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Go Nuts – A Great Snack for Truckers

Go Nuts – A Great Snack for Truckers

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. 

 

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 who is 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 actually are nuts and seeds! 

 

Why Are Nuts Healthy? 

 

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 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 things like 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 all 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. When in doubt, ask your doctor or consider an allergy test to get to the bottom of a nut concern. 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

 

 

 

Truck Driver challenge with RoadPro and Mother Trucker Yoga

Going the Distance Challenge for Truck Drivers

Going the Distance Truck Driver Challenge starts July 27th! 

Truck drivers are one of the largest underserved communities. And with truck drivers’ health continually at risk, something needs to change. Other challenges have been displayed to drivers before and mostly they focus on weight loss. And although many drivers could serve to lose weight, that doesn’t mean they are healthier. It’s about the small building block changes that build the biggest results.

For truckers, that number is 14%. Why do truckers suffer from diabetes at a rate of ost 50% higher than the rest of the American population? They have more risk factors, according to physicians. Drivers smoke more; about half of truck drivers smoke compared to 19% of other adults.

The CDC stated that:

By law, drivers of commercial vehicles and trucks are permitted 14 hours of duty per day worked. They are required to take a mandatory 10-hour break before they can drive again for work. As a result, long freight delivery routes often require them to sleep away from home. Life on the road makes it more difficult to live healthy because of:

  • irregular schedules
  • long hours
  • little physical activity
  • limited access to healthy foods on the interstates
  • stress

And that has left our drivers with issues like heart disease, obesity, hypertension, nd diabetes. HOWEVER, most drivers hearing this is nothing new. And it is my belief that we must FIRST address the underlying causes of these issues which are: Air, Food, Water, Sleep, and Movement all in small bite-size practices.

Going the distance truckers health challenge 5 elements mother trucker yoga blog

Interested in learning some tips to feel better while on the road or at home? If so, join us for Going the Distance Health Challenge. This is a 1-month completion challenge for professional drivers. The St. Christopher Truckers Fund has teamed up with Mother Trucker Yoga to show you how making small, simple changes in your daily routine can result in big health benefits. The challenge is based on five elements needed for survival: water, food, sleep, air, and movement.

How is this health challenge different than those you may be familiar with?

First, it is a completion challenge. Each person who stays engaged in the challenge for the full month is a winner and will receive prizes from various sponsors. Second, it is a two-part challenge. The first part consists of a short 5-day challenge. Everyone who completes the 5-day challenge is eligible to move on to the 2nd challenge. This challenge lasts four weeks and each week will have a specific health focus.

What are the benefits of joining this challenge?

We will explain why each task (drinking more water, eating healthy foods, incorporating daily movement, breathing with intention, and getting adequate sleep) is beneficial instead of just telling you to do something. We will offer real support and accountability. We will provide a place where you can ask health questions and get answers. We will cover the five key elements of survival and how to utilize them successfully. We want you to not only survive but thrive!

Who is running this challenge? 

Hope Zvara of Mother Trucker Yoga who has worked with thousands of people just like you over the last 20 years reclaim their physical, mental, and emotional health through yoga and other mindful practices and now primarily focuses on the trucking community. With her expertise in functional movement (everyday movement and lifestyle) and pain, he is a powerhouse of knowledge and inspiration.

“I believe anyone can show you exercise in front of a truck. That anyone can tell you to do this or that, but changing your health has to be more than that. It must take you back to the beginning and show you how to make real change. Help you understand why behind what you are doing and are asked to do and then show you the way.”

And Julie Dillon of the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund. Julie is a TNC (Total Nutritional Counselor), her knowledge on food, nutrition and lifestyle will aid this challenge to inspire and help drivers build a knowledge base as to why we need certain foods and what happens when we eat or don’t eat them. Julie’s ability to break this process down into bite-size pieces will help every driver participating make great strides at the end.

Trucker Challenge with Mother Trucker Yoga

What is the investment for joining this truck driver challenge? 

This health and wellness challenge is absolutely free! Joining our challenge, our accountability group, and learn alongside experts in the natural health, fitness, and wellness arena cost you nothing. Other challenges require you to buy their product or join their subscription. Not here. We are 100% here for you and all you need to do is say YES!

How can someone register for Going the Distance, and when does it start?

Registration will start on July 6th. Phase 1 of the challenge is July 27-31. Phase 2 is August 3rd-28. Participants can register below. You must be a truck driver to win any prizes during the challenge.

What’s Next?

After registering, please join our Facebook Group, for daily/weekly engagement. This is where most, if not all, the information will be shared. If you do not currently use Facebook, create a “mock” profile for yourself and delete it after the challenge is over. While not mandatory, it is crucial for your success in this challenge to have a Facebook account.

We are encouraging everyone to have a buddy to sign up along with him/her to offer support and accountability.

Prizes will be provided by Road Pro Family of BrandsTA Petro, and Mother Trucker Yoga. STIFF Mother Trucker, Bill Weaver Music, Chrome & Steel Radio, Jacks Chrome Shop 

If you have any questions about the truck driver challenge?

Please contact Julie Dillon at:

Julie @ truckersfund.org or Hope Zvara at hope @ mothertruckeryoga.com