NYC Health + Hospitals has announced that it is participating in Meatless Mondays by expanding plant-based menu options on Mondays at all 11 of its
“Plant-Fueled Trucker” Got Healthy and Lost 70 Lbs on the Road
Just a year and a half ago, I was over 300 pounds and was on antidepressants and blood pressure meds. I’m a long-haul trucker, and I was having a hard time staying awake to do my job. Walking around hurt, and just getting up was a chore. The Department of Transportation was putting more and more restrictions on getting a health card, and it was getting more and more difficult to pass the health evaluation to continue doing my job.
I am a former Marine and later was also in the army, so I was used to eating a lot of pizza and junk. In those days I was so active that I didn’t gain weight. A couple years after I got out of the service, I started driving. That was back in 1993, and I started to gain weight constantly, sitting behind the wheel for eight to eleven hours a day, six days a week. Once in a while, I’d diet and lose some weight. But I’d always gain it back pretty quickly.
My First Attempt at Plant-Based Eating Ended with Salad
About a year and a half ago, I saw an ad for TajQí. I was convinced that I needed to change what I was doing. Since I had never been a vegetable eater, I didn’t know what to eat. I grew up in and around Chicago and grew up on pizza, Italian beef, and macaroni and cheese. I later ended up in Mississippi, where I am now, and was eating lots of barbecue, fried catfish, and the like. I cleaned out my cupboards and got rid of everything I had been eating, but I didn’t know what to fill them with. I spent three months living off salad and lost a ton of weight, but I was always hungry. Soon I was cheating, and eventually I quit.
Second Time Around = Success
About one year ago, I decided to try again. I became a regular paying member of TajQí, and got access to all the parts of the website. I learned a lot more, but I had no idea how I was going to follow the diet on the road as a truck driver. A friend of mine stepped up to help me. He had been doing great on the TajQí diet, and helped me figure out my meals. We also struck up a deal where I had to send him pictures of all my meals every day for a month – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. Having an accountability partner really helped me. For thirty days, I took pictures of everything I ate and sent them to him.
Since July of 2014, when I started my second attempt, I have lost 70 pounds. Three months after I started, the doctor took me off blood pressure medication. After five months, I was able to get off antidepressants. My cholesterol is down to 150 from 212. My blood pressure is also now 120/84, which is unheard of for me.
The best and biggest thing about this lifestyle is how great I feel. My energy levels skyrocketed, and I have started to exercise again. I bring my bike, weight bench, and weights on the road. Most days, I wake up early before my drive and walk or jog a few miles or do a 10- to 15-mile bike ride, depending on where I am.
Big Rig Recipes
I follow this lifestyle in a semi truck five or six days a week. It does take some effort to get the food bought, packed, and prepped before I leave. I do all my cooking in the cab of my truck, because truck stops usually have only fast food and vending machines.
In the cab, I have a microwave, toaster oven, ceramic-coated electric skillet, waffle maker, butane stove, and an electric pressure cooker called the Instant Pot, which I love. My favorite Instant Pot meal is a mix of jasmine rice, broccoli, garlic powder, onion powder, sweet peas, and corn. Once it’s done, I throw different condiments on top, like peanut sauce, hot sauce, or just some sea salt.
I also like making pressure cooker curries and vegetarian tacos with avocado, beans, and pico de gallo. I’m never hungry on this diet! If a new dish doesn’t turn out exactly right, then I sprinkle some Frank’s Red Hot sauce on it, and BAM – it’s delicious! Most days, I take pictures of what I make and eat and where I am and post them on my Facebook and Instagram pages. I was shocked when people started to really notice my food photos, and I have over 23,000 followers now. It’s been a fun journey!
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