It can be challenging for flatbed truck drivers to eat healthy while over the road. In this article we will detail key ways in which you can modify your diet in order to optimize your health and feel your best. Often, this battle is won while shopping. If you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it. And if you’ll stock up on healthy foods in advance, you won’t make an impulse decision when you’re hungry.
Eat Fresh Foods
Every grocery store offers a variety of fresh, pre-washed, packaged fruits and vegetables. Keep a cooler with you and prepare ahead of time by cutting up fruits and vegetables the night before. As convenient as canned foods are, they are packed with preservatives and sodium (salt) which only raises your blood pressure, so choose these carefully or avoid them all together. The less processed your food is, the healthier it is for you.
Eliminate Breaded, Fried or Fattening Foods
When you have the option of grilled, baked or fried, you want to choose grilled or baked. Breadings serve no purpose other than to add unnecessary carbs, salts and fat. You want seasoned meats and vegetables, not breaded meats and vegetables. All the additional carbs will also make you feel full and cozy, which leads to drowsiness behind the wheel.
Eliminate Salty Foods
There is a big culinary difference between seasoned foods, and salted foods. Put the salt shaker out of your reach. Often, when you feel the need to salt food, it is due to mindless habit, not bland flavor. Try actually tasting the flavor of your foods next time without adding salt. You might be surprised. But be diligent about eliminating salt. Salt is one of the biggest contributing dietary factors in high blood pressure, stroke and heart attacks.
It’s perfectly fine, and even recommended, that we have a small snack between meals. It will keep your blood sugar level stable. Low-sodium nuts, granola, bite-sized fruits, energy bars, protein shakes and yogurts are all excellent choices. Moderation here is key. Keep them slightly out of reach in your truck, so that reaching to get them requires stopping the truck, which makes “grazing” difficult. Snacks should be about a one-fourth portion (or less) of a true meal.
This is by far a leading factor in eating healthy. Plain, cold filtered water is better for you than any other drink, and you need at least 2 liters, or half a gallon per day. Keep bottled water on hand, or gallons of water. You will notice that over time, when you feel thirsty, you will crave water instead of soda. This is how you know you’re in good habits. Hydration is particularly important in hot weather, and in desert areas.
Maintaining a healthy diet as a flatbed truck driver is easier than you might think, just by making small changes in the choices you make throughout the week. Please share with us below any tips you have for eating healthy while over the road.