Roadcookin' Back on the Air on 1/10/13

Well, after not being able to talk with Mark Willis for nearly 4 years (that's a long time),
we'll be talking and taking calls starting at 1 PM CT on Sirius XM's Road Dog Trucking
News (Sirius/XM 106) on Thursday, 1/10!  Cannot wait to have a "sit-down" with our old
friend.  I know we'll have a world of material...but let's just do open forum!

Holiday Toolkit (12/18/12)

Guess we were "on the air" today with Evan.  Had a number of listeners write in asking
for the "holiday eating toolkit."  It's from the American Association of Diabetes
Educators.  This is a pdf of about 11 mb.  Lots of pixels, but also lots of info.

AADE Holiday Toolkit

Roadcookin’s Top 10 List For A Healthier OTR 2013!

1.        Count to 3 in 2013:  That is three meals each day

Studies show that people who skip meals tend to snack more. Make this your motto:
eat three moderately sized meals each day. Eat every 4-5 hours. You’ll be less likely to
snack. Others suggest 4-5 small meals throughout the day.

2.        Clock-watch in 2013:  Take time to eat
If you eat just one meal-a-day, you’ll be really hungry and will wolf down your food. Fast
eaters tend to eat more because it takes the brain about 15-20 minutes to get the
message that the stomach is filling up. Slow down! You’ll eat less.

3.        Mix and Match in 2013:  Eat a variety of foods

Carbohydrates, protein, and fat. We need all three.

Carbs are found in whole grains, fruits, and dairy foods. Veggies are low in carbs.
Carbs should make up anywhere from 50-65% of your calories each day.

Protein is found in animal foods, like meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs. Plants
including beans, legumes, and nuts, too. Daily dose: about 10-20% of calories from

Fats are found in many proteins, oils, and of course, special treats.  Look for healthy
fats like Omega 3 and 6 from fish.  Cut down sat fats from bacon and steak. Keep the
fat cal count to no more than 30% of your daily intake.

If you have a plate with many colors, you are probably eating a good variety of foods.

4.        Go Green in 2013:  Eat more fruits and veggies

Our friend Driver Jeff C, a marathon runner and a cheese-head, plans to get his five
daily servings of fruits and vegetables in 2012. These are the #1 source of fiber…the
stuff that will keep you going!  

5.        Take charge of what you eat in 2013:  Cook in the cab!

Driver Jeff says that he’s going to cook more meals in the cab in 2012.  That means he
will save money (maybe even $5,000 a year) by avoiding restaurant costs.  He’ll also
be in control of what ingredients he uses for his meals, the way the food is prepared
and how much he eats!

6.        Measure Up in 2013:  Watch the portion sizes

Chew more, eat less. Three oz of protein (fish, chicken, pork, beef, etc.) is all you need
at each meal. A beverage like low fat milk should be about 8 ounces.  Keep juices to 4
oz. Shocker: A cup of pasta is 3 servings. Use measuring cups. Don’t guess.  We
almost always think we’ve eaten less than we have.

7.        Good reading for 2013:  Nutrition labels

By reading labels, you will improve your portion size control and increase your

A few important items to look at:

•        Serving Size and Servings per Container.  
•        Calories per serving.
•        Fat. The goal for the day is about 65 grams.
•        Cholesterol. Under 300 mg/day; 200 mg/day if heart issues
•        Sodium. Less than 2,400 mg per day; under 2,000 mg with heart issues, even
less if your doctor insists.
•        Dietary Fiber. Goal is 25 grams/day.

8.        Treat yourself in 2013: Once in a while

If you restrict your diet and eliminate personal favorites, you will not stick with the diet
for very long. Build a meal plan you can live with for life: every day, every week, every
year. That means including a treat now and then. And, keep the portion size small, and
to have the treats infrequently.

9.        Don’t yawn the miles away in 2013:  Get enough sleep

There is a relationship between weight gain and insufficient slumber. If sleep apnea is
one of your problems, get some help from your doctor. Getting the rest your body
needs to repair and refresh will help you on many levels, including your weight.

10.        Build a new “you” in 2013:  But make small changes

Changing your eating habits will take time and effort. Don't expect yourself to do it all at
once. You want to succeed. Don't set yourself up for failure by expecting too much too
soon. Set one goal at a time. Once you feel comfortable that you've managed to
incorporate it into your life, add a new goal.  And as Jeff says, if you fail, start over!

May 17, 2011:  Vitamin K and Coumadin/Warfarin

Here are the two documents Pam promised when we were on the air with Evan
yesterday.  The first document discusses the interaction between leafy green
vegetables (sources of Vitamin K) and blood thinners.

Vitamin K and Coumadin

And the second helps you identify the amount and sources of Vitamin K in your meal
plan.  Remember, as Pam said, the key is balance not remove the sources of Vitamin K
so that your medication will work to your benefit.

Vitamin K-Rich Food List

June 22, 2010:  Lose Sleep, Eat More and Gain Weight

We've been talking about it for years...the less you sleep, the more likely it is that you
will experience other problems.  Now, researchers have discovered a pretty significant
link between reduced sleep and increased eating.  Check it out at the following link:

1/4/10:  New Audio Links For Roadcookin' Express

Click below for a couple of new "Roadcookin' Express" featurettes.

8/5/09:  ROADCOOKIN' Reasearch on OTR Weight

Finally chased down a pdf of Pam's breakthrough article on driver weight and nutrition.

If you have Acrobat Reader, you can see it by clicking the link below.  This is from
Journal of the American Dietetic Association (12/07).

7/13/09: Performance Issues Drag Down Overweight Drivers

For all too many, the bottom line is the only figure that matters.  Having talked the OTR
overweight epidemic, I have heard it, lived it.  You know, the quick response by
someone shooting down a wellness program proposal with a Pontius Pilate-like verbal
hand washing that goes, “Fat drivers, thin drivers…the load still gets there in the same
amount of time.”  That’s true…to a point.  But, new research points to a disturbing
fact… drivers who eat unhealthy diets…and drivers who are overweight or obese can
certainly be in that group…have significantly slower reaction times than drivers who
have healthy eating patterns.  

To repeat…research out of Denmark supports the link between healthy eating and
safety. That is something groundbreaking…most research on OTRs focuses on the
health consequences of overweight.  This news puts life into the statistic highlighting
that 86% of American OTRs are overweight and 57% are obese (Whitfield et al, “Truck
Drivers…, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 12/07).  Yet the connection
between diet and alertness seems pretty clear when you come right down to it.

Our brains are affected by how we eat.  Carbohydrates are the fuel that powers our
brains, and complex carbs are the high test stuff that keeps our inner eye focused on
maneuvering 80,000 pounds of whatever down a super slab.  Problem is, there are
way too many OTRs who are running the HOS to the max and getting by on one meal a
day and a load of simple carbs like a liter or two of Mountain Dew and candy bars.  
Sure you’ll light up for 45 minutes or so…but the crash is coming…and it could be
more than metaphorical.   

Back to Denmark… lifestyle consultant Mette-Marie Linding became interested in the
link between performance and diet after she was contacted by a trade union dealing
with an overweight driver who was having problems breathing while shifting gears.   
Later, Linding launched a study in conjunction with the Danish Transport Union.  The
goal:  to document how a driver’s diet influenced his reaction time.

Linding’s methodology was rigorous.  She divided her test subjects of “normal” Danish
truckers into two groups. The first cohort was placed on a healthy diet that emphasized
a regular eating schedule.  The others continued eating as they usually did. Then over
a period of 12 days, all study members’ reaction times were tested in a simulator.  As
early as Day 2, the regular diet/meal pattern group started to lag behind those in the
experimental group.  By the end of the study, drivers who ate regular healthy meals
had reaction times that were
16% faster than the control group.

It all came down to brain function.  The wild extremes in blood sugar experienced by
the group making poor food choices and eating “on the fly” resulted in mood swings,
headaches, increased stress and, (surprise-surprise) reduced concentration.  For
those who tried the “radical” diet of regular and balanced meals, added benefits
beyond improved reaction time included a significant reduction in the incidence of high
blood pressure and high cholesterol…all in just 12 days.

Those sorts of results were bound to get the attention of the trucking industry.   At
Volvo Trucks in the Netherlands, the company has included health as a compulsory
course in all driver training programs.

"Since there is a strong link between food and traffic safety, we felt that it was important
to put health firmly on the agenda. Overweight is a serious problem among commercial
vehicle drivers owing to the highly static nature of their work. At the same time, many
drivers want to be healthier but simply don't know how to set about making the
necessary change," says Charles Engelaar of the Volvo Trucks marketing department
in the Netherlands.

"Having healthy drivers is also healthy for society in general. What is more, there's
money to be made. By reducing the risk of accidents, the trucks can spend more time
on the road and the company avoids losing time, money and reputation when their
vehicles are in the workshop for repairs," emphasizes Charles Engelaar.

So think about it...the load you may be hauling in your life could determine how quickly
you react to stop the load you're hauling in your job.

5/22/09:  A Great Support Group

Truckers For A Cause is a group of OTRs who are trying to take charge of their lives
and health by taking charge of their food.  The 80,000 pound club ('Trying to get
80,000 pounds of unwanted freight off the road') is a great idea.  Check out the web
site.  Join if you feel it!

4/30/09:  ROADCOOKIN' Opens YouTube Channel

You can now catch the Roadcookin' videos on YouTube.  Just click on

to watch segments of your favorite Roadcookin' TV Show.

3/18/09:  Oxford Obesity Study is Wake-up Call to OTRs, too!

This study validates what we have been saying for years...that overweight and obesity
are major risk factors for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and early death.  Here's a link
to use to reach the article.  Scroll to bottom of this page for BMI chart.

How to eat on the Road and SAVE!

See below on how you can eat right (1,800-2,000 calories/day) and save money in the
process. See below to learn how you how could save nearly $4,900 a year!

A Sample 2,000 Calorie Day

Prices as of 5/29/08.  Volume purchases when possible.  Cost factored by
portion size.  IE…Chicken at $3.49/lb.  Portion is 4 ounces or $.88.  Prices
rounded up.  Drinks are low cal pop or coffee/tea w/Splenda.


Better ‘n Eggs Omelet w/Cheese
4 oz egg substitute                                                            .50
2 oz 2% shredded cheddar                                                .63
4 oz Non-fat Milk                                                                 .11
1 Slice High Fiber Bread                                                    .16
4 oz Orange Juice                                                               .19

Total                                                                     $1.59  (approx. 395 Cal)
Denny’s Grand Slam B’fast                                $5.99 (+ tax, + tip)
Denny’s Meal Facts                                            (796 Cal, 50 g fat)

Snack:  8 oz Non-fat yogurt                                        .60  (approx. 110 Cal)


Turkey Sandwich w/Dijon Mustard
2 Slices High Fiber Bread                                                  .32
3 oz lean turkey breast                                                     1.20
1 small banana (5.5 oz)                                                         .26
12 oz can V-8 Juice                                                               .40
4 oz Non-fat Milk                                                                   .11
2 oz sunflower seeds                                                           .38

Total                                                           $2.67  (approx. 745 Cal)
Whopper w/Cheese Meal                            $4.00 (approx)
Whopper Meal Facts                               (1,070 Cal, 64 g fat)

Snack:  8 oz Non-fat yogurt                                        .60  (approx. 110 Cal)


Gallon ‘o Gas Chicken (4 oz chicken portion)                  5.19
1 small banana (5.5 oz)                                                          .26

Total                                                           $5.45 (approx  490 Cal)
TA Big League Deal Dinner (ham)                 $8.59 (+tax, + tip)
TA Meal Facts                                          (903 cal, 34 g fat)

Total In-Cab Cost:                  $10.91     
Total Eat-Out Cost:                $25.00 (incl. Est. Drink, Tax, Tip)
Daily Savings:                        $14.09                   Weekly savings:  $98.63

Annual Savings (50 Weeks):  c/b $4,931.50


A friend of Roadcookin’ dropped us a note with some ideas about inverters.  Some of
his tips are really hot (pun totally intended)!

When you need to decide how powerful an inverter you need, it’s important to first
determine just how much power your appliances will consume.   For instance, one of
the interesting things about microwaves is that manufacturers tend to match the power
with the size. If it’s a five hundred watt unit then it’s likely to have a .5 cubic foot
volume.  A six hundred watt will be a .6 etc.  Get a .6 ft 3 if you can because they are
big enough to spin a full sized frozen meal without the tray catching on the walls.  But, a
microwave is not the single biggest user of power.

If you have a toaster, kettle or a frying pan then your power consumption will double.
An electric fry pan or a George Foreman Grill can demand upwards of 1,500 watts of
continuous power.  Also, keep in mind that while you are cooking, you are also using
other things too like a TV, computer or fridge.  The inverter has to be able to handle all
of this and with ease if you want to do things right.   You could be talking up to a 4,000-
watt unit.   For my “back room” setup, I have found that a 2,000-and watt inverter is a
good place to start to put you into the comfort zone.

And, remember that I referred to “continuous power.”   If you read the small print on the
inverter instructions, you’ll find that the power rating is on a sliding scale.   What’s listed
as a 1,000-watt inverter only delivers 1,000 watts for the first five minutes at peak
output power.  After that, it drops down to 800 for 30 minutes and then 600 watts for
four hours or more.  Read the label!

By the way, that 1,000-watt listing is only 1,000 watts under “laboratory” conditions that
assume that the inverter is only four feet away from the power source when using the
thin power cables and alligator battery clips supplied with the unit.

In real life, you don’t have that option.  You want to locate the inverter where it is
convenient for you.  And, that may well be over 4 feet from the batteries--in my case,
16 feet.  The further away you get from the batteries, the less efficient the power
transfer.  The best analogy I can give is this: Think of it as like trying to suck a thick
milkshake through a thin straw.  You end up making the inverter work harder in order
to give you the power you need.  

Throw away the factory-supplied wires and connectors.  Then go out and buy number
two welding cable and heavy duty compression fittings.  I got two 16-foot cables, (one
for positive one for negative) and this way I can relocate from truck to truck if
necessary and never worry that I won’t have long enough cable to put the inverter
where I want it.   #2 welding cable is great because it’s thick enough to carry the
current and handles like rope which is useful when it comes to threading it through
holes and around corners without kinking and binding. The reason you want heavy-
duty connectors is because it’s important to have maximum surface area contact. You
can’t get this with alligator clips.  They are only going to allow the power to flow through
at the narrow points where the clips are in contact with the battery terminals.  This
makes them less efficient as well as causes hotspots.  

Finally, a good tip for keeping the inverter cool under the bunk is to punch a hole into
the air conditioning vent so that it blows a cool stream of air onto the inverter.  Also,
when running the power cable, make sure that it does not rub and fray on any metal.  
Use plastic or rubber grommets where it passes through holes to avoid fire-causing
short circuits.

Body Mass Index

Today's show talked about the importance of knowing your Body Mass Index.  
The BMI is an important indicator of your overall health.  Your BMI (and your
doctor along with your Registered Dietitian) will help your determine a
number of risk factors.  The chart below is a calculation designed to tell you
your BMI.  It's based upon your height and weight as converted to metrics.  

Body Mass Index Calculator

Body Mass Index

Look for height along left axis, find weight, and BMI will be number along the top row.

       19       20      21      22     23     24    25    26    27    28    29     30    35     40

5'3"     107     113    118   124   130  135  141  146  152  158  163  169  197  225
5'4"     110     116    122   128   134  140  145  151  157  163  169  174  204  232
5'5"     114     120    126   132   138  144  150  156  162  168  174  180  210  240
5'6"     118     124    130   136   142  148  155  161  167  173  179  186  216  247
5'7"     121     127    134   140   146  153  159  166  172  178  185  191  223  255
5'8"     125     131    138   144   151  158  164  171  177  184  190  197  230  262
5'9"     128     135    142   149   155  162  169  176  182  189  196  203  236  270
5'10"   132     139    146   153   160  167  174  181  188  195  202  207  243  278
5'11"   136     143    150   157   165  172  179  186  193  200  208  215  250  286
6'0"     140     147    154   162   169  177  184  191  199  206  213  221  258  294
6'1"     144     151    159   166   174  182  189  197  204  212  219  227  265  302
6'2"     148     155    163   171   179  186  194  202  210  218  225  233  272  311
6'3"     152     160    168   176   184  192  200  208  216  224  232  240  279  319
6'4"     156     164    172   180   189  197  205  213  221  230  238  246  287  328

You are

Overweight  if your BMI  is between 25-30,
Obese  if your BMI is 30 and up; over 40 is morbidly obese

BMI Formula

Wt (kg)/ Ht (meters squared)= BMI

FYI ( 1 kg= 2.2 lbs, 1 inch= 2.54 cm)
What's New
<click> on the image
above to be linked to
our store where you
can purchase the book!
Whitfield on OTR Weight and Food Options
Eating Breakfast
Herbs & Spices
Andy Moody on Food Labels