We’ve had some followers recently ask about healthy eating for truck drivers — namely, where and how to shop for healthy food while out on the road. This can be tricky because we all know you can’t just pull up to the nearest grocery store with a 53’ trailer.
Every trucker’s situation varies. Some of you may go home on the weekends, some of you may live in your truck 24/7 like us, and some may fall somewhere in between. If you have home time or go home every weekend then obviously food shopping probably isn’t an issue for you. In fact you have the option of preparing healthy food at home to take with you for the week, assuming you have a refrigerator and/or microwave in your truck to utilize. For those of us that call our big rigs home, it’s a little harder to find a place to shop for groceries and that is the focus of this post.
The Best Places to Stop
On average we do our grocery shopping about once a week. We usually have to stop mid-week to re-stock our water due to limited space and maybe pick up a couple things we ran out of or forgot to buy earlier. In my experience the easiest and most convenient place to do your grocery shopping out on the road is Walmart. This may not be your first choice, but due to the restrictions of our job, it’s sometimes the only choice. The benefits of shopping at Walmart are:
1) convenience, they are everywhere!
2) they almost always have parking for semi-truck.
3) most are open 24 hrs. which is nice considering how erratic a truck drivers schedule can be.
One of the drawbacks is that sometimes your only choice is a regular Walmart vs. a Super Walmart and they may not have everything you are looking for, especially as far as fruit and vegetable selection & quantity go. We’ve been in that situation many times and basically, you just make do and get what you can. I’m not going to go into GMO’s and the use of pesticides at this time (I’ll save that for another post) but if you are shopping at Walmart the choice of buying organic fruits and vegetables is small, but it seems that recently they have begun to carry more organic brands.
A couple of other options to keep on the lookout for are Targets, and regular grocery stores. If you are lucky enough to find one of these places with ample big rig parking save it in your GPS! The more options you come across the more convenient it is to get your shopping done. We are lucky to be running produce up and down the central coast of California for most of the year, which means there are plenty of fruit & vegetable stands along our route to stop at and when possible we take full advantage of it.
How to Eat Healthy on the Road
On to the how to shop healthy part. It’s not as hard as it seems. The key word here is healthy and one rule of thumb to remember when shopping for healthy food is to steer clear of processed food. Yes, these are the easy, convenient foods and yes, these are the yummy, comfort foods, but if you are trying to get healthier you need some discipline and to learn to just say NO! Keep your focus on fruits & vegetables, whole grain or whole wheat bread and lean protein like turkey or chicken deli meats. Make sure to check your labels because “light,” “fat-free,” and “sugar free” don’t necessarily mean “good for you.” If you are trying to specifically lose weight the three main things to watch out for are carbs, fat and sugar content per serving. I will address the impact of fat, carbs and especially sugar content and how it effects not only your weight, but your overall health in an upcoming post.I hope some of this information was helpful and until next time, keep the rubber side down and shiny side up and make healthy choices!