Meals on NCI Wheels
Preparing meals in your truck has never been easier according to National Carriers drivers Ina Marinelli and Goldie Seymour. Together they have sponsored and provided information for a recipe board on National Carriers’ Pinterest site. A large selection of healthy, inexpensive, and easy to make meals are featured on the board. Helping drivers avoid the high cost of eating in truck stops and fast food joints combined with the health benefits was their motivation to reach out to other drivers.
Ina said, “With the invertors that NCI provides in their company trucks, I have everything I need to prepare a quality meal at a fraction of the cost a restaurant. I have retired my crock pot. I use the Aroma 3 in 1 rice cooker. It does everything I need. I also have my microwave and electric skillet on board. Being able to cook in the truck makes me feel more like I am home when I am on the road.”
Ina drives company truck # 4427, one of the new Kenworth T-680 trucks equipped with an automatic transmission, APU, refrigerator, and power invertor.. She began driving for National Carriers in August of 2012. One of her favorite recipes is Linguini with clam sauce prepared in the electric skillet. She uses one can red or white clam sauce with 2 cups water. Bring the water to boil then add one half package or 8 ounces of linguini. The pasta will absorb the water. Next, she cooks until it is done. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and eat. Together with a small salad and a slice of cornbread or garlic bread. This meal is inexpensive, healthy, and easy to prepare.
Seymour uses the Aroma 3 in 1 rice cooker also. Her specialty is roast beef. She shared, “Choose a roast of whatever size you want. Add small potatoes,carrots, onions, and celery. When making roast beef, first I prepare a small can of ready prepared biscuits. Then I browned the roast, season it and add my veggies and water. I cook it for approximately three and a half hours. Once it was fully cooked, I pull all the veggies and meat and thickened the juices for my gravy. I usually have leftovers I can put in my refrigerator and eat throughout the week.”
The New York Times ran a related article in 2011 which ties truck driving to high rates of obesity. While the statistics are bleak, they’re not especially surprising. Driving is a sedentary activity. Most truckers are paid by the mile, so they tend to squeeze out every last second of the 11 hours they’re allowed on the road in a 24-hour period.
“Some days I’ve driven 600 miles and didn’t even stop,” said Barb Waugh, 58, of Fairfax, S.D., one of an estimated 190,000 female truckers. In a typical week she logs 2,500 to 4,000 miles. ”I feel like a marshmallow because I don’t get to exercise,” said Ms. Waugh, who weighs about 300 pounds.
Routines that keep other Americans healthy — hitting the gym, cooking at home, scheduling a doctor’s appointment — are nearly impossible, since drivers are rarely in one place for more than a day or two. The only exercise for many is pressing the gas pedal; most don’t load and unload cargo.
When they do leave their vehicles, it’s usually at truck stops and fast-food restaurants where nearly every option is greasy or fatty or served up in calorie-rich buffets — which some truckers say stands for “Big Ugly Fat Fellows Eating Together.”