Benefits of healthy meals on the road for truck drivers
Finding healthy meals on the road for truck drivers doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. Nutritious foods are more readily available now than ever before, even when passing through towns with fewer shopping options. Focusing on personal health will not only make driving more enjoyable but will help with energy and attention levels.
Whether choosing to meal prep or picking up at a restaurant/store, eating a healthy meal on the road is possible. The obstacles to healthy eating are undeniable, especially when truck stops frequently stock high-calorie choices like candy bars and other junk foods. Healthy food can get expensive and doesn’t always dominate the selection, but with a little planning a tasty and nutritious meal is possible.
A poor diet can increase the risk of many preventable diseases. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 88% of truckers are vulnerable to at least one of the following:
• Being overweight or obese
• Tooth decay
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol
• Heart disease and stroke
• Type-2 diabetes
To avoid falling into bad habits that could negatively affect your long-term health, it’s important to form healthy eating habits. Check out these simple healthy eating ideas and tips.
Meal Prep Tips
Practice portion control
Familiarizing yourself with portion sizes will be a huge help when eating healthy. One way to do this when meal prepping is to invest in a food scale. They are inexpensive and can help to teach you how much food you need to prepare for a meal. For example, a single serving size of meat is about 3 oz. or the size of a deck of cards.
Cook meat ahead of time
Preparing meat can be a mess, so getting it ready at home to be stored in the fridge or freezer of your truck can save a lot of hassle. Some drivers have found that miniature ovens also work great for reheating and even for cooking.
Make easy-to-reheat meals
This one is self-explanatory-don’t make things harder for yourself by cooking a messy or hard-to-eat meal.
Keep spices and condiments in your truck
A little hot sauce, salt, and pepper can go a long way and add the finishing touches to a delicious meal. Condiments and spices can add a kick of flavor and are easy to store!
Cooking gives you control, which means you can make the meal taste however you’d like. Try a vegetable you’ve never had before, explore flavorful spices, make healthy substitutions for your favorite comfort foods, and more.
ITS driver enjoying a salad on the road.
Healthy Eating Tips
Breakfast should be a combination of protein, complex carbs, calcium, and healthy fats. Many people don’t eat breakfast, but this is one of the worst meals to skip. Your body is awakening after sleeping when you haven’t eaten for many hours-you are literally breaking a fast when you eat breakfast.
Avoid foods that are high in sugar at breakfast time because it will cause a crash in energy later. A healthy breakfast can be quick and easy! Try out these foods:
• Fresh fruit
• Low-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt
• Cottage cheese
• Whole-wheat toast with one serving of almond or peanut butter
• Hard-boiled eggs
• Egg whites (available in a carton for convenience)
• Protein bars
Lunch doesn’t always have to be fast food, there are plenty of quick lunch options that are also healthy. Lunch is a good time to substitute for more nutritious options, like choosing water over soda or juice. Some simple lunch recipes might be:
• Tomato, turkey, and avocado sandwich (add on all the veggies you like!)
• Turkey wrap with whole-wheat tortilla, romaine lettuce, cheese, and mustard
• Grilled chicken salad with healthy dressing
• Veggie or turkey burger
At the end of a long day, it’s easy to turn to comfort food for dinner. End your day on a high note! Instead of going for that bucket of fried chicken or a pizza, look forward to a healthy and delicious dinner. Cooking dinner on the road can be easy with a slow cooker. Imagine dining on a fresh pot roast, BBQ chicken, beef stew, or pork chops-all from the comfort of your truck. Don’t forget to pair your protein with a side of vegetables and whole grains. Low-sodium soup is another great option, especially during the colder months! Dinner should be the smallest meal of the day and is best eaten not too close to bedtime.
And finally, we can’t forget about snacks and dessert. Hunger can strike between meals and having healthy snack choices can save you when all that’s available is the junk food at the truck stop. Be sure to take a look at the label before picking up a snack, you may find out it’s not as healthy as you think. Here are a few healthy snacks to get started:
• String cheese
• Hummus and veggies
• Unsalted mixed nuts
• Whole-grain crackers
• Beef jerky
Click here for even more healthy snack ideas!
When the sweetness craving hits, there’s no need to deprive yourself. Some people prefer salty, some prefer sweet. Satisfy the cravings so that you don’t indulge in a big way later. Find a healthy option like:
• Fat free ice cream or sorbet
• Frozen grapes or strawberries
• Frozen yogurt
• Frozen fruit bars or ice pops
National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is September 11 – 17, 2022. This is an important time for America to pay respect and thank all the professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in undertaking one of our economy’s most demanding and important jobs. These 3.6 million professional men and women not only deliver our goods safely, securely, and on time, but they also keep our highways safe. Thank a driver today!
Looking for a Truck Driving Job? Check Out Our Current Driver Opportunities
At ITS Logistics, our drivers are part of the family. We offer dedicated opportunities with great pay and a competitive benefits package including paid time off, holidays, 401(k) with company match ‑ and most importantly, respect. We are currently hiring CDL A drivers for opportunities across the country.