Plant Based Eater Starting Out

Topic 24165 | Page 1

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Scott Q.'s Comment
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I’m looking to get in to trucking but eat a plant based vegan diet. How would this be possible training with a trainer starting out as I would be in someone else’s truck.

Michael S.'s Comment
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I'm not seeing a cooralation between what you choose to eat and being in someone elses truck. Unless you are talking about preparing food in the truck?


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Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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I’m looking to get in to trucking but eat a plant based vegan diet. How would this be possible training with a trainer starting out as I would be in someone else’s truck.

If you had to drive cross country right now in your car, and could only carry food in your backpack, with an occasional stop at a restaurant with limited vegan options, could you do it? Are there vegan foods that don’t require refrigeration you could pack?

Sorry, I have no experience with the vegan diet, but if you can live out of a backpack for a couple weeks you should be able to do it on a truck. Assuming you can replenish your stock at Walmart, since that is where most truckers are going to be shopping, due to parking issues.

Errol V.'s Comment
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A lot depends on your trainer as to where to stop for meals.

Truck drivers are mostly omnivores, with a preference for animal protein. Truck Stop restaurants do offer various salads, but most of these include chicken. The buffets have the salad bar, and that might do for you.

Your trainer might also stop at Walmarts, etc., for you to do your own shopping, depends on them. Keeping things cool/ fresh might be problematic, depending on your trainer's cooler capacity.

Dave Reid's Comment
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For the training period, you'll want to bring a supply of vegan food bars and the like. Then, make nice with your trainer and politely ask them to let you stop at places with large grocery departments when the opportunity arises so that you can get some other things. Obviously, you aren't going to be able to prepare proper meals for yourself during this training phase, and you'll rarely if ever have a chance to get to restaurants with vegan food, but if you have $ for a hired ride from time to time you may have a few chances to get to a desirable place.

You cannot bring a cooler on the trainer's truck but you may be able to get a bit of refrigerator space. When I was doing training, I gave students a whole shelf in the fridge and some space in my electric cooler, but your trainer may not do that.

No matter what, you just have to get through a couple months and then you'll be able to improve your situation. You can make it work.

I’m looking to get in to trucking but eat a plant based vegan diet. How would this be possible training with a trainer starting out as I would be in someone else’s truck.

Steven B.'s Comment
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I’m looking to get in to trucking but eat a plant based vegan diet. How would this be possible training with a trainer starting out as I would be in someone else’s truck.

Can I ask why a vegan diet? If that is too personal, no need to answer. If that works for you, more power to you. I love Cesar salads, and zucchini, but that is where my veggies stop. I would keep some nuts (pecans and macadamia) and seeds (pumpkin kernel) around. One thing is they are very healthy, and have a lot of fiber, that fill you up. I also get the salted ones, as salt is not as bad as it has been made out to be. I would try some intermittent fasting and only eating during a 6-8 hour window. I try to eat one meal a day, and a snack. I eat a low carb, high fat diet, and it has worked wonders for me. Fat, the good types, are good for you, and unless you put them on your veggies, you will be missing those important nutrients. I am no doctor and not trying to nudge you away from what works for you. At the end of the day, just keep a healthy weight, and stay clear of sugar. I use Monk Fruit powder to sweeten up things, and it does not have any spikes in blood sugar. Hope this helps...


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Feanor K.'s Comment
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I was vegan for most of my year trucking, the exception, unfortunately, was my training period. Funny story, I had my car all loaded up with a month + worth of canned food, protein bars and boxes of oatmeal when I pulled up to my trainers truck. I took one look inside and knew it wasn't gonna work. I managed to fit enough food in there to last me about week, and could have maybe done more with some clever arranging, but as it turned out, I was waaaaay too preoccupied trying to survive that month to make the diet work anyway. Imo the training period is easily the most stressful and demanding time you will spend in a truck. I am not trying to discourage you here, I'm not saying it is not possible by any means, but if you are willing to give up your diet for a month, believe me, you will have more than you can handle without having to try to make extra shopping trips and food prep time.

If that is not an option, than I totally understand and respect it. In that case these are some ways I handled it after going solo. They don't all apply to training but I figured I'd throw them all in here anyway.

1 - If at all possible, get a Microwave and preferably a mini-fridge too. My trainer had both in his truck and was nice enough to share.

2 - Shop in bulk before you leave, and on your home-time. I would do my best to get a full month's worth of food every time I was home. Got some weird looks at Wal-Mart with my cart overflowing but you can fit it in the truck once you are solo, and it can save you a lot of pain in the rear trying to fit in stops at Wal-mart on the road. Not to mention a ridiculous amount of money if you can't make it and have to shop at a truckstop.

3 - Can Opener. Canned food is your friend. The majority of my diet was made up of canned black beans and Minute rice. You can really live on that stuff. Just keep in stock of Soy Sauce, it makes the difference. Throw a can of beans, 1/2c rice and a bit of extra water in a fridge dish, pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes, let it sit for 5 and you got a good breakfast. Eat it with 3 slices of bread and you got almost 1500 protein-loaded Calories.

4 - Peanut Butter Bagels! These were my lifeline. Can't count how many times I had to skip breakfast to make an appointment and these saved my butt, they are so quick you can throw together a whole meal while you are being unloaded. Did you know 1 bagel is around 250 calories and depending on the brand (get Dave's Killer) up to 12g protein? 2 tbsp of PB is about another 200cals and 8g protein. That's 450 calories and 20 grams protein for a tasty snack that takes 30 seconds to prepare! Eat two of those and you got a solid meal. For real they are amazing!

5 - Protein Shakes/Bars. Most people will probably recommend vegan protein bars, and that is a great idea. They are super easy, loaded with protein and calories and tasty. They can be add up a bit price-wise though in my experience. I also get sick of them really fast. Personally I would recommend Protein Powder higher. You can get really good stuff for a dollar per serving and it will last forever (50 servings for a large size). It is super easy, cheap, space-efficient, and satisfying. All you need to do is get a shaker bottle for $5-$10 at walmart and you are set. I personally used water, to make it even cheaper and easier, but almond milk is even better if you got a mini fridge.

6 - Almond Milk keeps forever even without a fridge! It is true. Most of this isn't even refrigerated at the store, so they will last almost indefinitely un-opened, but what I found out is that they will last a hella long time even once they ARE opened. I've driven around almost a week in Arizona/Cali with a gallon of almond milk open and I finished it before it went sour.

I hope this helps and you have my respect for trying Vegan trucking, it is definitely a challenge! For me personally, it was one thing too many to handle in training, but I hopped right back on the wagon once I was upgraded to solo. I'm sure you can make it work if you really have a mind to, but I would encourage you to put just surviving and getting through training as your #1 priority. It is only a month or so and after that you can have all the time and space you need to do it your own way. That said, if I had the practice I do now with improvising in my own truck, I could probably have made it work. Either way, best of luck to you man, I really hope it all works out and you kick butt out there and get that upgrade!


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


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PT 's Comment
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I'll be starting Prime next week and am also on a plant based diet. Planning I assume would be key on a trainers truck. Plant based protein powders would be a good investment as meal replacers, just add h20 and you're set. If you're gonna eat out do as best you can? That's my plan anyways. I'm bringing bars and nuts like Dave had said. Any more than that, I'll have to stock up at Walmart. They have started introducing plant friendly options now including sandwich "meats", but if your trainer doesn't have a cooler or fridge, seems you're SOL. I'm thinking PB&J's mostly until I get my own truck. Add in some fruits that I'll stock up and leave in my luggage, and that will have to do.

Steven B. asks why plant based, I would say health and my wife for the animals/health. My wife reversed her health issues, and I've lost the weight I've gained over the years, 30 pounds in 2-3 months. As a former professional athlete, it was really discouraging to gain that weight, but when I switched, my body regained its metabolism like crazy. I'm only 31, but I was starting to feel the food I was eating make a difference. If you are going to cut out anything OR decrease intake of, it has to be dairy. It is so prevalent in a lot of packaged foods its ridiculous. Just being aware of what you put in makes a difference. Start looking at labels, and you'll see for yourself. Low carb high (good) fat, is an option, and if it comes to it, I'll do what I gotta do to feed the beast, just my plan to avoid dairy. Trying to avoid the bubble guts in my trainers truck, because that's got to be a terrible situation and frankly one of my fears during training.

Take what I say with a grain of salt, I am not a dietician nor a doctor. Just a crazy Cali boy with even crazier ideas. Stay safe!


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TruckerSpeir's Comment
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I ate a plant-based diet starting right after Christmas of last year, lasting through 40,000 miles of training and up until about August. Along the way I did go more vegetarian than vegan, as I found it easier to maintain, but I suppose a vegan diet would be possible with extreme planning. The first thing I asked my trainer was if we could stop at Wal-Mart at least once per week. Thankfully, he had a small refrigerator, and didn't mind giving up some of its precious space, and a microwave. It was rough, and he (more carnivore-leaning) thought me crazy, but I made it through.

Planning was vital. it is so much easier to grab a bite to eat where you have the time to stop, but as with any significantly well-lived life (in my opinion), being purposeful is the only way to go. Which means deciding a week in advance what you will eat at every meal and snack time the following week. Another way to go is to stop only where a Subway is available, and there are a huge variety of truck stops (mostly Loves, but some others) with Subways inside. Most Subways have Veggie patties. Processed, yes, vegan probably not, but an option. They also have plenty of salad choices, including oil and vinegar for dressing. Eating a salad on the go is impossible, so planning here is necessary as well. You can't eat a salad in a fuel island with another driver waiting behind you. Well, you can, but don't be one of those drivers.

Get the Trucker's Path app and plan your route, then look in the Restaurants section of your planned stop to see what is available. Remember that it lists all restaurants in the immediate area, not just in that stop--so you may find yourself walking if you're not too attentive to the distance listed. Which isn't a bad thing if you have the time for it.

Endure to the best of your abilities during training and then outfit your truck with what you need to keep going with your chosen lifestyle. Staying healthy on the truck is crazy hard. I didn't do so well with it, even with eating a vegan/vegetarian diet. Once I got off of it, I certainly expanded a bit. So keep it up if it works for you.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

Cwc's Comment
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Huel is good when your pinched for time. You'll want a Nutibullet or something like it. Add all the fruit you want and some Almond or Cashew milk and your good to go. Just remember in a couple of hours to roll the windows down.

Look Huel up online cause you won't find it in stores.

Others have mention Walmart and tons of options for whole foods.

I'm not Vegan but the more I get into cycling the less meat I seem to be eating.

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