Being on the road, day and night, is what defines most truck drivers.Because of the little time set aside for eating, they usually go for an easy grab, which after a while, takes a toll on their health, body and mind and contributes to stress, sleep disorder and fatigue.Paul Mackin, an Australian truck driver in Sydney, created a Facebook pages called Macka’s Cooking and Cooking On The Road to raise awareness about eating healthy. UD Trucks is extremely concerned about the health and well-being of drivers and would like to share his ideas and some helpful tips for a healthy life on the road.
Choose apples over energy drinks
Everyone knows energy drinks are not good for our health. Apples are a great alternative;they get sugar into the bloodstream very fast, giving you a boost when you feel tired. They also protect from heart diseases and diabetes. So why not give apples a try!
Cut down on carbohydratesIf you don’t do sports regularly, you need to eat fewer carbohydrates (pasta, rice, potatoes, etc). Unless you have some strenuous physical work ahead, cut back on your carb intake. Sitting in your truck all day without exercising this extra energy can become fat or cholesterol.
Vary your dietTry to avoid always eating the same thing every day; our body needs a lot of different nutrients to work properly. So enjoy the fantastic variety of food the world has to offer you!
Avoid processed food
When we’re on the road, it’s so easy to pick ready-made food at a convenience store. However, this type of food will be full of conservatives and fats, the quality of the ingredients may be pretty low and definitely not good for one’s health. Opt for something fresh instead!
Avoid fried foodFresh food is the only food that keeps all its nutrients. Fried food is obviously full of fat and this is hard for our bodies to digest. Slow digestion can make you sleepy, not what you want when you’re on the road.
Drink at least 1.5L of water everydayYour body needs 2 liters of water every day. As you already get about 0.5l of water from food, you need to drink at least 1.5l of water a day. If you find water boring, try this homemade flavored water recipe. If possible, pick organic ingredients: you don’t want to drink pesticides. Mix it up at home and carry it in a large bottle in your cab.
Eat just the right amountMost people eat more than they actually need. With age, our metabolism slows down and we need fewer calories. Too many 40+ men eat as much as they did when they were teenagers! Try slowly reducing the quantities you eat – you’ll be surprised by how much more energetic you feel and you won’t put on extra weight.
Fruits are awesome! They provide our body with water as well as natural sugars (much better than refined sugars). Try replacing your chocolate bar with a piece of fruit for your afternoon snack. Strawberries, for example, have anti-aging properties, bananas give you energy, and blueberries protect you from heart diseases.
Meat – less is moreWe don’t need more than 500g (17oz) of red meat per week to stay healthy. I suggest eating less meat but of a better quality. Unfortunately, intensive livestock farming has led to overuse antibiotics and growth hormones – don’t expose your body to these chemicals.
Healthy breakfastBreakfast is important! Try some of these simple low glycemic index breakfast ideas with your tea or coffee for a great start:
• Unsweetened, natural yogurt mixed with fresh fruit and muesli
• All-bran muffin with nut butter spread, and fresh fruit
• Rye toast topped with light cream cheese, and fruit
Don’t forget to do sports!Many truck drivers say they simply don’t have time to do sports, but even walking around your truck on a pre-trip inspection is doing exercise. It’s very important to do your best to stick to a routine and get some exercise at least once a day. Check the 2014 first issue of Roads if you want some examples of exercises you can do when you’re on the road.
The Roads team would like to hear from UD truckers around the world! Send us your tips from your roads!
Write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or share your eating healthy tips with Paul on his facebook page: facebook.com/cookingontheroad