Road Tested Living

Jeff Clark a professional driver, a marathon runner, and Freightliner Team Run Smart Pro, graciously agree to share this post with me. I found it very interesting and in the future will be doing an article on diet soda myself.


Pain is a great motivator. Sitting in a Dentist’s chair for 2+ hours getting a double root canal is not a pleasant experience. Neither is learning that the cost of this little surgery has put me $400 over my dental insurance maximum. We went over my Xrays and found some future problems. Then he asked me-”Do you drink a lot of soda?” I said that maybe 3-4 times a week I would get a 32 ounce fountain Diet Dew with plenty of ice. I don’t drink it all at once. I tend to nurse it over an hour or so. He told me that was harder on my teeth than just chugging it.

Over the years I had been hearing more and more bad things about diet soda. So, I googled “What is wrong with diet soda?”. What I learned was not good. Diet sodas may actually make you gain weight by messing with your metabolism. The artificial sweeteners can mess with your taste buds.

 Metabolic Syndrome is what I worry the most about. Metabolic Syndrome can lead to heart disease. Metabolic Syndrome is a virtual list of my personal risk factors for heart disease. My family has an incredibly strong history of heart disease. I have lost 3 grandparents, my dad, and 1 of my brothers (at age 33) to sudden death from heart disease. My mother, and my only other brother have survived heart attacks. I am on medication for high blood pressure.

Metabolic Syndrome can also lead to Type 2 diabetes. As a group over the road truck drivers are way above the norm for contracting type 2 diabetes. The longer you drive the more apt we are to contract this disease. It can also lead to obesity. Obesity is a huge problem for me. There is a joke among runners that there are 2 types of runners. Half of us run to help cover up our bad eating habits, the other half eat healthy to become better runners. My running performance is a good indicator of my overall health. When I can run over 7 miles in an hour, all is well. If I can run somewhere between 6.5-7 miles in an hour, I am OK. If I can’t run at least 6 miles in an hour, I have a problem.

 To be fair, I did read a few articles that say that in moderation diet sodas are OK. The mayo clinic said that drinking 12-24 ounces a day is not that bad for you. You just don’t see 12 ounce fountain sodas. My size of choice it the 32 ounce. That is above the “ok” line. Many truck stops offer 44 and 64 ounce cups. The norm is that the more diet soda you drink, the less water you drink.

My decision is to cut down to less that 24 ounces a week. That means that my afternoon caffeine pick me up is either going to go away, or become coffee. The 24 oz that I drink is for my Brandy old fashions. One 12 oz. can is good for the 3 drinks that I average per week. Just in case I am home for an extra day or two, I will extend my limit to 24 oz. Although the more I read the better a good Wisconsin brew sounds.



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I have been driving in the trucking industry for 9 years working for a major over the road refrigerated carrier. In "previous lives," I have worked as a police dispatcher while in college for Geology and Sociology, spent time in restaurant kitchens, and spent 9 years in retail electronics. Of all my jobs, I enjoy probably enjoy driving the most, with cooking not far behind. During my time as a driver my weight went up and my health went down. In the last few years I have made the decision to start taking back my health. chronicles my story, as well as that of other drivers. It will share tips and tricks that, if they work for professional drivers with limited time, space, and equipment, they should be able to work for anyone. It also allows me to share my passion for the trucking industry, and good food with others. Simply put, Road Tested Living is all about Learning to Live Well from Life's Lessons on the Road.

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