It’s time to re-fuel! Your body that is.
We get it. You have deadlines to meet, and traffic to beat, so the last thing on your mind is diet. When your stomach gets to rumbling, the wheels — in your head — start turning, to figure out what snack to pick up for the road.
It’s easy to just grab the cheapest bag of chips and a hot dog. You know that will last you a few hours until the next rest stop. But there are some healthier choices, even on the road, and they're not hard to find. These tips could make your life in the hammer lane simpler and have you feeling way better.
Less is More? False!
That age-old saying is great for a lot of things, but when it comes to nutrition, not so much. Waiting to eat only two or three times a day can cause you to overeat and slow your metabolism. Instead, try eating smaller meals, five or six times a day. Choose healthy snacks between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to avoid binge eating and keep your metabolism going all day!
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Healthy DIY Alternatives
How much are you really spending on those on-the-go snacks and meals? Invest in a power inverter, so you can hook up a mini-fridge to store whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and other meals you can enjoy for days! Other small appliances like crockpots and tabletop grills can help with easy meal prep. You'll be so glad to have those tools on board, especially when you're miles away from the nearest rest stop and you really need a lift. Bonus: the money you save by cooking for yourself will pay for that new inverter in no time!
As much as we all try to avoid stopping for restroom breaks, keep in mind that staying hydrated can prevent all kinds of symptoms, including muscle cramps, kidney stones, and fatigue. You’re no use to anyone if you are too sick to drive. If you can't or won't drink a lot of water, try substituting foods with a high water content. Eat more watermelon, cucumbers, and celery! And go easy on the energy drinks and sodas. They may taste great, but they're packed with sugar, and they'll cause you to crash — your metabolism, not your truck.
Healthier eating is a habit, and it always takes time and support to build new habits. It can help to keep a food journal, so you pay more attention to your eating habits. Ask your spouse or a good friend to be your accountability partner, so you can talk to them about your successes and failures. And share your story or a favorite recipe with us, in the comments section.
Please add your recipe ideas in the comments. Here's an easy chili recipe to start you off (adapted from a recipe on SimplyMadeRecipes.com.)
To cook chili in your truck, all you need is a power inverter and a crockpot. A fridge is also helpful, to store ingredients and leftovers. This recipe is super-easy, and you don't have to measure or chop anything. You can add ingredients that aren't on the list -- frozen chopped onions or corn kernels could be good -- and finish it off with your favorite toppings.
Zero-Prep Crockpot Turkey Chili
Crockpot with a locking lid
Fridge or cooler
Bowl and spoon
1 pound ground turkey
3 cans kidney beans or a mix of beans
1 can petite diced tomatoes
3 cups vegetable juice, regular or spicy
1 envelope chili seasoning
- Dump all ingredients in a crockpot. (You can brown the meat first, if you want. If you use beef instead of turkey, it's better to brown it and drain off the fat.)
- Cover and lock crockpot lid, and secure the pot so it doesn't fall or spill while you're driving. Set the crockpot to low and cook for 6-8 hours.
- Park. Eat.
If you count this recipe as 4 servings, then each big bowlful delivers about 375 calories, including 54 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fat, 22 grams of protein, and about 700 grams of sodium. To cut back on the salt, use the low-sodium vegetable juice, rinse the canned beans (or substitute dried beans plus water) and don't use the whole seasoning packet.
What's your favorite recipe or healthy snack when you're on the road?
Raney's Truck Parts sells everything for your truck in their Ocala, FL, store and online.