You’re on the road. You’re hungry. You want to be healthy, but your long-haul schedule and the ease and convenience of the fast-food places along our highways and byways is just too tempting.
Turns out you’re not alone. According to the CDC, long-haul truck drivers are more likely to develop health issues due to their unique working conditions.
The good news is that with a little preparation, perseverance, and simple swaps, it’s possible to eat well on the road.
Here are some suggestions for packing in the nutrition – without packing on the pounds.
Prep, Prep, Prep
Before you start driving, you plan your route, right? Take the same approach to planning your meals for the road ahead. Cooking on the road can be a challenge, so prepare cooked meals one day a week and freeze or refrigerate them.
Think about healthy sides and mains like these that can be prepared ahead of time:
- Brown rice
- Baked sweet potatoes
- Grilled chicken with taco seasoning
- Spicy black beans
- Turkey meatloaf
You can also cook ahead using a single crockpot or one-sheet pan meal to cut down on clean-up afterward. Crockpots can be used to cook everything from ribs to spaghetti – just throw everything in and set the timer.
One-sheet pan recipes are great for grilling up veggies and sausage or fish and potatoes. These are fast, easy ways to cook a lot of delicious meals quickly.
All Classic Carriers trucks come equipped with a fridge, and a microwave can be added, which makes storing and reheating meals a breeze.
Check out these 4 tips to eating healthy from one of our truck drivers.>>
Make Healthy Choices (and Swaps)
When you start your meal prep, choose favorite meals or recipes that you enjoy and simply make healthy swaps. For instance, swap sweet potatoes for regular potatoes. They can be prepared the same way and have more health benefits – and less of an impact on blood sugar.
Some other healthy swaps for OTR:
- Use mustard instead of mayo. Choose a spicy mustard to make this swap even more flavorful.
- Snack on flavored almonds instead of chips
- Eat “green” sides instead of “white” sides for at least half your meals. So instead of eating rice, noodles, or white potatoes with your protein choice, serve up a side of grilled brussel sprouts, roasted peppers, or green beans.
- Use more spices instead of additional oils and butter. Reduce the amount of oil and butter you use by adding more spices. This way, you’re not sacrificing flavor. Seasoning blends like Everything But the Bagel Seasoning, Mrs. Dash, or even a packet of dry ranch dressing can transform plain chicken breasts or grilled vegetables. You can also try making your own spice blends.
- Choose flavorful whole grain bread and use one slice instead of two. Open-faced sandwiches are just as good!
Stock Up on Grab-and-Go Snacks
We tend to reach for the easiest and most convenient foods at hand, so make sure that you have healthy options there!
Packets of chips and other convenience foods are plentiful along the road, but by planning ahead of time, you won’t be tempted by those shiny packages.
The following make great grab-and-go snack options for truckers:
- Fruit and fruit cups
- Lean jerky
- Low-fat string cheese
Keep these items stocked up in your cab so you always have something healthy when you get hungry.
With just a little more effort, you’ll not only eat healthier on the road – but save a lot of money doing it!
Hit the Road with Classic!
At Classic Carriers, we have a driver turnover rate of less than 30%. We are proud to be a family-owned and operated company that treats our team of dedicated drivers like family. To find out more about the Classic Carriers training program, contact a recruiter today!