Making Healthy Choices Easy
As you enter the truck stop, you’re bombarded with the aroma of pizza, hot dogs, wings, all strategically placed at the front of the store and marked up through the roof. Ten miles down the road with lighter pockets, heartburn kicks in and you feel like your stomach is a blow torch. Two hours later, you’re groggy and sluggish. With limited choices and not a lot of time, how do you bring that home-cooked, healthy meal on the road with you?
Meal prep is not a new concept. Meal prepping for truckers presents more challenges, however. Luckily, you can easily prepare snacks and meals for any cab setup with just a cooler (or something to keep your food cold) and a portable oven or crockpot (or something to make your food hot).
Skip the rubbery breakfast sandwich that’s been sitting under a heat lamp at the truck stop and opt for one of the options below to start your day right.
Baked goods are a driver’s best friend. You can bake them before you hit the road and have a quick bite to grab your whole trip. Learn a basic muffin recipe and customize it by adding different toppings and add-ins, like blueberries, chocolate, nuts, or shredded carrots.
Single-serve blending systems are abundantly available. Keep one in your cab to whip up a fresh smoothie in a flash. Find your favorite smoothie recipe here. You can also opt for bottled pre-made smoothies. Just look for ones that aren’t pumped full of added sugar; while your sugar high will fuel you through morning traffic, you’ll crash during long haul.
The easiest way to eat an egg on the go is to pack hard-boiled eggs. Another great option is to pack muffin tin omelets. Load up some sausage or bacon, cooked potatoes, peppers and onions into a muffin pan, add whisked eggs and cheese, and throw it in the oven at home. Throw in on a biscuit or bread for some carbs for an extra energy boost.
With countless flavors and varieties available, beef jerky is the perfect snack for the road. For a healthy jolt of protein, try these 100% grass fed beef sticks.
Make your mom and/or wife proud. Stock your cooler with sliced veggies pre-bagged to grab quickly. Carrots sticks, celery, cherry tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, cucumber slices, and even raw zucchini wedges are great options to pair with your favorite dip or dressing. You can buy individual packs of ranch dressing or hummus for easy access.
If you don’t have a cooler or refrigerator, vegetable chips are easy to store. Plantains, beets, sweet potatoes, kale, radishes, and jicamas are just a few examples of alternatives to potatoes used to create healthier chips. Dip them into a jalapeno sour cream dip and you’ll never go back to traditional potato chips ever again.
Cheese and Crackers
When your stomach starts growling at the delivery dock, you’ll be glad you packed some sliced cheese and crackers — a recipe you simply can’t mess up. For those extra long deliveries, grab a lemonade or sweet tea and kick your feet up.
Bananas, apples. and berries are easy to bring on the road because you don’t need to cut them. However, you can also stash fruit cups or dried fruit in your cab without attracting bugs or to avoid finding rotten fruit that somehow rolled under your seat two weeks ago.
Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews are healthiest if they are unsalted. Bring chopped nuts to add as a topping for salads and sweets.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are not just for children’s school lunchboxes. The perfect compliment to sandwiches, crackers, and toast, peanut butter is high in omega-3 fats and provide long-lasting energy. For a quick boost of nutrition, try these FBomb Macadamia Nut Butters.
Whether you go with a homemade option or buy one, trail mixes can be made to fit your dietary needs and cravings. Dark chocolate, nuts, pretzels, dried fruits, spices, and crackers are just some examples of ingredients. Pack them into portion control bags for convenience.
Tuna or Chicken Salad
Whether you put it in a wrap or on bread, tuna or chicken salad is easy to prepare ahead of time and keep in your cooler or mini fridge. Need a shelf-stable option? Bring tuna packages, mayo packets, and spices. Simply mix when ready to eat.
Protein Bars and Shakes
Protein bars and shakes provide a quick and easy way for you to nourish your body when you’re strapped for time. Keep protein bars in your refrigerator or cooler, if you have one, to avoid them from melting in the sun.
Sandwiches and Wraps
Step away from the Subway! Pack a sandwich piled high with leftover meatloaf, barbecue, turkey, or even crab cakes for a warm taste of home on the road. For cold sandwiches or wraps, the options are endless. Just remember to pack toppings and condiments on the side to add before eating. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a soggy sandwich.
Simply add a bag of lettuce to your cooler/mini fridge and you’ve got the base for a delicious, healthy lunch. Add a protein, a grain, and extra vegetables for a well-rounded salad. Chicken, avocado, dried fruit, chickpeas, cucumbers, tomatoes, tortilla chips are just a few topping ideas. Of course, don’t forget the cheese and dressing. Customize your salad to fit your cravings!
Soups and Stews
If you have a microwave or crock pot in your cab, soups and stews are the perfect lunch, especially in the winter. You can keep canned soups on hand or bring homemade in an airtight container.
Baked potatoes are very easy to make ahead of time and keep in your lunch box or mini fridge. When you’re ready to eat, top with chili, broccoli and cheese soup, or any of your favorite toppings. Wanting to try a different spin? Stuff a sweet potato with curry chicken or black beans and corn.
Chicken Pot Pie
When you’ve spent hours looking for a parking spot at the end of the day, you’ll appreciate this comfort food classic. Simply make the filling ahead of time and layer it in a bowl with biscuits to create a deliciously easy chicken pot pie.
Most pasta dishes are perfect for making ahead of time and reheating. Bake pasta in an aluminum baking pan and then cover. Keep it in the refrigerator until ready to eat and then place in your portable oven/heated lunch box until warm.
Open an individual size bag of tortilla or corn chips and add the following for a quick “taco”:
- Your favorite taco meat/filling
- Your other favorite toppings
Cajun Red Beans and Rice
Be sure to keep your windows closed or you’ll have people knocking down your door for this meal. Buy packaged ready-to-eat rice, add sliced sausages, canned red beans and spices.
Pudding is very portable and most of the time shelf stable. Grocery stores are starting to carry high-end decadent puddings. Also, yogurt can be dressed up with fruit, chocolate, or granola to create a healthy and delicious treat to top off your meal.
While candy is not always considered healthy, some types of candy are better for you. Dark chocolate and sugar-free candies are two great options. Buy candy in bulk at your local grocery store instead of at truck stops, where they mark them up, to save money.
Brownies & Cookies
Whether you make them at home or buy them at the grocery store, cookies and brownies can easily be taken with you on the road. Better yet, support your local girl scouts and go to town on a box of thin mints.
In many parts of the world, oranges and other fruits are commonly eaten at the end of the meal as dessert. Eating a sweet melon or a tart grapefruit with sugar can be a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth.