As truck drivers, you have a lot of responsibility on the road. The No. 1 responsibility should be your health because without it, you won’t be on the road for long.
This means eating healthy food to stay energized and alert. It also means packing a healthy meal when you’re not near any restaurants.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself healthy while you’re behind the wheel
Keep healthy snacks on hand.
Snacks can be a great addition to your driving diet. But pick smart! Snacks are a quick and easy way to get the energy you need to get during the day, but you need to take the time to plan out healthy options before hitting the road.
If you’re looking for some new ideas, here’s what we recommend:
- Healthy options that are easy to pack: Peanut butter (look for natural or no sugar added) and celery, apples, low-sodium pretzels, hard-boiled eggs with spicy mustard and pickles, applesauce cups or trail mix with nuts or seeds. Be careful, as many trail mixes are loaded with sugar. Look for mixes that are loaded with nuts and seeds and are low in sodium and sugar.
- Healthy options that are easy to eat: Fruit cups in single servings (in water, not syrup). Look for berries when you can find them, or buy freeze-dried berries, which are low in sugar (and they’re super crunchy). And don’t forget dried veggies; these are not often suggested but are super yummy. Try dried pea pods, beans, and wasabi peas; you get the crunch without all the calories.
- Healthy options also taste great: Greek yogurt is a good snack that will give you that much-needed protein you need to feel full and sustain energy. Add berries or a banana, and top it with some granola for a crunch.
Pack healthy meals.
Meal prep is not always possible on the road, but even a pre-packaged prepared meal equates to one less fast-food stop. As a driver, you aren’t burning a ton of calories every day, so consider eating smaller meals, maybe with one larger one at the peak of your day, to give your body time to digest and utilize the calories you took in.
What does a healthy meal look like? If you have time to stop, consider buying a rotisserie chicken; pull it apart and pack it into smaller containers or bags for easy grab-n-go meals. Keep on hand barbecue, mustard, salt and pepper packets to dress up your chicken. Slice a hard-boiled egg and add some celery sticks or crunchy veggies (these usually travel well, and they’ll last a few days on ice).
Feeling good takes more than just your daily diet.
Your body, mind and soul are all crucial to your health.
You might think eating healthy is a big step toward feeling good, but it’s actually just one part of a much bigger picture.
If you-re feeling tired or stressed out — and if those feelings seem to get worse when you’re on the road — it’s time to take stock of how well-rounded your life is overall. Many drivers find themselves emotionally eating or eating out of boredom. Acknowledge that and then ask yourself: How can I combat this?
Try deep breathing exercises to relax, stay hydrated and get some movement into your routine each day to help regulate your appetite and feel better. When we feel good, we make good choices.
In the end:
Remember that small, simple changes can lead to big results in your life so that you can feel good again. Your health is in your hands, and every healthy decision counts!
Hope Zvara is the CEO of Mother Trucker Yoga, a company devoted to improving truck drivers’ fitness and wellness standards. She has been featured in Forbes and Yahoo News, and is a regular guest on SiriusXM Radio. Her practical strategies show drivers how they can go from unhealthy and out of options to feeling good again. Find out more at www.mothertruckeryoga.com.
Hope Zvara is the CEO of Mother Trucker Yoga, a company devoted to improving truck drivers’ fitness and wellness standards. She has been featured in Forbes and Yahoo News, and is a regular guest on SiriusXM Radio. Her practical strategies show drivers how they can go from unhealthy and out of options to feeling good again.