How do you resist the aroma of Cinnabon and fried foods in the airport?
How do you say no to the onslaught of pre-packaged airplane meals when you’re stuck on a plane for 14 or more hours with nothing to do?
If you manage to eat healthfully on the airplane, the rest of your trip will rock! You will come home with a lighter, leaner, healthier body than you left with!
And, we all want that.
After flying internationally many times, I have discovered that if I can get it right on the plane, I inevitably continue to eat healthfully for the rest of my trip.
I experience boundless energy, glowing skin, smooth digestion, and feel more present to the new, exciting adventures abroad.
Usually, I even shed a few pounds.
However, if I don’t prepare and give into unhealthy airplane and airport food, it sets a negative tone at the outset that I struggle to overcome in the days or weeks abroad.
Stomaches, sluggish digestion, break-outs, poor mood, low energy, and the guilt associated with subpar food choices taint my trip.
Don’t let that be you.
Here are 5 easy tips that will help you stick to your healthy lifestyle on your travels.
1. Eat a good meal before you head to the airport.
Focus on hydrating choices like fresh juices, smoothies, fruits, and large salads.
Make sure to eat enough so you feel satisfied for a while.
On my latest trip to Australia and New Zealand, I enjoyed several liters of freshly squeezed orange juice blended with berries before I left for the airport.
Planes are really dehydrating due to the pressurized cabin air. There’s no humidity at 36,000 feet!
2. Pack your own food.
Go ahead and make whatever meals you need to take with you.
You can easily bring a few containers filled with whatever goodies are on your plan.
Bring snacks like fruits, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.
As a low fat raw vegan, I brought fresh dates, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, a bag of spinach, and berries. I made sure to eat the spinach and berries first, because those are the most sensitive to lack of refrigeration.
If you want to be even more prepared, bring a small cooler as your carry-on! Then, you have even more options in terms of fresh food.
You’ll be dining like a king or queen throughout your travel journey.
3. Research ahead of time what food options are available at the airports you will be visiting.
You can easily go to the airport’s website and see what restaurants are at your terminal. More and more airports are including juice and smoothie bars and restaurants with healthy options.
There are fruit and veggie cups available at airport kiosks and mini-markets. See what’s available, and use this as a solid back-up plan.
If you are an elite member of a given airline, check out your club lounge. I visit the Delta SkyClubs, and they always have fresh fruit and salad available. These lounges are lifesavers for long layovers.
4. Order a special meal through your air carrier’s website.
Most airlines offer special meals for certain dietary needs. Go to your carrier’s website, and see what is available. You can also call customer service directly.
Your airline may or may not offer a meal that caters to your diet, but it’s worth a look to see. You’re paying all that money for a flight experience with them anyway!
I flew on Delta One (Delta’s first/business class) to and from Australia, and ordered the vegetarian (vegan) meal many months in advance of my trip. On my flight there, I received the vegan meals, and ate the parts that complied with my diet.
Note: this would not be enough to sustain me had I not packed additional food.
On my return flight, Delta One did not have the special meal that I ordered. None of the vegetarian meals came that day, so five of us were out of luck.
I wasn’t worried for a moment, because I had brought my own food. The flight attendant was very kind, and continuously offered me fruit throughout the flight.
Know that if you order a special meal, there is no guarantee that you will actually receive it.
Also, there is no guarantee that the meals provided will be enough food for you. So, bring your own!
5. Water fast as an absolute last resort back-up plan.
Imagine the worst case scenario.
Let’s say your food was confiscated at security, which shouldn’t happen. There are no restaurants with options that comply with your dietary plan, and you can’t find a drop of healthy food anywhere in the airport.
Just drink water. Lots of it. You will usually be ok missing a meal or two. In fact, your digestion will likely appreciate the break.
Hopefully, you will prepare, and it will never come to this. But if it does, and you do not have any health problems that contraindicate water fasting, go for it.
Be responsible here, and do your research to make sure water fasting is safe for you.
View these 5 action steps as gifts to yourself.
When you invest in your health, the return on investment is infinite. You gain time, money, and greater enjoyment of life’s magic.
Travel doesn’t have to disrupt your healthy lifestyle.
With the right preparation and mindset, your healthy choices will create a more pleasurable trip and a brighter, lighter you returning home.
What’s your experience with traveling healthy? What works for you? Let me know in the comments below.
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