Constipation. Not exactly a conversation ANY of us want to have. But yesterday I spent the day with drivers at the Petro in Wilmington, IL and the topic of fiber, digestion, and constipation just kept coming up.
It struggles for anyone who travels to try to stay regular. There are so many factors that play into your body not playing along. But for a truck driver, the challenges can be even steeper than that of the average person.
With little access to “just run into the store” and limited to prepurchases before you (yes, you the truck driver) leave for a run and what is available at the truck stop, you better leave stocked up or you might find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.
I just want to first start out by saying it is not under any circumstances normal to not be emptying your bowels every single day. If food is going in, then food better is coming out. If your body is currently not operating in this manner than I urge you to imagine where that eaten food is then going? Fermenting, decaying, not leaving your body.
Gross right? Exactly.
The average truck driver’s diet is often less than what someone would consider healthy, but with a little preparation and thoughtfulness, you (yes, I’m talking to you again) can get things running more smoothly (see what I did there).
3 Ways to Help Fight Constipation:
First things first. Water. We all absolutely, positively, without a doubt need to be drinking water. Your body is made up of more than 60% water and it is your job to keep the river flowing. As a driver, you are constantly racing against the clock and each stop you take works against you. So my suggestion is always to drink smart.
1-hour before you wake up, drink AT LEAST 8 ounces of water, I have some drivers now downing 10-20 ounces before their feet leave their truck. That hour will give your body time to make a way through you. Plus, by drinking water in the morning you cleanse your body from yesterday’s leftovers. Add lemon and you can also help boost and balance your pH (more on that later). So drink up my friend, your body depends on it.
Get your greens in. For anyone who travels it can be difficult to get a balanced diet each and every day. And for some drivers, cooking on the truck every day is just not a reality for them. So to help boost your body’s bottom line and get in what you just can seem to consume through food each day consider grabbing a greens powder to take every day.
Dark greens are essential to our daily diet. They help keep the bloat away, act as a means to detox the body, improve digestion, and elimination. Plus, provide you with essential nutrients that you just aren’t getting from that chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato or that iceberg salad. Couple that with daily movement with Mother Trucker Yoga and you have yourself some healthy bowels!
Do the best you can with what you have. But sometimes, you have need more. Greens travel and store well, and all you need to do is mix them with water (I take them at night and in the morning) and drink up.
Here are a few of my favorite brands.
Finally, finding fiber, or better yet, finding foods with fiber is another challenge some drivers may not even fully be aware of. Fiber is essential for your body. Its role is to help your body eliminate what is no longer necessary in the body and get it out. If you are lacking fiber in your diet, then you are more than likely lacking bathroom visits as well.
Add fiber too much too soon and you have a constipation problem all over again. So start small and start with real foods when it comes to adding more fiber to your diet. Consider beans, avocados, blackberries, chia seeds, bran and getting in your veggies. Good news, things like bran, chia seeds, and beans all travel well. That means you can take them with on long-hauls without the worry about spoiling.
If you have never used chia seeds before, they are amazing! Put them in yogurt, add them to your drink, smoothie, you can even put them into your baked goods. My favorite is to soak them in warm water for 10 minutes then add them to coconut yogurt- YUM!
Even then, traveling and living on the road can make even accessing the food suggested above challenges. Consider traveling with fiber you can easily add to a drink or mix with water and take daily. If you find yourself in need of adding supplemental fiber into your diet try some of my favorites:
Don’t let the challenges of being a truck driver keep you backed up (hehe- constipation). Instead, pack the essentials. Not just want you truck would need if you broke down, but what you need so you don’t get backed up! Without a healthy you- there is no truck driving.
Want more? Check out our blog post on Healthy Foods on the Road
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