The Insightful Window

Where life isn't always what it's cracked up to be

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My Healthy Life...Not!

While today is a day of grilling, barbeques, and lots of good food for all, it made me realize except for several days a year when I'm home on the holidays, the food I'm forced to consume on the road is less than nutritious. I wish I could say that I live a healthy lifestyle, but I can't. Being a long haul trucker, and away from home for several weeks at a time is not a life that promotes healthy living. In fact, it's probably one of the worst jobs as far as being able to stay healthy or to eat properly.

Many of the large chain truck stops do not have a full-service restaurant any longer. Those that do, have a set menu and one or two fast food options, while the smaller, independent stops tend to offer only fast food.  Occasionally, they will also offer a full meal from their deli counter, but they are usually less than desirable.  I agree that fast food is named correctly because it will put you into a grave very quickly if you continue to eat it day in and day out. The full-service menu in the more popular stops
 is far from appetizing, including their so-called "healthy choices," which are supposed to keep you fit. I can attest, however, that those items don't necessarily do that. No, I'm afraid the word “healthy,” and the words “truck stops,” should never be used in the same sentence. It's rather like an oxymoron, in principle.

We do try to stay as fit as possible, walking when we can, and eating carefully most days, but like honey to a bear, the truck stops often have buffets at a better price, which tend to lure drivers in and put on the pounds. Their healthier choices usually taste somewhere between a cardboard box and an old piece of leather off the bottom of your jogging shoe. Truthfully, unless it's a particular truck stop where we know the food is made from scratch with quality ingredients, (and yes, there are a few left, although not many), then most of the food at truck stops are less than satisfying or healthy. If the truth is known, my dog has even refused to eat it many times. And if you knew my dog, you'd understand how bad the food has to be for that to happen. In fact, just a few days ago, I went into one of the large stops and asked for a "cardboard burger" off of their deli. Their response was, "Do you want the single or the double?" without laughing or commenting on my remark. I would imagine that's because they've eaten them before. 

Sometimes we make our foods at home and pack them into the refrigerator, eating our own meals. These are excellent, of course, because we buy and prepare all organic foods. However, our fridge being a three quarter size unit in the truck can only hold enough for one week. Plus, we have to spare some room in it for drinks too.  A healthy driver is a hydrated driver! Unfortunately, our bodies love the organic foods and meals, and after one week of “quality” food, we end up with bodies that immediately go on strike once the truck stop's food returns.

I get overly concerned about our health out here because my husband and I are both getting on in age. We are seeing more ailments show up as the months and years roll on. Not a day goes by we aren't worrying about some health issue. If I didn't know any better, I would say I'm becoming a valetudinarian. One thing I know for certain is that despite learning more about how to maintain a healthy life on the road, the chance of that happening is decreasing, along with quality full-service restaurants.

This one issue often makes me loathe the trucking life more than any other. Perhaps, if people understood the sacrifice a trucker makes to bring them their healthy food, maybe they would shop more locally, so we wouldn't have to drive too far from home and eat more cardboard and shoe leather. On second thought, a larger fridge is probably a safer bet.

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