Dedicated Systems company driver Emily Wolford was eager to start her trucking career, but she received some hard news before she could make it over the road: She was diagnosed with diabetes.
Wolford didn’t let that stall her trucking dreams, though. She worked hard to get her numbers under control and has now been driving for about half a year. Wolford is now an avid advocate for cooking on the truck and manages the Pedal to the Kettle Facebook group, which encourages drivers to share their recipes, cooking advice, and encouragement.
“I can make anything on my truck that you can make at home, only a smaller version,” Wolford, from Green Bay, Wisconsin, said.
Wolford drives team with her husband, Mike, and the couple has dubbed their truck kitchen the “Dedicated Dine & Drive,” which is on a decal on the side of their truck. They keep a Whynter 62-quart Dual Zone Portable Freezer on their truck, which Wolford says can hold enough food for several weeks. She recommends other drivers interested in cooking in their truck invest in an APU or an inverter that is strong enough to power the appliances that they want. A lunchbox oven is an easy way to get started, she advises.
Some of her favorite meals to cook over the road include grilled steaks in the summer and tacos and nachos.
“We cook on the truck to be healthier and have better choices and options,” Wolford said.
Wolford also manages the OTR Drivers Living With Diabetes Facebook group, an online space she created for drivers to share advice and receive support about their diabetes. One piece of advice she has for diabetic drivers is to maintain a food journal. When she was first diagnosed, she logged everything she ate or drank, when she ate it, and how much she had of it.
“Doing a journal, in the beginning, is a priceless tool to learn what affects you and how it affects you,” Wolford said.
To manage her own diabetes, Wolford emphasizes portion control and being physically active.
Wolford also frequently participates in Dedicated Systems’ charity events. This past weekend, for example, she spoke to a Girl Scouts troop about the trucking industry and the supply chain so that they could earn their trucking badges. She and Mike also attend the Mid-America Trucking Show to promote their fleet as driver representatives.
“To be able to give back to others is something that I thrive on. To make a difference in the life of a child or the life of a person means that I’ve done something good and positive with my life,” Wolford said. “I respect and appreciate that and I count that as a blessing.”