I know a little bit about trying to eat healthy in airports. While I love traveling, I don’t love being stuck in an airport for hours on end, and I don’t love the lack of healthy food options found in airports. Being stuck in an airport can mean making a decision about food that’s the best of the worst. I look at the fast-food chains, the processed convenience foods, and the restaurants that serve mostly unhealthy fare (in crazy portions) and I think: How do I cut my losses here? Like you, I don’t want travel to mean disaster for my food choices. So here’s what I do!
1. Start With A Healthy Breakfast
If I fly out early, I grab a healthy, homemade frozen smoothie out of my freezer and take it with me. Add some yummy Chobani yogurt to your smoothie for a fulfilling breakfast! Frozen smoothies make it through airport security because it’s not a liquid or a gel, it’s frozen. (Bam, Gotcha Mr. Security!)
(Check out some of my favorite smoothie recipes in my ebook, 6-Minute Smoothies!)
2. Plan Ahead
No one hopes for delays but it’s reality and often a really long delay will mean I’m bored and irritated…immediately I’m craving something crunchy. (Like a week ago when I was in the Atlanta airport for 6 hours…YUCK!) So, whenever I am going on a trip, I always pack an apple or two in my handbag. I also pack mixed nuts and granola bars. (It all goes through TSA!) I pack single-servings of BoomChickaPop so I skip the unhealthy chips. And, I will pack bags of baby carrots or grapes… any fruit or veggie that can last several hours in my bag.
3. Don’t Let Yourself Get Too Hungry
If you get stuck in an airport terminal, you can get off track with your normal eating routine and your stomach might start grumbling for something unhealthy. If you get too hungry, food you normally wouldn’t choose can start sounding appealing when your stomach is calling the shots. Keep your head in the game by not letting yourself get too hungry in the first place. Pack those snacks!
Related: 55 Healthy and Easy Snacks
4. Avoid Caffeine
Even though I love a café Americano from Starbucks, I avoid the caffeine when I travel because it can negatively impact mood. You become dehydrated on that recirculated air at 30,000 feet, so don’t add to your dehydration with caffeine. If airport delays don’t make you irritable enough, too much caffeine will only make your bad mood, worse. Oh, the same goes for alcohol too. It dehydrates and makes you tired, so skip it when you are traveling.
While you can’t take water with you through security, you can fill up your water bottle once you are gate side. Since airplane travel can result in dehydration, stick with the rule of 8s—eight glasses of eight ounces of water a day! Keep drinking water like you do when you are home. Have you tried HINT water? It’s available in most airports and I love it! HINT is lightly flavored with no sugar, no chemicals.
When you have a long tiring and screwed up day of travel, don’t make it worse by putting junk in your body. It will only take a toll on your energy and your attitude. The next time you take-off, make sure to pack healthy snacks so you can make smart food choices! Don’t let your day be a food disaster! (I often joke that I care more about the snacks I’ve packed than they clothes I’ve packed!)