity flavors. And yes, because they both come in all different sizes and shaped bottles.

No, because, well, kombucha is much healthier than soda.

Soda at truck stop mother trucker yoga blog

7 Benefits of Kombucha for Truck Driver Health

  1. It’s loaded with (B vitamins and folic acid) vitamins and chemicals compounds, and vinegar. This combination makes it a bit tart. But compared to the artificially loaded soda, it’s a good alternative. 7 Reasons to Ditch Soda and Switches to its New Neighbor: plus those B vitamins will boost your body’s ability to make new cells. A win for your future’s health.
  2. Fermented foods and beverages can aid in intestinal health. It works because it is a probiotic. And don’t worry, by the time the fermentation is ready, the good bacteria have already consumed the sugars and yeast, and it is ready for your gut to take in.
  3.  It contains powerful antioxidants which can help fight disease, oxidative stress, and inflammation. And as a driver over the road, any help to the body, the better.
  4. Can help fight candida. Candida is an overgrowth of yeast in the body. And soda is not helping that cause. Drinking kombucha made from green or black teas can help specific antibacterial properties that help fight infection-causing bacteria like candida. “Kombucha is rich in tea polyphenols and acetic acid, which have both been shown to suppress the growth of undesirable bacteria and yeasts.” (Healthline
  5. It doesn’t have harmful chemicals that disintegrate your teeth. One of my deepest darkest secrets is I am a fanatic about my teeth. I don’t want anything to happen to them. And if I can prevent my pearly whites from rotting out of my mouth, I’m on it. Is it really worth the soda? And if Coke and take rust off your kid’s old bike. Imagine what it is doing to your teeth?
  6. It won’t dehydrate you. That’s right. Soda has sodium, and although it seems to quench your thirst, it’s far from hydration. Kombucha is a win in this category as it does not dehydrate you as soda does.
  7. It can help relieve arthritis pain. The glucosamine present stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid, which helps with the maintenance of cartilage and can offer some pain relief. Can your soda do that?

Trucking Convention Road Pro and Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Still not convinced that your soda is worth giving up for some weird fermented beverage that you have never heard of? Well, you might have to try it out yourself.

Our favorites are:

  • Lavender and Melon
  • Mojito Flavor
  • Raspberry
  • Root Beer

And I am so excited to have just been turned onto by a driver just like you and one of my past trucking clients Laurie. You can now get kombucha on a tablet!


 

References:
https://www.health.com/nutrition/info-about-kombucha
https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/kombucha/kombucha-tea-frequently-asked-questions-faq/
https://genomind.com/6-health-benefits-of-drinking-kombucha/
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-benefits-of-kombucha-tea#section4
https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/10-ways-kombucha-is-better-for-you-than-soda

Easy to Pack Healthy Snacks for Truck Drivers

Healthy snacks for truck drivers that are easy to pack!

Packing your own travel snacks as a driver can be a challenge when it comes to things like storage space, food spoilage, and not to mention where to replace the yummy delicious snacks you have eaten and now need more.

But the good news is, as a truck driver, healthy trucker food doesn’t have to be complicated to find, pack and eat. Everyone else may be telling you you have to cook elaborate meals on the truck to “eat healthy over the road,” but I’m telling you that you can eat healthy in small bites, and even those small snacks count!

Why pack healthy snacks?

Packing healthy snacks can and will help you resist the temptation to buy those unhealthy, greasy, sugary foods at the truck stop that are starting back at you when you walk in. And truth be told, those foods are not going away anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean you have to buy them every time you walk in.

Part of the challenge is many drivers and travelers walk into the truckstop hungry, better yet, hangry, and then make decisions they would otherwise have more self-control from.

You can do this. And the key to avoiding the junk food trap is to have healthy snacks on your truck ready when you need them. Healthy snacks for truck drivers to pack won’t take a lot of time or even prep when you know what you are looking for.

Easy to pack snacks for truck drivers Mother Trucker Yoga blog post 2

Ideas for Healthy Snacks for Truck Drivers and Travelers

Nuts & Seeds

Nuts, unsalted, or low salted nuts. Look for almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, or mixed nuts. Oh, and I love an occasional bag of edamame, crunchy and so good. Yes, there are a few extra packages to throw away, but if you struggle with portion control, consider buying the snack size or travel size bags of nuts or pre-bag your nuts at home before heading out on the road. Rule of thumb an ounce or 28 grams of nuts per day. That’s about as much as what fits in the palm of your hand. And they can be a mixture of nuts or a handful of one kind, like almonds. Add a small dose of dried fruit (small because dried fruit is high in sugar) for a sweet, nutty mixture.

And if you haven’t yet ventured into the wonderful world of seeds I want to encourage you to do so. Seeds like pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, and even apricot are packed with minerals (such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, plant iron, and zinc),
vitamins B1, B2, B3, and vitamin E, and protein, healthy fats, and fiber.

Trail Mix

Now mix your seeds, nuts, and a small handful of dried fruit along with some yummy dark chocolate chips and you have yourself a yummy heart-healthy snack! Don’t forget to bag your mix-up into individual baggies before you get hungry because too much of anything is too much.

Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit is a great travel snack idea for any driver. Although it doesn’t keep for very long, your body will thank you for the delicious fuel in the time you have. Consider fruits like oranges (large oranges, cuties, or tangerines), grapefruits, apples, plums, bananas, but eat them before they go brown because, in brown bananas, the resistant starch has almost completely transformed into simple sugars. When you eat a brown banana, your blood sugar spikes more quickly than a green one, which means it has a higher glycemic index. Have a designated basket or container to store this fruit in so it doesn’t get bruised. Consider 2-3 servings of fruit per day, and fruit is best eaten on an empty stomach.

Chips Popcorn or Pretzels?

If you require a crunchy snack and are thinking pretzels are better, you might want to think again. Potato chips have a nutritional advantage over pretzels when it comes to sodium content. And potato chips and popcorn are not only lower in salt than pretzels, but they also contain more potassium than pretzels. These snacks are a perfect example of never judge a book by its cover. Studies have shown that eating salt triggers the release of dopamine, a chemical messenger that controls your brain’s pleasure center. Once your brain gets that first reward hit, it starts craving more. This is why you can’t stop when the big back is open for business.

Consider the following:

Look for pretzels that are sprouted or made from ancient grains. There are even pretzels made out of sweet potatoes and cauliflower and taste pretty dang good.

Look for popcorn that is low salt (sea salt) and does not have extra flavoring put onto it, those are often loaded with additives and excitotoxins, which keep your body wanting more, and you can’t figure out why. I love Skinny Pop when I’m on the go, and best of all, most truck stops carry this brand. Just remember not to eat the entire bag in one sitting.

Look for chips that are low sodium, and there are even some amazing brands that now make grain-free chips that, in my opinion, are better than grain-based chips like Siete tortilla chips, or bare sea salt carrot chips, chips made from cauliflower, and of course sweet potatoes and root vegetable chips.

Rice Cakes

I have been eating rice cakes since I was a little kid. My parents were tight on cash most of my growing up years, and my mom made rice cakes so much fun to eat. Rice cakes are low fat, low sodium, and the crunch you have been looking for. Try a rice cake, peanut butter (or almond butter), and homemade jam for a sweet treat. Add a slice of banana on top for a full-on crunchy dessert. Put a thin layer of mustard and then sliced avocado on top, and you have a simple lunch. Dunk them in your soup for an alternative to saltines.

Kale Chips

Still need that salty crunch, consider kale chips. You can make them at home with a dehydrator or in your oven or you can buy them for a quick salty delicious snack packed with kale is high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A and calcium, as well as B vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium. Kale chips keep well when kept in a sealed container so crunch away. Plus you can crumble them on top of a salad for extra added flavor and nutrition.

Jerky

Jerky is rich in protein and a great travel snack, even a quick on-the-go meal when you don’t need to bulk up on calories. But beware most jerky brands are loaded with sugar and sodium. And you can get jerky of all kinds: beef, bison, venison (in Wisconsin we love making our own), chicken, turkey, and my personal favorite salmon! The best part is jerky is an easy to pack healthy trucker snack that you can get just about anywhere. Just remember to read the label and added ingredients that might be snuck in.

Granola or Oatmeal

Making your own granola is super simple, but if you don’t have time and want a crunch of a bit of sweet, granola is a great grab for a snack on the go. But when buying granola consider the following: look for NON-GMO verified brands and if possible organic. Because remember you are eating whatever has been sprayed on those oats, and more brands are going NON-GMO. And when you flip the bag over check the added sugar content, look at the amount of fat per serving. And most importantly, look at the ingredients being used. Many have hidden colors or flavor additives, as well as unhealthy oils.

And when it comes to oatmeal, consider overnight oats or steel-cut oats versus instant oats. You can easily use your RoadPro crockpot to cook them while you drive. Oatmeal is heart-healthy and if I had to choose sugary cereal or a greasy fast food breakfast sandwich I’d choose oatmeal.

 

Protein Balls VS Protein Bars

Often times truckers and travelers talk to me about protein bars as their go-to while traveling and I do eat them, but they should be eaten sparingly and not used to regularly replace real food. When choosing a protein bar read the ingredients, many are made with soy, laced with excitotoxins (additives, artificial colors, and flavors), and can be loaded with sugar. And remember protein bulks, and when you fill up on protein yes it will help keep you full longer, but a high intake of protein does require you to be active because protein builds muscle. And you are oftentimes better off with a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts. But here are a few of my favorite brands.

These are all easy to pack snacks for truck drivers and don’t be overwhelmed, the first step is to just choose one to buy and incorporate into your next trip. And don’t forget to make sure you get in your water each day and get enough sleep and movement, and of course, don’t forget to eat REAL FOOD. If you aren’t sure where to start join our Mother Trucker Yoga Family.

The next time you are wondering what to pack, remember Mother Trucker Yoga’s favorite snacks!

Are you a part of the Mother Trucker Yoga Family yet?

Mother Trucker Yoga Health and Fitness Webinar

Mobile Meals Made Healthy: Shrimp and Grits

,

Welcome to Mobile Meals Made Healthy!

Healthy trucker food doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or a figment of your imagination. Many drivers feel married to the truckstop food options, leaving them little to no wiggle room when it comes to variety and healthy eating. There are eight foods here at Mother Trucker Yoga that we think every driver should be carrying with them, and you can read about what they are inside Truckers Gear Guide.

But today is all about healthy trucker food you can make on the go. Cheryl Vickers is our featured foodie. She is a team driver with her husband and started working with Mother Trucker Yoga a year ago to help continue her health journey as a truck driver, and after looking for guidance on how to make that happen found Mother Trucker Yoga through the Driven to Be Healthy Challenge (You can join our second annual that starts August 30, 2021, HERE).

Cheryl has grown to love cooking on the truck, and after figuring out a little prep work and preparing before she leaves for the week making healthy meals from the truck has only gotten easier and more fun. And when she’s done cooking and enjoying delicious food, she is getting her Mother Trucker Yoga-approved moves in each day, she and her husband are down nearly 100 pounds combine and feeling better than they have in a long time.

Healthy Trucker Food: Shrimp and Grits

How to Make Trucker Approved Rice Grits

  • 1 cup of Rice Grits
  • 2 cups of Water
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Garlic Powder

Healthy Trucker Food Shrimp and Grits Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Directions for Shrimp and Grits

STEP 1: Rince the rice is possible

STEP 2: Combine the above ingredients

STEP 3: Let cook for 30 minutes or let simmer during your driving for a couple of hours

Healthy Trucker Food Shrimp and Grits Mother Trucker Yoga Blog 3

There are several different ways you can get your meal prepped while driving. One is to prep in the morning and lets your food simmer all day. The second is to make your meal for tomorrow the night before, let it simmer or cook in your crockpot or RoadPro Lunch Box, and then all you have to do is heat it for dinner the next day. And third is to prepare the morning of and let it simmer for a couple of hours while driving.

How to Make The Healthy Trucker Shrimp

STEP 1: Thaw shrimp

STEP 2: Peel and deveined (another option is to buy peeled, deveined, and precooked shrimp (I love ALDI’s).

STEP 3: Cut up onion, tomatoes, and bell peppers

STEP 4: Spray shrimp with either avocado or olive oil

STEP 5: Mix a pinch of sea salt, black pepper, garlic salt (or just garlic powder), paprika, and Italian seasoning

STEP 6: Mix shrimp, onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, and seasoning mixture together

STEP 7: Cook in the oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes (or use RoadPro LunchBox or other means for cooking)

STEP 8: After rice grits are cooked, add cheddar cheese and stir until cheese is melted

Healthy Trucker Food Shrimp and Grits Mother Trucker Yoga blog 2

How to Make Healthy Trucker Salad

STEP 1: Use your favorite greens

STEP 2: Shredded carrots, chop cucumbers, and grape tomatoes

STEP 3: Toss with raspberry vinaigrette dressing

 

Now eat Shrimp and Grits and Salad and ENJOY!

Healthy Trucker Food Shrimp and Grits Mother Trucker Yoga Blog 4

 

Healthy Trucker Food Cost

The total investment for this delicious dinner for 2:

Shrimp 1/2 pound $6.62

Rice grits $1.00

Cheese $ .50

Salad $5.00

Veggies $1.00

Total Cost $14.12 ÷ 2 = $7.06 each prep-time 10 minutes, cook time 30 minutes, clean-up 10 minutes. total 50 minutes

You can eat healthy as a truck driver. This recipe may seem a bit intimidating, but try this: make one component of this meal at a time, to get more comfortable and then make them as a meal. The biggest reason we think we can’t do things in life is not because of resources. It is because we have already told ourselves we can’t. I believe you can be healthy as a truck driver. You are just one meal away from realizing you can do this! To join Cheryl and others for more great recipes and healthy trucker food ideas, join our FREE community- Accelerate Your Health with Mother Trucker Yoga.

 

Check out other Mobile Meals Made Healthy:

 

5 Stress-Soothing Foods for Truck Drivers

Stress is everywhere, and it’s the wrong approach when you try to eliminate all the stress in your life. Because having stress in your life is a good thing. Yes, there is good stress. But stress in any form is not dealt with and utilized in a healthy way. That is when we see our health affected and our lives negatively affected. As a truck driver finding healthy foods to eat can not only be difficult, it in and of itself can be stressful. But when you know what to look for it can be easier for you to de-stress while on the road. 

Five foods to your diet to help you soothe stress and live a happy and healthy life as a driver. 

Stress-soothing foods that are easy to find and can be travel-friendly when needed!

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are a fantastic way to improve your health and happiness while simultaneously soothing stress. 

These leafy greens include: 

  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Kale

These leafy green veggies offer your body essential minerals like magnesium, which may bring feelings of calm and help with aching muscles. Not to mention are high in fiber which can help you with digestion and elimination because no one likes to be constipated. 

Almonds

This yummy nut is a perfect travel food and easy to store, making it great for truck drivers and travelers. Almonds are full of B vitamins, and when eaten as a part of a healthy diet, they may help you stay afloat during stressful times. Try soaking almonds in a jar of water for 24 hours, then rinsing them to help you unlock their total nutritional value. Then dehydrate them for an even crispier crunch. 

Dark Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate, and who isn’t looking for a reason to take a nibble? Dark chocolate is not only delicious. It is packed full of antioxidants, which is just what your body ordered when trying to combat stress day in and day out. Keep a close eye on your ingredients when buying dark chocolate, as many brands have junk ingredients mixed in. But a piece a day will surely help keep stress at bay. 

foods that sooth stress mother trucker yoga blog

Oranges  

Another great travel food, oranges are not only delicious but are high in Vitamin C, which will help your body lower stress when eaten as a part of your regular diet. Oranges come in all sizes from Mandarin to Clementines to Navel Oranges, and you can even step outside the orange family and give a grapefruit a try. But beware, drinking orange juice, although it has high Vitamin C levels, drinking your orange juice can be higher in sugar, and research has shown that eating your oranges is better for your body than drinking them. 

Complex Carbs

Now don’t get scared. The media has done a great job of scaring most people into thinking that you should run for the hills when you hear the word carb. But every cell in your body is made up of lipids (fats), amino acids (protein), and yes carbohydrates. It would be best if you had these to operate optimally for your cells, and those cells include your brain cells. But remember, everything in moderation! When you eat complex carbs, you give your body much-needed glucose and helps your brain produce serotonin to help you function and keep depression at bay.

Some Complex Carbohydrates include:

  • Starchy Vegetables 
  • Beans 
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Quinoa 

Food is fuel, and food is medicine. Let’s change how we look at the food to change how we function in life. Stress may not be avoided, and you don’t need it to be when you fuel your body with the right foods. When you couple a variety of foods with living an active lifestyle (even as a truck driver), this can be a game-changer when dealing with stress on the road. 

5 Minutes to Fit Program Mother Trucker Yoga

Mobile Meals Made Healthy: Easy Truckers Roasted Veggies & Country-Style Ribs

,

Cooking on your truck can seem complicated. But here at Mother Trucker Yoga, we believe that when you are armed with the right knowledge and support and are willing to take just a few minutes. And when mobiles meals are made healthy, you can’t go wrong because you can make a great meal right from your truck. No one said you need to be a gourmet chef, spend thousands of dollars on food, or have hard-to-find ingredients on hand. But, like anything, a little preparation and mapping out where you might need to stop can set you up for a delicious meal on the go.

Meet Cheryl.

Cheryl is a team driver with her husband and has changed her health and her husband for good by learning how to move more with Mother Trucker Yoga, and the other piece is eating better from the truck. Cheryl will be our feature truck driving chef for our newest column, Mobile Meals Made Healthy, where Cheryl will be sharing what she makes while the wheels are turning. Warning. These meals are simple. Delicious for you. Cheryl, alongside Mother Trucker Yoga, believes you shouldn’t have to live in a bubble to lose weight and that eating healthy should not be based on restriction. But rather learning moderation and how to eat real food. If Cheryl and her husband can do this, you can do this too!

Ingredients for roasted veggies:

  • 1 eggplant peeled and quartered
  • 2 white and green zucchini sliced and quartered
  • 2 crookneck squash sliced
  • Red onion sliced
  • Yukon potato sliced and quartered
  • OPTIONAL: carrots, butternut squash
  • Sweet baby bells seeded and sliced
  • 1 tbsp of EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper.

roasted vegetables and country style ribs mother trucker yoga blog

Directions:

  1. Mix..microwave for 8 minutes.
  2. Next, put country-style ribs in an air fryer seasoned with garlic and onion powder.
  3. Place on bake 375 degrees for 15 minutes
  4. Then flip ribs and continue to bake for 15 minutes
  5. Next, make a fresh salad (optional) check out our post on Mother Trucker Yoga Blog about leafy greens!
  6. And if you like a little BBQ on your ribs, go right ahead!
  7. Ready to serve.

Mobile Meals Made Healthy: Easy Truckers Roasted Veggies & Country-Style Ribs Mother Trucker yoga blog ribs

Ingredients for Ranch Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp of light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup half-n-half, milk, or almond milk
  • 2 tbsp of ranch powder (Hope here, I personally love Flavor God seasonings!)
  • Mix and enjoy.

YUM! Try this over a burger without a bun, on a salad, even on hard-boiled eggs. You can always make extras and store the extra dressing in your truck frig or cooler for the next day.

 

What To Do With Leftovers:

Put all your leftover veggies in a baggie that seals shut and save for leftovers for the next day. Then, consider adding hardboiled eggs, a water-packed tuna package, or wrap those veggies in a bowl and munch away. Food shouldn’t be complicated, and with a little preparation, it should be an easy, fast, and yummy next-day meal.

 

Where To Purchase Your Ingredients?

Veggies can be bought at most grocery stores, vegetable markets, summertime food stands. Oftentimes mom and pop truck stops often have local vegetables for sale from local farmers and growers. So keep your eyes open.

The country-style ribs pictured in this post on Mother Trucker Yoga’s blog were purchased at the Dollar General Market in Hugo, Tx for 1/2 price on Wednesday for $3.84, which made 2 meals for 2 people.

The vegetables cost approximately $10.00. This was a complete meal plus leftovers for another meal, $13.84 ($6.92 per meal)..plus extra for herbs and seasonings startup.

What Ingredients To Watch For In Seasonings:

Herbs and seasonings can spice up any food or recipe and can be purchased just about anywhere. However, when purchasing seasonings, make sure you read the ingredients; oftentimes, there will be extra ingredients hiding inside seasonings that you don’t want to be consuming.

Ingredients like caramel coloring, Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG are considered one of the 23 worst food ingredients to consume in America, soybean oil, and watch out for sodium levels in spices. More important than the nutritional panel is the ingredients that create that food, or in this case, spice.

 

Driver Review

I know what you are thinking. How will I ever be able to make that? And the beauty is this recipe was made up! And you can do the same. Look at the ingredients and then take note of what you have on hand, or can you get nearby or on your route? Don’t overthink this. If you are already thinking, “I can’t do this. It’s too hard,”. Then you already know your answer for how this will turn out for you.

You can eat healthily and be a trucker! We know you can!

Leave a comment in the comment section below and tell us what you think, and share your first mobile meal creation with us!

For more great recipes from Cherly and other drivers join our community on Facebook – Accelerate Your Health with Mother Trucker Yoga

Drivers: 4 Strategies to Eating More Fresh Produce

Summer Time means a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s everywhere. There are farmers’ markets, and food stands around here in Wisconsin. Two weeks ago, I was in Georgia, and we bought the most delicious Georgia peaches from a local produce stand- delicious! But one fantastic thing about summertime is the availability of fresh produce. 

Often we allow the lack of ability to get to the grocery store to paralyze us into thinking we can’t find fresh, healthy foods. And that isn’t true. As a driver, you may have a few more bumps along the way, but there is a way!

Whether you are at home with family cooking in your kitchen or on your grill, or you are on the road in search of a bite to eat, or you have everything you need right on your truck. You can add a bit more freshness into your summertime foods!

4 Strategies to Eating More Fresh Produce During the Summertime

ADD MORE VEGGIES INTO YOUR DIET THAT ARE TRAVEL-FRIENDLY. 

I like adding avocado to my sandwiches, salads and don’t forget about eating them like a boat. Add sliced carrots, some onion flakes, garlic powder, and a scoop of hummus. YUM! Or the next time you’re cooking fish, meat, or poultry at home or over the road, don’t forget your Road Pro Lunch Box (Portable Stove). Try this: sauté some peppers, onion, garlic, even some thinly sliced potatoes and tomatoes to serve as the topping. Add a little extra virgin olive oil to your Lunch Box and throw everything inside to cook! When you bulk up a meal with veggies, you add volume without excess calories and unwanted, unhealthy fats. Plus, veggies are great for digestion and elimination, so you feel better. Want more ideas for getting all your veggies? Join our community on Facebook – Accelerate Your Health with Mother Trucker Yoga, where we have fantastic drivers sharing amazing recipes they 100% prepare on the truck! 

DRESS UP YOUR SALAD. 

Not all salads are healthy, so just because you see a clear package of lettuce with toppings at the truck stop or an option for a salad at a restaurant, STOP and take a closer look. Look for salads with romaine lettuce, spinach, collard greens, or leafy greens like arugula or mixed greens instead of ice burg lettuce. Ice burg lettuce has no nutritional value and does not digest as you think a “lettuce” should. If possible, find a better bed of greens. Once you pick your leafy greens, look at what’s on top. Steer clear of salads loaded with cheese and processed ham, fried foods on top, or unhealthy dressings loaded with unnecessary fats. Try to find or make a salad with a variety of greens, which offer disease-fighting nutrients. And for your protein pick, choose lean protein like fish (not fried), beans, legumes, quinoa, grilled chicken, or a bunless burger on top when in need.

Driver 4 Strategies to eating more fresh produce mother trucker yoga blog

PREP BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT. 

There are many benefits to eating at home, but for a truck driver, that is not always an option available, sometimes for weeks, even months at a time. So, first of all, don’t step into the healthy eating arena with a mindset that “it can’t be done.” Because if you think it can’t, you won’t find a way. What can you prep before you head out? What can you pack for the trip, even if it only lasts you a few days or a few weeks? Try loading up things like dried veggies (I love dried pea pods and wasabi peas that you can often find right in the produce section. Veggies like onions travel well and are a great natural blood cleaner, keeping you healthy. 

If you have a frig or cooler, consider root vegetables as they often keep longer, like carrots, parsnips, radishes, and kohlrabi (which will be in season late summer early fall). All these veggies are crunchy and delicious. Add a little salt or eat with salsa; kohlrabi is a perfect alternative snack to a bag of chips. 

Alternative for Your Sandwich Bread

And for a great bread alternative, consider rice paper wraps. And when you are trying to make sure you are eating fresh produce more regularly I love this alternative! All you need is a little water to soften them, and you can wrap just about anything inside for a yummy healthy sandwich alternative. Please read our blog on how to make a rice paper wrap on the go.

When you mix in your ride-along foods with a bought meal, it can boost nutrition and help you feel better. They may not last for months, but even just a few good meals are better than none. 

rice wraps drivers 4 strategies to eat more fresh produce mother trucker yoga blog

DON’T FORGET THE FRUIT. 

Summer is a great time for fresh fruit. Berries are always a huge hit; they tasted good and have a high antioxidant rating, and are low in sugar if you have diabetes. But berries aren’t the only thing that you can munch on for a sweet treat. Consider melons, cherries even grilled peaches as an alternative for cookies, cakes, and even ice cream. There is so much talk floating around, leaving people feeling scared to eat fruit because they contain sugar. Now be smart, and if you have a chronic illness or disease that requires watching your sugars, yes, fruits can spike them when not combined correctly; however, if I had to choose a Snickers bar, bottled fruit juice, piece of cake, or A PIECE OF FRESH FRUIT. I’d 100% choose the fruit—Medical News Today’s list of 12 fruits and their nutritional components. 

In Conclusion

No matter what you choose to eat, if you are living a sedentary lifestyle, you aren’t moving your body throughout the day, there is going to be a stagnation in your body, and that stagnation is what leads to disease, not a piece of fruit. So enjoy summertime, enjoy fresh foods, and get out and move. 

STIFF Mother Trucker Marc Springer

 

Go Nuts – A Great Snack for Truckers

Go Nuts – Healthy Snacks for Truck Drivers

When it comes to food, many have an all-or-nothing switch. You can’t just eat one piece of cake as a sweet treat, but even when things are labeled healthy, you find yourself thinking more is better. It can be confusing what are healthy snacks for truck drivers and when you walk into a truck stop, and all you see is cookies, candy, chips, and soda, it can feel overwhelming. But healthy snacks for truck drivers are available, and nuts are where it’s at.

 

Nuts are incredibly healthy, where these nutrient-packed morsels are one of the best foods you can eat, but no one said anything about a handful’s a day, every day. Go nuts! Yes, go nuts; they are a great treat and portion-perfect travel food for your next trip, or for that truck driver trying to avoid the unhealthy options in truck stops and doesn’t want to entire the front doors on an empty stomach. 

 

Many think that nuts are a fattening food. But the truth is nuts and seeds are some of the best foods you can eat for optimum health, metabolic syndrome, and weight loss. 

 

The Research Is In!

 

In 2017 a research study was done through the Global Burden of Disease Study. The most comprehensive analysis of the causes of death ever undertaken involved nearly 500 researchers and examined 100,000 data sources. And this study calculated that not eating enough nuts was a leading dietary risk factor for death and disability worldwide. They found that lack of nutrition taken in through nuts kills more people than processed meat consumption and more than a low intake of fiber and vegetables. The Global Burden of Disease Study estimates that eating more vegetables could save 1.8 million lives, but eating more nuts and seeds could save 2.5 million lives. Just let that sink in for a second. WOW! Right? I had to read that twice myself. 

 

But it doesn’t stop there; their research also noted that the healthy foods missing from most diets worldwide are nuts and seeds! 

 

Why Are Nuts Healthy Snacks for Truck Drivers? 

 

Research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that eating nuts may:

  • Lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which play a significant role in the buildup of deposits called plaques in your arteries
  • Improve the health of the lining of your arteries
  • Lower levels of inflammation linked to heart disease
  • Reduce the risk of developing blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack and death

Nuts are packed with loads of nutrition. They are suitable for your overall health as they contain protein, fiber, B vitamins, folic acid, niacin, vitamin E, and many other minerals like magnesium, zinc (check out our article on the MTY blog about Zinc), copper, potassium, and antioxidants. And when it comes to heart health, they contain the nonessential amino acid arginine, which helps protect the artery walls’ inner lining.

Nuts also contain a high amount of monounsaturated fats, the same fats found in olive oil. Monounsaturated fats are heart-healthy and not the kind of fat you want to be afraid of. Some nuts are also excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids that our body wants to make sure we get enough. Many truck drivers get an overabundance of Omega-6 and Omega-9’s in their diets due to the plethora of fast foods and processed foods. So nuts are a great go-to in an attempt to turn the tables in the Omega category.

 

Eating nuts and seeds regularly play a crucial role in managing health concerns like:

  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Digestive Disorders
  • Heart Disease
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia

But How Much is Too Many Nuts? 

Well, all nuts and seeds have a slightly different nutrition punch to bring to the handful. The key is to take nuts in at ½ ounce to 1-ounce servings daily up to five days a week. 

Check out our Nuts Realistic Serving Size Chart to see just how much you should be grabbing of nuts a day. 

Go Nuts Mother Trucker Yoga Blog How much nuts to eat

Nuts are Heart Healthy

Nuts help reduce coronary heart disease (after adjusting for other coronary heart disease factors) by eating five or more servings (5 ounces) of nuts per week by 35-50%. But I find it is important to note that, like anything, moderation is key. When you read this, you might begin to think, “well, I’ll just eat a ton of nuts then.” Well, that is not what this is suggesting; instead, let this be an excellent push for you to consider swapping out unhealthy heart-compromising foods for a handful of nuts a few times a week. Remember, moderation is the key to improving our health, especially with nuts. 

Nuts can help with weight-loss

Nuts are the unsung hero when it comes to managing our weight. Because many still look at the fat content in nuts and think that will make them fat. They choose to stay away. But that isn’t true. Just a ½ an ounce per day of nutrition-packed nuts is associated with less long-term weight gain. When you replace unhealthy foods like processed meats, fast food, and chips and cakes, nuts become a simple weight management strategy. 

Many researchers believe nuts aid in weight control for the following reasons: 

  • Chewing nuts takes effort.
  • High fiber delays stomach emptying.
  • The body absorbs not all the fat from nuts during the digestion process. 
  • Nuts have prebiotic properties.
  • Nuts help improve gut microbiome and intestinal health.

 

How To Shop for Nuts

Raw or sprouted and dehydrated nuts are best. Most nuts in the grocery store or truck stop are salted and contain high sodium content. The next time nuts travel well, you are home or can stop at a grocery store to look for raw or unsalted nuts. And at a minimum, eating raw, unsalted nuts will move you light years ahead in a nut-healthy direction. For more information about soaking and sprouting your nuts, check out this great article on Vegetarian Times, breaking down the soaking times and sprouting times by nut type. But don’t be overwhelmed; just switching to raw nuts will make a massive difference in your nut health benefits. 

I like to follow the health approach of Good, Better, Best. What is a good option, what is the better option, and what is the best option? I might not be able to do the best right now, and the better might be out of reach, but is there a good option to choose today? And then go from there. Health is not black or white and not all an all or nothing lifestyle. The same goes for nuts. 

Word of Caution

We are all unique, and our bodies react differently to foods and environments due to our history or current health. If you are allergic, don’t eat them. If you are a compulsive eater or binge-eater, consider prepackaging your nuts into small bags to avoid overeating. Even healthy things can be overconsumed. Ask your doctor or consider an allergy test to get to the bottom of a nut concern when in doubt. Here at Mother Trucker Yoga, we want to empower drivers to build a toolbox of healthy options, but we also encourage drivers to use common sense and, when in doubt, seek medical advice. 

 

Lady Trucking Stiff Mother Trucker