As a truck driver, maintaining a healthy diet can be a challenge. With long hours on the road and limited options for healthy meal prep, it can be difficult to eat a healthy diet and make healthy meals. Because of this challenge, many truck drivers are tempted to get food that isn’t healthy because of the convenience of truck stops, diners, and fast food restaurants.
We know it is difficult, and we want to help drivers like you make and find healthy food options and healthy snacks while you’re out on the road. Here are some tips and ideas for eating healthy on the road so you can feel good while you’re out on the road and won’t need to rely on a fast food restaurant.
Importance of Nutritious Meals
The trucking industry is one of the most demanding and challenging professions, and the long hours on the road leave limited options for healthy meal prep. The job is stressful, and the long hours can take a toll on your mental and physical health. That is why it is crucial for drivers to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Eating healthy can improve your life in many ways. A diet rich in nutritious foods can provide the body with the necessary energy and nutrients it needs to function at its best. This can help drivers maintain a healthy weight, reduce their risk of chronic diseases, and improve their overall well-being. Eating nutritious meals can also help truck drivers stay alert and focused on the road, which can help with preventing accidents and improve safety.
A diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals. Limiting the intake of saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and type II diabetes. Furthermore, eating healthy snacks and meals can help truck drivers maintain their energy levels, improve their mood and overall well-being, and help sustain the demanding nature of their job.
Pros of Eating Healthy
There are many benefits to healthy habits. For example, taking the time to consistently healthy meal prep can support your muscles, increase your energy, boost your immunity, benefit your digestive system, reduce the likelihood of cancer and other diseases, strengthen bones, and maintain a healthy weight.
All of this impacts you as a truck driver. When you are not maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it will make it more difficult for you to be successful. Poor health makes it more difficult to spend long periods on the road. As you take care of your health, you will be able to spend more time on the road, feel better in your cab, and be more alert while driving.
Tips for Eating Healthy in Your Cab
Eating healthy food on the road can be challenging for many OTR drivers. It takes extra thought, time, and sometimes money to maintain a healthy diet while on the road. But while it may require more effort, the benefits of healthy habits on the road are always worth it. In this section, we will provide you with some tips for incorporating nutritious foods into your diet as a truck driver.
Pack Healthy Snacks
As a truck driver, it’s easy to grab something to eat in your truck when you’re feeling peckish. But if you only have bad food options, you’re more likely to snack on food that isn’t healthy. That’s why it’s important to stock your truck with healthy snacks that you love, so you can stay on track even when you don’t have access to a healthy stop. Some great options include granola bars, fruit cups, nuts, and seeds.
Take time to seek out heart-healthy options when packing your snacks. Many drivers enjoy greek yogurt, carrot sticks, sunflower seeds, and dried fruits. These are all easy to eat on the road and nutritious for you.
Practice Meal Prepping
Meal prepping is a great way for truck drivers to stay on top of their nutrition. By prepping your meals in advance, you know exactly what you’re putting into your food, and you can ensure that you’re getting the necessary nutrients and healthy fats for your body.
Many drivers like to cook their own meals, as a home-cooked meal is usually healthier than stopping for fast food. Meal prepping also saves time and money, as you can store food in your fridge and microwave it when you’re ready to eat. Additionally, it’s a great way to stay energized on the road, as you will have a healthy and nutritious meal.
Plan Meals for the Day
Planning ahead is an essential part of being a truck driver. When you are doing your trip planning, be sure to include your daily meal plan as well. Taking the time to plan your meals can help you avoid stops out of necessity.
Not all truck stops will have healthy options available to you, this means that your only option is unhealthy food, so it is important to plan your meals in advance. If you plan your meals, you can be sure you have a nutritious breakfast, a healthy lunch, and a healthy dinner. Decide where you will eat when you start your drive, so you aren’t out of options later on.
Know Your Go-to Healthy Meal Prep for Truck Drivers
Even with the best of intentions, sometimes we all have to go to unhealthy meals. However, it’s important to also have healthy go-to meals so you always have a nutritious option available.
When you have healthy meal prep options you know you love or some nutrient-dense options from restaurants, you won’t have the stress of wondering if your food is healthy or not. Knowing your healthy options can help you make better food choices and maintain a healthy diet on the road.
Healthy Meals for the Road
Eating healthy is super important. Finding a healthy meal that is easy to make while on the road is a little more difficult. Now that you want to start the journey to healthy meal prep, you need some truck driver-approved meals to help you stay healthy on the road. Here are some great options!
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but most of us are so busy in the morning that food is the last thing on our minds. It can be all too easy to fall into the habit of hitting a drive-thru or just skipping breakfast altogether. Here are a few simple options for truck drivers that won’t add too much time to your morning routine but will provide you with a healthy breakfast.
Eggs are such a great breakfast item. There are a bunch of ways you can cook and combine them for added variety. Fry a couple of eggs, throw them in a tortilla with cheese and sliced deli meat, and you are good to go. Looking for a grab-and-go option? Hard-boil some eggs in the evening and store them in the fridge. Hard-boiled eggs are an easy addition to any meal. Eggs don’t require much equipment – just a hot plate and a pot or pan – and the clean-up is quick.
This is a great option for mornings when you want something heavier and more filling. You can add your favorite fruit or honey, and if you’re trying to eat more protein, add a scoop of your favorite protein powder. Instant oatmeal packs are very convenient, cheap, and quick to make.
Similar to oatmeal, yogurt is quick and easy. You can just have the yogurt itself, or you can make yourself a parfait by adding your favorite fruit and some granola. The yogurt itself is light and full of probiotics that are good for digestive health. Adding fruit, granola, and nuts can quickly make a hearty meal that will satisfy your cravings.
Smoothies and Protein Shakes
Some people don’t get hungry first thing in the morning but still want some calories for energy. Smoothies and protein shakes are a perfect solution. You can make them as basic or substantial as you want. If convenience is your priority, just throw some protein powder in a shaker with water. Swap out the water for milk if you want more calories and flavor. Got a little time and want to treat yourself? Grab some frozen fruit and a blender – the options are endless. Make a lot at once and store it in your fridge for added convenience.
When you are trying to eat healthily, snacks can make or break your day. As you prepare your snacks for the day, be sure to check their nutritional value to ensure they will give you the support you need. Here are some quick and simple snack options to help you eat healthier:
- Mixed nuts or trail mix
- Beef jerky
- Fruits or veggies
- Whole-grain crackers
- protein bars
- hard-boiled eggs
- Fresh vegetables
- Homemade muffins
Nothing worse than feeling that mid-afternoon slump. You reach for that 2nd or even 3rd cup of coffee, but that doesn’t always do the trick. Here are a few lunch ideas that are sure to give you a boost.
Sandwiches are an easy go-to meal for lunches. They’re quick, easy to prep, and filling. You can also mix it up often! It doesn’t always have to be the same sandwich of meat and cheese. Try switching it up, try whole grain bread, different meat, or a different cheese, you can even try adding other toppings you don’t normally eat.
If tuna or chicken is not your style, swap it out with your favorite meat. Salads are quick to throw together. Just add your favorite vegetables, toppings, and dressing.
Sometimes, nothing feels more like home than a nice warm bowl of soup. You can do homemade soup in a crockpot or buy your favorite canned soup and heat it up on a portable stove or the microwave. If you are using a canned soup, look for lightly salted options, so you don’t have to worry about too much sodium. Grab some rolls, and lunch is all set!
Nothing is better than having a good meal at the end of a long workday. Tools like a slow cooker, an Instapot, or an air fryer can help speed up the process for you. These meals do not take long to cook or prep, so they are ideal after a long day of driving.
Making pulled pork using the crock pot is a time saver. All you have to do is throw the pork, seasonings, sauce, and anything else you want in there and put it on the low setting for 5-6 hours while you’re driving. Add it to a roll with some coleslaw, or have the pulled pork with some rice on the side.
A quick and easy meal you can make in less than 10 minutes. All you need are some tortillas, cheese, and your favorite meat. Cook it yourself ahead of time or buy precooked meat at the grocery store. You can add some salsa, sour cream, or guacamole on the side. If you want to make it a little healthier, try using a whole wheat tortilla.
Another crock pot meal! Throw in ground beef, beans, broth, tomato sauce, and spices of your choice, put it on low for 5-6 hours, and dinner will be made by the time you’re off duty. There are plenty of different slow-cooker chili meals, so you can always switch it up.
Even more crock pot use! Put a roast in the crock pot in the middle of the day, and you will have a delicious meal waiting for you when you are done. There are many different recipes you can try, a simple one is to add carrots, garlic, broth, and cinnamon.
No matter what, most of us still have a sweet tooth and enjoy our favorite desserts. And while it’s important to maintain a healthy diet, it’s also important to remember that you can always enjoy your favorite foods in moderation. One way to do this is by looking for healthier options that are low in sugar, low in calories, or made with whole ingredients.
Here are some healthier dessert options that make staying healthy easier:
Sorbet or fat-free ice cream
Sorbet and fat-free ice cream are a great way to enjoy a sweet treat without the added sugar and fat found in traditional ice cream. These options are low in calories and are made with real fruit.
Frozen yogurt is another great option for a sweet treat. It’s lower in fat than ice cream, and some brands are even made with probiotics which can help support gut health. You can top it with nuts if you want to add a little extra.
Fruit popsicles with real fruit
Homemade fruit popsicles made with real fruit are a healthy and delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth. They are low in calories and sugar and are a great way to get in an extra serving of fruits.
It’s important to enjoy your favorite desserts in moderation and look for healthier options. By incorporating these options into your diet, you can satisfy your sweet tooth without sacrificing your health.
Drive Healthy with ShipEX
At ShipEX, we care about our drivers’ well-being. Our trucks come equipped with fridges and freezers to make healthy eating easier on the road. They also have space for microwaves or other appliances that drivers may want to add.
This is only one of the many benefits for our drivers at ShipEX. We also provide new and well-maintained equipment to all of our OTR drivers. If you want to learn more about the many benefits you could have as a ShipEX driver, reach out to one of our recruiters today!