Love to travel, but not sure how to eat in airports, on the plane or while running from one gate to the next? Airports are notorious for unhealthy food choices, but in the last couple of years there have been some attempts to bring in some healthy options. To stay on top of your health, you have to have time to look for them or pack your own, so your not consuming coffee, sugar, and fat while compromising your health. You want to arrive feeling your best, so you can enjoy time exploring and enjoying your designation. I’ll share a couple tips for traveling healthy from my own experience.
Fist, staying hydrated is so important, so drink 20 oz. of clean water before leaving home, and take an empty water bottle with you. A bottle with a filter is ideal, because you can fill it with tap water once you get through security and save $5 you’d sped on a bottle. If you plan to dine in one of the many airport restaurants, ask for water wth lemon. Water helps everything in the body work better, it even relieves pain. Carrying chia seeds to add to the water can provide a boost of protein, omega 3 fat, fiber and they help the body to absorb the water better and fill you up between meals.
Packing or purchasing fresh fruit and veggies gives you the highest amount of nutrients per calorie. Fruits are the highest food source of vitamins and vegetables are the highest food source of minerals and fiber. Fruits that travel well include, apples, citrus, bananas, and cutting up pineapple ,grapes and kiwi into a disposable cup makes a great meal on the go. Vegetable sticks with hummus or nut pates or spreads are stable unrefrigerated for several hours and travel well. Many airport restaurants offer fresh fruit and salads, and it is possible to find juice and smoothie bars.
If you plan ahead a bit, you can make some great travel snacks. If you have a dehydrator, flax crackers and dried fruit are quick and easy to put on trays and then you take them out when dry. Making power balls are an easy stir together snack that packs a good protein boost. Place a half cup of nut or seed butter into a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of honey or coconut nectar and a pinch of salt. If you like add a scoop of protein powder and some superfood powder, I like maca. Then add seeds, dried berries, chopped figs, apricots or raisins. You can add soaked chopped nuts or crunchy brown rice cereal if that appeals to you. You will stir to coat everything and decide if it will stick together in a ball. If not add a little more nut butter or honey, if it’s too loose add more powder or seeds. Roll into balls and roll in shredded coconut and refrigerate. Place in a Baggie to travel. If there is no time to make your own, shop for organic fresh and dried fruit, trail mixes, protein or nut bars and individual packets of protein and/or greens powder.
I’m traveling to Rome as I write this and I have a full day of flights and layovers, and I want to share with you what I’ve packed for snacks and found in airport venues. On the way to the airport, I drank a mixture of barley grass juice, protein powder, chia seeds and water. In my carry on, I brought dried cherries and dragon fruit, flax crackers, kale chips and dark chocolate covered almonds. In Detroit my husband and I dined at a Mediterranean restaurant and I had lemon water, chick pea hummus, tabouli and side salad. At JFK, I found a Jamba Juice and ordered the whole super greens juice, which is blended apple,carrot, spinach and kale with a bit of water. On the airplane, it is possible to request a special meal when booking, but the vegetarian meals are usually high in cheese and milk components. I did not order a special meal, but one of the options onboard was a salad topped with asparagus, squash, peppers,onion and a couple shrimp with a side of fruit. It is becoming much easier to travel and stay plant-based with tasty options along the way, but I try to be prepared in case I can’t find anything that fits into my criteria for staying healthy wile traveling. Now, I am much more careful about my choices while traveling to and from my destination because for me it is a stress on my system with the rushing, anxiousness, eating at off hours and the immune attack that is encountered along the way. Once I arrive, I love experiencing the food and culture of a new place – they both go hand in hand most of the time. But I continue to eat a majority of plant based options because they are available and delicious. Other countries are also making allowances for people with compromised systems, such as celiac disease. I hope these simple ideas I’ve shared will benefit you in your travels. I wish you a wonderful holiday season.