Traveling can be tough on your diet especially when you let yourself get too hungry. Some airports are better than others when it comes to finding healthy food on the run, but these days if you dig a bit deeper you can usually find something that won’t completely derail your healthy eating program. If you haven’t packed healthy snacks and you are at the mercy of what’s available to you, here are some of my easy hacks to stay healthy no matter what airport you are in.
1. Trail mix or nuts – the plainer the better. That means stay away from mixes with lots of dried fruit and yes, M&M’s. Remember you are trying to fuel yourself not “treat” yourself.
2. Popcorn. Look for individual bags that are about 120 – 140 calories or less with 5 or fewer ingredients
3. Healthy snack bars – a few of my favorites include KIND Snacks the nuts and spices line that contains 5 grams of sugar or less, Larabar and RX Bar. I choose bars that you can read and understand all the ingredients.
4. Fruit – almost every airport sells whole fruit and while it may not be organic, sometimes we have to pick our battles. Grab an apple or banana and enjoy it with a handful of those nuts from your trail mix.
5. Pre-made salads – these pretty much everywhere, sure some are more enticing than others but remember this is just one meal. You are in an airport, this is probably not where you want to splurge, save that for the nice meal when you get to your destination. Enjoy the salad, use 1/2 the dressing and avoid the cheese and croutons.
6. Hard-boiled eggs – when available always reach for the egg. And yes, eat the yolks. The perfect proportion of protein and fat found in one or two hard-boiled eggs will keep you satisfied even for a 3-4 hour flight!
7. Pre-made sandwich: my general rule is to order a sandwich or even a burger, take the top bun or bread off and toss it, then ask for all the veggies you possibly can, limit the amount of cheese, avoid fried versions and dig in. Here you’ll have one serving of carbs, veggies, protein and it will keep you satisfied until you get to your next destination where you can find what you are really looking for.
8. Veggie Pizza – If pizza and hot dogs are the only options in sight (I’ve seen this I swear), go for a slice of pizza, ask for any veggie option and drink some water. This should tide you over until you can get your next healthy meal.
Things to avoid:
1. Chips, pretzels, candy – these are maybe what you are craving but they will simply make you hungrier and will also make you tired, cranky and bloated.
2. Fried foods – yes this means the french fries and fried chicken sandwiches which are easy to find, but do yourself a favor and skip them. They will be hard to digest and when you are thousands of feet in the air who needs that?
3. Comfort food – Flying often makes people stressed and worried, but food doesn’t make it better. When you fuel your emotions with junk you’ll only end up more anxious and that much more tired.
A travel must:
hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Remember to drink water when traveling. This will help to prevent cravings, exhaustion, jet lag, dehydration which can end in poor food choices.