Table salt is a mineral that comes from rocks, if you mix with water it becomes a suspension. This means if you stop stirring the salt water solution the salt will eventually settle at the bottom of the glass. What do you think happens to the salt we put in our bodies? Exactly!
However, salt is beneficial in cooking and in our bodies to some degree. When cooking, salt opens up the meat tissues and allows absorption of flavors – herbs, spices, etc.
Limiting salt is one of the best things you can do to change your diet on the road. First, look at the labels on boxes of food in the store, sodium levels are insane! Even raw meat can have up to a 20% salt water solution added. They do this because, salt opens the tissues of the meat; making it look fresh, red, and inviting. However, you could be putting more than your recommended daily allowance before even seasoning your food.
Breads, flours, pastas, starches, and grains…are an important part of what we eat. Carbs are misunderstood and subsequently abused by most people. Remember the food pyramid? 10 servings of grains and cereals per day? Yeah, throw that thing away! Carbs give us energy, and need to be burned off quickly, if not they turn to sugars and then to fats in the body.
When you’re behind the wheel for 8-10 hours a day, this process can be a disaster. So, here’s the scenario – you grab a breakfast sandwich with a side of potatoes and down the road you go. For hours. Mental energy? Yes. Physical energy? Not so much. Anything you just ate with any connection with a starch or carbohydrate is settling into your hips, belly, veins, and arteries. Does this mean you have to live on tofu and edamame? I hope not, they’re both carbs! Here are some tricks – buy the sandwich, toss the bread. Eat spicy foods – most cultures with spicy diets tend to be leaner, the chemical reaction of peppers in the body actually burns calories in fighting the burn! Peppers and raw garlic can also help to keep your blood flow clean.
We know it’s hard to find something healthy, delicious, timely, and affordable on the road. Education can help, remember these two things first, read the labels, try to avoid any added salts or carbohydrates, eat plenty of RAW veggies, and most of all squeeze in a little time for some light exercise. It doesn’t need to be anything strenuous, just do it for 20-30 minutes. The key is keeping your heart rate elevated for 20 minutes.
Thanks for doing what you do! Keep on Truckin’!
About the author:
Chef Ron Harrison graduated from the California Culinary Academy and went on to work in multiple 4 star restaurants. He then joined Guckenheimer in 2011 and currently runs the Guckenheimer Fuel café at the Tulsa terminal of Melton Truck Lines.