Everyday needs become can be a challenge when living on the road.
Most people do not have to think ” where am I going to go to the bathroom?” . The fact that they sleep, eat and carry out their other necessary daily functions within the comfort of their own homes, they don”t appreciate the convenience of living this way.
Living on the road, in a vehicle that has limited facilities, non of which can accommodate washing and bathroom functions, can be difficult .
For me the biggest challenge , is eating . Or should I say eating healthily . All truck drivers use truck stops on a daily basis. We have to fuel the truck daily and these buildings provide the driver with many amenities including showers,laundry, WiFi,overnight parking and of course hot food .
Now I must add at this point, that the quality of food sold at truck stops, has improved a lot since I moved to Canada 12 years ago. However, as a person who has always enjoyed good healthy food( well maybe this was not always the case , but certainly in the last 10 years )things are not good enough .
The large truck stops still provide way too much convenience food , burgers pizza, hot dogs, sugar drinks and bloody poor coffee! I for one, try to stay away from this diet as much as possible . They do also sell salads and sandwiches, but these are very expensive and don”t look very appealing in their little plastic containers.( Never been a fan of brown lettuce)
Exercise for me on a daily basis is somewhat limited . I do take my dog with me, so I do walk him at least twice a day. On straight driving days , that would be the only exercise I get . On days I am loading or off loading ( usually the same day ) I do get further exercise when securing my load . This option would not be available if I was to pull a straight van or reefer trailer. The most those drivers have to do is to open and close the rear doors of the trailer .
So it is vital to keep an eye on what I am eating throughout the week , as I don”t want to end up a lumpy fat slob . The image that most people have, when they think of a stereo typical “Truckie “.
In the first couple of months back on the road , I have managed to keep my weight under control and in fact have lost a few pounds of excess British fat. My Secret ?
” Behind every great man is a great woman” and in my case this is most certainly true . I am fortunate that I am home on weekends. My wife then sends me packing on a Monday , with home made goodies for the week.She also forces me to make a meal plan . Boring stuff I know, but this helps me take the right food and keep cost down . Thanks honey.
The truck I drive is fitted with a larger than normal fridge and has a microwave. This enables me to stock up with ready cooked meals and a simple “heating job” at the end of the day gives me a good hot meal and helps keep me in shape .
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day ” my mother used to tell me for years on end . In my twenties and thirties, breakfast consisted of two large coffees and several cigarettes. That managed to get me to lunch, which was a burger, coffee and several cigarettes, which got me through to supper of anything involving a dead cow and potatoes along with the remainder of the cigarettes ( bloody hell I miss those wonderful days, especially the cigarettes ).
Today? Boring and sensible has arrived and I have a packet of porridge, with fruit, but I am proud to say, the coffee has remained . This lets me start my day on a full stomach, but not in a way that makes you tired at the wheel .
Lunch for me is no longer . I have found that eating anything substantial at this time of the day just makes me tired and sleepy behind the wheel . This could be a little hazardous for other road users, so instead I “snack” on fruits, nuts, cereal bars, and yes the odd Snicker bar to see me through to the evening.
So far so good. I have manged to eat fairly well ( although porridge every day is a little boring) keep the cost down and keep the weight off. However, I realize the difficult times are ahead . Summer in Canada is a lot easier to deal with on the road than winter. Minus 30 degrees Celsius does not lend itself to a nice fish and quinoa salad for supper. ( When did quinoa stop becoming a bloody pet food?)
Oh well, time will tell. I will do an update in the winter time . Till then I can happily enjoy my salads and getting delayed by all the people on the road for their yearly road trip, in their over priced RV”s, which the do not know how to drive and fail to follow the instructions of their nagging wives in the passenger seat . Muppet season is in full swing !!!
As for dealing with daily bathroom duties ? That”s another story !