May 03, 2022
Carolee’s 5 Tips to Healthy Eating for Truck Drivers
Let’s focus on health! In this blog, we will be taking a look at small appliances and products that help make healthy eating for truck drivers easier and more convenient. CJ Moore, a veteran OTR driver who team drives with her husband, shares her appliance and healthy eating recommendations for living a healthier life on the road below!
Best Mini Fridge for Truck Drivers
For us, an absolute must is a refrigerator, especially if you follow a clean or paleo diet where you need to store fresh food. There are several types of refrigerators available at truck stops, Walmart, or Amazon and they vary in price. The first one we had was the Coleman 40 quart PowerChill. This unit worked perfectly fine in keeping food moderately cold, not as cold as a regular fridge, but cold enough to keep your food from spoiling. They range from $95-$120 in cost and in our experience they only last about 9 months to a year.
We now have a Truckfridge TF49 that we purchased from our company when we first started working here. They are available at (truckfridge.com). While this product is pricey — starting at $500 — they work extremely well and are as efficient and as cold as a regular home refrigerator. This particular model is spacious (49 liters), which is plenty of room for about a week’s worth of groceries for two. It also has a small freezer built-in, which is a bonus.
Preparing Meals for Truck Drivers
As far as preparing and cooking meals, there are many products out there ranging from portable grills to frying pans. Most of these small appliances are available at truck stops. RoadPro and Koolatron are two of the most popular manufacturers (roadtrucker.com) of these products. These appliances are designed specifically for over-the-road truckers to help you prepare hot, healthy meals in the convenience of your truck without taking up a lot of space. They have slow cooker crock pots, lunchbox stoves, frying pans, ovens, and even sandwich makers, all these products are 12-volt and can be plugged directly into a DC plug (cigarette lighter).
I know a lot of truckers love using a slow cooker, I personally have not tried this, but I am thinking about getting one. I like the idea of easy prep, letting it cook as we go down the road, and the easy clean up. I have tried the lunchbox stove. The pros are that it cooks food evenly and gets very hot. As for the cons, I found it takes a while to heat up and cook a meal, and the clean-up was messy, therefore we no longer use it. The prices for these appliances range from $20-$50 which makes them an inexpensive investment. Another product I am thinking of investing in is the George Foreman Grill it will take up little space, it’s affordable at around $30 and I like that it drains the fat and grease away from your food promoting healthier eating!
Aside from the refrigerator the other appliance we use the most is a microwave. We have the Rival 0.9-cu. ft., which runs about $55. It’s a little big, but fits perfectly in one of our truck cabinets. The pros are that it heats up food quickly and thoroughly and it’s affordable. The cons are that it’s big and kind of inconvenient to store and use. We mostly use it to cook soup, chicken, and vegetables, and to make hot deli sandwiches.
One last product that is not necessarily a necessity, but for me, it’s a must. My Keurig! I don’t know about you, but I have to have my one cup of coffee in the morning! Admittedly there are a lot of other small coffee makers out there that are more affordable, but for me I love the convenience of the Keurig. It’s small and fits perfectly in one of the trucks cubbyholes, which makes it convenient and because it uses coffee pods, clean up takes two seconds and I don’t have to deal with messy filters, coffee grounds or washing a coffee pot out.
A Makeshift Pantry
One more tip before I go, because I try to eat as clean as possible, that means I eat a lot of fruit. I have found that storing fruit, especially in the summertime is a bit of a problem as it spoils faster than I can eat it and I don’t have a lot of extra room in the refrigerator so that’s not an option. My husband and I came up with a great solution that keeps our fruit fresh and prevents bruising.
We bought two plastic refrigerator storage containers at Walmart for about $7 a piece and used Velcro to attach them to a wall in the sleeper and made our own mini pantry. If anything out here on the road, you sometimes need to get creative as far as storage and organization, especially when living 24/7 on the road. Having some home-like conveniences makes it easier to stay healthy in this hectic environment.
So, until next time, keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up and make healthy choices!
Posted: May 03, 2022
Edited: May 13, 2022