While a nice crock pot filled with vegetables, potatoes and chunks of turkey would be a fantastic healthy meal, truck drivers do not get this luxury. They must cope without ovens, blenders, freezers, and many amenities other people use without much thought. In addition, truck drivers are relegated to whatever food happens to await them at a certain mile marker, making food choices very limited. As such, they must be very smart about food preparation on the road in order to stay healthy.
Make smart choices at pit stops
During late hours, fast food chains may be the only option. Chains that offer the most variety of healthy foods are Subway and Quiznos. At sandwich chains, opt for turkey and lean cuts of meat over salami and meatballs. Given the choice between beef or chicken, opt for grilled chicken. Taco Bell's fresco menu has many popular items like tacos and burritos for fewer calories and fat. For sides and condiments, skip the mayo and use mustard or ketchup instead. Avoid French fries and ask for sides of fruit or vegetables if available. "How to Buy And Sell Just About Everything" recommends getting junior meals instead of the largest meal, and choosing unsweetened beverages like iced tea, water, or half-lemonade half-water. Healthy choices at gas stations are sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, bananas, and power bars. Skip the soda and get water. Making a quick detour to a grocery store is the best possible option. Grocery stores provide fruit, vegetables, salads, soup, juice and sandwiches. Stores also provide healthier alternatives to common snack foods, like dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, as well as baked crisps instead of regular crisps.
Pack healthy portable snacks
To curtail cravings on the road, trail mix is a great snack. The book "Perricone Weight Loss Diet" mentions that nuts keep you satiated, but also offer healthy fats and minerals like selenium and magnesium. Raisins provide a sugar boost, which can spike energy levels without causing a sugar crash. Steer clear of trail mix with crystallised fruit; such fruit is loaded with refined sugars. In the book "Lick the Sugar Habit," author Nancy Appleton explains that refined sugars (table sugar) can contribute to diabetes, constipation and can suppress the immune system. For this reason, abstain from eating too many candy bars or sugar-candy like Skittles and taffy. Many truckers eat out of sheer boredom. If this is you, pack carrot sticks, celery, and cucumber. These foods are low in calories, but take a long time to chew. Otherwise, chew on gum.
If possible, invest in a refrigerator and microwave
Few trucks provide refrigerators. Getting a dorm room sized refrigerator will enable you to keep produce at a cool temperature, which will make the food last longer (and likely tastier, as few enjoy the taste of a warm apple subjected to humidity).
A microwave allows truckers to make soup quickly and easily, especially since many soups no longer require a can opener. Choose broth-based soups, as they have fewer calories and fat than cream-based soups. If possible, pay a little extra for soup that isn't instant noodles. Instant noodles are laden with preservatives, MSG, high in fat and calories, and provide little nutrition. Look for soups high in fibre and veggies, like minestrone or black bean soup.