I’m on my way out of town tonight and eating well is a big priority for me, so the number one thing on my mind right now is travel and airport food. What am I going to do for dinner when I’ll be surrounded by airport fast food chains? There’s certainly no home cooked meals to be found, which is a serious bummer.
As someone who’s very sensitive to refined junk foods, I have a tough time eating when I fly. I’m sure I’m not the only one who nearly passes out from hunger because I’m not willing to eat at the countless crappy fast food joints that have filled our country’s airports, or worse, eat the food on the plane itself. (It always reminds me of the worse school lunch program ever.)
Honestly, if my choices are nasty airport food or starvation, I’d probably starve. The ensuing digestive Chernobyl just isn’t worth it.
A baggie of carrots sticks just won’t cut it for more than an hour or two. And remember the olden days when you could just pack a smoothie for your flight? Sadly, that’s not the case anymore.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to plan for my trips. With airport security being what it is these days, you’re limited in what you can take to the gate – no hummus, soup or homemade smoothies. I won’t go into the politics behind the circus that is the TSA organization (suffice it to say that the terms paranoid, obtuse and waste of funding come to mind), but I’ve learned to [grudgingly] work within the system to feed myself healthy things that aren’t essentially petroleum-based space foods.
So what can you take on a plane that won’t kill you or have the gate guards in hysterics? Here’s a list of foods that will help you avoid airline and airport food – and the best part is you don’t even have to know how to cook to pack all of this stuff.
Eating on the Road The Anti-Airport Food List
- Really delicious cheese
- Mixed nuts (raw and organic where possible)
- Green salad in a bag with a little dressing
- Dried cranberries
- Granola (buy milk at the airport or on the plane)
- Onigiri (aka, cute little Japanese rice balls, which are super easy to make)
- Avocado sushi rolls
- Organic corn chips
- Lara Bars
- Organic, naturally sweetened granola
- Chamomile or green tea bags
- Fresh fruit salad
- Green food powder (kinda crunchy hippy-esque, but handy for nutrients in a pinch)
When you plan ahead, eating healthy while on the road isn’t all that difficult. And if I have to cave and buy airport food, I try to make it as healthy as possible. A McDonald’s green salad is better than a burger, and an Odwalla smoothie is better than a vanilla shake. (Well, sort of.)
And please, for the love of god, do your body a favor and avoid airline meals at all costs — especially in coach. If you’ve got to eat on the plane, shoot for the vegetarian meal.
The key is to reduce your garbage intake by as much as possible without actually passing out on the plane. If you make sure you’ve got a good amount of non-crap snacks on you, you’ll be less tempted by the $16 deep-fried chicken tacos smothered in ranch dressing. Ugh.
What are your favorite airport food alternative? When you fly, do you find healthy eating on a budget to be much harder, or do you have it down to a science? Please share!
This content was originally posted on FearlessFresh.com.