This year may very well be your year of adventures and travelling to explore the world! I’m excited to introduce to you Cole Millen, an avid traveler, foodie and blogger (http://colemill.blogspot.ca/) who writes about and gives helpful tips on health and travels. Cole has written a very detailed and informative article on how to start our year off with the right tips on staying and eating healthy while flying. I added two tips for gluten-free travelers. I hope you enjoy reading this post and happy travels to you all this year! 🙂
Frequent flying and healthy eating are two behaviors that don’t exactly go hand in hand. Frequent travelers want to move quickly, eat quickly, and not waste time finding food or else they may miss their flight. Healthy eating on the other hand emphasizes carefully selecting meals that are high in nutrients and made from wholesome ingredients. If you want to stick to your healthy lifestyle while still traveling, here are a few tips that will help you stay on track.
Pack Your Bag
The most foolproof way to ensure you don’t fall victim to the cinnamon roll line is to pack your own healthy treats. Non-perishable foods work best for carrying; so consider filling you bag with nuts, granola bars, raisins, or bite size vegetables. With a well-stocked bag, you won’t need to waste time waiting in a line to grab an unhealthy meal you’ll regret later.
Violet’s Gluten-Free Tip: Consider bringing packet(s) or a box of instant hot cereal (oatmeal); you simply need a cup of hot water to quickly make a healthy bowl/cup of it. My favourite instant oatmeal is from Quin’ Hot: Bran Gust and Coconut Gust, unsweetened. Eco-Planet makes instant hot cereal in packets so that can come in handy when travelling.
Quin’Hot’s website: http://yourfitnessdish.com/QuinHOT.html
Eco-Planet’s website: http://ecoheavenllc.com/Eco-Planet/Gluten_Free_Instant_Oatmeal.html
Make Good Choices
Most airports are not known for their healthy food choices. Fast, processed, and unhealthy foods often pepper the walk to your gate. With a little exploring however, you can find healthy treats to indulge in. Keep an eye out for small convenience stores with small produce and nut sections. Often a store will have a small selection including apples and bananas, along with some healthy granola bars. The fiber in these foods will keep you fuller longer and ensure you don’t feel bloated while on your flight. If you need a bigger meal, look for sandwich shops that offer a wide variety of toppings and meats. A turkey sandwich with some greens is a staple of many airport stores, and is a solid healthy meal. Throw in a handful of almonds and you have a satisfying meal that will tide you over until you research your destination.
Do Your Homework
If you have a long layover on your way to a destination, take some time to do a little research and find out what type of restaurants the airport as well as the area offers. It is important to research the area around as well because you never know when you’ll get stuck over night in a city you know nothing about. A couple months back I got stuck in the JFK airport in NYC overnight and had no idea what to do. Luckily, I was able to find a great site with reviews and do some quick research on hotels and restaurants in the area that saved my day. For airport research, most websites have a list of eateries and stores, so you can plan where you will grab your lunch from once you land. When you find a suitable restaurant, check their own website for nutrition facts and find the healthiest items on the menu. When you arrive, head straight for your chosen eatery and order what you planned to. Do your best not to be drawn in by the ever permeating smell of airport fast food. Eating a calorie-laden meal will only make you feel regret when you are 30,000 feet in the air.
Just as you would at home, make sure any meals you eat while traveling are well balanced. Eating six handfuls of raisins may seem healthy, but too much of anything can cause the body to feel uncomfortable. Make sure your meal has a good combination of nutrients and your energy levels will be in check. A good balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates will keep you feeling healthy and active. Even though airports seem to specialize in them, do your best to avoid foods high in salt, sugar, or bad fats.
With the above tips, some planning, and a little common sense, you can ensure you stick to your healthy eating plan while traveling. As a general rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t eat something in your home, then don’t eat it at an airport. Safe travels!
Violet’s Gluten-Free Tip: This is an excellent and comprehensive website for healthy gluten-free travelers-