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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:

 

2 Special Techniques Where Healing Actually Works

2 Special Techniques Where Healing Actually Works

There are many ways you can recover after a hard workout. But there are some that are better than the rest. You are not the only one who may be wondering what these two ways are. And you could ask, why only two? Well, these techniques are special in the form of proven results. These have been taken from hundreds or thousands of people who have experienced these two and they are in general agreement that they have healed quicker. Healing is not the same as relaxing or even repairing. Healing is when your body gets stronger than before, not just back up to where it was. We commonly misuse the term, but the healing process specifically has a phase where the tears, rips, and muscle soreness is fixed and made tougher.

 

Ice and pressure

 

Many people don’t like to use heat or ice after a workout because it can feel really intense. Your body has only just finished a hard workout, your blood is pumping and you don’t need or want anything that will interfere with that. However, ice and pressure are both needed if you want to recover fast. And this type of healing actually works. The good part is, it only needs to last a few minutes.

 

You can use pressure wraps or just use a belt to tie the ice pack onto yourself. What you should do is find somewhere to lie back and relax. The ice is going to be intense and the pressure is going to make your body feel stiff around the area. You can do this in bed actually, it just solves the issue of having a frozen arm or leg, as you can tuck yourself under the covers when you’re done. 

 

2 Special Techniques Where Healing Actually Works- Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Post

 

Joint pain

 

Not many people know what a Chiropractor actually does. Take for example this service, Dr. Evan and Dr. Callan both received their doctorate in Chiropractic from Life University. But what does that mean? They use the most specific, scientific chiropractic techniques in the world. So the way they work is backed up by science. They heal joint pain above all else, but you never know, they could release some muscle tension due to their techniques. 

 

The key to this type of healing is, they, first of all, use the body’s innate ability to heal itself. This is done without the need to twist or pop your joints in order to remove the nervous system interference. This is key for the spine. They use specific and gentle adjustments instead, backed up by scientific studies. They will track and adjust your appointments so you can keep going until they see that the body has begun to heal itself due to the release of pressure. 

 

These two techniques have been shown to work. There is no doubt that ice and pressure work. It may be uncomfortable but it will only last a few minutes. Chiropractors have shown that their techniques have evolved, from loud pops to scientific-based gentle adjustments. 

 

Common Issues From Sitting In A Truck All Day And How To Fix Them

Common Issues From Sitting In A Truck All Day And How To Fix Them

When you are on the road all the time, you are at increased risk for certain medical conditions. Of course, not every trucker is going to experience the same things, but there are some common themes running through the industry when it comes to health due to all the sitting that has to be done. In this article, we are going to be talking about some of the common issues that truckers face from sitting in their trucks all day, and some of the things that you can do to fix them. If you would like to find out more about this topic, keep reading down below.

 

Sore Back And Neck

 

The first thing that you are more likely to experience is a sore neck and back. Seeing as you are not using the muscles in your back and you are holding your neck up all the time, it’s no wonder that it begins to hurt. This is a problem because there’s not much you can do to avoid this other than to stop every so often and take a short walk, or lay down in your seats for ten minutes. Give your neck a break, and let your back muscles stretch in order to keep them in good condition.

 

If the issue persists, then you should see a chiropractor. They might be able to do something to help you, such as give you small exercises to complete, or you never know what!

 

Obesity

 

Another huge problem is obesity. When you are on the road a lot, you’re not getting the exercise that you need, you’re probably eating fast food more often than not, so really obesity is to be expected. Even though this is the case, it doesn’t make it okay and you need to avoid this at all costs. We recommend that you try taking some food with you for your meal while you are out. If you are going to be on a long trip and you can’t take that much food with you, then at least try to pick some of the healthier options when you take a break.

 

Swelling In Your Legs

 

When you sit down for so long, your legs become more likely to swell. If you’re not using your legs other than the slight movements, you are at risk of deep vein thrombosis as well which is not a pleasant condition. There are a few things that we can suggest here such as drinking enough water while you are on your drive, managing the amount of salt that you eat on the drive and before, as well as doing feet and ankle exercises while you are stopped in traffic for example. When you can, get up and have a walk around outside to get your blood pumping and your legs moving, and this should help you avoid the issue.

 

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the common issues that you can get when you sit in a truck all day. Not only that though, but hopefully now you see how you can fix these issues as well. We wish you the very best of luck, and hope that this has helped you!

 

Want more help when it comes to your fitness and health? Join the movement!

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Stress Management: HowTo Do Deep Abdominal Breathing

Stress Management: How to Do Deep Abdominal Breathing

Breathing is one of those things we all do, yet we rarely think about it; when a system like the respiratory works without us having to think about it or make it happen, it’s called “involuntary.” The respiratory system has the unique ability to work all on its own without our help, unlike the muscular system, which works voluntarily.

When we breathe, we get this precious gift called life. We can survive 21 days without food, seven days without water but can only go one to three minutes without oxygen. And at the 60-second mark, brain cells are already dying. Yet after 20 years of teaching yoga (Mother Trucker Yoga’s Membership) to others, there is one thing I have come to find, many do not like to breathe. I would often notice few would appreciate the art of breathing practices (pranayama) in yoga. You could see people start to fidget, become distracted, and even get annoyed at the idea that they weren’t “doing anything” during their yoga class. Yet without the ability to breathe, nothing on the yoga mat would even be possible. 

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Breathing is a tool. Those that learn to harness the device and tap into its vast abilities to improve, help and even heal the body get to reap the benefits of increased vitality, health, and happiness. But time and time again, I have observed others choose pills, alcohol, and even violence to manage what we all call stress or our emotions rather than tap into this tool we are all born with and have access to us at any given time. 

Stress can alter just about any system in the body if we allow it to. 

Stress management sign mother trucker yoga blog

Stress can:

  • Raise our blood pressure
  • Increase our heart rate
  • Increase our body temperature
  • Leave us in physical pain
  • Can decrease our immune system
  • Give us stomach discomfort
  • Make it difficult to sleep
  • Can affect your libido 
  • Tense your muscles 
  • Cause weight gain 
  • Burden your nervous system
  • Leave shallow breathing

When is the last time you felt the effects of any of the above and thought you should practice deep breathing? 

When my oldest son was small, and he’d get stressed out, the first thing I would have him do is deep breathing. Three deep breaths, I’d say, and we’d do them together. He’s now nearly a teenager, and I have observed him repeatedly defaulting to deep breathing when he is stressed, angry, frustrated, or can’t sleep. He automatically uses this incredible tool we all walk around with every day but rarely tap use voluntarily. 

The average American breathes with less than 18% of their lung capacity. That’s what I like to call clavicle breathing. It’s no wonder we are a stressed-out, upset, unhealthy out of touch society. I say these are the very things I have felt before yoga and learning how to tap into my breathing. And the same things I think when I’m not in my body, using my breathing, and feeling grounded in my skin. 

How do we breathe?

The average person takes about ten breaths per minute; that’s an average of 22,000-24,000 breaths per day. That’s a lot of breathing. And when we breathe, we inhale necessary oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide and toxins that our body wants to remove. When we breathe, our lungs expand and take in air, and our diaphragm lowers and expands as well, taking in oxygen to then be distributed out to the millions of cells throughout our body that need that fresh oxygen to live. 

Dr. James Hoyt, a pulmonologist, says, “Our respiratory muscles don’t have the luxury of being out of shape.” Yet how many people can say with certainty that they use them, work them, build them like their bicep regularly? There is a saying, “use it or lose it,” and it fits here with our breathing. 

 A recent study in the Journal of Neurophysiology may support this, revealing that several brain regions linked to emotion, attention, and body awareness are activated when we pay attention to our breath.

And, also nearly every system in the body is connected to our respiratory system or breathing. 

  • Our metabolism increases when we practice deep breathing.
  • Our autonomic nervous system regulates when we deep breathe.
  • Our digestion can settle and improve when deep breathing.
  • Our muscles relax and get total oxygen, helping them not to cramp.
  • Our lymphatic systems become stimulated, hand and hand, with our immune system, both stimulated when we breathe.
  • Our body is fully oxygenated when we deep breathe.

And one of our deep breathing’s most impressive features is that it stimulates our vegas nerve. 

What is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve is the longest of the cranial nerves, extending from the brainstem to the abdomen through multiple organs, including the heart, esophagus, and lungs. It controls the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which contains your relaxation response. Most people never breathe deep enough to stimulate this impressive nerve. We need the vagus nerve to be alive and working because the vagus nerve controls your mood, heart rate, digestion, and immune response. Stimulating your vagus nerve can help to regulate many functions in your body.

Vagus nerve stimulation has been linked to treating epilepsy, improving digestive conditions, reducing inflammation, and managing anxiety disorders. The journal Frontiers in Neuroscience reported in 2018 that the poor function of the vagus nerve could lead to mood and anxiety disorders. But most importantly, when you stimulate the vagus nerve, you can reduce anxiety, stress, and mood disorders. All of this can happen when you learn to breathe more deeply and more often. 

WAKE UP, PEOPLE! BREATHING IS FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where does your breathing fall?

Clavicle Breathers: Those that breathe only into the upper chest, throat, and shoulders. These breathers often have lifted shoulders and a tense neck. 

Chest Breathers: Those that breathe into the center of the chest. 

Abdominal Breathers: Those that breathe deep into the belly and feel their lungs and abdomen expand freely. 

We have forgotten our unique ability to help and heal ourselves. When you were a baby, no one had to tell you how to breathe, yet there you were, breathing so deeply that your entire torso was expanding and contracting every breath you took. I have listened and watched my children as infants, and now adolescents get upset and even cry only to default to their breathing to calm them down. It’s in you; you have done it; you have just forgotten how to do it. 

Deep Abdominal Breathing Technique:

  1. Sitting tall or lying down comfortably, place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart/chest. 
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth and hear your breath move out of your body. 
  3. Inhale through your nose and move your breath deeply into your lower hand (belly) and feel it expand. Continue to move your breath up to notice your upper hand (chest) rise. 
  4. Exhale slowly move the air out, feeling your belly collapse and your chest lower (in any order). 
  5. Soften your jaw and relax your body, focus on fully emptying your belly when you exhale and fully expanding when you inhale. 
  6. Work yourself up towards a count of four counts on the inhale and eight on the exhale. 
  7. Repeat this for two to five minutes. 
  8. Anytime your mind wanders, bring it back to your breathing. 
  9. Allow yourself to hear your breath each time you inhale and exhale. 

How to do deep abdominal breathing

Continue this practice daily in the morning to wake up, when you are feeling stressed, waiting in traffic (minus the hands-on your body), or before you go to sleep to help you relax. 

You have tools to help you breathe, relax, fall asleep. The real question is, are you using them? 

Deep Abdominal Breathing Benefits:

 Various deep abdominal breathing forms have been linked to cardiovascular benefits, including increased blood flow and improved blood pressure. Deep breathing is also a helpful tool for relaxation and sleep. Taking deep breaths can also help you manage stress and improve cognitive function like brain fog and lack of focus and concentration.

If every tool you are reaching for is outside of yourself, let me ask you, have you tried the tools you were born with? The tools you were given and are the very tools that make this life possible? The tool I am talking about is your breathing. 

Try This:

For one week, practice deep abdominal breathing at least one time a day. Work to practice it at the same time each day. Set the alarm on your phone or in your calendar and make it a priority. All too often, we say something doesn’t work or help, and we have never really tried it, let alone given it the attention required to see results. 

After seven days, come back and let us know how you did. What changed, what you noticed or found. 

Now take a deep breath and start living! 

Resources:
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_focusing_on_the_breath_does_to_your_brain
https://www.uchealth.org/today/understanding-breathing-and-the-importance-of-taking-a-deep-breath/
https://www.healthline.com/health/facts-about-stress#25.-Past-experiences-can-cause-stress-later-in-life
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.n
https://www.consumerreports.org/mental-health/ways-to-manage-stress/ih.gov/29593576/

 

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 MenWomen
0-6 months 2 mg2 mg
7-12 months 3 mg3 mg
1-3 years3 mg3 mg
4-8  years 5 mg5 mg
9-13 years8 mg8 mg
14< years11 mg8 mg
Pregnancy11 mg
Lactation 12 mg

Zinc Nutrition Mother Trucker Yoga BLog

Sources of Zinc

Vegetarian

Food ItemsMilligrams per servingPercent DV
Peas (cooked ½ cup)0.55
Yogurt (8 ounces)1.715
Oatmeal (1 packet)1.110
Almonds (1 ounce)0.98
Cashews (1 ounce)1.615
Pumpkin seeds (1 ounce)2.220
Baked beans (1/2 cup)2.926
Chickpeas (1/2 cup)1.312
Cheese (1 ounce)1.211
Kidney beans (cooked ½ cup)0.98

 

Non – vegetarian

Food Items

 

Milligrams Per servingPercent DV
Pork (3 ounces)2.926
Chicken breast (1/2 breast)

 

o.98
Oysters (3 ounces)

 

74.0673
Beef chuck (3 ounces)

 

7.064
Crab (3 ounces)

 

6.559
Lobster (3 ounces)

 

3.431
Chicken (dark meat) (3 ounces)2.422

 

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!

 

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