Research shows that eating a balanced diet and loads of fruit and veggies can greatly reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancers and injuries.
A survey conducted in 2007 showed that log truck drivers preferred a menu of highly processed fatty and salty foods and on-the-go food that lead to most of the diseases listed above. Many log truck drivers struggle to maintain a healthy food intake.
The good news is that one of the aims of the Fit for the Road programme is to provide you with information to improve your eating habits.
Healthy Eating Starts with Planning
Plan quick, healthy & easy meals ahead
Healthy eating starts with great planning. You will have won half the healthy diet battle if you have a well-stocked kitchen, a stash of quick and easy recipes, and plenty of healthy snacks.
Plan your meals by the week or even the month
One of the best ways to have a healthy diet is to prepare your own food and eat in regularly. Pick a few healthy recipes that you and your family like and build a meal schedule around them. If you have three or four meals planned per week and eat leftovers on the other nights, you will be much farther ahead than if you are eating out or having frozen dinners most nights.
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store
In general, healthy eating ingredients are found around the outer edges of most grocery stores—fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and poultry, whole grain breads and dairy products. The centres of many grocery stores are filled with overpriced, processed foods that aren’t good for you. Shop the perimeter of the store for most of your groceries (fresh items), add a few things from the freezer section (frozen fruits and vegetables), and the aisles with spices, oils, and whole grains (like rolled oats, brown rice, whole wheat pasta).
Cook when you can
Try to cook one or both weekend days or on a weekday evening and make extra to freeze or set aside for another night. Cooking ahead saves time and money, and it is gratifying to know that you have a home cooked meal waiting to be eaten.
Have an emergency dinner or two ready to go
Challenge yourself to come up with two or three dinners that can be put together without going to the store—utilizing things in your pantry, freezer and spice rack. A delicious dinner of whole grain pasta with a quick tomato sauce or a quick and easy black bean quesadilla on a whole wheat flour tortilla (among endless other recipes) could act as your go-to meal when you are just too busy to shop or cook.
Stock your kitchen to be meal ready
Try to keep your kitchen stocked with recipe basics:
Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables:
- Garlic, onions, carrots and celery are great recipe and soup starters.
- Frozen corn, peas, carrots and berries for recipe additions and smoothies.
- Dark greens for salads and salad add-ins like dried fruit, nuts and seed
Fresh and dried herbs and spices:
- Fats and oils—liquid vegetable oils (olive, canola, sunflower, corn, and peanut) for cooking. Specialty oils like sesame oil, walnut or pistachio oil or truffle oil for adding flavor.
- Unsalted nuts—like almonds, walnuts and pistachios for snacking
- Vinegars—such as balsamic, red wine and rice vinegar for salads and veggies
Follow the links below to find some great recipes that can be whipped up in minutes:
5+ A Day
You and your family can achieve the target of 5+ A Day fruit and vegetables by including them in meals and snacks throughout the day.
Try these ideas to increase your servings of fresh fruit and vegetables to 5+ A Day for better health and variety.
- Add fresh or dried fruit to your cereal in the morning or even some veges to your scrambled eggs
- Having an omlette with fresh veges in the morning for breaky
- Try left over stirfry veges in your lunchbox
- Juice up veges and fruit, or if time is a constraint try V8 vegetable juice
- Concentration juice from packets is not fruit and never will be – sorry!
- For lunch have a sandwich packed with lettuce, tomato, carrot, beetroot and a meat of your choice
- Add fresh fruit and veges to your lunch box just to snack on (celery, carrots, cucumber, apples, pears)
Remember a serving size is about one handful. Visit www.5aday.co.nz or phone 0800 507 555
Healthy lunches are vital for well being. For tips on healthy lunches, read on. If your day is really busy lunch is a meal that can be easy to skip. As an adult if you skip lunch this will often set you up for an attack of the munchies mid-afternoon. This can then become a vicious cycle as you may not be hungry for your evening meal. It can also lead to tiredness, as this is where the “wheels start to fall off”.
Regular eating is important at any age. It helps to keep you well fueled. Assuming you make good sound healthy choices it will also ensure that your over all diet is likely to be more balanced and nutritious. As soon as you skip any main meal it becomes harder to ensure you are getting an adequate range of the nutrients you need.
No matter how busy you are make sure that you take time to stop for something to eat.
Food choices at lunch time should have a good balance of both protein and carbohydrate as this helps to ensure they are filling and satisfying. Make sure the choices come from foods in the main food groups.
Good protein choices include:
- Carbohydrates include:
- Low fat cheese
- Lean meat, chicken (no skin), fish (tinned or fresh)
- Wholegrain breads
- Fruit and root vegetables
- Rice & Pasta
- Yoghurt and Milk
Work Life Balance Link
Looking after your health plays a big role in achieving a better work life balance. If you are not in top shape both mentally and physically, it will affect all areas of your life. Stress is one of the biggest causes of poor health. To beat stress, get enough sleep, eat regularly and choose healthy options, take time out to relax and exercise at least three times a week.
Learn to say no. Taking on too many tasks can be to your detriment. Learn to say no to things when there are too many things on your plate. This applies to both work and personal events/tasks. Rather than feeling guilty, you will learn that saying no can be really empowering.
Is What You Are Drinking Affecting Your Weight?
When we are trying to lose weight it is easy to overlook what you are drinking. What you are sipping on during the day could be limiting your weight loss or, even worse, it could be causing you to gain weight. When weight loss is your aim, you need to adjust your drinking habits as well as your eating habits.
Replacing fizzy drinks with water is a great start. Avoid drinking excessive amounts of fruit juice as it may contain a lot of sugar. Always check the label for sugar content. Alcohol too, can have a huge effect on your weight loss as it is very high in calories. Always drink alcohol in moderation and aim to have 5 alcohol free days per week. Drink water freely, but everything else must only be drunk in moderation.
If you set yourself a goal remember a lapse does not mean a collapse. One small slip up does not mean you have to throw in the towel. If you overindulge one day, learn from it but don’t beat yourself up. Take time to reflect and see if you could have made better choices. Your mind plays a huge part in your eating and drinking habits, which are triggered by memory as well as taste, texture, smell and sight. If you know ahead of time why you overindulge, you’ll be better able to combat the behavior.
Get Going With Breakfast
Your challenge this month is to complete a 7 day breakfast challenge. Lots of people claim they skip breakfast because of lack of time, or because they simply don’t feel like it. But breakfast is definitely worth fitting in. No doubt you have heard the saying that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. All our meals matter, but there are a number of reasons why breakfast is really important. When you wake up, your body hasn’t had any food for several hours. Breakfast provides the energy we need to face the day, as well as some essential vitamins and minerals. Eating breakfast could actually help you control your weight.
Being a log truck driver you are already up early so here are some ideas for breakfast on the go:
- Try making a packed breakfast the night before and put it in the fridge. You could have a cheese sandwich made with a wholemeal roll, low-fat spread and a small wedge of cheese.
- Keep a stock of foods that are quick to grab on your way out in the morning, such as apples, pears, bananas, mini bags of dried fruit and nuts, cartons of fruit juice and slices of fruit bread.
- Take a small container with cereal, a container with milk, a can of fruit and mix it together when you are ready. You can save some of the fruit for later.
- Try making a big fruit salad for dessert after your dinner – then you can save what is left in a container and take it with you in the morning.
- Crackers and breakfast bars can also be convenient if you’re on the go, but bear in mind that these can be high in fat, salt and/or sugar, so remember to check the label before buying.
Complete a Food Diary
Let’s get started with nutrition! Research suggests that 70% of weight loss is due to nutrition alone therefore getting a healthy food intake right is the key to losing weight and improving your health. To get you on the way to improving your nutrition, we need your help. Complete the food diary sent to you then choose a consultation time for a nutritionist to phone you. An expert nutritionist from Auckland will analyse your food diary for you. You will receive feedback, tips and info and positive ways to improve your nutrition.
Get your whole family to do this activity with you. You could compare food diaries and maybe the whole family will learn more about what you eat. Seeing what you eat written down can show you what you really are eating.
Eating Right While Being Active
Nutrition can make a difference to how you perform during training, how you feel, and to the benefit you get from your workouts. Eating well also helps you enjoy activity and have energy left over for the rest of the day. Energy balance is the key to sports nutrition. It is easy to over estimate how much energy is being used in a training session and under-estimate your energy intake. Excess energy from whatever food source will eventually be stored as body fat.
It is well documented that being dehydrated can make you tired, decrease your physical activity performance, and can result in injury. As you start to get more active it is highly important to increase your fluid intake before, during and after any form of physical activity.
You should be drinking fluids such as water, Powerade, Mizone, or watered down orange juice. You should aim to avoid fluids such as alcohol, coffee, energy drinks or coke, as these drinks have high sugar or caffeine contents which may in fact make you more dehydrated.
Whether it is hunting, swimming, walking or rowing you can take a drink bottle with you to keep hydrated.