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Go Nuts! Blog Mother Trucker Yoga

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 Health Vitamin C What You Need to Know Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Truck Driver Health: Vitamin C What You Need to Know

Attention Drivers… Get your Vitamin C!

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 on anytime, anywhere. And your body will indeed thank you!

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 C

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. 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. 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.

 

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) includes 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.

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 them. 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

8 Amazing Benefits of dark leafy greens mother trucker yoga blog

8 Amazing Benefits of Eating Dark Leafy Greens

Benefits of Eating Dark Leafy Greens

 

If you ask my kids they will tell you many things, but one thing I have always said since they were young has been:

“Eat your greens; they keep you healthy!”

 Cliché!

Your body needs vegetables, and more importantly, your body needs those dark leafy greens to function optimally. 

But what exactly do we need them for?

Let us have a peek into its potential constituents and their mighty benefits to “make and keep” your body full of health.

Dark Leafy Greens Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Benefits of Leafy Greens

 

For many of us, we know what we should do, but that doesn’t always mean we do it. Knowledge is power and when we can better understand the why beyond the request can we then make a better decision. Greens play a critical role in our body’s functions, if your body is not functioning optionally or even just OK, it may be time for a green tune-up. 

 

Fight off the Oxidative Stress

Antioxidants are currently most abundant among their fellows and are so in trend. Their propensity to fight the harmful free-radicals in our bodies is formidable. They fight the oxidative stress that we encounter in our daily lives through our dietary habits, anxiety, and environmental influence, fights aging by preventing the cellular damage and improves the cell revamp or renewal process.  

 

Dark leafy greens have an abundance of antioxidants (even more than in blueberries), called Flavonoids resting in their Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll also can normalize the production of R.B.C.s, absorb the toxins (e.g., foul breath or body odor), and even fight the carcinogens.

 

Takes Care of Your Gut Health

Dark leafy greens are rich in probiotics which are close friends to our gut flora. The microhabitat, which aids in digestion in our gut feeds on these probiotics. As 90 % of our diseases arise from poor digestion, they help in an overall improvement of health and boost our immune system by potential assimilation of vitamins, minerals, and other necessary nutrients. Get your greens in and improve your gut health with one of my favorite power green smoothie recipes. 

 

Boost Immune System

Dark leafy greens like Spinach and Kale are rich sources of folate, iron, calcium, fiber, Vitamin C, and K. The study has shown their vital role in boosting immunity by creating chemical symbols to stimulate the growth of I.E.L. Cells that regulate our Humoral immunity. 

 

Now some may argue that eating spinach isn’t good for you due to the oxalate found in these greens, my friend and colleague Karen Urbanek HHP argue the opposite: Don’t fear these greens, instead, you can reduce your oxalate levels by cooking and even boiling your veggies! This can reduce anywhere from 30 to 90% of the oxalate content. 

 

Karen also says: “You can also take calcium citrate and magnesium citrate with every meal. Use bitters prior to eating or take B6 to stimulate digestive and enzyme production. If you feel Oxalates have been a major factor, consider getting an Organic Acids test done and read by a professional.” And if you think you are sensitive to oxalate there are dozens of other foods this can be found in, don’t blame spinach, it might be time for a gut overhaul. 

 

Improve vision and Brain Function

Dark leafy greens are full of Phytonutrients like Carotenoids, Restravesol, Curcumin, etc. these phytonutrients have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which are beneficial for our vision and brain health. Phytonutrients are critical for the body because they enhance immunity, and during a time like COVID-19, we need all the help we can get to build immunity naturally. And part of that is ensuring you are getting the necessary nutrition you need from quality foods. 

 

Detoxification

Dark leafy greens like Cilantro, Parsley, and coriander leaves are potent detoxifiers. They help the liver get rid of the toxins and prevent numerous diseases, while parsley is powerful enough to eliminate toxic metals from the bloodstream. May seem a bit odd, but try putting these herbs in your water. Don’t like the taste? Then add a little fresh squeezed lemon, or berries to your water for a refreshing drink. And remember fresh is best, dried herbs like the listed when dried have less nutritional value. But for those that travel, something is always better than nothing. 

 

Nutrition

Dark leafy greens are abundant in the essential nutrients for your body. Many of them contain Beta-carotene, Vitamin C, K, B, lutein, and a small amount of Omega-3 fats. They are rich in minerals like:

Calcium – keeps your bones and teeth strong and healthy coordination of muscles and nerves.

Iron – Erythropoiesis (Red Blood Cell Production)

Potassium – Regulates fluid retention in the body and manages muscle contractions.

Copper – helps in the production of Collagen and absorbs Iron.

Magnesium – Aids the vital function of the body. Critical for muscle function. 

 

Weight Management

Dark leafy greens are low in carbohydrates and rich in fiber. Fiber keeps your tummy full and limits unnecessary snacking, helping you manage and even lose your weight.

 

Health- Infusing Dark Leafy Greens

  • Greens: Primary Functions

 

  • Cabbage: Combats Anemia and Heart diseases

 

  • Kale: Healthy vision and retinal function and aids blood clotting

 

  • Mustard Greens: Prevents Arthritis and lowers LDL Cholesterol

 

  • Spinach: Regulates Heart Rate and Blood Pressure, Combats free radicals

 

  • Turnip Greens: Enhances collagen synthesis and Boosts Immune system

 

 

Many of us wonder as to how many greens we should eat.

Dark Leafy Greens and gut health mother trucker yoga

Recommended Intake of Dark Leafy Greens

Nutrition experts recommend eating ½ a cup of Dark leafy greens daily. At the same time, USDA recommends eating 3 cups of dark leafy greens per week. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with dark leafy greens. And as my friend Karen Urbanek says: “You can’t get fat by eating vegetables”. So eat up. Experiment, try them in salads, saute, as a bed for lean protein, and you can even throw them into smoothies. 

 

It may take time, you may need to steer your taste buds towards natural foods and re-learn to like them if all you have been eating is processed foods. And when in doubt, eat them because you know they are good for you. Your gut is your first brain, so feed it wisely. 

Looking for more ways to improve your eating on the road?

Check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s blog all about on the go breakfast!

4 Tips to Start Eating Healthy for Truck Drivers Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

4 Tips To Start Eating Healthy Today

Eating healthy in today’s world seems to be similar to solving a complicated murder mystery with multiple conflicting witnesses.

The people over here say this.

The people over there say that.

The people up in front are saying no to both the above and claiming that simply thinking good thoughts about your food is good enough. (Insert humor here)

I like to think I am a simple person in that the more someone makes something complicated, the more I actually don’t want to follow their advice. Have you ever been there?

Coming from an eating disorder food was a HUGE DEAL. I mean we kinda need it to survive, it’s fuel, and we shouldn’t feel guilty for enjoying it. HOWEVER…too much of a good thing truly is too much of a good thing.

Today I want to encourage you, no matter where you are, to start small. Let’s not go and try to move the biggest most HUGE-NORMOUS moutnain in front of you today. Were just yesterday you were not even prepared to pack a bag for the big climb.

Instead, how about we take this one step at a time. Build momentum and ride the wave of little successes turning into big ones.

Here are my 4 Tips to Start Eating Healthy Today:

  1. S-L-O-W D-O-W-N. Yes, you heard me, just slow down. Studies show that your eating pace DOES play tribute to how much weight you will put on. Fast eaters are 115% more likely to be obese than slow eaters. – YIKES!
  2. Drink More Water. You have heard this 9 million, 700 thousand, 41 times already. But if you still aren’t drinking your adequate supply then it might be time to consider this to be the mountain to climb. People who consume adequate water each day consume 200 less calories per day than those who don’t. And you didn’t even have to “diet” to do that. Score! Not to mention that those who drink more water tend to burn more calories per day than those who don’t.
  3. Try At Least One New Healthy Recipe…each time you hit the road with your next haul. Yes, there is a little bit of preparation involved. But when you have some skin in the game you are more likely to follow through. Living on the road is complicated at times, but with a little preparation- YOU CAN DO THIS. We often choose unhealthy foods when we feel frustrated, lonely, and in a pinch. Diffuse the situation before it happens, and drive prepared. If you haven’t yet, try the InstaCart App and have groceries delivered to you even at the truck stop!
  4. Eat Your Greens First. Did you know that eating greens before your carbs has been shown to have a positive affect on your blood sugar levels? You can take that information right to your plate. Eating your greens is one simple step on the eating healthy train we all can take together.

I want to encourage you to not let your mind over complicate this. Weight-loss may be your goal. But you didn’t get to where you were overnight. This was a process that likely took years. So be kind to yourself and let’s create new habits that will last you the rest of your life. Truck driver or not, the food isn’t the problem, it’s our relationship with it. Let’s change how we look at food. Buy food. Prepare food. And put food into our bodies.

Mother Trucker Yoga believes in small simple changes. Those changes when done correctly can and will make a huge impact on the rest of your life. Mainly because you will be doing them for the rest of your life. Let your relationship with food be no different. Eating healthy does not need to be complicated. Make sure you aren’t the one complicating it.