We get all sorts of comments from interested listeners on Sirius 147.
"Notes From The Road" may be the most important part of ROADCOOKIN'.   
If you want to weigh in about any food topic on the road, in the sleeper or
even at home, just drop us a note at the "Contact Us" spot in the site!  
A "Fowl" Question

From:  Gary, Hyrum,UT

My daughter gave your book for xmas.  My question is this: Most of the
recipes call for chicken.  Could you also use turkey as a substitute for
hamburger? Can you use turkey steaks instead of chicken breast? Please
let me know.

Hi Gary,

I hope you are enjoying the book. And that it is helping you with your meal

As to your question...

Turkey can, of course, be substituted.  It is a low fat meat (breast meat,
skinless). Some food processors (Tyson?  Butterball?) will sell uncooked
turkey breast in the fresh meat case.  You could substitute that in for
chicken breast. But get BREAST MEAT.   Watch for products that are sold
like turkey tenders...not that they are bad, but rather that they are not
breast (lowest fat) but rather are thigh meat (highest fat).  Again, though,
even turkey thighs (dark meat) are relatively lower fat when compared to
marbled cuts of beef and pork.

Turkey taste will be of a different profile...but you can adjust as you desire
with spices (avoid salting).

Turkey burger can be OK....but read the label.  See what percentage of the
calories are derived from Fat.  Turkey burger is usually thigh meat and can
be packed with fat.  Compare a package of turkey burger with 92% lean
hamburger to see which has the lower fat gram count per serving.  
Frequently the 92% lean burger will be significantly better.

The key is...ground turkey breast can be notoriously dry.  The fat is what
moistens up any meat...so you have to treat it carefully.  If you are grinding
your own, add a bit of healthy fat to ground turkey breast before you make
your patties.  I prefer a small splash of olive oil along with some diced
green onions and even a little ground rosemary.  Moister, more flavorful

Don Jacobson

Roadside Vista ( a thinker )
By Don Jacobson

      Lousy food, miserable service, or a menu that makes it tough to stick
to meal plans are the fastest ways to close a restaurant.  Why?  Because
the paying public will not, should not, stand for anything less than their
money’s worth.  Otherwise they’ll walk out angry and make sure they let
everybody know just how bad that truck stop is at Exit Whatever on I-you-
pick-the number.  That’s pure poison in the food biz.
One way restaurants seek to maximize profit is through a buffet.  It
reduces overhead on staff, and food is prepared in bulk to reduce costs
further.  That’s value for the restaurant.
     Buffets do seem to offer value to customers—if you are measuring
value on volume. All-you-can-eat buffets encourage vast overeating.  And
then we are back to the point about obesity, truck drivers, and health. The
food served on the buffets is not necessarily bad for you. In fact most
buffets offer healthy food choices. It is just human nature (and instinct
too) to overeat at any opportunity.  Avoid buffets (or exercise incredible
self-discipline) to help control your portion sizes, food choices, and add-
on calories and fat.
     Conscientious restaurants are making the effort to offer healthy menu
options for their customers.  That is their responsibility.  It is, however,
the responsibility of the customer—that’s you—to make healthy
decisions.  You cannot push restaurants to stock foods and be ready to
make them if you never order the meals! It's simply not cost effective. So,
order those fruits and vegetables. Select egg substitutes. And go for the
broiled fish one to two times per week.

The Roadcookin' Group on Facebook is a spot for OTRs to stop and talk about
health and nutrition with others.  Send a "Friend Request" to Don Jacobson
and get an invite to join the group.

Here's one of the postings...

The Question was...What type of cooking gear are you using?  Power Soucrce? Etc

From Linda Caffee

We have an APU and my main item I use everyday is a Rice Cooker. The rice
cooker cooks very fast and also will heat the water after cooking to wash dishes. I
like how deep the cooker is as I do not worry about anything sloshing out. I have
made scalloped potatoes and ham, salmon steaks, chili, spaghetti, hamburgers to
just throw what you have in and call it refrigerator soup. I used to use the slow
cooker but found out it really was to slow and took it out of the truck. I have a
Rocket Grill I use sometimes to cook steaks in or it works great for hot ham and
cheese sandwiches. I use the microwave for warming up meals and for making my
oatmeal I have every morning.

From Al Kohl

Ok, after 30 yrs of doing this, I've decided that I wanted luxury. We have an 80qt
freezer, that actually is used as a freezer. A 34qt freezer that we store water and
soda in and use as a back up freezer if we have to get work done on the truck and
need a motel. Then there is the truck fridge that holds milk, bread, cheese, my
veggie snacks etc.

Cooking-wise, we use both a 6qt crockpot and the microwave. We also carry an
electric skillet and a couple of disposable bbq grils for those long weekends that
we really don't have anything to do. I've been thinking of trading the electric skillet
in for one of the new George Foreman Evo Grills that can do a small amount of
baking in it; while my gf wants to just get a toaster oven that has the convection
cooking system. So not sure what we are going to do.

Mark Cox is an old friend of Roadcookin'  who has been fighting (successfully)
overweight for quite a while.  He had Bariatric Surgery.  For more on Mark's story
see our Kentucky Video Clips at


Here's some news from Mark....

Just dropping a line to say hi and let you know everything is going great.  I'm down
to 248 lbs and no problems.  I am still driving and have been playing semi pro
football for past two years and loving it.  Thanks again for all your help and
support. You have been a great inspiration to me. I still remember the first time I
called, and I really think you helped me change my life.

Thank you Pam


From Richard, Monroe, TN

Talking about the Burton (Lunch box oven)

Use small oven roasting bags with Burton along with the aluminum meat loaf pan. It
is an easier clean up, seals in juices, and one meat loaf pan gets more uses. Bags
are cheaper than pans, too.  You can also prepare them earlier and store until
cooking time



Thanks for the cooking tip.  We also suggest baking bags as liners for
slow cookers for all of the clean-up reasons you mentioned.

Don J.

From:  Hulon in Saulte Ste. Marie ONT

I start my day out driving truck at 2:00 am and do,n t finish until 6 to 9 sometimes.
How do i start eating and exercising properly? I try eating in the morning and lunch
or when i feel hungry. I smoke about 5 to 10 cigarettes a day. How do I get


Dear Hulon,

Your work day is tough for eating. My recommendation would be to eat
your breakfast when you get up for your day.

That might be at about 1am, yes? Then have lunch 4-5 hours after that,
dinner 4-5 hours after lunch. You want to try and build a routine that can
have some semblance day after day.

Can you do that? When you say you try to eat when you're hungry, I am
wondering if that means you are skipping meals. Is that true? You do not
want to skip meals. Not good for you.

You provided little detail about your age, weight, height, general health.
Are you trying to lose weight?

You ask about motivation. What holds you back? As you know, that
motivation has to come from you. Let's try to understand what gets in your

Give it some thought and write back when you can.

Let's see if we can get you going in the right direction.

Pam Whitfield MS RD LDN

PS- Goal #1- get off the smokes.

From:   Jerzee Mike in AZ

I was wondering what you would use to cook with if you were an OTR driver. If you
could choose 2 appliances that you thought would be the best to cook with what
would they be? Oh and let’s say you have an APU or outlet access and another
situation where you don’t, so 2 120volt and 2 12volt appliances.



Hi Mike...

This is a great note with a couple of great questions.  

If you take a look at our book "Roadcookin': A long haul driver's guide to
healthy eating", you will find a fair piece of Chapter 4 (Roadwork) talking
about gear of choice.

If you are APU-powered...go for a George Foreman grill and/or an electric
fry pan (microwave is a good choice, too).  Both pull a constant 1500 Watts
or so.  If you are running an inverter, you will have to look at the Watt
output degrade curve to make sure that you will have enough juice over
the long haul. Start with 3,000 or 4,000 Watts to be sure that you will be
delivering 1500 + after 10 or 15 minutes.  And one driver suggested
replacing the "stock" wiring with battery cable to ensure efficient energy
delivery (read Less Heat).

No extra juice?  The Burton Lunch box oven plugs right into your
"accessory" outlet and delivers 280 degrees of cooking power.  I've
talked with drivers who, over a career, have used 'em, burned 'em out,
got another and kept on cooking.  Some have gone through 5 or 6 over
the years.  Not because they are poorly made, but rather because drivers
use them for everything and just wear them out.  Kind of like drive tires...
just a lot cheaper.  And clean-up is awfully simple.  Finish eating, crumple
the foil liner pan and pitch it in a trash barrel.

As for other options...you can purchase slow cookers which will also plug
into the accessory port.  But, I'd suggest getting a full-blown, kitchen
quality slow cooker (Rival Crockpot, for instance) which you can plug into
an accessory port inverter (something that delivers up to 400 Watts).  
Crock pots pull about 180-250, so the degrade curve shouldn't catch you.  
The key to using a slow cooker is that you should not try to cook while you
are driving.  There is always liquid involved...really hot liquid.  Hit a bump
and SPLASH!  Instant 2nd or 3rd degree burns.  So, keep the slow cooker
for that mandatory restart lay-over.  Clean-up tip:  use a heat-safe baking
bag (they sell them to cook poultry and so forth) as a liner.  Like the lunch
box oven...finish eating, save the left-overs in your fridge, remove the
bag and dump it in the trash.

We have dozens of recipes in the book for lunch box ovens, fry pans and
slow cookers.  Try a few out and let us know what you think.

Thanks for being a fan of ROADCOOKIN'.

Don Jacobson

Sometimes too much of a little can be a lot!

From:  Addam in Canada

I drive 4 on 4 off and i eat on the road mostly.I eat 3 meals a day But i do not pack
food with me . I was trying to eat subway as there is  a lot of them on my route, And
I have been gaining weight! HELP!

Hi Addam,

Thank you for your note.

First step is portion control.  If you do a food diary for a day or two, you
will likely discover that you are eating more than you think when you hit
the restaurant.  The "Jerod" diet works best if you eat the sandwiches
"dry" or with mustard. See our book (Lunch #7 is the Oven Roasted
Chicken Breast Sandwich from Subway) for lunch tips. And diet drinks!

So, cutting back on the portion sizes (Our book has "eyeball" portion
control on pg 74-75) would be an excellent first step.

Another great way to control your food intake is through cooking in your
cab.  You can set up an in-cab kitchen with as little as an ice chest and a
Burton Oven along with (maybe) a crock pot that could plug into a cig
lighter inverter.  You can pack 4 days-worth of supplies in a Coleman, I

Our book has a 28 Day meal plan that is designed around 2,000 calories/15-
17 carb servings/2400 mg of sodium per day.  Everything is scaled for one
serving of an entire meal.  The recipes for the meal plan are found in the
book.  I have also prepared weekly shopping lists for your use (along with
your in-cab kitchen supplies...also suggested in the book) with
microwave, fry pan, burton oven.  


for our store.

Thanks again for tuning in!


Weight loss is a daily effort!

Hi Pam,

Hope you remember me; I was the one who introduced myself with the very long
detailed e-mail.  Since then I have read accessed your website and utilized your
recipe suggestions.

I took 6 weeks off this summer like I always do to spend time with my boys.  I was
able to lose 15 pounds.  It's easy when I am not in the truck and the husbands not
around.  (LOL)   I can eat when I want and what I want and can exercise every
day.  When the husband's home, he likes to entertain and go out to eat.  So do I,
don't get me wrong....

Now that I am back in the truck I have done good so far.  It's only been one week.....
I have been good about salads and easting more fruit. The one time we went to a
Taco Bell, I ordered off their Fresco menu.   I had Dairy Queen once because of
my husband stopping when I was sleeping and he surprised me.....BIG HELP he is

My husband as been good with taking time to exercise though.  We have done a
lot of walking.  I even bought one of those things that track your miles and calories

A few questions I have for you though:  This e-mail will only be Breakfast.  I will e-
mail you later about lunch/dinner/snacks.

Breakfast was easy for me when I was at home.  I had 3 egg whites, peppers,
onions and salsa.  1 piece of wheat toast and fruit, usually a strawberry banana
mixture or oranges and a 6oz glass of diet sugar free cranberry juice.
Now that I am one the road, a yummy breakfast like that isn't out there, especially
in truck stop diners.  If they have egg beaters I get them.  I ask them to add the
peppers and onions.  I say no to the potatoes and/or hash browns and get the
wheat toast.

My concern is this, if they don't have egg beaters what can I eat?  I do not want to
eat waffles/pancakes.  Sometimes I have asked them if they cook with real eggs
instead of the liquid eggs I ask them to discard the yokes.  (That's embarrassing
thought sometimes.)

I like the heart to heart or Kashi cold cereal, but that is rare to come by.  Usually
the TA's have it, but then they only have whole milk or 2%.  I do not drink much
milk and when I do it's always skim milk. Another concern, is milk?

Like I said above I only ate one piece of wheat toast at home.  In the restaurant
they give you two.  Another concern, is it better to eat two pieces of wheat toast or
just get an English muffin or only eat the one piece?  (LOL)

I don't have an issue with juice.  I know it's not really good for you and I don't crave
it.  It is expensive now of days anyway.  My husband just ordered a glass of OJ
today that was probably 8 0z and it was $2.95 a glass!  I do like cranberry and
grapefruit.  What can you tell me about that?

I guess my last concern is coffee.  I do use cream and sugar.  How bad is that?  I
just started drinking coffee a year ago.  I used to not be able to stand the smell let
alone the taste.  Well, with truck driving it's just one of those things now I

I will send another e-mail regarding my lunch/dinners/snack questions and then in
a few weeks just send you a sample week of what I eat. I have a feeling I am not
eating enough calories.  The good thing to that though is I am not able to exercise
every day.  At home I tried to eat enough because I ran 3 miles a day.  I know its
not good to not eat enough, but it balances out with not getting enough exercise I

Any info you can provide to me is very very worth it!


Hi Jennifer,

I'm so glad to hear you're working to improve your lifestyle. Great note.
Really great.

Be sure to ask for the egg substitutes. Even if they don't have them,
having people ask for them will encourage restaurants to consider them
for the future. Remind me the equipment you have in the truck. Could you
make egg beaters yourself? They're very easy to do. And your ideas for
the veggies really make them tasty. Barring that, how about oatmeal and
yogurt (low fat or no fat?). That could make a good change. You want to
have a lean protein of some sort.

It is very difficult to find low fat and no fat milk. Makes me crazy. But again,
ask for it. It's the only way changes will come. Again, have you got a fridge
you could keep some in? You know even McDonald's has 1% milk in their

Re breads. Check the labels and go for the one with the higher fiber.
Depending on what else you're having, you could have 1-2 pieces of
bread or the whole muffin. Portion control is key, so the other foods in
your meal help determine the answer to your question. (Did you get our
Roadcookin' book? roadcookin.com. A lot of this is in there. If you're
interested, put Evan in the promo code and you'll save $2.)

Cranberry and grapefruit juice are fine. The latter can impact some meds,
so check with your doctor on that, but again, you want to have portion
control...and fresh fruit (with more fiber) would be more nutritious than
the juice. Either way, shoot for 4 oz., definitely no more than 8 oz. at a

Cream and sugar can add up in the fat & calorie area (sugar in the
calories.) If you're careful with everything else, the two could work, but if
you like a sugar substitute or could go with low fat milk or a non-dairy
creamer, that would save on those two macronutrients. Really up to you
and what else you're doing.

Remember that you don't want your meals to be so restrictive that you
can't stick to the plan over the long haul. Have a small treat now & then.

Thanks for writing and doing such good work for yourself-

Pam Whitfield MS RD LDN

Getting started is never easy...

From Sandee in Manchester, PA

I am having trouble getting my husband to even think about eating better. Could
you offer some suggestions, please?

Hi Sandee,

People make changes when they are ready to do them. As hard as loved
ones may try, it is impossible to force a person to change.

Your husband may not be ready yet. There is a model called the eight
stages of change, and in this model, the first 4 stages are building up to
the change itself. Your husband is likely in the pre-change time.

Stick with him and continue to give him encouragement without any

Hopefully he will come around soon.

When that time comes, we will be happy to help out as possible.

Thanks for writing and good luck.

Pam Whitfield MS RD LDN

From Mark in Cincinnati

I would like to know where to get started.  I have high blood psi and
sleep apeana.  Would like to get rid of them both.

Wanting to do some hiking of the Lewis and Clark trails and I am also a truck driver
so I need to lose the weight can you help!!! Got your Roadcookin' book.

Hey Mark,

Thank you for getting a copy of the book.

A couple of quick questions...

1)  How high is your BP? XX/XX? Was this verified by your doctor?  Did
he/she have any thoughts on managing it?  Did they prescribe medication?

2)  Were you diagnosed with a sleep study re: sleep apnea?  Again, if so,
what were the recs made?

One way that hypertension can be helped is by reducing the sodium and
fat in your diet.  That is what the Heart Healthy diet is all about.  HOWEVER,
if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you have to follow
your doctor's instructions!   Your dr. may want you to reduce your sodium
intake to a certain level...maybe 2000 mg or even 1500 mg per day.  A heart
healthy meal plan can help do that.

As for sleep apnea, getting that under control is really important.  Losing
weight can help that, BUT, you need to follow the recommendations of the
sleep clinic that diagnosed you.  They may want you on a CPAP machine.  It
will certainly help you get better rest and that will make a huge difference
in your life.  Over the long haul, though, losing weight will help you
address your sleep apnea.

Glad to hear you are looking at hiking.  Great exercise, but you need to
train for it...as you would with any athletic endeavor.   So, start walking.
Friend of mine trained to take a bunch of scouts to Philmont in NM...what
he did was put one gallon jug of H2O in his pack...That's about 8 pounds...
then he added another and another as he did his training hikes.  He
ended up practicing with 40 pounds!

What distance do you plan to walk? Over what period?  I am looking at
doing a section of the Appalachian Trail next year...maybe out for 2 weeks.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Don Jacobson

Dear Don

I believe my blood pressure was a little higher then what DOT wants to see. I
think it was 128-130. I would have to get back with you on this. And yes I was
seen by a doctor for that. My sleep apnea was caught by my dentist. He takes
and knocks me out and does everything all at one time. And he noticed that I
snore really loud and he said that it sounds like the rafters are coming down.
LOL so I then went to my regular doctor and he sent me to a sleep lab and
sure enough I have sleep apnea.

Know what I really would like to do Don is to take and hike the Lewis and
Clark trails I mean spend a couple of months out in the woods with the bears
and snakes which I hope I don't run into I hate them scares me. But I just
want to start coming up with a diet that I can get most of my food fixed and
ready to go while I am at home and freeze it. I tried the honey curry chicken
last night and I put to much curry in and not enough honey I like a sweet
taste. Give me some ideas. I like fruits but not to keen on them unless I can
cook them. Are you still doing the Idleair shows.   Hopefully you are.

                                                             Sincerely Yours

Food Diaries Tell you Where You've Been...and Help Plan Where To Go!

From Terry in Spokane


I recently started a diet.  I'm 5' 11" and weigh 225. My normal weight should be 167-
170 far as i understand.  I'm 56 and have weighed 175-185 since high school and
have felt great.  My goal is to lose 40-50 pounds.  My diet the last few days has
been: breakfast, 7-8am, 1 cup Special K cereal, half a peach, and a splash of
nonfat milk.  At lunch, 11-12, I eat 1 cup cottage cheese, half peach.  Dinner,
around 4-5, is a medium bowl of salad, lettuce, carrot, fresh uncooked green
beans, broccoli, green onions, half a tomato, 4 oz chicken breast, 2
tablespoons fat free ranch dressing.   Will this work? How fast should I expect
results? Also when I can, 3-4 times a week, I walk a mile or more.

Hi Terry,

Great food diary. I suspect you have lost some weight if you are following
this meal plan. Have you?

First of all, shoot for a weight where you will feel good. 175-185 may be
just fine for you. Also, don't think in terms of losing your weight all at
once. Go for the 1 pound or so/week. It's less overwhelming, and you will
be feeling better all the time.

Breakfast: looks good. You could have the whole peach and more than a
splash of nonfat milk if you like. You might also want to throw in a healthy
protein. Yogurt? Eggbeaters if possible?

Lunch: You need to eat more than this or you will get too hungry. How
about a salad and some more protein? And a small dessert?

Dinner: Great.

Also, don't forget you can have a healthy snack a couple times each day.
Watch the portion sizes. You know- 1-2 small cookies or a granola bar.
(Treats are OK in moderation!)

As to timing, as I said up top, I expect you will see results very quickly.
And remember you don't want to lose weight too fast anyway. You have a
better chance of keeping it off if you go slow.
Weigh yourself once a week only.

Let me know how you're doing. You're off to a very good start-

Pam Whitfield MS RD LDN

Getting started can be the most important part of a meal plan!

From Tim in Indiana

I would be interested in learning more about your programs. Please call or e-mail
me anytime. You can talk to my wife if I am sleeping.



Hi Tim,

Our book,
ROADCOOKIN': A long haul driver's guide to healthy eating
(available through our website roadcookin.com or at www.amazon.
com as well as at many major carrier company stores), encapsulates our
past five years of talking with drivers during our appearances on Sirius.  
The "program" really is common sense.  

It starts with the reader becoming aware of their situation and setting
reasonable goals for weight loss in conjunction with their physician. The
doctor will work with you on determining the type of meal plan (heart
healthy, diabetic, weight loss) that is best for you.

We do suggest a consultation with a registered dietitian (not a
nutritionist-- anyone can call themselves a nutritionist --an RD is licensed
by the state after passing a rigorous exam).  Some folks have chosen to
use Pam as their RD on a fee for service basis (see Private Consults on
our website).  If your doctor gives you a referral for an RD, you may be
able to claim the expense on your insurance.

Once you are aware of the situation (a food diary is frequently the first
step), you can alter your eating habit patterns to start down the road on
weight loss.

We suggest that you try to eat more meals "in" (as in "in your cab") where
you can exercise better portion control as well as taking charge of fat and
sodium.  With that in mind, we offer dozens of recipes that are scaled for
single servings and are portion controlled to stay in line with the dietary
guidelines for diabetic and heart healthy diets.

The important thing to remember is that it took time to add weight.  It will
take time to lose it.  There is no "silver bullet," no potion, pill or special
diet that will help you lose weight overnight...and keep it off.  But, if you
take charge of your nutritional life and start down the healthy road, with
the support of those who care about you, you should begin seeing a
whole lot less of you!

Please let us know more about your situation.


This writer was wondering about meal replacement choices...

From Greg in Toronto ON

Hi Pam,

I have heard your spots on Sirius and have found them very interesting. What is
your opinion on meal replacement bars/drinks?
My over the road food choices are somewhat restricted because I cross the
US/Canada border and I am prohibited entry with certain foods. My fridge is usually
filled with meal replacement drinks like Boost and meal replacement bars like
I usually start out my day with soy beverage with protein powder and a probiotic
yogurt then snack with a Boost or bar. Lunch is always turkey or chicken on whole
wheat with no condiments. Snack is dried fruit and dinner is more Boost or bar. I
drink lots of bottled water with a high ORAC antioxidant drink powder mix through
the day.
I am trying to maintain a high protein and moderate carb diet with the healthy fats
like omega 3,6 and supplement with CLA and 500mcg of chromium picolinate.
I am home every weekend and eat more regular foods following the high protein /
moderate carb diet. Just curious about all the meal replacement items and if I'm
maybe doing more harm than good.

Hi Greg,

It sounds like you've found a meal plan that works for you.

Generally speaking, I guess I'd suggest more "real" food than bars or

Boost or meal replacement bars can fill a void from time to time, but you'd
likely be better off over the long haul with a good variety of foods...both
for nutrition and for eating pleasure.

What types of restrictions do you face with the border?  With the
equipment you have for storage and preparation, it seems like you'd be
able to stop at a big box-type store on one side or the other and stock up.

It is good that you're working to have three meals each day, though. That's


Some notes Speak for themselves.

From Tim in MO

Howdy Don and Pam,

I used to listen to your show on the Road Dog. What I would like you to pass on to
my brothers and sisters of the road is that is it is no fun having to go onto insulin
two year ago and then having to give up the road because of it.

I have been away from the road and have had a few jobs. I am now unemployed,
and that is not that good.  

So brothers and sisters, if you are not doing anything about your health you may
be putting your driving on the back burner. Try to get off that seat and out of the
truck.  Do some type of activity other that walking from the truck to the game-room.
Also have some good meals. It may help you avoid going on insulin someday.


We get fan mail, too...Evan Lockridge sent this on...

From:  [email protected]

Hey Evan,

I really enjoyed the people from roadcookin' and the dietitian. I can relate, I'm a big
boy. Now I ride a bicycle, for the battle of the bulge.

Sitting in the seat all day, is no exercise. Take care.

Thx for your program.


A Long Note...but a great set of questions!!!

Jen from Killeen, TX

Hi Pam,

I was thoroughly intrigued by your discussion on the loading dock on Sirius 147 on
Friday Feb 6th, about eating healthy.  My husband and I are a team. I usually do
not listen to 147 on my own, but will listen to the channel if I am up with him.  I
usually prefer the music channels.

The problem I am having and the reason for my e-mail is when I am on the road, I
know what to eat and what not to eat but sometimes I have no choice. Also, I feel I
am one of those people who need to exercise no matter how good I eat.  If I do not
exercise I do not lose weight.  My husband and I do bring our running clothes but
as you know that is not a reality most of the time.

So mainly I would like to task your brain on some questions that come up from time
and time and to send you my daily menu from time to time. I had a nutritionist when
I attending the gym in PA and she taught me a lot.

•        I know about calories in calories out.
•        Eat chicken and fish whenever possible.
•        Limit meat portions to under 6ozs
•        Choose wheat bread instead of white
•        Choose sweet potato instead of baked potato
•        Fat free milk instead of whole or 2%
•        Eggs whites/cholesterol free eggs instead of real eggs
•        Choose colored items, green and red peppers…etc
•        Try not to consume more than 25 grams of fat a day.
•        Stay around 2000 calories

I have stopped eating the quick breakfasts like a honey bun or pop tart and milk.  I
LOVE pastries, but wow are they high in fat! I try to eat salads, chicken/fish for
lunch and dinners.

Here is my real dilemma.  When we do stop for breakfast you either get eggs or
pancakes/French toast.  I haven’t tried oatmeal in the truck stops, I am a little
scared.  I usually get scrambled egg whites with green peppers and onions and a
side of wheat toast.  I usually drink water with lemon or coffee.  

One day my husband took me to Starbucks and I fell in love with them place.  Then
one day I got a regular coffee and now I am hooked.) When I do go to Starbuck to
get a flavored beverage I get fat free milk and no whip crème.  However I do take
sugar and cream in my coffee.  So that might be an area I could use some advice.

As far as lunch and dinner, sometimes we get both, sometimes we just eat once a
day.  So maybe that is why I am not losing weight, I am not eating enough.  I sort of
sounded like your one caller that had 700 calories a day just eating a salad for
lunch and chicken breast for dinner.

Any advice you can give will be helpful.  I know this was a long involved e-mail
because I wanted to tell you everything so you know what I already know and we
can concentrate on other ideas.

I look forward to hearing from you……

Sincerely, Jennifer (Chrome Cutie)

Hi Jen,

First of all, great note. You really painted a very interesting picture of your
story and how you got to today.

Yes, you really want to think about eating 3 meals each day. Moderate
portion sizes. It will help with the snacking and will probably also help you
with weight control. I must say though that you really didn't say where you
are right now on weight.

The "tips" you got from your nutritionist/dietitian are all right on…although
I would add WHOLE wheat bread, not just wheat.

Also, are you able to cook in the cab? You could easily put together some
very healthy breakfasts with little fuss or muss.

As you probably know the Loading Dock show went away, but we are now
on the Evan Lockridge Report the first Monday of the month at 1pm
central. Maybe you'd like to call in?

Also, we will be on the Doctor Radio show on Fri April 24th at 1pm ET as

Meantime, take a look at the roadcookin.com website, especially at
the sample menu. It may work as a guide for you on the food selections.

And/or--our book may have some good info for you too, especially about
cooking in the cab with such long stints away from home. Don has
prepared shopping lists, etc. to go with a 28-day menu.

I look forward to hearing more on your progress.

Please write when you can.

Pam Whitfield MS RD LDN

Another food diary brings a different set of comments...

From:  Cindy

Thought I would give you a little background about me first.   I am 51 - 5'4” and
about 152 lbs.   I have High blood pressure and take toporol (100 mg).  I am also a
little anemic always have been since I was born. I try to eat spinach, liver, raisins,
and prunes for iron. We normally eat 1 meal a day out usually not breakfast.   We
do have microwave, toaster, and refrig but haven’t got a crock pot.

Well as far as my food diary

Yesterday I started out with --Strawberry frosted pop tart (not my fav) then a

For lunch I had turkey sandwich (white bread miracle whip).  Bottle water.  

Afternoon snack was 2 leftover cinnamon cookies (from xmas) and also a choc nut
cluster candy.

Dinner was Wendys jr bacon cheeseburger with fries & coke.  

This morning I had a pear and a plain cinnamon pop tart and hot tea.  

I probably have gained about 10-15 lbs since August and feel that my weight has
shifted since i don’t get much exercise.  I will be glad when its nicer or we get to a
local run where I can walk.  I do have couple of hand weights (forgot to bring them
this time) but our space is limited  (lol).  I know if I drank more water it would also
help - the problem is we are not able to stop to frequently.  I am also probably a
little pre-menopausal.  Thanks for any advice plus I look forward to your book!!



Looking at your food diary, the good news is that you're trying to eat three
meals. That's great, and I'm glad to see the banana at breakfast. And a
snack or two through the day is fine.

I'm guessing you're just trying to get something easy at breakfast so you
can get on the road. How about a cereal for breakfast and you can add the
banana to it? It would also be good if you could have a little protein at
breakfast. Maybe some yogurt? Or even a hard boiled egg???   (You
could keep a few in the fridge? Would that work for you?)

Lunch is pretty good. If you could add some fresh veggies, it would be
even better. It would be nice if the bread for the sandwich could be a
whole grain. But generally lunch looks pretty good. Could you add a piece
of fruit for dessert?

The snack isn't bad, and it sounds like you enjoy those particular little
treats. You could also consider a few nuts (unsalted) for a snack, or
maybe a couple of peanut butter crackers. Depends on what you like, but
a snack is a good idea.

Dinner is the problem child. I suspect your dinner goes over your salt for
the whole day and it has a lot of fat too. None of that is good news for the
high blood pressure. If you are having that type of meal once in a while,
no big deal, but I am wondering if that's the norm more than the
exception. Am I right?

Do you ever make dinner in the cab? I know you're probably pooped by
that time of the day, but it would be better if you could trade out the fries
for a couple veggies or even a baked potato (you could make it in the
microwave--about 9 minutes, but be sure to puncture the potato or some
explosions of the potato nature may occur). And some nice lean meat
would be better than the bacon CB. Go diet or have another drink than
coke unless the coke is a rarity.  Maybe add a salad?

I mention the fiber (fruits, veggies, whole grains) a few times because it's
good for you, and also because it takes longer to digest, so you tend to
stay satisfied longer. Less likely to snack.

Anyway, that's a quick thought or two. Let me know what you think, and
what might work for you-

Pam Whitfield

When visitors send a food diary, feedback can be long...or short.  Here's one that
got Pam going!

From Jim in TX


Thanks for your input about my desire to discard some extra pounds.  I'm not that
bad, 5'9", 190# or so.  I want to get back to 170#, which I was 10 years ago when I
remarried.  My wife thought I looked better and had more energy then.  I'm sure
she is right about the more energy part.  I've started a walking routine as well, at
least 1 mile a day at a moderate rate to get my heart rate up.  At present I'm 58,
with no apparent health issues.

My blood pressure was at or below normal at my last DOT physical (December
08).  There is history in my mother's side of family with diabetics, which I hope to
avoid by changing my eating style.  

I do get some level of exercise, as I pull step deck trailer and always chaining,
climbing and such on a daily basis.  But I'm sure not enough, thus the reason for
the walking daily.  I always park in the outer areas of the parking lot, to get some
walking in going back and forth to the truck stop buildings.  This is in addition to my
daily walk.  So I hope you can see that I'm trying to get healthy again.

I've attached my daily food intake for the last few days and would appreciate if you
would review and point out some short points.  Other than not getting enough
calories and the sodium intake is too high.  I do try to watch that area of my eating,
but it seems no matter what I do, the sodium just continues to build.  Hopefully I
can get this under control.

Again, thanks for your help and advice.


Hi Jim,

Great job on the food diary! And, your plan to increase physical activity
sounds good too. (I am assuming your MD has given you the go ahead on
exercise as you state you have no medical issues of concern.)

A few comments on the foods you have been eating:

First, I am so happy to see that you're making a strong effort to eat

I wonder whether you are eating enough. If this is your standard eating
plan for most days, AND you have the physical activity added in, I wonder
if your energy is low from not eating enough. I'd think you'd want to hit at
least 1800 calories each day. You would still lose weight with the exercise,
I would expect. (It may be that you have underestimated some of the
foods, though your diary looks quite detailed.)  And your mix of foods is
pretty good too. You could add more fruits, veggies, & even whole grains,
but you have a good start.

You mention the sodium. It's not bad. Sure you'd like a little less, but
you're in the ballpark.

Your protein portions are quite good. I see the 10 oz steak one night.
That's a lot, but it looks like that's the rarity, not the norm.

Why the whole milk? Could you switch to 2% for starters? Better for heart
health. Lots of saturated fat in whole milk.

You mention wheat bread. Is it whole grain? Check the label. You'd like to
have at least 3 grams of dietary fiber in each slice if possible.

All in all, Jim, I have to say you're doing quite a good job. How is it going
for you? Please let me know if you are maintaining this good variety of
foods, and if you're slowly dropping the pounds.

Would love to have you keep me posted!

Thanks for writing,
Pam Whitfield MS RD LDN

From Gary in Ohio

What is the difference between sugar & carbs like in soda pop which says "carb
39g  and sugar 39 g" on the label?

Hi Gary,

Great question. And it tells me you are looking at nutrition labels which is

For an individual who has diabetes and needs to count carbohydrates, the
line on the label that would be most important to him is the Total
Carbohydrate line. No need to even look at the Sugars line.

Most people who are working to control their blood sugar will want to
have about 4-5 carb servings/meal. One carb serving = 15g
carbohydrates. So you can see that a soda pop that has 39g of carbs is
very close to 3 carb servings (3 x 15 =45). That's almost 3 out of 4 carb
servings for the entire meal!

That pop would use up almost all of the available carbs for the meal, which
would be very unfortunate because it has little to no nutritional value,
hence the term "empty calories."  What you'd be missing by using up your
carbs that way would be grains, starchy veggies, fruits, and dairy foods--
all of which have much more value to the body than the pop.

Hope that answers your question.

If you're trying to learn more about food labels, and counting carbs, and
eating healthy overall, I encourage you to take a look through our www.
roadcookin.com website. You might even be interested in our new book
Roadcookin: The Long Haul Driver's Guide to Healthy Eating.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks for writing,

Pam Whitfield MS RD LDN

From Ethan in WI

For school i am doing a 1 day diet record. Please tell me what I should eat for a
healthy diet. I am 5'4" and weigh 103 pounds.

Here is the list:

6:45 am : 1 1/2 cups of cocoa crispies and 1 cup of 2% milk.

10:30 am: 1/2 pint of chocolate milk, hot dog, and a chocolate-chip cookie.

6:30 pm: 3 tablespoons of mashed potatoes, 8oz of 2% milk, and 2.5 oz of roast

Please send me the results.


P.S My dad is a truck driver and listens to you on Sirus.

Hi Ethan,

Kudos to your school for the nutrition project you are working on. You can
do your own nutrition analysis for free by going to the MyPyramid website
www.mypyramid.gov and inputting your information. Start with MyPyramid
Tracker, then Assessment. The program will prompt you to enter various
personal items like height and weight, followed by the foods and amounts
in your diary. Then it will evaluate all the foods you had and give you
smiles or frowns based on whether you ate enough or too much of
different types of nutrients.

If you have specific questions once you have completed this, feel free to
write back.

Great assignment.

Good luck,

Pam Whitfield MS RD LDN

From:  Jim in TX


I've copied your sample 2000 calorie eating plan, but I have a question.
Can you explain how to determine what amounts of different food groups (left
column)? I went to the ADA web site and got some good ideas and suggestions on
eating solutions.  But not sure how to proceed.  I have also started daily food
journal for my own information, to watch my calorie intake.

Thanks for your info and help in this matter.

Hi Jim,
If you are trying to follow a 2000 calorie/day meal plan, basically you want
to eat three meals each day with 4-5 carb servings at each meal. Ideally,
those meals would happen every 4-5 hours. The plan on the website gives
some food choice ideas, but you can really mix it up a variety of ways.
Carbs are in grains & starchy vegetables, fruits, and dairy, so you can
build your 4-5 servings any way you like. Then you would want to choose a
serving of protein at each meal too, watching that the portion size is
moderate. It's best to have a variety of foods during the day to keep it
interesting and also so you get all your vitamins & minerals.

The toughest part is probably getting used to how big a serving size of
carbs is. The ADA website probably helped there. You can also check out
the nutrition labels on foods. Every 15 grams on the Total Carbs line =
1 serving.

I'm glad you're working hard to get yourself going in the right direction.
Please let me know if you have other questions, or if you need more detail
on this question.


From Kristen in NH

Hi There!

I hope you know, I couldn't have gotten where I am and where I'm going without
your help! I'm down 15 lbs in 3 months and keep falling! I've revamped my eating
with your advice in mind. 3 meals a day, smaller portions, and keeping a food diary
(fitday.com) have really helped me. I've tried and failed before but now I'm
determined to loose the pounds in a healthy way :)

I've also begun to exercise while on the road, focusing on cardio exercise. My
boyfriend and co-Driver has been the best helper I could have ever wanted. He's
thin and in shape and wants to help me achieve my goal, but never pressures. I
want to say a huge thank you to the both of you and the Loading Dock! So, Thank


Your success is great news.  You are averaging about 5 pounds a month...
a perfect pace for sustainable weight loss!   Keep up the good work!

From Brian in Arizona

Hi Don and Pam,

I listen to you on Loading Dock a lot and want to let you know what I've done to
help with eating properly on the road. I bought a 12 volt Engel freezer and now I do
what amounts to "Once a month cooking" or "OAMC" (google will come up lots of
website devoted to that). When I'm home I cook up pot roast, pork roast, chicken
Italiano, taco meat, etc, vacuum seal in individual meals then freeze everything.
While on the road I just pull the next day's meals out of the freezer and put in my
cooler then just heat up in my Burton stove when thawed. I also carry several bags
of frozen veggies which taste so much fresher than the veggies at truck stops thats
been cooking in buffet trays all day(mushy). I've been losing about 1-2 pounds a
week without even trying and saving money as well. The cost of the freezer will pay
for itself in about 5 months.


This is a great bit of news!  Glad you have found a way to make things
work for you on the road. How much are you spending per week for
meals?  And (Pam'll want to know), are you getting 3 meals a day?  How
much further to your goal weight?

Don J.

From:  Roy in Orange Park, FL

I want to say thanks for you folks being on the Road Dog. I have picked up a great
deal of helpful info to help control my weight and eat healthy. I have been getting
those tortilla low carb wraps, sometimes have 2 with a few slices of ham and a slice
of cheese in each.  50 calories each and only 4 net carbs per tortilla, with 8 grams
of fiber works real well for a good breakfast.

It is super hard to have quality selection of food in the truck. I buy apples and
bananas and snack on those, the fiber in an apple also besides being good for
you helps you feel full. I was up to 215 lbs. I'm back down to 200. I'm 5'10"  so I'm a
little overweight, but pretty healthy. Walking a lot when possible helps me too. On
34hr off restarts I walk at least 2-3 miles if weather permits.

I know the ham is not a good choice for my wraps, but it keeps far better in cooler
than other lunch meats, and is my favorite. Soups are bad also, My wife is a insulin
dependant diabetic, so I'm very knowledgeable on what it means to cut out the
carbs, that also helps me help her. If we both are watching carbs, it helps us both.
Of course this isn't always possible on the truck, but at home having mock mashed
potatoes made with cauliflower is very good alternative to potatoes.

Thanks to you both for being there, much appreciated!!!     Roy

Hi Roy,

Thanks so much for your note. We are thrilled that we can be of some help.
It sounds like you are putting it all together- eating smart and getting
some exercise.  I know it can be difficult and frustrating to manage things,
especially salt, on the road.

Please keep us posted on your progress,

Pam Whitfield

From:  Derwin,  Lowell,  Ark.

Hi Pam! Talked to you a few months back on Sirius. You may recall
me saying diabetes ran big in my Dad's side of the family and I mentioned
that I eat lots of apples as a snack. Currently at home recovering from knee
surgery. I am 42 and want to make a conscience effort to lose weight.

I'm 5'11" and 255. Weight is basically concentrated around tummy. Breakfast
consists of a bowl of oatmeal with small amount of brown sugar with dry
wheat toast. I try to eat grilled fish as I like it a lot. Broccoli is my choice
of vegetable or green beans. I usually stay away from the bread aside from
breakfast. Of course my choice of snacks are apples,carrots,and tangelos
along with an occasional banana when I'm out of apples. I also like plain
unsalted almonds.

What changes or recommendations do you have to offer?

Also,I plan to add some weight exercise when I get back on the road to
compliment the fact that I get some exercise from tarping and load
securing. I also try to park as far away from building when I park.
Thanks for your time and look forward to hearing from you.

Hi Derwin,
You're right about the belly fat being a risk factor for type 2, and you're
also smart to try lose a few pounds. Good for you!

Derwin, the foods you list are all healthy ones, so it sounds to me like you
have a good idea of what would be best for you. It also sounds like you
are trying to eat three meals each day. That's terrific.

Now here's the tough question. Are you really doing this every day? If so,
you will be dropping some weight. And second question is- how big are
the portion sizes?

Best next step for you would be to keep a food diary for 1-2 days. List
everything you eat and drink WITH AMOUNTS. Let's see what you're
actually eating. Awareness is key. Also, when you do the diary, write down
why you ate at a particular time. Were you hungry? Or was there another
reason, like boredom or stress, etc.

I look forward to hearing from you,


From:  Gears, Bear DE

Hi Don & Pam,
I'm following a high fiber/low fat meal plan. It really seems to be
working! I'm down 13lbs in 1 month. From 233 lbs to 220 lbs. I'm 6'4" my
goal is 205 lbs. Am I missing something in my diet, all this fiber gives me
painfully bad gas. And what's the downside of caffeine? I'm hooked bad.
Thanks and I always listen to you on The Loading Dock on Fridays.

Hi, Gears,

Great note. A few comments:

Good for you for adding more fiber to your diet. It's important to add fiber
slowly to the diet, though, because it will cause gas. Along with lowering
cholesterol, and giving us a feeling of fullness that lasts a while, fiber
keeps things moving! So your intestines definitely speak up to say

Go slow when adding fiber, and be sure to drink enough water. Also chew
your food thoroughly and eat slowly.

Losing 13 pounds in a month is a bit steep. You want to be sure to eat
three moderately sized meals each day and have a nice variety of foods. If
you get a chance, send me a food diary so I can take a peek and make
sure your meal plan is balanced and adequate.

Caffeine is a stimulant, so it can affect many parts of your body, certainly
among them your digestion and your heart.

Some doctors encourage patients to limit caffeine, some aren't as strict.
Depending on your overall health, your doctor may not be concerned.
What are you drinking? Coffee? Cola drinks? Or??? Let me know when
you send your food diary. You don't want to go overboard. Everything in
moderation, right?

I loom forward to hearing from you-


From Brian in Idaho

Don and Pam,

I have listened to you guys a number of times on Sirius Road Dog trucking. I
had a few questions for you about me losing weight on the road. I am 23
years old and have been driving OTR for about 2 years. I am 6'5" and about
I carry my weight pretty well, but would like to shave off some pounds.
My day usually starts out with a slim fast for breakfast, and one again for
lunch with some carrots and apples for a snack. I then usually have a turkey
or ham sandwich one night, and canned soup the next night. I usually have a
bag of popcorn every night while I wind down and watch T.V. I like to snack
on sunflower seeds while I drive to keep me busy and mind off of smoking so

Are sunflower seeds a good type of fat? I also take a multi vitamin
every morning. I try two drink water and limit my soda and coffee, but some
days I find myself drinking quite a bit of coffee. Is that okay? Does this
sound like an alright diet, or should I mix up my dinner entrees? Thanks for
you time in reading this message and I am open to any and all comments and
suggestions that you may have for me. Keep on trucking!!!

Hi, Brian,

Do me a favor and keep a food diary for a day or two. Keep track of the
time you eat, the foods you eat and drink, and your best guesses at
amounts. Also note why you chose that time to eat. Were you hungry?
Bored? Stressed? What was going on?

While some of the things you list in your note sound just fine, it's hard to
know if you're eating too much of something or too little of something else.
A food diary will help.  Even healthy foods can lead to weight gain if you
eat too much of them.

Also, it kind of sounds like you are eating one main meal with the slim
fasts counting as two pretty small meals. Am I reading that right? Let me

I'll look forward to getting your food diary-

Pam Whitfield, MS, RD, LDN

From Bruce, Elbing, KS

Other than the effects of caffeine from Diet Mountain Dew, are there any bad
consequences from drinking a liter bottle of Diet dew most days?  What are the
effects of caffeine on blood pressure? My current BP is 135/80.  My doctor wants
me to watch my BP since I have a family history of high BP.  Also, is it true that
aspartame may interfere with weight loss? Thank you for your reply.  I listen to you
on Sirius 147.

Hi, Bruce,
Thanks for your note. Diet Mountain Dew has no calories to speak of, so
the caffeine would be the primary concern.

Caffeine is a mild stimulant that can increase your heart rate. It's
generally recommended that people on heart healthy diets or people with
some GI distress issues restrict their intake of caffeine. From what I've
read, it has no long term impact on blood pressure, though it can briefly
raise blood pressure. I would think other foods would have a greater
impact on your blood pressure, like salty foods, pre-packaged
convenience foods, and smoked or aged foods like sausages and cheese.

Are you eating some of these foods in excess?

As for aspartame, I have found conflicting reports on the effects of
aspartame on weight loss, but I've attached a link to a study conducted
with the National Institutes of Health that suggests aspartame can lead to
weight loss.


Hope that helps for now. Thanks for listening and please write with any
other questions or comments,

Pam Whitfield, MS, RD

From Vince, Langhorne, PA

Could you please repeat the info that you gave on diet colas on Fri
1/18/08?  My wife drinks 2-to-3 16-oz colas a day.

Hi, Vince,

Studies are showing that too much consumption of cola-type soft drinks
(diet or regular) can impact bone density, especially in women. Scientists
are trying to understand why, but one reason may be the relationship
within the body between calcium and phosphorus. When people drink a
lot of cola drinks (I have read as few as 3-4 12 ounce cans/day), the
phosphoric acid (phosphorus) in the soda pop pulls calcium out of the
bones, as the body works to maintain the balance between these two

My recommendation is to limit these cola drinks to 12-16 ounces/day, not
much more to be safest. Research continues and we will know more in
coming years, but why take the chance, right?

Thanks for listening,


From:  DJ,  Ellwood City

My name is DJ. I listen to the Roaddog program whenever I am in the truck. I am
5'6"  I weigh 358lbs down from 375. I started my diet and I feel good. It scared me
when it finally sank into head that I might only have 11 years to live if i stay on the
fat course. I heard that truck drivers only live to 61 years old. I would not
get to see my grand kids grow thank for your inspiration.

Hey, DJ,

Thanks for your note. Glad to hear that you've developed a meal plan for
yourself. Do me a favor. Keep a food diary and send it to me and I will do
an analysis of it for you, and make some recommendations. We can see if
you're eating too much of one thing and too little of another.

Keep up the weight loss through smart choices and three meals each day.


From:  Eydie, Aurora, CO

I don't like nor do I eat a lot of vegetables but I do like most fruit. Is there a diet for

Hi, Eydie,
The best meal plan is one in which you eat all kinds of foods, including
(and especially) fruits and vegetables. Both have lots of vitamins and
minerals, as well as fiber which helps your digestion and also lowers your
cholesterol. So, even if you only like a few veggies, try to include them in
your meals and snacks.

You don't give me a whole lot of information. Would you keep a food diary
for a day or two and I can do a full analysis of what you're eating? Then
you can see where you might be overeating or undereating, and we can
make some recommendations.


From: Paul, Harper Woods

I purchased a vacuum sealer to prepare meals with. It is the best purchase I ever
made and save me about $10,000 a year. What I do is when home I prepare meals
in pieces by weight. EX- 4oz of turkey, cup of rice, green beans etc... This way
everything is in portions and all you have to do is put together a meal and don't
have to way thing on the road. I can keep cooked food in my refrigerator for 2-3
months or more and not worry about it spoiling. You can write on pkg weight,
calories, or whatever and will always know how much you are eating. Works great
on fish which can go bad easy. I love cabbage so I cook it in chicken broth for
flavor. Take it out on the road, sprinkle it with no salt and use no fat, no calorie
spray butter and it is great and fills you up. Good for dinner especially because a
lot of us eat and go to bed. Thanks for your time.

Dear Paul,

You proved that focusing on your food can keep your budget under
control.  I bet you are also a profitable driver!  

Don J.
From: Craig, Altoona, Pa.

Don & Pam,  

Are there any natural ways to beat kidney stones? I hear so many things and read
different stuff and I'm not sure just what to believe. My particular stones have been
from calcium deposits. I want to beat this naturally so any advice you can give me
would be greatly appreciated!!

Dear Craig,

You can find a variety of results on research related to kidney stones, and
some of it is 180 degrees from the other.

With that in mind, the latest that I have read is:

1. Calcium may actually reduce the risk of kidney stones. So, milk, yogurt
and dairy--along with leafy green veggies may actually prevent or delay
kidney stones from forming.  At the same time, however, calcium
supplements may increase the risk of developing them. It may be that
calcium in the food form is better than the supplements.

2. BUT- you don't want too much calcium each day. Like everything, a good
balance is best...probably about 1000mg/day. Get used to reading nutrition

3. There is evidence to suggest that too much Vitamin D may lead to
kidney stones. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is stored in the body
and can be toxic if intake is too high. Vitamin D is found in greatest
amounts in fortified milk, cheese, eggs, liver, salmon, and fortified
margarine. We can also synthesize vitamin D from sunlight.

Have you talked with your doctor about the stones? He/she may have an
opinion as well.

I'd be interested in hearing that point of view if you hear more.

Hope that helps for now,


From:  Robert, Wesley Chapel, FL

Dear Roadcookin,

I know you always say to avoid eating canned soup when possible because of the
high sodium content. If I eat canned soup on the road, and leave as much of the
broth out as possible. Does the sodium intake decrease very much or not?

Hi, Robert,

You don't need to avoid canned soup. You just need to plan your day so
that the other meals you eat don't have too much sodium. The
recommendation for sodium is 2400mg/day, unless your doctor has
advised you differently. So if you can get used to reading labels, you can
pretty much enjoy what you like to eat. Just plan ahead. If soup has
1000mg in a serving, then try to avoid foods the rest of the day that also
have high amounts of salt.

Remember that all foods can fit. The first step is becoming aware of what
you eat, and then making a meal plan that you can enjoy for the rest of
your life!

Hope that helps. Please write back if you have other questions.

Pam Whitfield, MS, RD, LDN

From Robert: Dublin, Ga

What meals are good for high blood pressure?

Hello, Robert,

People with high blood pressure need to watch sodium (salt) intake.
Typically, the doctor will advise you how much sodium you want to have
each day- most likely 2000mg, or maybe 3000mg/day. (Average Americans
consume about 4000-6000mg/day.)

Try to avoid foods with high sodium content...like packaged, convenience
foods, soups, aged foods like cheese and sausage. Get in the habit of
reading the nutritional labels. Every label will tell you how much sodium is
in each serving. Be sure to note the serving size so you can determine
the amount of salt you are eating.

Also try to avoid adding salt at the table and in cooking.

Finally, exercise will help you lose weight and that will help you lower
blood pressure. Even a few pounds can make a difference.
Hope that helps for starters-

Pam Whitfield RD, LDN

From: Barb, Greensburg, PA

Hi Don & Pam
I enjoy your show and have a question.  About 2 years ago my doctor put me on
hormone treatments.  I am one of those who gains weight easily and the
medication is making it more difficult.  I have a stepper in the truck and try to follow
the weight watchers plan, but can't seem to get my appetite under control.  I cook
in the truck and use the smaller dinners.  I don't seem to be able to get the energy
to exercise.  Any suggestions?

Hi, Barb,
Have you talked with your doctor? Does he/she have any ideas?
As I read what you've written, I am wondering if you are eating enough.  
Are you eating three meals each day? Have you tried to track the
calories? The portion size is key, yes, but if you are not supplying your
body enough each day, it could cause low energy and you may feel like
you are starving. Your body could slow down the metabolism and make it
harder to lose weight. I don't know if this is the case, but it's worth

Would you keep a food diary for 2-3 days? List everything you eat and
drink. Make your best guess at amounts.  I can do an analysis of it and see
where it shakes out. Please also send me some other information, like
height, weight, weight history, and the name of the hormone medication
you are taking. It would also be a good idea to talk with your doctor, who
has your medical history and would be in the best position to make an
assessment of the situation. Some medications do cause weight gain, so
your doctor may also be able to prescribe something that doesn't cause
as much gain. A variety of things to look at.

Thanks for writing,
Pam Whitfield, RD, LDN

From:  Richard, La Grange, KY

Hi Don and Pam,

I started driving 11 years ago and at that time I weighed about 220 lbs. I am 6'3"
and have a 44-inch waist. After listening to you over the last several months I
decided enough was a enough. In 3 wks I have lost 5 lbs. I have followed your
suggestions as far as portion size and healthier types of food. I hope mark and the
Open Road Gang realize what an important service you provide to the truckers. I
will try to call in and provide you with more info on how I'm doing. I listen every
Friday to you. God bless and thanks for maybe saving my life.

Hi, Richard,

Your news is terrific. Glad we could be of some help!
Please keep us posted on your progress and write with any
questions you have.

Pam Whitfield, RD, LDN

From:  Keith, Kingman, AZ

Don and Pam,

Hi guys, I'm still sticking with the right program, eating light, as healthy as I can, still
with the grilled chicken breasts, fish, turkey this and turkey that, you know, after a
week or so to get used to it, it really is good, and I season it up different each time
for variety. I’m not sure how much weight I've lost lately, but I have had to use
another notch or two on the old belt. I go to the doc next week to get cholesterol
checked again, so will let you know ASAP how that is.
The one thing you can help me with now is, I don't understand on the product
labels, how much grams or mgs of sodium or fat or cholesterol something has are
the % that it has, can you please explain it to me a little?

Thanks a lot guys
Talk to you soon

Hi, Keith,

Thanks for your notes.

Glad to see that you're trying to get a handle on sodium and
fats...and trying to read nutrition labels.  That's great.
I will review a few key things, but please keep in kind that your
doctor may want your numbers to run a bit higher or lower
depending on your medical situation, so please ask him or her
specifics for you.

With that in mind, here you go:


Recommendation is for about 2400mg each day. That's about a
teaspoon.  Most people get about 4000-6000mg/day. Too

High sodium foods tend to be: canned foods, soups,
convenience, pre-packaged foods, aged or smoked foods like
cheese or sausage


Recommendation is for 300mg/day.  Cholesterol is in animal
foods, and we, as animals, also make our own.  Meats, eggs,
dairy are the big sources. We need cholesterol, but not too
much. Like everything we need a good balance.

Animal foods, especially fatty meats, have the highest amount
of saturated fat- the "bad" fat. Goal is for no more than
20g/day. A lot of pastries, sweets, whole milk/cream items also
have lots of sat fat.

By reading the labels, you can see how much of these items is
in a serving of food.

The percentages you see listed on the label are the percentage
of your daily need from one serving of that food.

So, for example, if a label lists 5g sat fat it will probably also
say that's 25% of your sat fat for the day, since 5 is 25% of 20.

Does that help?

Let me know, or send additional questions.
Thanks for listening to the show, Keith-

Pam Whitfield, RD, LDN

From:  Robert

I am type 2 diabetic. I am on 4 pills a day but recently my sugar level has
dropped lots. I am from 13 down to 5-7 (Canadian Values). I test my sugar
level 4 to 6 times daily. I eat breakfast and supper now nothing in between.
I don’t really over eat at supper time now and I now lost 8 pounds in 2

Breakfast: I eat 2 eggs 2 bacon  2 toast and some home fries. I know this is
probably too much.
Supper:  I eat a grilled chicken sandwich and a medium fries from
McDonalds along
with diet pop.

As far as my pills go I reduced them from 8 pills to 4 pills on my own
without consent from a doc since I had not had time to consult a doctor. I
will be talking to one in the near future.

For the reason that I dropped half my pills is because my sugar level would
drop below 3 and even been to 1.8 where I started feeling very weak and
unable to function.

thnx for your reply


This is important. You cannot/should not reduce your medication without
your doctor's input. It sounds like your blood sugar is going very low and
you are becoming hypoglycemic because you are not eating enough

Skipping a meal is a problem. Eating meals with mostly protein and little
carbohydrate can do this too. Maybe there are other reasons too that are
specific to you. Call your doctor.

You need to eat three moderately-sized meals with a couple of snacks. The
meals typically will have 4-5 carbohydrate servings each, and the snacks
will have one carbohydrate. The sample menu I mentioned will give you an
idea what I am talking about ( roadcookin.com ) The foods you eat as
carbohydrates along with your medication balance your blood sugar. You
not decide for yourself what your dosage should be. PLEASE contact your
doctor and also get a referral to a dietitian so that you can better learn,
understand, and use the diabetic diet.

We'll talk more about the foods you are selecting once you contact your
doctor. Please do this as soon as possible. It is very important.

Pam Whitfield, RD, LDN

From Thomas, Folsom, Ca

I'm type II, morbidly obese, truck driver. Are baby sugar peas OK?
I use with other vegs while driving instead of chips 'n' dips.

Hi, Thomas,

Baby sugar peas are a great alternative to chips. You're giving up extra
sodium and saturated fat for vitamin C, iron, and fiber. Good idea! Every 8-
10 of the larger pea pods has about 7g carbohydrates, so you do want to
count them as part of your diabetic diet, but they're a good way to go.

FYI: 15g is one carbohydrate serving. An average diabetic diet has 4-5
carb servings/meal and 1 or 2 snacks of one carb serving each day.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Thanks for writing,

From Markus, Brigham City,Ut.

I am overweight and I find that my biggest problem is snacking
constantly while I am driving? Is there something I can snack on that's
good for me because I eat all the wrong snacks I am sure.

Hi, Markus,

The best way to avoid over snacking is by eating three moderately-sized
meals each day, INCLUDING breakfast! You'll snack less if you're not so

Within the meals and also within your snacks, try to include foods that
have fiber in them. Those take longer to be digested and will leave you
feeling fuller-longer.

A few ideas:

Carrot or celery sticks, green pepper slices, almost any vegetables: very
few calories

A piece of fruit or a bunch of grapes

A handful of nuts: almonds, peanuts or walnuts – unsalted

Even an 8 ounce container of non-fat yogurt makes a good snack.

Increase foods with fiber slowly and be sure to drink enough water with

Markus, send me a full day's food diary with everything you eat and drink,
including amounts, and I'll recommend some modifications to help you
lose weight slowly. You need a meal plan you can live with for years and

Thanks for writing,
Pam Whitfield, RD, LDN

From: Tom, Columbus, OH


Please evaluate this breakfast menu that I make and take with me M-F.

In a large skillet at home:

14 eggs scrambled
3oz skim milk
4oz cooked ground sausage
Lg handful of shredded blended cheese
1 T salt  
1 T pepper

Cook together and make into 5 portion cups.

Is this OK or wrong? I started it a year ago when I was (not now) following
Atkins. This along with a 20 oz decaf is my breakfast at 5am. Then I have a
10am snack. I love my 8 oz portion cups. NO more big hunks of lasagna, or
portions of too-big leftovers. Unfortunately I have been known to eat a
second cup.

Hi, Tom,

The breakfast you describe has lots of protein (more than you need), lots
of saturated fat- the bad fat (way more than you need or want), and too
little of other foods groups, like carbohydrates. The total calories for a
one-meal portion is OK- about 600- but it would be great if you could:

*Add a piece of fruit and a slice or two of whole grain toast to the mix.

*Keep the skim milk.  It is a solid choice.

*Try Morningstar sausage in place of the sausage you're using. It has no
sat fat and is healthier for you, has a similar taste, and is certainly one you
could get used to--and enjoy.

*Try using 1-2 eggs only/day - instead of 3/day- and consider Eggbeaters
as half of the mix. They again have less cholesterol and sat fat, and mix
well in scrambled eggs. The taste is a little bit different, but if you include
some real eggs, you shouldn't notice the difference in the scrambled
eggs' taste.

*Consider 2% (low-fat) cheese too.

*You could also add a no-fat yogurt to the meal to add some more calcium
and make up the calories' difference.

I applaud your work in developing a breakfast each day. So many drivers
skip the meal entirely. When possible, try to include different types of
foods in the meal. Variety is the key. Maybe oatmeal one or two days each
week, too?

So you can see the comparison in the two meals:
Your meal                        Meal with suggested changes
600 calories                        490 calories
19g sat fat                          4g sat fat
47g protein                         40g protein
9g carbs                              54g carbs
824 mg cholesterol            255 mg cholesterol

The protein is still way more than you need in the alternate meal, but you
can see the mix of the nutrients in about the same number of calories is
much better....lower sat fat, lower cholesterol, more carbs.

See what you think, and I'd love to hear if you will try the alternative.

Just for kicks, what do you eat the rest of the day?

Thanks for writing,


From:  Denise, Myrtle Beach SC

My husband Andy who is a trucker wanted me to e-mail you my thoughts
on a few things.  First of all I want to say a diet is not a "one size fits all"
concept.  Each person has different needs whether it be low fat, low carb
or low sodium.  I am 42 and for years have been on/off low FAT diets with
no success.  The weight loss was not significant and I gained back plus
some.  A few years ago Andy and I went on the Atkins Nutritional Approach
and found immediate long term success.  Cutting out white flour, sugar,
and trans fat from our diet has been most beneficial.  With the balance of
the right carbs we maintain our weight and our blood sugar remains
stable resulting in increase energy and no afternoon slumps from
previous sugar crashes!  A point to remember is that low fat products
contain MORE sugar.  We also stay away from products containing
"partially hydrogenated oils" and "high fructose corn syrup". My doctor
supports me 100% and has been pleased with the results!
Each week I prepare Andy's meals.  He then cooks in his truck oven.  They
are nutritious and delicious.  Also, remember one baked potato is
equivalent to processing ½ cup sugar in your body which is not good for
We as Americans are too dependent on processed foods!  It's time to get
back in the kitchen and cook.  The sugar free honey is called Honey Tree
and is available at Super-Walmart.  A couple of TV shows geared to low
carb cooking are: George Stella on food network (he lost over 200 lbs)
and Blaine's low carb kitchen on FitTV.


Hi, Denise,

Thanks for your note.

Your letter is thoughtful and we agree on a number of key points.

1) I totally agree with you on personal menu plans. A "diet" HAS to
work for you. One size does not fit all.

2) Our society has grown too dependent on processed foods. We do eat
too many foods with high levels of sugar. It's amazing to read ingredient
labels and see how many ways the word sugar can be identified.

3) Many low fat foods are modified by adding sugar.

As to the Atkins diet, it will not surprise you to hear that I am not a fan of it
for two key reasons.

1) It encourages people to eliminate entire food groups that provide
essential vitamins and minerals, like fruits and dairy products. Any diet
that discourages food variety should be questioned. We need
carbohydrates-our brains run on them!  Making carbohydrate choices that
are healthy and low in the processed sugars you mention, e.g. whole
grains, fresh fruit, etc. are reasonable and intelligent. A healthy diet gets
more than half its calories from carbs.

2) It encourages diets that are too high in saturated fat- the bad fat- and
also encourages intake of much more protein than is needed by the body.
Many studies suggest very high protein diets can pull calcium out of the
bones and add stress to the kidneys and liver. The high sat fat is hard on
the heart.

People typically lose weight on the Atkins diet because they eat less
(fewer calories leads to weight loss) and because they lose water weight
with fewer carbohydrates. Just 2 cups of water equals a pound. Carbs
encourage the body to hold on to more water.

Congratulations on your weight loss and here's to a great year for you and

We appreciate you taking the time to write.


From John, Hampton, VA

I'm a type 2 diabetic, and need hip replacement. I listen to your
show and I'm winning the diet battle. Except for my Pringles (fat free 50%
less calories). I'm using anywhere between 50 to 75 packets of equal a day
with my drinks. Am i going to have a problem?

Hi, John,

Equal is a sugar substitute that has no calories and no carbohydrates, so
the number of packets you use should not affect your blood sugar. Check
out the Equal website (www.equal.com). They have a lot of good
information for diabetics including a variety of recipes.

Now, if you're asking about those Pringles...

Potato chips DO have carbs, so you need to count those as part of your
portion control. One ounce of Pringles reduced fat chips has 140 calories,
20g carbohydrates. That's a little more than one carb serving. (One carb =
15g) Be sure to keep track of how much you eat and include it in your
diabetic meal plan. Average number of carbohydrate servings per meal is

Your doctor or registered dietitian can help you determine how many
servings you need at each meal and throughout the day.

Thanks for writing,
Pam Whitfield, RD, LDN

From:  Darren, Singer, LA

I had my cholesterol checked and my total level was 204. But my good
level was only 36. What can i eat so i can lower my bad and raise my good

Hi, Darren,

Here's a couple of basic things to remember:

To raise the good cholesterol (HDL): Exercise. Get more physical activity.

To lower the bad cholesterol (LDL): Limit the amount of saturated fat you

Sat fat- the bad fat- is in deep-fried foods, meats with lots of fat in them,
whole milk, whole yogurt, whole cheese.  Instead of deep-frying, you
should try to eat baked, grilled or broiled meats. Enjoy no-fat or 1% dairy

Hope that helps.


From:  Phil, Coffeyville, KS

Hi! I hear you on the Sirius radio trucking station at times.  Keep up the
good work.  I went from 400 pounds to 247.  It took me a year at 1200 cal's
a day.  I didn’t have much trouble doing this.  I was team driving and was
only awake 12 hours a day so eating 3-4 small meals was no problem.  Now
I drive solo and I'm up for 16-20 hours and put on 40 of the weight I lost.  
Any ideas?

(((Phil sent Pam a brief food and lifestyle diary)))

Weight now is 280.   
Ham, tuna or turkey sandwiches mainly.  About 8 sandwiches a day comes
to 1200 cals.   More than I should of Diet Pepsi and crystal light.  No
snacks unless I naw on a bag of sunflower seeds once in a while.  A
subway sandwich once in a while. 1 or 2 a week.  Activity is unloading
boats off trailer. 3 hrs a week and walking to the truck.

Hi, Phil,

1. 8 sandwiches cannot equal 1200 calories unless they are very very
small. A slice of bread is usually somewhere between 80-120 calories per
slice, depending on the bread. (Start checking out the nutrition labels for
serving size and calories per serving.) Hope you are looking for higher
fiber bread, too (2-3 grams per slice). Just a few ounces of the meats you
mention will be 100-200 calories minimum. So, each sandwich is likely to
be at least 300 calories, probably more like 400+. At eight per day, that's
2400-3200+ calories just from sandwiches. At your height, and planning for
weight loss, your calorie intake each day should be no more than 2200
calories, unless you have more physical activity than you describe (or
other medical conditions that warrant increased calories.) As you lose
weight, that calorie need may decrease to 1800-2000.

2. General recommendation is for 3-4 smaller meals each day that include
a variety of foods...not just sandwiches, but fruits and vegetables, milk or
yogurt, whole grains and starches, other protein sources. It sounds like
you are eating sandwiches only which means you are missing the vitamins
and minerals you would get with more food variety. Check out the 2000
calories sample menu on our website to get some ideas of ways to include
a variety of foods.

3. Look for ways to increase your physical activity unless your doctor has
suggested this would be inappropriate. As you build muscle mass and
decrease fat and pounds, you will burn more calories and also decrease
disease risks.

Let me know how you do-
Pam Whitfield, RD, LDN

From:  Donald, Arlington, TX

I called and said I only eat one good meal a day. I only eat sweets every
once and while. I can't stand plain water so I don’t drink it. But my downfall
is that I drink Cokes but I drink 4 liters a day since I work at night. I need to
lose about 100 lbs. I currently weigh 275lbs. Please help.


You can do the math by looking at the nutrition label on the bottle.
But to save you some time, here's the short cut:

34 ounces in a liter
136 ounces in 4 liters
12.5 calories in each ounce of Coke
1700 calories in 4 liters of Coke
11,900 calories from 4 liters Coke each day/7 days per week
11,900 divided by 3500 calories/pound= 3.4 pounds per week

Just from one item in your meal plan.
Any chance you'd be willing to cut back?


From:  Harry, Osceola, WI

Just thought I'd share a recipe with you for soup (crock pot ).

I use beef brisket cooked on low for 7 hours with 1 cup water. Then let it
cool to scrape the grease from it and the water used. Then i "shred" the
brisket and put it and vegs that have been diced or chopped to crock pot
with water and beef flavor  ( natural even ), add vegetable juice to desired
consistency. Let cook till all vegs are done. Tastes better than anything
you can buy in a store is cheap and has personal flare. (even reheats well)

Harry....this looks tasty and warm!

From: Gwen, Bedias, Texas

Hey Pam,
Thanks for what you do. Just wanted to pass on an idea for something I do
on my truck for exercise when I can't get out and walk safely during the
day. I have a Gazelle. I keep it folded and secured at the foot of my bunk.
When I get ready to use it, I flip my mattress up on the side and stand the
gazelle on the mattress platform. I usually will watch the news or a TV
show and before I know it 20-30 minutes pass quickly. I wish there was a
way the listeners of Open Road Cafe could identify ourselves out on the
road so that we could possibly just have someone to take a walk with or to
be a buddy at mealtime. Hey Thanks for what you do.

Dear Gwen,

Thanks for your note.  I took a look at the Gazelle out on the Internet.  It
looks like a convenient and portable piece of equipment.  Obviously you
have to make sure that you are using it on a secure and steady platform.  
But, you're able to use it in the comfort of your "home" on the road!  And
you're getting a solid cardio workout!

As for your request...Pam and I have been thinking about putting together
a way for Roadcookin' listeners to identify themselves so that they can
workout together, relax together, eat together and generally get onto
living a better lifestyle together as they travel separately down the road.  
Maybe something called "MealMates".  We realize just how tough it can
be when you are away from home all those days and weeks at a time.  You
need support, friendly voices and a willing ear or two. This will be a
program that we'll be focusing on over the next several months!

Thanks for your kind words.  We appreciate your feedback, your loyalty to
Roadcookin' and your desire to live better!

Don J.

From Benny , Hondo, Tx

Would like to submit a food survey for your comments. For Breakfast
2eggs, 2 sausage patty, 2 pieces buttered toast, occasionally one small
oatmeal fruit for lunch apple &carrot for dinner hamburger steak(8oz)small
baked potato small salad water for drinks with all meals please let me
know what i need to change or add to lose weight. thanks

From Benny, Hondo, TX

In answer to your question my height is 5'6" weight is 214 and have cut
back on the snacks but do have snacks on occasion are trying to snack on
fruit rather than sweets. Its really hard to eat the way you suggest due to
the fact that there are not that many places where I can stop that many
times a day maybe this will help you more. thanks

Hi, Benny,
Thanks for sending your food diary. For your height and weight, you need
about 1800 calories each day. You WILL lose weight if you eat 1800 calories
each day. Based on the diary you sent, the foods you ate contained 1400
calories that day, which is too little for you. My guess is that you didn't
really list EVERYTHING you ate! It's very easy to do. We all underestimate
what we eat- that's part of the problem. Drinks, for example, can add a LOT
of calories to the day, especially regular carbonated drinks. You said you
had drinks, but didn't indicate what they were- or how much. So as you
on your meal plan, try to list EVERYTHING! The first step to losing weight
is really being aware of all the foods you eat and drink!

Looking at what you did list, a few thoughts:

1. It's great that you are eating breakfast. BUT- the eggs and sausage have
a lot of saturated fat (the bad fat) in them. In fact, your day, even
underestimated, had too much of the bad fats. If you really want to have
eggs and sausage, try Eggbeaters and something like Morningstar
sausage. The
taste is a little different, but you'll be surprised how much you will enjoy
them. The oatmeal you sometimes have is also a good choice. (But, keep
eating breakfast. That's terrific!)

2. You need more to eat for lunch, or you will get hungry and start
snacking. An apple and carrots is a good start, but you need a full meal.
Try to have some lean protein, some good starches (a sandwich on whole
bread could be good), and maybe a lowfat/no-fat milk or yogurt (8 ounces)
go along with the fruits and veggies.

3. The 8 ounce steak at dinner is OK, but hopefully you are having chicken
and fish frequently as well (Baked or grilled, not fried). The baked potato
and the salad is good, especially if the salad has some great fresh veggies
in it. Salad dressing? Did you use salad dressing? And did you put
on the baked potato? (You can see how little extras start to add up.)

Final thoughts:

Eat more fiber. You need 20-35g/day. You had about 9g. Fruits, vegetables,
and whole grains are all good sources. Increase slowly so your body isn't
too surprised by the side effects.

Watch the saturated fat. Think lean meats, 4-6 ounce servings, and
lowfat/no-fat dairy.

Don't forget the carbohydrates- more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
You had a good start, but you need more. A sample day might have 50-60%
carbs, 15-20% protein, 20-30% fat. Your list measured out to 31% carb, 28%
protein, 41% fat. So you need less protein and fat (especially sat fat) and
more good carbs. These will support your fiber needs mentioned above

Benny, good for you for doing the food diary. Send another day's diary
you've had a chance to think about any changes you are able to make.


From: Ken ,  Dunedin, Fl

My cardiologist noted my potassium levels were low, and I should bring
them up.  I know bananas are a good source. On the truck, lots of bananas
will spoil, so will banana chips supply the same, or is there something

Hi, Ken,
Potassium is found in fruits and vegetables as well as some other foods.
Here is a sampling of high potassium foods:

Apricot, Avocado, Banana, Cantaloupe, Dates, Honeydew, Nectarine,
Plums, Raisins, Rhubarb

Artichokes, Dried beans, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Celery, Legumes,
beans, Mushrooms, Potatoes, Tomatoes

Other foods:
Bran products, Chocolate, Coconut, Granola, Molasses, Milk, Nuts &

A small banana has about 89 calories and about 15% of the potassium
for a day. One ounce of banana chips has about 145 calories and about 6%
of potassium needed for a day.

So, I'd suggest the banana. You get more for your calories.

Hope that helps, and keep in touch with your doctor on your potassium
levels. Eating high potassium foods certainly can  increase your potassium
levels, but remember that potassium can be low for a number of reasons
beyond dietary intake, and only your doctor can determine other causes.

Thanks for writing,

From: Peggy, North Branch, Michigan

Hello, I am writing for my husband Richard. He drives truck OTR and is
having a hard time finding time, place, and healthy foods to help him loose
weight. He quit smoking 9 weeks ago, and has put on over 40 pounds. at
6'1 and approx 276 (he wont get on the scale)his back is killing him, not to
mention the fact that he can not fit into his clothes has gotten him very
upset. It seems like all the weight he is putting on is just in his stomach.
What can a busy driver do to clear up the weight problem before he starts
smoking again.

Thank you distressed wife, Peggy

Hi, Peggy,

Thanks for writing, and congrats to Richard for quitting smoking. That's an
incredibly important step to good health. Now, let's see what Richard can
do to eat healthier and lose some of those pounds. First, if he has had a
visit with his MD lately, perhaps his doctor has given him some
guidelines. By all means, go with the doc's recommendations because
he/she has detail I do not have- like lab results and a physical examination
to go on. Having said that...

At 6'1", Richard's goal weight is going to be down near 200#, but he
shouldn't try to lose it all at once. It didn't go on at all at once, and
it's going to take time to lose it. One pound at a time. One pound a week is
a good way to go. If he chooses a menu plan that's too restrictive, he will
not be able to stick to it and he will become discouraged and eat more.
Having you as a member of his support team is critical.

From my calculations, 2300 calories each day would give Richard the
nutrition he needs and still help him lose weight.

Take a look at the website (roadcookin.com ) and check out our
sample 2000 calorie menu. That will give you some ideas for moderately
sized meals plus a couple of small snacks. He'll also have another 300
calories each day on top of that plan for snacks and a bit more food at
meals. But count the calories and watch the portion sizes. Drinks count

The key is to have enough foods that he likes in the menu. Make a list of
his favorite foods, and see how they can fit into the meal plan. Watch the
portion sizes. That's the biggest place we all go astray. Go for 8 ounce
glasses of milk, not 20 ounces, and go lowfat/no-fat. Go for lean meats,
like chicken and fish. Baked or grilled, not deep fried. On chicken and
fish, 6 ounces at a meal is better than 12-16 ounces. Even though chicken
and fish are healthy, the large portions sizes add to the calories. Keep in
mind that losing a pound each week means not eating 3500 calories that
would have been eaten. It adds up quickly.

Start reading nutrition labels, and you'll see how the calories add up (or
can be decreased.)

Watch added salt/sodium. That's especially heavy in convenience foods
and aged foods, like smoked sausages and cheeses.

Eat more food with fiber...in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fiber
improves digestion and lowers cholesterol.

The website has a number of tips that you'll see...but a few ideas for
snacks, so that he can choose something healthy instead of a candy bar or

Try a handful of nuts (almonds, peanuts or walnuts) each day. Carrot sticks
and celery sticks are great and can be eaten in great quantity. If he
doesn't like them without a "dip", try a no-fat salad dressing. A small
piece of fresh fruit 2-3 times each day is a good snack, but stick to the
portion size. Fruits are great foods but the calories can add up if you eat
too much. Again, watch the portion sizes. Orange juice, for example, is
very healthy, but have 4-6 ounces, not the 20-ounce bottle--too much
concentrated sugar in the large serving.

You didn't mention whether Richard cooks in the cab or stops at
restaurants along the road. If he can cook in the cab, check out some of
Don's recipes on the website.

Let me know if this helps out for starters, and if you have other questions.
Take each day as it comes, and if Richard has a bad food day one day,
remind him that the next day is a new one.

He can make progress, slow but sure, especially with your help.


From Felicia

First - A HUGE THANK YOU for what you are doing. How much does
nutrition change in foods when they are dehydrated/dried or freeze  

A: Felecia, thanks for your note. We enjoy hearing from you.

Freezing, drying, and canning can be just as nutritious as fresh, as long as
the processing happens quickly and safely. Nutrients can be lost when
fresh foods are harvested and held for longer periods of time. Food that
is commercially purchased should not have nutrition issues; however, you
can check out the nutrition labels on packaged items to see just what is
contained in them.


From:  Robert,  Tennessee

I went to a website u were talking about nal.usda.gov you said we could
find a lot of info on what foods we  eat but i couldn't find where to look
once i got their or did i go to the wrong website?

Hi, Robert-

The site link is actually a little bit longer than what I mentioned on the
Road Cookin' show Friday. Here is the actual link. Once there, you can
type in whatever food for which you want to see nutritional values, and
the info should come up immediately. Let me know if you have any



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