Healthy Eating on the Road with Sarah Waterman

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If you ask Sarah Waterman about what foods to avoid while driving, her answer is simple—sort of. “I believe there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods, but there are ones we want to focus on,” she says. As a registered dietitian at Prime, Waterman knows this answer might be frustrating for drivers who want clear guidance on how to eat healthfully while on the road. Luckily, truck stops have begun offering more whole foods like the ones Waterman recommends.

You might have to search for them and bypass heavily processed “roller foods” such as hot dogs and Tornados, but don’t get too frustrated. Waterman says to stay focused and reach for fruit, carrots and celery, boiled eggs or cheese sticks instead of that bag of chips.

Even some packaged foods can be good options. Try looking at the ingredient list. If the list is short and easy to find, there’s a good chance you’ve snagged a healthful choice. “For example,” Waterman says, “Rx Bars list their ingredients on the front of the package. And it’s only a few things: dates, egg whites and almonds.” But if the product’s ingredient list is extensive or difficult to find on the packaging, this might be a flashing warning sign.

Healthy eating has benefits beyond your physical well-being, Waterman says. It supports everything from balanced sleep to stress management. Driver Lorrie Knapp knows this firsthand. In 2019, she radically overhauled her diet and saw remarkable results. She now eats a plant-based diet with an emphasis on whole foods.

Knapp, who suffers from cardiovascular disease, made this change after a series of health challenges left her wondering how long she could continue driving her truck. Her doctor believed her disease had progressed so much that nothing could change it. Not willing to give up, Knapp got curious about plant-based eating when she saw a doctor discussing it on The Ellen Show. Inspired, Knapp switched her diet.

Since making the change, she’s lost more than 50 pounds and significantly reduced her BMI. Most importantly, she says, “Within two weeks of changing my diet, the pain I’d lived with for five years was gone.”  She now stocks her truck with healthy staples like oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, potatoes, rice and beans. “It’s the easiest way to eat,” she says, “and the cheapest.”  And most rewarding? “I’m 61 years old,” she says, “and I don’t feel like it at all.”

 

Healthy eating option on the road - vegetables

 

Sidebar:

Lorrieís Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

2 cups onion, diced

2 cups celery, chopped

2 cups carrots, diced

Vegetable bouillon, to taste

Water

1 head of cabbage, chopped

Pepper, to taste

Chopped kale (optional)

Chopped spinach (optional)

Instructions

Lorrie puts all ingredients in her Instant Pot and cooks them on the “soup” setting. She then stores individual portions in her refrigerator. She often preps three times the amounts of veggies shown above; as she eats the soup, she continues adding extra vegetables to keep it full and satisfying.

See the article in the Prime Ways issue here on page 11!

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