Celebrating Thanksgiving Over the Road? Try These 3 RecipesLiving the life of a trucker, means sometimes celebrating holidays away from home. Sure, you could stop at any truck stop and treat it like any other day. But if you’re alone and celebrating Thanksgiving over the road, you might want to make a special meal exactly to your personal preferences. And if you do, it’s a great way to ensure you’ve got leftovers that will save some money for the rest of the week. So, if you’re planning on celebrating Thanksgiving this year away from home, here are 3 recipe ideas to get your meal planning started.

Making a Turkey

Courtesy of allrecipes.com

Nothing says celebrating Thanksgiving like a cooked turkey dinner. And it can be done in a truck. If you have a slow cooker, you can make a delicious turkey in just a few hours. Using a full turkey or a boneless one, and just a few ingredients, you can have a perfectly cooked turkey. This recipe’s comment is full of comments on how to modify the original recipe. But for the basics, this one is a great one to get that traditional turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.

Stuffing as a Side Dish

Courtesy of midwestliving.com

Using your crock pot again, or instant-pot, you can have a great traditional side dish for your turkey. Featuring all the traditional flavors: walnuts, cranberries and hearty bread added to classic sage-and-onion stuffing, all made on the truck. This recipe is a great step-by-step on how to make some great Thanksgiving stuffing. And no oven necessary. You can easily modify to your personal preferences, and this makes enough for quite a few meals for a trucker for the week.

Vegetable Twist for Lower Carb Diets

Courtesy of healthyrecipesblogs.com

There are countless vegetable side dish recipes online. Traditional side dishes for celebrating Thanksgiving, could be a green bean casserole, or any number of ways to prepare potatoes. Mashed or sweet. One way to try something different is to substitute cauliflower for traditional mashed potatoes. And for those looking to make something a little lighter and lower-carb, this recipe is a perfect one to compliment your Thanksgiving meal.

 

Lastly, if you’re out in the Boise, ID area, you’ve got a great option. On Thanksgiving Day, the Boise Stage Stop will give you a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner for Free. It’s their annual Driver Appreciation event, and along with the dinner, there’s a chance to win prizes. Valid CDL gets you the meal, and there’s nothing to clean up when you’re done!

Hopefully these ideas give you a great start on your Thanksgiving Meal planning. If you’ve got some other great recipes that would be good for other truckers celebrating Thanksgiving over the road, head on over to our Facebook page and share your best ideas. Helping fellow drivers make holidays away from home, is always a welcomed idea!

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truck driver depression

Truck drivers spend a significant time away from home. They might not have much quality time with family and friends for long stretches of time. Truckers might spend most of their day without actually talking to anyone face-to-face. Compound this with an extremely high-stress job, and it’s probably not too difficult for a trucker to develop some feelings of loneliness and anxiety. If those feelings don’t get addressed properly, true depression can soon follow. Here are 3 ways to overcome truck driver depression.

What is Depression?

Almost everyone has days when they’re just not feeling 100% happy. Or maybe a mild stretch of feeling sad over something. But actual depression is different. It’s when these feeling last more than a few weeks. And the symptoms cause physical changes to a person’s everyday life. Symptoms can range from mild things like loss of sleep, mood swings, or lack of energy. Sometimes symptoms can be more severe, and result in someone not able to get out of bed or leave their house for days. Truck driver depression rates are almost 2 times that of the general population..

More than 17 million U.S. adults—over 7% of the population—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.  – National Alliance on Mental Illness

Tip 1: Recognize and React

Be receptive to your own thoughts and feelings. Also be accepting of others asking you if you’re doing ok. Once you’re aware that there’s an issue, you can work to make changes to help address it. Truck drivers usually have time in the evenings to do their research. Take that alone time and flip it from a negative to a positive. Listen to a good mental health podcast. Start to put together plans to begin to feel better, and stay ahead of things should symptoms arise again the future.

Tip 2: Don’t Make Things Worse

Rather than dealing with any type of problem, some people think that things will just get better or try to fix it themselves. Or some people prefer to not seek help when they don’t feel great, and just hope things go away. With depression, it’s not always just that easy. Thinking this way often leads people to try and mask systems by abusing alcohol or drugs. Or taking out anger and frustrations on friends or loved ones. Truck drivers already have a high rate of drug/alcohol abuse. Seek help as soon as you recognize symptoms. This is something that’s not just going to go away on it’s own if left untreated.

Tip 3: Plan to Stay Healthy

Once truck driver depression is being treated, it’s time to start planning ahead to make sure they stay healthy. There’s plenty of resources out there that help find ways to reduce stress. There’s plenty of ways to stay in touch with your family and friends while away from home. And lastly, there’s plenty of ways to keep your mind and body in shape with a good diet and plenty of exercise out on the road.

Changing Times

The stigma associated with mental disorders and illness continue to decrease. People with depression issues no longer need to hide in the shadows alone. There are more support organizations and resources available than there ever have been. Some trucking companies even offer mental health benefits and resources specifically to their drivers. Truck driver depression is something that can be identified, treated and overcome when the driver connects with the right resources.

If you or someone you know are struggling with depression, and need someone to talk to, please seek help. If you can’t get in touch with your doctor. a great place to seek help is through the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 am–6 pm, ET. 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or info@nami.org.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

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plant based dietFollowing a plant-based diet has become a well-accepted, and effective way to get healthier. These types of eating plans are especially good for those looking to improve their heart health due to drastically reducing saturated fats and cholesterol. For truckers, life on the road can make it difficult to follow this strict way of eating. Especially when not at home every day to prepare meals. But with a little planning and some kitchen basics, it is possible. Here are some ideas for truck drivers looking to master a plant-based diet over the road.

The Plant-Based Basics

Eating plant-based means that most, or even all, calories come from plants. This includes fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts. Plant-based does not necessarily equal becoming a vegan. For most, eating plant-based means cutting back on meat & dairy overall, but not eliminating them 100%. Some people choose to ease into this way of life by cutting back little by little, each day. Or perhaps eating only vegetarian one or 2 days per week. The Meatless Monday trend came about just for that reason! And that’s a great place for those looking to find a way to change their diets slowly.

Not Every Plant-Based Diet Is Created Equal

If you’ve made the decision to start following a plant-based diet, there’s a few different ways to do it.

Swapping out meat and dairy for healthy vegetables and nut milks, can bring about weight loss and better heart health. But swapping out meat and dairy for a diet laden heavy with potatoes, rice and increased grains might actually lead to weight gain, even though it’s actually plant-based.

Researching all of the variations of this way of eating and working with your doctor to help you choose a plan is recommended before starting any new diets.

Heart Health

A plant-based diet is the only diet that has been shown to not only prevent—but to reverse—advanced-stage cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes says Julieanna Hever, California-based nutritionist, founder of Plant-Based Dietitian and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition.

On the Go

Meal-prepping before your trips is key to keeping on track with a plant-based diet. Having a plentiful supply of clean and ready fruits and vegetables handy for snacks is a great start. That can also make things easier when cooking meals for the workweek. There are great recipes for vegetarian soups, stews, and casseroles. And for those days when it might be tough to find a healthy dinner and you don’t have anything prepped it’s good to have a backup plan. Plant-based protein powders or protein bars are great options when in a pinch.

There are ways to eat a plant-based diet at fast food restaurants as well. Besides focusing only on salad bars, many restaurants are catering to those looking for more meat and dairy-less options. There are some great resources available that can help make good fast-food choices when on the road.

Try a plant-based diet to get heart-healthy while over the road. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook page. We’d love to share your great ideas with our our trucker family online.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

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Trucker meals are often thought of as fast food at truck stops or local diners. That hardly captures the variety of food which real truck drivers prefer. Some drivers have turned to cooking in their cabins to provide meals. Drivers may have food restrictions such as vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free food.

We’ve put together a list of five gluten-free recipes which truck drivers can quickly prepare while on the road or at home.

1. Gluten-free pancakes

gluten free recipes

Image courtesy of AllRecipes.com

Let’s start off with breakfast, although these delicious and fluffy pancakes are sure to be a hit anytime of day. The right type of gluten-free flour makes this dish simple and quick to make within about 20-30 minutes.

Top with your choice of strawberries, raspberries, or other condiments. Get the Recipe →

 

 

2. Cauliflower potato salad

gluten free recipes

Image courtesy of Simply Gluten Free

This fantastic gluten-free alternative to traditional potato salad makes for a easy and delicious lunch. The cauliflower provides similar flavor and texture to potato salad. Best part is that this can be ready in under 30 minutes.

You can chill the salad and keep it refrigerated at home before heading out on the road. Get the Recipe →

 

 

3. Sicilian spaghetti

gluten free recipes

Image courtesy of Simply Gluten Free

Gluten-free pasta is becoming a popular alternative to traditional pasta because many of the flavors in our favorite pasta dishes come from all the other ingredients.

You can try variations to this recipe by changing the vegetables and herbs used. Canned meats or fish makes it easy to prepare in under 30 minutes. Get the Recipe →

 

 

4. Salmon fillets

gluten free recipes

Image courtesy of Simply Gluten Free

Breaded fish makes for a simple, healthy, and delicious dinner.

This gluten-free panko-crust is perfect for adding some crispiness to the flaky salmon.

Add plenty of lime for acid, or change up the herbs and condiments for a different burst of flavor. Get the Recipe →

 

 

5. Gluten-free black and blue berries

gluten free recipes

Image courtesy of Food Network

Just because you’re trying to eat healthy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge in the occasional dessert. These berries will leave your sweet tooth satisfied, while you still get a healthy dose of fruit for the day.

While most desserts can be a pain to make over hours in the kitchen, this easy dish is ready in under 20 minutes. Get the Recipe →

 

 

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Fall is almost here, and that means cold and flu season is just around the corner. Everyone has to deal with germs every day. And most people try to stay mindful of how to avoid sickness and stay healthy. Though many people can keep their workplace as clean as they’d like, truckers just don’t have that luxury. Your surroundings are always changing. You interact with tons of people (directly and indirectly) at every truck stop or loading dock you encounter each day. Every one of those interactions might have the potential to make you sick if you’re not careful. So, for you truck drivers, here’s 3 tips for avoiding sickness over the road.

Take care of yourself

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Knowing this, you should do what you can to keep yourself healthy. See your doctor at least once per year. Take all your necessary medications and supplements as needed. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. Eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. Reduce your stress levels. Get enough sleep. These simple things can keep your body in tip-top shape to help you fight germs and avoid sickness year-round.

Wash your hands

The easiest, and most effective thing for avoiding sickness is to wash your hands frequently. Every time you leave your truck cab, wash your hands before you return. Wash them before you use your phone again.

Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. Center for Disease Control

Use soap and water every time if possible. If you can’t get to a sink, keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your pocket. Keeping your hands clean can reduce your chances of getting sick. Bonus tip: wipe down your phone a few times each day as well. Your phone can be dirtier than a toilet seat!

Know what to do if the flu strikes

Sometimes when you do everything right for avoiding sickness, the flu can still strike. Safety still needs to be your number one concern. Knowing your own limits is very important. So, if you’re really under the weather, do what you can to rest and get better. This might mean pulling off the road for a while so that you can keep yourself, and other drivers, safe.

Take advantage of these 3 helpful tips and you can give yourself an edge on avoiding sickness this flu season. Feel free to drop your best tips in the comments below, and we’d love to share them with our drivers. If you liked these tips and want to get more like this, download our eBook.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

Download the Guide Now

avoiding burnout

Truck driving is more than a job; it’s a lifestyle! There are pros and cons to the lifestyle, and there are risks just like with anything else. One of the risks of a truck driving job is overworking and not getting enough rest or vacation time. This can lead to burnout, which is defined as mental or physical collapse by overwork or stress. Driving a truck for a living has some unique stressors associated with it. Being on the road and away from home can take a toll on the body, and dealing with demands from different people can stress the mind. Here’s what you need to know for avoiding burnout as a truck driver.

What leads to driver burnout?

The real question is what doesn’t lead to truck driver burnout! Often there is pressure by carriers for drivers to remain on the road longer. Drivers are usually payed by the mile and they know that the more they drive, the more they earn. A shortage of drivers in the industry means that carriers will count on a smaller and smaller pool of drivers to haul freight across the country. Even if your carrier isn’t pressuring you to take more runs, the “normal” truck driver hours can still be exhausting. Truck drivers don’t have a typical 9 am-5 pm, forty-hour work week, and are working much more than the average American worker.

OTR drivers may have it toughest since they spend days or weeks on the road. Being away from home and family for that long is a source of stress and exhaustion. Most drivers will try to keep the job from becoming tiring by keeping a strong set of hobbies and interests.

Even if you’re finding ways to relax, eat well, and get plenty of sleep, no one is immune from the effects of stress.

Finally, drivers deal with a whole host of people who can often be difficult. Working with carriers, dispatchers, shippers, and receivers can be overwhelming.

Effects of burnout

At this point, you may be saying to yourself that burnout can happen to anyone and it’s not a big deal. The truth is the effects of burnout are damaging to yourself and those around you! Not dealing with burnout effectively can lead your mental and physical health to suffer, your relationships to suffer, and can put your job at risk as well. Think about it- who is more likely to slack off on the job, be tired while driving, or be disrespectful to colleagues- a well adjusted driver or a driver suffering from burnout? Drivers with burnout will suffer from irritability and frustration. This leads to less tolerance towards other drivers on the road and makes accidents more likely. Other effects of burnout are insomnia, sleep apnea, or other sleep disorders. At the end of the day this means more tired truck drivers on the road, and a higher risk of accidents.

The truth is that burnout is directly linked to your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road.

If drivers push themselves beyond their limits, they are more likely to suffer from poor health. Burnout can lead to lack of exercise and unhealthy diet choices. Obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a host of other health effects are directly related to burnout. Drivers will not find time to exercise or eat well, which makes them feel more unmotivated to do so, and the vicious cycle continues. Drivers can also have severe mood effects, like apathy or depression.

While they once loved life on the open road, they may grow to dislike truck driving and become resentful of the job and the lifestyle.

If your mental health suffers, it will also affect those around you, including your loved ones and other truck drivers.

Avoiding burnout

The good news is that avoiding burnout is not impossible. Burnout can be managed, and stress can be dealt with in healthy ways. While stress isn’t unavoidable, you can learn better strategies to manage and cope with stress and avoid burnout.

A regular sleep schedule is probably the number one thing you can do to avoid burnout and remain healthy. While a truck driver’s schedule is often unpredictable, having some control over your sleep cycle will help regulate the body regardless of other schedule changes. Once the body gets used to sleeping the same time and waking the same time, it can reduce the effects of stress. Ideally, you’d have regularly scheduled runs with a more predictable schedule. While that’s a goal you can strive towards in the long-run, maintaining the same sleep routine will improve mental and physical health and avoid burnout.

Just like your truck needs proper fuel, your body will collapse if it is not getting the right fuel.

Beyond sleeping well, maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise is what fuels your body the right way. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring or expensive. Many drivers cook in their cab or find cheaper and healthier options of which restaurants to visit. Keeping a handful of healthy snacks in the cab is also helpful. Exercising as a truck driver isn’t impossible either. The secret is to do smaller sessions of exercise but keep them more regular and consistent.

Finding time to take breaks from the job will help you avoid burnout. We don’t mean the sort of “downtime” where you’re technically still on the job! Downtime between loads or while waiting at the shipper or receiver doesn’t really count since you have no idea how soon you’ll be working again. Use the mandated rest time allows you to know exactly how much time you have before driving again. Then you can decide how to best use the time. Don’t skip vacations or PTO days because you think you can’t afford them.

The truth is truck driver can’t afford NOT to take vacations.

Aside from getting the chance to spend quality time with family, it will also give you the chance to rest away from trucking and recharge before returning to life on the road.

As you can see, avoiding burnout isn’t impossible for truck drivers. Remember the toll that burnout can take on yourself and others, and use these helpful tips to remain healthy and stress-free.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

Download the Guide Now

easy-microwavable-recipes-for-truck-drivers

Truckers are faced with the daily dilemma of stopping at a rest stop or fast food chain for a quick bite to eat or preparing a meal themselves. Oftentimes truckers don’t have a full kitchen or much time to prepare extensive meals so cooking can be challenging. To help, we put together a list of 6 easy microwavable recipes for truck drivers to quickly prepare on a break.

omelet-in-mug

Image courteous of Dashing Dish

1. Omelet

This mug omelet is perfect for truckers looking for a filling breakfast that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.

Add vegetables, cheese, and meat and enjoy the omelet straight from the mug or throw it into a tortilla for a breakfast burrito. Get the recipe →

 

 

sweet-potato-chips

Image courteous of The Bitten Word

2. Sweet Potato Chips

These are a great, healthy alternative to regular potato chips and actually taste just as good.

Add salt and rosemary to the sliced potatoes, pop them in the microwave, and enjoy a delicious sweet and salty snack. Get the recipe →

 

 

blueberry-muffin-mug

Image courtesy of The Gingham Apron

3. Blueberry Muffin

Craving something sweet? This is perfect for meeting the craving with a healthier alternative that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.

Not in the mood for a blueberry muffin? Swap out the blueberries for chocolate chips, raisins, or another fruit. Get the recipe →

 

 

microwave-mushroom-risotto

Image courtesy of The Food Network

4. Mushroom Risotto

Ever made risotto on the stove and stirred the pot for 30 minutes? Get the same delicious taste with half the work.

Stir together the ingredients in a microwave-safe dish and get ready for the perfect side dish. Get the recipe →

 

 

microwave-potato-soup

Image courtesy of Bigger Bolder Baking

5. Potato Soup

This soup is loaded with cheese, bacon, potato, and scallions and only takes a few minutes to prepare.

Top the soup off with a spoonful of sour cream and enjoy on a cold, winter day. Get the recipe →

 

 

microwave-Parmesan-spaghetti-squash

Image courtesy of Joyful Healthy Eats

6. Parmesan Herb Spaghetti Squash

This quick dish trumps Easy Mac any day. Not only is this a healthier alternative to microwave pasta, but it’s also filling and delicious.

Prepare the recipe in 5 minutes, throw in the microwave for 15 minutes, and enjoy. Top with grilled chicken for extra protein. Get the recipe →

 

 

These easy microwavable recipes for truck drivers should save time and money spent stopping at a drive-through and also provide truckers with quick, delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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This time of year many people make resolutions to improve their overall health and well-being. Making positive changes to make sure you’re getting enough exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep are certainly important. But what about your brain’s health? What are you doing to keep your mind sharp and improve focus on the road?

A recent article on American Trucker’s website spoke with Brian Ryder, a business creativity consultant.  He points out 7 key ways to train your brain and improve mental focus while driving.

As we age, our brain also needs stay in shape. “It’s really not hard to sharpen your thinking and improve your mind power,” Ryder contends. “A lot of people don’t try it because they think that mentally, they ‘are where they are.’ It’s not so. You have a lot of room for improvement.”

It’s all about taking care of yourself and creating new ways to keep your mind sharp. Sometimes the simplest changes to your daily routines are the most beneficial. Add a few of these to your other resolutions for a great 2019!

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

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Truck drivers often struggle with maintaining healthy habits over the road because they often lead a sedentary lifestyle when driving long distances. Extended hours spent in the truck can often lead to higher levels of stress, dependence on stimulants to stay alert, less activity throughout the day, and lack of access to healthy food options. This tends to take a toll on drivers as they have a hard time overcoming these obstacles.

In order to provide drivers with access to healthy habits and tips for easily maintaining them, we put together this ultimate guide.

easy-exercises-workout-truck-drivers1. Exercise

Truck drivers can work up to 11 hours per day, and this oftentimes leaves little room for breaks or exercise. When trying to find the time for exercising, drivers need activities that can be completed virtually anywhere, don’t take a lot of time, and are effective.

The list of exercises below is an easy way to incorporate activity into a truck driver’s day. Drivers can either choose a routine that doesn’t require any equipment or weights, or they can choose a routine that involves using a pair of free weights.

Time Per Exercise Using Only Your Body Weight Or Using Free Weights
1 minute Squats Single Arm Row
REST FOR 30 SECONDS
1 minute Push-Ups Double Chest Press
REST FOR 30 SECONDS
1 minute Lunges Split Squat
REST FOR 30 SECONDS
1 minute Tricep Dips Bicep Curls
REST FOR 30 SECONDS
1 minute Jumping Jacks Lunges with Weights
REPEAT CYCLE THREE TIMES TO COMPLETE WORKOUT

When running through these exercises, it’s recommended to do each exercise as many times as possible for 1 full minute, rest for 30 seconds in between each exercise, and then repeat the entire cycle of exercises 3 times. This will produce a high-intensity, full-body workout in 20 minutes, which can be repeated easily a few times per week.

Freightliner In-Cab Training System

Some truck drivers have even taken working out to the next level and have discovered a way to incorporate a complete gym in their truck by using the FIT System (Freightliner In-Cab Training System).

This exercise and flexibility system is designed to allow the driver to do an upper body, lower body, and cardiovascular workout in the comfort and safety of the cab of their truck. The system is easy to install and use in the truck and can also be brought inside to a home or hotel room.

healthy-food-options-recipes-truck-drivers2. Healthy Food Options

We’ve all heard that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables. But truckers often face difficulty when trying to access healthy food options, especially fresh produce. Planning ahead and packing food for the road is the best way to not settle for fast food when it comes time for the next meal.

Most drivers who bring food in their truck prepare ahead and pack meals that can be kept in a small cooler. Below are a few ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that are easy for truck drivers to grab from their cooler, heat up in their microwave, and enjoy quickly on a break.

Breakfast Ideas Lunch Ideas Dinner Ideas
Protein Smoothie or Protein Bar Pasta Salad with Veggies Chicken and Veggie Quesadillas
Oatmeal with Berries and Nuts Turkey Burger Grilled Chicken with a Potato Side
Toast with Peanut Butter Grilled Chicken Salad Chili

In between meals, many truck drivers also look for snacks that will keep them full and alert while driving. Making good snacking choices can help drivers maintain energy longer and avoid consuming empty calories.

Before reaching for that next snack, be sure to check out the good and bad lists below:

The Good Snack List The Bad Snack List
Apple, Celery, or Banana with Peanut Butter Candy
Pita and Hummus Rice Cakes/Crackers
Protein Energy Balls Pretzels
Yogurt Veggie Straws
Overnight Oats Potato Chips
Trail Mix: Nuts, Seeds, Dried Fruit Cereal
Hardboiled Egg Brownie or other sweet treats

Truckers Who Pack Also Save Money

In addition to having quick, easy access to healthier food options, drivers who pack their meals often also see increased financial savings from month to month. Research shows that the number one expense for drivers is food. By packing snacks and meals ahead of a drive, truckers be less inclined to stop at a fast-food restaurant, and will in turn, save cash and calories.

sleep-relax-meditate-truck-drivers3. Sleep and Relax

After a long day spent driving, a good night’s sleep is exactly what most truck drivers need. Not only does resting allow drivers to regain strength for the next day, but it also helps them unwind physically and mentally. However, being able to fully unwind after driving all day may sound easier than it is.

To help drivers change gears after a shift and start to relax, it’s recommended to avoid eating at least three hours before bedtime, turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before sleeping, and even try meditating. These activities will allow the body to start melatonin production for a restful night’s sleep.

When preparing for bedtime, consider the do and don’t lists below:

The Do List The Don’t List
Listen to relaxing music Watch TV or videos
Meditate Talk to others on the phone
Drink a glass of water or warm tea Enjoy one last snack of the day
Read a book or magazine Scroll through Facebook or other social apps
Dim the lights Have bright lights on in the truck

Benefits of Meditation for Truck Drivers

Meditation is proven to help drivers refocus after a long day and ensure a better night’s sleep. Drivers can meditate easily by downloading an app such as Headspace or Calm, or they can practice the same meditation techniques without needing any technology. In order to get started, drivers can sit in a chair or in their truck, and place their feet flat on the floor. They can then place their palms face down on their lap, closing their eyes. Then, they can breathe slowly and deeply for 10-15 minutes, trying to keep their mind blank.

Taking an extra 10 minutes each morning or evening to unwind can be extremely beneficial for a driver’s mental and emotional well-being, especially after a long day on the road.

We hope this ultimate guide will help truck drivers learn and maintain these three healthy habits over the road!

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Ditch the chips! We’ve got some of the yummiest potato recipes that are sure to keep drivers full and focused.

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Deciding what food to take on your route can be a hard choice. Perhaps you’re trying to stick with your diet or cut down on carbs. Or, maybe you struggle just to remember to pack anything at all. Regardless of where your appetite is, celebrate National Potato Day (Aug. 19) by giving you some easy-peasy potato recipes that are sure to please.

Taters: A History

Potatoes have been a popular food for centuries. The fourth most largely farmed crop today, they were originally cultivated by the Inca Indians of Peru. When the Spanish conquered Peru, it was only a matter of time before they brought potatoes back to Europe. Because they’re so easy to grow, they soon caught on as a staple across the continent. After the famous potato blight in the 1840’s, famine forced many families, notably the Irish, to immigrate elsewhere, such as Canada and America. Their migration effectively brought this wonderful starch into our lives. And so, the potato can now be found on the shelves of virtually every home in the U.S.

One of the most versatile foods, any potato — mashed, smashed, chipped, or covered in cheese — can be eaten as a snack or meal. Additionally, the vitamins in potatoes, like iron, potassium, and vitamin C, make spuds the ideal ingredient to bring on the road. Read on to find the perfect recipe for your route.

The Easiest

Image via Getty Images

Baked potatoes are about as basic as you can get in terms of food-prep. It’s a sure fire way of guaranteeing yourself a delicious, edible meal every single time. If you’re planning on cooking them ahead of time, simply pick out your favorite tater (we recommend Russets for this method), and rub it down with some oil, salt, and pepper. Throw the potato on a baking sheet and let it roast in the oven for about an hour on 425°F. The result? A crispy on the outside, soft and steamy on the inside baked potato.

Can’t make it ahead of time? Many grocery stores supply potatoes pre-wrapped. Throw that sucker in the microwave, per package instructions, of course, and you’ll have the same delicious outcome.

Looking to amp up your tater-game? Add toppings! Some simple, nutritious combinations include adding broccoli and cheddar cheese, or even just the usual sour cream, bacon, and chives. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try using sweet potatoes, and topping them off with some BBQ chicken? Plain or decked out, you’re looking at an easy, satisfying meal.

The Snackiest

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Ever wish you had an equally crunchy, perfectly salted substitute for your favorite potato chips? Well, now you do. Enter baked potato chips. By making your own, you can control exactly how much oil and salt you add, cutting down on some serious calories. You can find a recipe for your own chips anywhere, but we recommend this one by Kimberly Eggleston. She’s a registered dietitian who has been cooking up her own recipes for decades. The trick to her recipe is to slice the potatoes as thinly as possible for that extra crunch.

No time to make your own? Not a problem. Many brands are now offering their chips in a baked form, including the ever-popular Lays. Even buying a bag of baked chips over fried cuts down on cholesterol and trans fat, and you’ll feel less weighed down, too!

The Healthiest

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Time to hop on the cauliflower bandwagon. Though this recipe isn’t actually made of potatoes, it’s perfect for the more health-conscious trucker. Cauliflower mashed potatoes has become something of a fad in recent months. Doctors everywhere are recommending low-carb diets, and beaming about the health benefits that come with them. One of the main substitutes that they recommend is using cauliflower as a replacement for more carb-heavy recipes, such as pizza crust, buffalo wings, and, now, even mashed potatoes.

Simply prepare a head of cauliflower by trimming any excess leaves, and chop the whole head into bigger chunks. Add to a boiling pot of water until soft, and drain. In batches, add the cauliflower to a food processor with a tablespoon of butter, a couple cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper to taste, and pulse until smooth.

No time to make your own? Birds Eye offers an exceptional frozen version of their cauliflower mash. Simply throw their dish in the microwave per box instructions, and you’ve got a perfect, creamy mash to indulge in.

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