It isn’t difficult to meal prep if you have a full kitchen and the time to do so. If you have to go without either of those, it can be about as enjoyable as tattooing yourself with a pairing knife and red-onion ink. We don’t advise you to try that either. Instead, try these meal prep tips for any truck driver.
There are practical ways that you can save time and work with less, allowing you to meal prep and prevent your truck cab from looking like a scene from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Batching is a principle that will save you time in more than just meal prep. It is the idea of grouping time-consuming tasks together to minimize set up time and unnecessary repetition. For example, when cooking you should find a time to spend about an hour cutting up vegetables, fruit, and meats into the required sizes for cooking so that your meal preparation doesn’t have to include the time necessary for the setup and clean up from that process every time.
It is much easier to throw a few already prepped ingredients into a Crock-Pot and keep driving until they are finished cooking instead of having to prepare your ingredients and cook them all at once. Batching will also greatly simplify your food storage and cut down on wasted space, something that is a premium in your truck.
When you are on the road for long hours and have to make up time, the Crock-Pot is your friend, a friend that you should rely on often. A Crock Pot or slow cooker is an excellent tool for producing high-quality meals with very minimal time and effort. You can simultaneously cook meat for breakfast, lunch, supper, as well as potatoes, onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, leeks, mushrooms, bell peppers, and garlic, to be used different meals throughout the day.
Being on the road shouldn’t restrict your ability to prepare meals. Sure it’s not as easy as having a full-service kitchen, yet it’s possible to eat delicious and healthy meals out of your truck. You can make chili, chicken with roasted red potatoes and carrots or even a pork tenderloin roast. Your mouth watering yet?
What are you waiting for? It’s not like you’re stuck in a dock for your truck to be unloaded. Well, maybe some of you truck drivers actually are. In that case, now is the time to start your meal prep.
Reusing and modifying ingredients can instantly make your life easier! The basic idea is to cook one kind of meat, like chicken or lean beef that will work well with a variety of other sides to make different meals. In one day you might have a roast beef sandwich, a fresh spinach salad with onions, mushrooms, cheese and chopped roast beef for protein, and a proper roast beef dinner. You can manipulate flavors with different sauces to further distinguish meals from each other. Using the Crock-Pot will allow you to cook the beef and vegetables with a savory sauce in just a few hours while you are driving.
Eat foods that require no prep! It’s the simplest way to eat while on the road. As a trucker, you won’t always have time to meal prep while delivering loads on a strict dock schedule. Stay full longer with raw foods like:
High-protein snacks like nuts, low-sodium beef jerky and yogurt can keep you full longer and taste great. They will help you even out low blood sugar levels between meals and keep you from either overeating at meal times or impulsively stopping for a Big Mac. Sure that greasy burger can be so tempting but it can also cause you and your truck a lot of headaches.
Remember you don’t need or want, to eat 5 or more large meals per day. The idea is to eat a reasonable amount of food, more often and in smaller amounts per meal to avoid making a train-wreck of your digestive system.
Pop or soda, whatever you prefer to call it, sugary drinks like Coke and Sprite are equally refreshing as they are hazardous to you. They are full of sugar and sugar substitutes that aren’t doing you any favors except spiking your sugar levels and leading to obesity. Having one every now and then isn’t horrible but it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. By regular we mean more than once a week.
Opt for only 100 percent juices and drink coffee or tea, hot or cold, but preferably without sugar. This will save your health and your wallet big time! You can easily make coffee or tea last most of your day by purchasing a good thermos to keep your drink hot or cold. You can also try flavor herbal teas and steep them with water and lemon juice for a healthy alternative to drinks full of sugar.
Life as a trucker can be an amazing adventure and a rewarding career. But for too many truck drivers it can be a life-ending career, with many dying fifteen to twenty years before the national expectancy. Many of the health problems that take the life of truckers before their time can be reduced dramatically by taking control of food intake and making healthier choices. Here’s to another Wellness Wednesday!
Contributor: John Heslop