How to Eat Healthy and Feel Great at the Airport
Many airports have an awesome selection of cuisine to choose from, but it’s easy to head for the junk food when you’re stressed out and in a hurry. This means that it’s vital to plan ahead with a strategy for eating healthy when you’re traveling by air. With the following guide, you’ll be prepared to eat well and feel better during your next trip.
Don’t Leave with an Empty Stomach
Entering an airport food court on an empty stomach is like grocery shopping while hungry. Before you leave for the airport, take time to eat a nourishing, well-balanced meal that will last you until you’re on the plane. Choose slow-digesting protein as the center of this meal, but be sure to also include complex carbohydrates for fast energy.
Take Healthy Snacks
Bringing a healthy assortment of filling snacks will help keep your blood sugar stable between meals and prevent you from being tempted by candy or fast food. If you pack jerky, nuts, protein bars or dried natural fruits at home, you might also arrive at your destination with more money in your pocket. Keep these snacks accessible from a larger compartment in your carry-on bag or briefcase so you never have trouble satisfying a craving with something nourishing.
Visit the websites of airports you’ll be traveling to and from to get an idea of what food options are available there. If possible, make a list of preferred restaurants and note their locations. You should also research the local restaurants in the area. On my latest travels I got stuck on an overnight layover in Miami and knew nothing of the city. I found a great site with reviews from other travelers regarding the best hotels and restaurants in the city that made it easier than ever. Not only are fried foods packed with calories, but they’re also likely to make you feel sluggish. You may want to stick to lighter fare, such as Mexican food, to stay energetic all day long. Bagels, salad entrees and pasta-based meals are ideal choices.
Make Time to Relax
Air travel is often rushed, which can cause you to make impulsive decisions about food and eat hastily, ultimately ruining your digestion. Allow time before flights for choosing your food carefully and enjoying it at a slow pace. If you force yourself to gobble down your meal, even the healthiest food will bog you down for hours.
Choose the Active Route
The size of many airports is perfect for getting exercise in before or between flights. By walking around the airport, you’ll improve your digestion, work off calories and maybe even see some interesting sights. Rather than using moving walkways and escalators, walk at your own pace on the side and use the stairs to exercise your body. If you have luggage and need to travel between terminals, consider lugging it on foot instead of using a railway or motorized transportation. Doing this will also help prevent you from wasting your time eating all the junk food that’s available.
Soda is a major source of empty calories but can be tempting if you’re parched. Although you can’t bring a beverage through security, you can always bring an empty bottle to fill with water on the other side. Sports drinks or juice are also good choices that can help you resist sugary drinks and alcohol.
Avoid These Foods
Sugary, caffeinated and processed foods and drinks are all likely to slow you down when you’re traveling. Besides spiking your blood sugar and resulting in energy crashes, these items can cause acid reflux and reduce your sleep quality. Skipping these choices while favoring the healthy alternatives listed above will keep you on time and boost your mood throughout your trip.