As most of you probably know from all my blog posts, I am very particular about what I eat. Anything I put in my body must have some nutritional value, or at least be safe, or I will not eat it. Now this is all well and good…until I take trips around the country! Traveling poses a huge issue for people with special food requirements, allergies, and sensitivities. I recently took a trip out to Portland, OR, where most of the restaurants, coffee shops, and diners have organic, gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian options available. Lucky for me, my tummy was happy the whole time. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If you’ve ever been on a vacation or road trip (and most of us have!) where you are in a constant state of bloating, stomach cramping, constipation, irritable bowel, just plain discomfort, or in my case, starving and wondering where your next meal is coming from, you will definitely want to read this blog, and the next few that follow. Welcome to the first of this series of blogs, Tips for Eating Clean while Travelling. This particular post will focus on our first stop of course…the airport.
To me, airports are one of the toughest parts of travelling in regards to food choices. First, because there aren’t many, and second because the choices that are available are usually poor quality. If you are one of those people who doesn’t want an egg mcmuffin, a bagel with cream cheese, or a candy bar, your options are few and far between. Here are some of my suggestions from personal experience:
Yogurt parfait with fruit- There is usually some little deli that has this available. Yes, it is usually pre-packaged, and yes, it has a little sugar in it, but at least it is somewhat fresh and is something that agrees with most people digestively. Note: Many contain granola, which most likely contains gluten. If you are gluten sensitive, go for a banana instead.
Soup/salad- In my experience there is usually a place to sit down and dine, which has limited options on the menu but almost always has some sort of soup available. If soup is not available, the next best option would be salad, preferably a vegetarian option. (No offense, but I don’t trust the meat at airports…who knows how long it has been sitting out and how it has been handled. But of course, that part is up to you!) Note: For all you gluten free eaters out there, soups and dressings may contain gluten. Be sure to ask about ingredients when ordering. You can always use oil and vinegar as your salad dressing.
Eggs- Many airports have diners, which I have eaten at myself and I simply order scrambled eggs. They are usually a safe choice, and sometimes they even have omelets which are best ordered vegetarian for the safest ingredients.
Best Packaged Options:
Nuts- Convenience stores exist in every airport I have been to, and they usually have a good nut selection. Look for nuts of any kind, which contain only one or two ingredients: nuts and salt. Nuts are filling, contain healthy fats, and are great to take with you on a plane. Tip: Do not choose nuts which have been cooked in vegetable oil. During the cooking process these oils become rancid and can do some major harm in your body. (Choose this option only if you do not have a nut allergy of course!)
Fruit and nut bars- Almost every airport has a Starbucks, which is one of my staples! They often have a selection of Kind Bars, which are vegan and gluten free. They are delicious and are also a great travel item when you are in a bind. I will usually buy a few of them and keep a couple in my purse for the plane ride. Note: If you have a nut allergy, some Starbucks stores have oatmeal available. This oatmeal is likely not gluten free, however.
“Food Should Taste Good” Chips- This brand of chips has appeared in many areas of the airport. They have them at convenience stores, various delis, and Starbucks. These are some of the safest chips I have found in the airport. They have a few different flavors, and even have gluten free options. Again, these are great to bring on a plane.
For the most part, airplane food is a big no-no. Unless you have contacted the airline ahead of time to special request a meal based on dietary restrictions, this food is full of GMO’s, preservatives, sugar, aspartame, artificial colors and flavors, gluten, you name it. In fact, I did an entire post on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/amclaughlin.bodymindsoul about airplane peanuts alone and how dangerous they are. We always need to be prepared with back-ups for when hunger strikes!
Preparing for the Plane Ride:
1) Carry bottled water with you. This is no joke…last time I flew, they gave me tap water and it tasted terrible! Not to mention it is full of toxins which are not filtered out before consumption. If you can’t take a bottle with you, simply ask for a club soda when they come around for beverage orders.
2) Carry some Kind Bars, “Food Should Taste Good” chips, nuts, or a banana. These items are very easily transported in a purse or carry-on bag, and there is little risk for a mess or spill.
3) Bring digestive enzymes and/or probiotics with you at all times during your travels. This will keep your gut flora healthy and functioning at optimum levels during these times when you especially need it. I recommend the Arbonne Digestion Plus, since it contains both enzymes and probiotics, and does not need to be refrigerated. I bring these with me every time I travel and believe me, they are all gone by the end.
I hope this information was helpful to you for your future travels! Please stay tuned for more in this series. I will address topics such as: The Gluten Free Traveler, Clean Hotel Eating, and Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner On the Go!
Contributor: Andrea MacLaughlin – Hair Designer / Health Advocate