Family Center - A Trucker's Wife

As a trucker-wife, our ability to care for our loved ones becomes a bit more challenging.

While our husbands are on the road, caring for them requires that we improvise and become creative to fulfill their needs. One of the greatest challenges that truck drivers face is an unbalanced nutrition and lack of exercise. C'mon ladies, we have all noticed the traditional trucker-tummy!

Not only are the results of such poor nutrition combined with a stressful lifestyle shown around the midsize but also in their overall health. Obesity, cholesterol, high-blood pressure and diabetes are things that affect all of us, but our truckers are more susceptible because the lifestyle they lead does not allow for many changes to alleviate any conditions.

However, choices are available and there is so much that we can do to help.

During the hot summer months, dehydration is a big problem. How can your energy run if it is low in juice? As drivers begin to settle into a routine they become attached to certain drinks and consume them in large amounts during their day. Sodas, energy drinks and coffee range as the highest selling drinks in truck stops. However, a body craves water. Regular, old-fashioned, unadulterated H2O! Nothing hydrates you, energizes you and fuels you like a good, cold drink of water. Even better than that, it comes with no chemicals, additives or coloring that will do who-knows-what to their insides.

 Consuming fresh foods is also difficult on the road; fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of everyone's diet and so many of our systems can experience difficulty because we do not consume them. Everything from bones and teeth can have a negative impact if we do not consume fresh foods. Likewise, finding a way to incorporate them into a trucker's diet is not too difficult. Buying the little bags of salad and adding a few fresh cherry tomatoes can add to anyone's diet. Making better choices at the food bars is also important, the food there is made to be comforting and remind us of home, and however, it is also greasy and loaded with calories.

Another option that drivers are going for are protein shakes. Protein shakes are not only to bulk up if you are a bodybuilder, many shakes are now considered a healthy alternative for those who are constantly on-the-go but that do not have time to make a healthy meal. Making a shake in the morning and a shake in the afternoon allows them to take in their daily vitamin intake required and it also delivers fewer calories than the value meal and the closest fast food place. Small blenders with several cups are available at retailers for less than 30 dollars and you can make him several mixes of fruit and flavors for him to take on-the-road. You can mix berries in a baggie, strawberries and pineapple and even strawberries with a couple of tablespoons of banana pudding. The calorie intake in that, even with the pudding will be minimal considering the alternatives or you could consider using sugar-free puddings and jellos to add flavor.

Finally, while you are making a healthy meal for your family on a daily basis you could make an extra portion for your husband and throw it in the freezer for him. As he comes home he can load it into his refrigerator (a must and a huge help in saving on-the-road expenses) and eat a wholesome meal prepared by you, no matter where the road may take him. This can work on many levels. Having a home cooked meal while away from home will provide him with good nutrition that you can vouch for and it is almost like being a little bit closer to home.

Last but not least is a good multi-vitamin. How often does your trucker drive for hours and eat maybe one meal a day and even that meal wasn't that great. He may be getting the calories but the nutrients that he needs will make him tired, irritable and fatigued all of which will influence his work performance and his home time. Not to mention the new restrictions on drivers that keep showing up all the time. But even more than restrictive legislations is the thought than an ounce of prevention is better than the medical cost of dealing with many illnesses that can result from the lifestyle of a truck driver.

 In the long run, making better decisions for our health and for our family's health depend on all of us. We have to make adjustments to accommodate our needs and circumstances and most of all, we have to do what works for us. As truck driver wives we are charged with the difficult task of providing the best care possible for our husbands and our families and to balance all the things that come to us because of our chosen lifestyle. But by making smart and informed choices, we can make this lifestyle work and prosper.  Happy Trucking!