Incorporating fruits and veggies on the road

Andrea Morley

You’ve heard it since you were a kid: “Eat more vegetables and fruit!”

Now, how often do you think you hit the recommended amount of fruits and veggies, which is 7-10 servings per day? For most of you, it’s probably not very often, if ever.

(Photo: iStock)

Fruits and vegetables are truly the backbone of our diet and should make up the bulk of what we eat. They are nutritional powerhouses, far beyond any other food group, given their vast nutrient profiles, virus- and disease-fighting abilities, antioxidants, fiber content, immune-boosting strength, and much more.

But, how do we get enough fruits and vegetables when we’re on the go, or on the road? Since they are perishable, and prone to a lot of regulations at the border, it can be difficult for drivers to get enough of them.

Here are some tips to help you keep your fruit and veggie intake high, no matter where you are:

  • In restaurants, always ask for vegetables as your side dish, even if you don’t see them on the menu. They will typically default a side dish to fries or soup, but make it a habit to ask for veggies with your meal. Eat them early in your meal to make sure you don’t leave them behind!

 

  • Truck stops have started offering more fresh fruit and veggies recently, so be sure to take a look for those. I’ve found the quality and price to be quite good as well, especially compared to other options. Five bucks for fresh, cut-up veggies vs. $5 for a bag of chips and a chocolate bar? I’ll take the veggies, and you should too.

 

  • If you cook in your truck, it’s great if you can keep produce in a little fridge or freezer, but that can be difficult. Having a couple of cans of veggies on hand can be a great way to boost your meals, especially canned tomatoes, which are incredibly versatile.

 

  • Heading to the states? Buy produce that says it was grown in the U.S. or Canada, and keep it in its original packaging for Customs.

 

  • Pack as many fruits and veggies as you reasonably can, but if you’re taking a longer trip or couldn’t bring something over the border, make a quick stop at a Walmart Supercenter to pick up any extra that you need – drivers tell me this is their favorite place to stop for good selection, fair prices, and large parking lots.

 

  • Dried fruit is a great option for supplementing your diet, just be sure to buy unsweetened fruit. You can pick from mangos, pineapple, apricots, dates, cranberries, blueberries, and more. Plus, they taste like candy.

 

  • If you have the right ingredients (and a single serve blender), whipping up a simple smoothie is a great breakfast or snack option. Use whatever you have on hand, but bananas, spinach, and berries are a great starting combo.

 

  • A greens or berry powder (or both) can be the perfect way to boost your intake when you’re not able to get enough produce, and can be added to smoothies or just to water. Stop by a natural health food store and ask for a recommendation, and keep a container of the greens/berry powder in the truck.

 

Over the next couple of weeks, try aiming for an extra two servings of fruit and veggies over what you normally get per day, and see how it makes you feel.

Andrea Morley

Andrea Morley is the lead nutritionist and health coach at Healthy Trucker (a division of NAL Insurance), where she educates and motivates drivers and office staff across the industry to improve their health through simple, consistent changes in their diet and exercise routines. She has a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition from the University of Guelph, and is passionate about wellness and helping others reach their goals. She can be contacted at amorley@healthytrucker.com

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  • You can not take fruit accoss the border . I have had to throw it out in a open ok . The truck needs to have a working fridge and time to stop at a grocery store in each country. . Truck drivers need time to stop to eat healthy and get a shower each day.