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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#WellnessWednesday Part 5: Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy!

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 2 months since we began our wellness journey, Trucking Nation.

In the very first installment, 5 Tips for Healthy Trucking, I said that wellness doesn’t begin with pumping iron or munching on a head of cabbage. While it may not start there, at some point, we need to consider healthier eating. (Notice how I’m not using the dreaded word “diet.” This isn’t an extreme 1 month program, this is a gradual lifestyle change!)

What I’m trying to say is…

It’s time to break out that head of cabbage! But we won’t stop there; there’s loads of power foods & tips for making better choices that we’ll discuss today in #WellnessWednesday Part 5: Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy! As always, we compiled these tips with trucking lifestyle in mind, meaning the foods are either readily available, not perishable, and/or easy to eat while driving.

Chew on these 5 tips for healthful eating. Open up wide!

1. Eat Whole Foods: 

  • A general rule of thumb you’ve likely heard by now. It simply means, the less processed your food is, the better. Processing foods not only decreases nutrient density, it also provides the opportunity for artificial flavors, preservatives, colors & even more unsavory things to be mixed into your food. Eat things that look like what they actually are. Whole grains, like brown rice, are preferable to bread, for example. And where might you get these whole foods? Well that leads me to tip #2!

2. Park with Care:  

  • Choices are certainly limited when you’re living out of a truck cab–don’t limit yourself further by stopping only at rest stops and fast-food joints. The limited (and what tends to be unhealthy & overly-processed) selection is just setting you up for failure.

    Instead, stop at grocery stores or farmer's markets along the way. You’ll find a much wider selection of whole foods, and for better prices! If you absolutely HAVE to grab a snack at a rest stop, grab a pack of nuts or sunflower seeds instead of a bag of chips, unsalted is preferable. And grab water instead of soda, that’s a no-brainer!

3. Pack Smart, Snack Smart:

  • Bringing along healthy, delicious snacks is another way to set yourself up for success. Yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, hummus with veggies are all protein-packed, filling, and scrumptious–if you have a mini-fridge! If not, bring dry goods like unsalted nuts and seeds, nut butters with sprouted bread, fresh berries, fruit leather, seaweed or kale chips–I could go on forever, baby!

    Some of these may sound foreign, but they’re becoming readily available. They’ll wake-up your tastebuds (I can tell you from experience), and they’re INFINITELY HEALTHEIR than the same, boring snacks you’ve been eating your whole life! Be bold, try new things, & find what works for you!

4. Start Juicin’:

  • The perfect way to consume a TON of fresh fruit, veggies, & herbs, right in the palm of your hand. Juicing works for truckers, it’s a fact. Google it, you’ll find truckers who’ve shed hundreds of pounds and beaten chronic illness by juicing on the road. If you’re trucking for a few days at a time, you can “pre-juice” at home and store it in air-tight jars in your mini-fridge. Just grab and chug–wheel in one hand, juice in the other.

    However, juicing on the spot is best, the fresher the juice the better! Juice recipes are easy to find online, and they’ll not only cover your 7-a-day, but they’ll detox your body while flooding it with the enzymes, minerals, and vitamins it craves.

5. Fermented Foods:

  • Sounds gross, at first, until you consider that some of the finer (or should I say, winer!) things in life are fermented. Fermented foods are not only easy to bring on a road trip (because they’re preserved in jars!), but they have amazing health benefits too. The lacto-fermentation preserves nutrients and makes them more readily-digestible. You’re likely already eating these foods without realizing it!

    Pickles, for example, are a healthy fermented food, along with sauerkraut. Look for ones that have been lacto-fermented, rather than vinegar-based. Not as common is kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage which is becoming more common in the US every day! You can also drink the benefits of fermentation with kefir, a yogurt drink, or drink kombucha! (Don’t worry, the alcohol content is non-existent.) Made from fermented oolong tea, kombucha is a fruity, delicious, gut-loving alternative to water. Droves of people swear by kombucha because it improves digestion and boosts your energy! 

Take these 5 tips on your wellness journey, and use them to make better choices. Choice, being the keyword. No one can dictate what’s best for you. Break the grooves of routine, do some self-discovery, & reforge new, healthier habits that nourish your body!

And if you feel like back-sliding, gather some inspiration from our former blogs & remember: if you don’t finish your broccoli, the ExpressTruckTax Support Heroes will send you to bed without dessert!

5 Tips for Healthy Trucking

5 More Tips for Healthy Trucking

Even More Tips for Healthy Trucking: Ripped Edition

Part 4: The Return of the Tips


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