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

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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

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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

 

 

 

The Power of Zinc: The Trace Mineral You Might Be Missing

Zinc

Zinc is a trace element and micronutrient essential for our overall health. Without zinc in our body, we would not be experiencing optional health, and this temple we call a body will begin to show it. Zinc is a mineral we all need for our body to function optimally. Second, to Iron, Zinc is the most abundant trace element, involved in various catalytic activities in the body.

Zinc is found in some foods naturally and is used in the form of dietary supplements. If are eating a poor diet lacking real foods like fruits and veggies and some lean meats, your diet is most likely lacking zinc.

Zinc deficiency in humans includes manifestations like diarrhea, alopecia, weight loss, intercurrent infections, neuro-sensory disorders, emotional disorders, and problems with wound healing. As someone who is in recovery from a wide variety of eating disorders, I know first hand the toll your body takes when you are lacking proper nutrition. Minerals like zinc are the foundation for our body to build on. We cannot absorb vitamins without minerals and zinc is on that list. If you are feeling stress make sure you read Mother Trucker Yoga’s 10 Quick Ways to Reduce Stress Blog to help.

It can be confusing when you start to pay better attention to your health, how much of what do you need and where to get it all. So in the charts below, you can easily see how much zinc you need depending on your age and what some sources of zinc could be in your diet today.

Required Daily Amount

Age Men Women
0-6 months 2 mg 2 mg
7-12 months 3 mg 3 mg
1-3 years 3 mg 3 mg
4-8  years 5 mg 5 mg
9-13 years 8 mg 8 mg
14< years 11 mg 8 mg
Pregnancy 11 mg
Lactation 12 mg

Zinc Nutrition Mother Trucker Yoga BLog

Sources of Zinc

Vegetarian

Food Items Milligrams per serving Percent DV
Peas (cooked ½ cup) 0.5 5
Yogurt (8 ounces) 1.7 15
Oatmeal (1 packet) 1.1 10
Almonds (1 ounce) 0.9 8
Cashews (1 ounce) 1.6 15
Pumpkin seeds (1 ounce) 2.2 20
Baked beans (1/2 cup) 2.9 26
Chickpeas (1/2 cup) 1.3 12
Cheese (1 ounce) 1.2 11
Kidney beans (cooked ½ cup) 0.9 8

 

Non – vegetarian

Food Items

 

Milligrams Per serving Percent DV
Pork (3 ounces) 2.9 26
Chicken breast (1/2 breast)

 

o.9 8
Oysters (3 ounces)

 

74.0 673
Beef chuck (3 ounces)

 

7.0 64
Crab (3 ounces)

 

6.5 59
Lobster (3 ounces)

 

3.4 31
Chicken (dark meat) (3 ounces) 2.4 22

 

Trying to get your daily dose of zinc from natural food sources as much as possible is essential in building up a foundation of health within you. However, if you are severely deficient you may want to consider supplementing with zinc as you build up your reserves. As a recovering addict, one that struggled with a wide range of eating disorders my zinc levels were non-existent, and for several years I had to take zinc. Happily now in my thirties, I no longer have some of the lingering issues I once had.

Always seek further medical consultation to rule out other issues, but the good news is zinc is readily available in many foods.

Role of zinc in immunity

Many studies have proven the role of zinc effects of adequate zinc consumption on the immunity of our body. It boosts the cell-mediated immunity and balances the functions of humoral immunity.

Zinc is a crucial element for the development and function of neutrophils, natural killer cells, and innate immunity.

A study shows that macrophages (perform the function of killing the pathogen by phagocytosis), cytokine production, and intracellular killing are also affected by the deficiency of zinc in the body along with showing adverse effects in the growth and function of T and B cells.

Solomons NW. Mild human zinc deficiency produces an imbalance between cell-mediated and humoral immunity. Nutr Rev 1998;56:27-8

Benefits of Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that packs a powerful punch and one we often take for granted. When you are getting your daily dose of zinc your body gets to reap the benefits of several health perks!

Anti-Inflammatory

Its functions as an anti-oxidant and stabilization of membranes, strongly suggest that it has a hand in preventing the damage caused by the free radicals during the inflammatory process. What are free radicals, those are the guys who seal electrons from your body and start to sabotage your health one electron at a time. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants can help you combat free radicals and also boost zinc levels your body needs to remain healthy and inflammatory-free.

Heart-healthy

Studies have found that zinc supplements help in decreasing the levels of LDL (Bad Cholesterol) and triglycerides in the blood, preventing heart diseases at a major level.

(Ranasinghe, Priyanga et al. “Effects of Zinc supplementation on serum lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Nutrition & metabolism vol. 12 26. 4 Aug. 2015, doi:10.1186/s12986-015-0023-4)

Another study shows that adequate zinc consumption helps in lowering systolic blood pressure in about 40 young women.

(Kim, Jihye. “Dietary zinc intake is inversely associated with systolic blood pressure in young obese women.” Nutrition research and practice vol. 7,5 (2013): 380-4. doi:10.4162/nrp.2013.7.5.380)

Enhances memory and learning

Research conducted at The University of Toronto suggests the role of zinc in neural communication with one another which eventually affect our memory and learning ability.

Wound Healing

Zinc is often used in skin creams to treat wounds or any rashes on the skin as it is assumed to play an important role in maintaining the integrity and the structure of the skin.

Other Possible zinc Benefits

  • Fights Acne
  • Used in patients with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Prevention and treatment of pneumonia
  • Age-related Macular Degeneration
  • Osteoporosis

Your health is your responsibility and there are many things you can do to help boost your health even while living over the road as a truck driver. Focus on what you can do, what you have access to, what steps you can take to make that next right decision. What you can do to make that next healthy choice, it may not seem like it will amount to anything when you just look at that one choice, but all those little choices add up to some really great health perks! Perks you get to benefit from every single day!

 

Other readings you might enjoy:

 

Truck Driver Health: Vitamin C What You Need to Know

Truck Driver Health is an Important Aspect of Healthy Living.

Out on the road, healthy foods can be hard to find, and that means that you may not be getting all the vital nutrients you need to stay healthy as a truck driver. Remember that old saying, “An orange a day keeps the doctor away”? OK, maybe it was an apple, but oranges are often a fruit that is readily available at most truck stops, which means you can get your Vitamin C anytime, anywhere. And your body will indeed thank you!

Attention Truck Drivers to Avoid Truck Driver Health Issues… Get your Vitamin C!

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and is something our body does not store. Vitamin C is also known as Ascorbic acid and is found in fruits, vegetables, and animal products.

I can’t stress enough over how important it is for our health! It would be best if you had it daily to manage the physiological functions of your body. Yet so many people, truck drivers included just aren’t getting enough Vitamin C. Education plays a big role in making healthy choices. If you don’t know what foods contain certain vitamins, then how can you work to consume them. And furthermore, how can you prepare for your trip ahead if you don’t know what you should be buying, preparing, and packing? Don’t worry, Mother Trucker Yoga’s got your back!

Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Vitamin CTruck Driver Health Issues, What You Need to Know

Why do we need Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and immunity booster that promotes cardiovascular health, growth of bones, wound healing, development and repair of body tissues, and skin rejuvenation. When we are stressed we lower our immune response, so make sure you are also practicing healthy stress relief habits and truck driver health issues may arise. Check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s 10 Ways to Reduce Stress. And don’t forget to breathe, your body depends on it.

But Vitamin C is also critical in the production of collagen, L-carnitine, and some neurotransmitters. It helps metabolize proteins, and its antioxidant activity may reduce the risk of some cancers. There are so many benefits to Vitamin C, and boy oh boy, does it taste good! If you are worried about the looks of fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, or losing that youthful vibe, then fear not; Vitamin C should be on your list of must have’s to keep your whole body healthy and in check. But this vital vitamin isn’t just for our youthful appearance; it also helps with muscle function, tone, and vitality. Our tissues feed on protein, water, and Vitamin C, and you need all three to keep your physical tone, strength, and elasticity healthy.

Did you know that Vitamin C helps produce collagen? That super important component to anti-aging and skin elasticity and is the main component of connective tissue and the most abundant protein in mammals. And when it comes to truck driver health, collagen is great to be getting as it is wonderful for our skin. Roughly 1 to 2% of muscle tissue is collagen. And it is an important component in fibrous tissues such as:

  • tendons
  • ligaments
  • skin
  • cornea
  • cartilage
  • bones
  • the gut
  • blood vessels

Getting your daily dose of Vitamin C will leave your tissues happy and healthy but don’t forget about the importance of stretching! When your tissues get the vital nutrition they need those aches and pains will start to fade away with a few good Mother Trucker Yoga stretches.

Types of Vitamin C

Other than natural Vitamin C found in fruits and vegetables, ascorbic acid is frequently used in supplements. Other Vitamin C types include:

  • Mineral ascorbates (Calcium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate, etc.)
  • Ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids
  • Other blended different forms (Ester-C containing ascorbate, dehydroascorbate, calcium threonate, xylonite, and lyxonate)

Don’t stress if you can’t get it fresh, as a truck driver you may need to supplement often and that is OK.

 

Truck Driver Health: Required Daily Amount of Vitamin C

Age RDA
Infants (1-3 years) 15 mg
Children (4-9 years) 25 mg
Adolescents (9-13 years) 45 mg
Teens (14-18 years) 65-75 mg
Women (>19 years) 75 mg
Men (>19 years) 90 mg
Pregnant women 85 mg
Breastfeeding women 120 mg

 

“5 Vitamin C.” Institute of Medicine. 2000. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9810.

Health Benefits

If you are going to eat, you might as well eat something that packs a powerful punch with it. And foods that contain Vitamin C are nothing short of a POWERFUL PUNCH for your entire body’s health. Knowledge is power and when you know what your food can do for you, then you can make those healthier choices!

Boosts Immune System

Vitamin C is the core member of the fighting team against microbes. WBCs (Leucocytes) include a group of cells (Neutrophils, innate lymphoid cells, monocytes, eosinophils, basophils, and natural killer cells) whose function is to attack or engulf (phagocytosis) and then kill the pathogen.

But the actions of these warriors require the help of Vitamin C as its key function there is Phagocytosis (engulfment of a pathogen) and cellular mobility.

Heart Sweetheart

Vitamin C loves our heart and supports its health unconditionally. Research shows that adequate intake of Vitamin C lowers the LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and its antioxidant properties fight off the free radical damage.

Research shows that it can control blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels. As it carries the enzymatic reaction that synthesizes norepinephrine (from dopamine) which controls all these functions.

Boosts Energy Levels

Vitamin C levels in the body are directly linked to that of L-carnitine (amino-acid), which plays a huge role in energy production in the body.

Vision Patron

Research shows that Vitamin C promotes the health of retinal blood vessels. Vitamin C helps in maintaining connective tissue and collagen in the cornea of the eye.

Its daily adequate consumption (300mg) prevents cataracts and shows promising results in reducing the progression of macular degeneration into later stages.

Radiant Skin

Vitamin C has a crucial role in collagen production present in our skin. It hydrates the skin, fights wrinkles and aging factors, and makes your skin healthy and blossomy.

Truck Driver Health Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Trucker Health Vitamin C what you need

Sources of Vitamin C  

You can find this critical vitamin in lots of different foods and my advice, try to eat a variety of healthy foods. As a truck driver access to certain foods may be challenging at times so don’t stress if you cannot get guava or kiwi fruit into your daily diet. My approach is to reach for the lowest hanging fruit (hehehehe) so you don’t end up stressing yourself out over not getting a large enough variety. What is available to you right now? What foods can travel well? What can I bring from home? 

Fruits Serving Milligrams per serving
Lemon 1 fruit 44.5
Orange 1 large fruit 97.5
Kiwi fruit 1 fruit 64
Papaya 1 small fruit 97.6
Guava 1 cup, raw 377
Grapefruit juice 1 cup 93.9
Pineapple 1 cup chunks, raw 78.9
Mango 1 cup 60.1
Strawberries 1 cup, sliced 97.6
Tomato juice 1 cup, canned 170

 

Vegetables & spices Serving Milligrams per serving
Red Bell Pepper Per 100 gm 80mg
Kale 1 cup 180mg
Broccoli 1 cup, raw 81.2
Potato 1 large 72.7
Brussels sprouts 1 cup, raw 74.8
Cauliflower 1 cup, raw 51.6
Cabbage 1 cup, raw 44 mg
Thyme Per 100 gm 160 mg
Green chilli 1 green chilli 109 mg

 

Animal sources Amount (mg/100 gm)
Lamb liver (fried) 12
Lamb heart (roasted) 11
Lamb tongue (stewed) 6
Calf adrenals (raw) 11
Human milk 4
Cow milk 2
Goat milk 2

Your health is your responsibility and that doesn’t need to be a scary thing. That can be a sweet opportunity for you to improve your health and turn lemons into lemonade!

STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream Wake Up Feeling Great

Truck Drivers: Enjoy The Power of Medicinal Mushrooms for Better Health

,

Medicinal mushrooms have been highly praised for their marvelous health benefits for thousands of years now. Nowadays, people are obsessed with super-food with nutrition and health going the mainstream. Anything that can grant them remarkable health benefits, they buy it without any second thought.

My Grandfather was a bit of a mushroom buff. He’d pull over on the side of the road at the glance of seeing a mushroom to pick. I have heard stories of how he took my mom and her siblings mushroom picking in the woods as kids and then they’d go home and fry them up to eat.

I did not know the benefits of mushrooms until I was much older and even then, did not quite understand the holistic benefits.

But mushrooms are packed with power and if you take the time to understand the varieties and how to prepare them- you can have quite a tasty treat on your hands!

If my Grandfather were only here to see my love for mushrooms and my ultimate favorite, mushroom tea (see below).

Living life on the go either traveling a lot or as an over-the-road truck driver can be challenging. But with a little prep, you can have yummy treats that satisfy your sweet tooth and at the same time feed your body amazing benefits. Welcome to the world of mushrooms!

Top Best Medicinal Mushrooms

There are several different types of mushrooms and it can be confusing to know which is which. But each type has its own benefits.

In today’s world, there are many ways to take in the benefits of medicinal mushrooms. In today’s market, there are capsules, teas, powders, whole mushrooms, and convenient blends to take orally or add to a smoothie or a recipe like the two I am sharing with you today!

Here is my shortlist of Medicinal Mushrooms and what you need to know when shopping for your health.

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)

Reishi mushrooms have the most potential benefits among all of them. More specifically, Red Reishi is believed to give the best results, vary in a range of colors though. A polypore self mushroom having a woody texture, as a result, cannot be eaten directly instead used in a soup or tea or can be powdered and used in capsule form.

Reishi Mushroom Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

The presence of terpenoids in these bitter mushrooms gives an anti-inflammatory effect. Reishi is generally used to deal with heart diseases, diabetes, liver damage, and cancer, etc.

Maitake (Grifola frondosa)

Maitake Mushroom is the one that grows in big clusters (the size of a basketball). Although it also grows on trees like Reishi, it isn’t a woody shelf mushroom and can be eaten directly due to its mild texture; making it distinctive of Reishi mushroom.

Maitake Mushroom Mother Trucker yoga Blog

Possessing a great taste, it is used for cholesterol control, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

A study has shown its anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory effects with positive immune response and no dose-limiting toxicity.

Shiitake (Lentinus edodes)

Shiitake Mushrooms are commonly eaten in Asian culture and are easily recognizable in the super-market. Its effects are very beneficial when given in soups or stir-fries as it helps in lowering the LDL levels (bad cholesterol) in the blood.

Shaiitake Mushrooms possess a phenomenal ingredient called ‘Lentinan’ that is now considered to be of such potency to be prescribed as the third most potent anti-cancer drug of the world.

Shiitake Mushroom Mother Trucker yoga Blog

Shaiitake Mishrooms are also used in the treatment of viral infections like HPV and Hepatitis C, challenged immunity level conditions, and prevention of dental cavities, etc.

They also have one of the highest amounts of natural copper, a mineral that supports healthy blood vessels, bones, and immune support. Just 1/2 cup of shiitake mushrooms gives you 72 percent of your daily recommended intake of this mineral.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms (Trametes versicolor)

Like Reishi Mushrooms, Turkey Tail mushrooms are also shelf-mushrooms and fan-shaped colorful mushrooms as their name suggests them.

Turkey Tail Mushroom Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

These can be found in any hardwood forest in North-America, Europe, or Asia.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms have a variety of benefits. Research in Japan and China suggests the improvement in the disease-free interval and survival in breast cancer with the help of immune modulation.

These mushrooms improve immune function by stimulating cytokine production and increasing the number of natural killer cells.

Chaga Mushrooms

The Chaga mushroom grows on different parts of the outside of the host trees. It can be found as a dome, a cone, or horn shape with crispy ridges. It’s important to note that you always want to pick the Chaga from living trees. When picking this mushroom it is important to always leave at least 15% of the mushroom on the tree so it can regenerate and grow back.

Chaga Mushroom Mother Trucker yoga Blog

The Chaga Mushrooms have a variety of benefits. The Chaga is rich in B-complex vitamins, potassium, rubidium, amnio acids, zinc, selenium, iron, and both manganese and magnesium and calcium. Talk about a power hitter!

2010 study found that Chaga could slow the growth of lung, breast, and cervical cancer cells in a petri dish. The same study also found that Chaga could slow the growth of tumors in mice.

The Chaga has also been noted to contain many antioxidants that may reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called “bad” cholesterol.

Why take Medicinal Mushrooms?

Medicinal mushrooms are tremendously beneficial for our health. They possess various mighty properties like Antifungal, Antiviral, and Antimicrobial, fighting off any threatening pathogen and protect our health. Rich in Vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, beta-glucan, polysaccharides, and other specific compounds in their species; medicinal mushrooms add extra nutrition to your diet while maintaining intestinal health, fighting off the free radicals, and control the inflammatory process while boosting the immune system.

Overall Health Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms

  • Boost Immune function of the body
  • Promote Heart Health
  • Improve Energy Levels
  • Improve Brain Health
  • Helps in Weight loss
  • Relieve Allergies and Asthma
  • Relieve Stress and Anxiety
  • Fights Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fights Cancer

Mushroom Recipes:

Dark Chocolate Mushroom Bliss Balls

Makes 36 Bliss Balls / Ready in 45 Minutes

Recipe by: Irene McGuinness

Ingredients:

1 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 10-12)

½ cup chopped raw cashews

¼ dark chocolate chips, melted

3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

3 Tbsp Chaga mushroom powder (you can use other mushroom powder as available)

2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

 

Steps:

  1. In a food processor or blender pulse dates until they begin to break down. Add nuts and continue to pulse until crumbly. Add melted chocolate, cocoa, mushroom powder, and coconut oil and pulse until the mixture comes together in a ball.
  2. Line 8-inch square pan with parchment. Using 1 tsp measuring spoon, scoop mixture and roll into smooth balls, then place in a single layer in line dish. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or longer to the firm. They can be eaten as-is or rolled in or dusted with colorful toppings.
  3. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator, cooler or cold compartment for up to 2 weeks…if they don’t get eaten too quickly.

Nutrition:

44 calories / 1 g protein / 2 g fat / 6 g carbs (5 g sugar, 1 g fiber) / 1 mg sodium

 

ZuZu’s Heaven In a Cup

This is the best tasting form of hot cocoa with no guilt!

This is my FAVORITE drink on the planet from my dear friend Karen Urbanek who owns and teaches through Holistic Health Educators. Recipe from Karen’s recipe book: Living in Rawality

Ingredients: 

1/8 cup / .03 ounces Chaga mushroom

About 3-4 spears / .03 ounces Astragalus mushroom

.02 ounces Reishi mushroom

¼ cup goji berries (optional-but so good)

6-8 cups distilled water

1-2 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoons raw cacao powder

23 tablespoons coconut milk or coconut milk powder

 

Steps:

  1. Simmer mushrooms, berries, and water on low for 2 hours. Strain.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well with a fork or blend and enjoy.
  3. NOTE: Save the Medicinal Mushrooms and make another entire batch! They freeze well if you don’t want to make the second batch immediately.

 

Be willing to try something new. Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years to help with various health ailments and longevity. These recipes are fun and easy to make. And trust me you won’t be able to keep any of them in your truck or house for long!

The great thing about the recipes above is they can be eaten and drunken alone or with a meal. Don’t forget to eat your greens! Just as important, make sure your daily diet gets 3-5 servings of dark leafy greens regularly as well!

This is my favorite, you can buy the bag with all the mushrooms you need for the amazing Heavenly drink I noted above!

Note: 

The amazon links provided are affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Mother Trucker Yoga! 

Remember to always seek the advice of a medical professional before making any major changes to your diet. The information provided here is not to replace the information and advice given by your medical professional.