Following 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.
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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