A quick re-cap for those who may have missed my first article, I am participating in NAL Insurance’s Healthy Trucker Pilot Program; a program designed to help make the industry and its individuals healthier and more conscious about the decisions they make when it comes to exercise, food intake and other life style habits. It’s no secret that the trucking industry is ‘unhealthy’ as a whole and in the past 12 months there has been a real push to try and bring this issue to the forefront and make a positive change. When the ‘Pilot’ tag is removed from NAL’s program and it is available to all members of the industry, it would be a worthwhile investment for carriers and companies looking to help their drivers and employees lose some pounds and live healthier lives. I agreed at the start of program to write about my progress toward a goal of dropping 30 LBS.
My experience with the Healthy Trucker Pilot program has been great since my first meeting with an appointed dietician from Enthrive. Her name is Krista, and I was paired with her based on a detailed questionnaire that I filled out. In our first conversation Krista basically asked a ton of questions and got to know me a little bit. We set a meeting for the following week when Krista would have a detailed plan set up for me. The thing I like most about Krista is that she worked her plan for me around the pieces of information she gathered from our conversation and she didn’t try to make any massive changes right away. We talk about the ‘low hanging fruit’ that we could cut, meaning the easy calories. In our first call I told Krista that I enjoy a couple drinks (sometimes more, sometimes less) on most days after work. She explained that this would be an easy way to cut a bunch of calories but also stated that she understood that myself, along with many others enjoy their after work cocktails and it wouldn’t hinder any weight loss plan as long as I was willing to make concessions elsewhere. Krista suggested a few changes that could make a difference. First off, my normal breakfast smoothie (homemade) was not a big enough or nutritious enough start to my day. I needed to cover more food groups with this meal to kick start my day, which would help make some changes to my eating for the rest of the day. Part of my Enthrive plan was a book full of healthy recipes. One of those recipes which I now consume on a regular basis for breakfast was ‘Overnight Oats’. It’s delicious and simple. I get a mason jar, add rolled oats, milk, yogurt, flax seed, flavoring (spices or honey), and fruit then shake everything up and refrigerate overnight. There are numerous combos for this so I can make up 5 mason jars on Sunday and have 5 perfect breakfasts that cover my nutritional needs. The smoothie I used to eat for breakfast is now a mid-morning snack and contains less juice than it did before and more soy milk. Another change was the portion sizes of my lunch. Although most my lunches contained the correct food groups, a lot of the time they were leftovers from dinner the night before and my portion size would be too big. With the bigger breakfast, cutting this portion size down hasn’t been an issue at all. Although I am not picky and enjoy most fruits and veggies there are some I don’t eat and when I saw them in my nutrition plan I was a little concerned. However I was quickly comforted when Krista explained to me that any fruit I enjoyed could replace one I didn’t enjoy and any green veggie could replace any other green veggie and so on.
For the most part I have tried to stick to the plan that myself and Krista put together. There have however been a couple setbacks. I had 2 guys’ trips this summer. A 4 day golf trip to Michigan in August where the 2 things consumed most were alcohol and meat and a 7 night fly in fishing trip in September where the only vegetables consumed come from a can (other than those in 2 or 3 homemade frozen meals we take in), 2 large meals a day are consumed, and a large number of calories are drank. I was aware that I wouldn’t keep with my diet plan on these trips, and didn’t really plan too. However, upon returning from both I was able to get right back on track. To date I am down 9 LBS. I haven’t lost as much weight as I would like to this point, but I also haven’t fully committed to it and know that I am the only one to blame. Stay tuned for another update next month.
About the Author
A graduate of the University of Guelph, Richardson played five years of football for the Gryphons captaining the team in his last 3 years. He started working in the trucking industry at age 5 washing trucks and 20 years later his career is now in the industry with KRTS and The Rear View Mirror