Today I finished up my last [scheduled] trip for a while. For the past three years it has felt as if I’ve been traveling non-stop. At one point I even made Executive Platinum on American Airlines. It was nice to have the perks that went with that, but all of that travel was taxing. I was stressed and felt constantly rushed and like I wasn’t fully committing myself to anything. Thankfully, that time seems to be ending. I look forward to spending time in my own home for a bit. I can get back to the movement I love that I have not made time for (Nia), and most of all, I will be back in my own kitchen to unleash my creative foodie side once again.
Ah, food…This brings me to trying to eat healthy during travel.
I often bring my own meals with me when I can. I’ve learned those foods I can and cannot bring through security. Flying back to St. Thomas once a month, my suitcase would be filled with frozen meats (grass-fed of course) and fresh fruits and vegetables…as many as I could fit/lift. I’d stick my lunch or dinner in my carry on so I could eat as healthy as possible on the run. It takes time, it’s not always so convenient, but I did my best.
I didn’t always travel with meals. Sometimes it just didn’t work out for various reasons. Those were the times I had to rely on airport food, whether from the terminal or perhaps on the plane.
I remember a time (and I’m dating myself now…) when Coach fare still got you a meal on the plane. It wasn’t such a terrible meal either. But it was something…And then they stopped. Cutbacks and all…
I am glad they are now offering meals for purchase these days. I can’t tell you how often I’ve had barely enough time between flights just to get to the gate, let alone have time to stop to pick up a meal before boarding. I wish they would offer better food choices for purchase, but they are coming around.
I am encouraged to see how food choices have evolved over the years at the terminal. Plane food itself was never terrific. There were not many good choices in the terminals either. But times they are a-changing! In most terminals I travel through lately I am impressed by the food choices. There are many options other than typical fast food. So many ethnic and regional foods can be found in airports: Mexican, Italian, Caribbean, Tex-Mex, Cubano…even sushi. The diversity is a welcome change. There are now healthier options than there used to be.
Is there more to be done? Of course. But I am encouraged by what I am seeing. There are so many more people traveling these days, demanding better choices. It’s great to see they are being heard. Hey, perhaps one day we’ll even see Whole Foods in the terminals!
I will leave you with a few travel tips that help me get through an ever-more-confusing process these days:
- Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated – but don’t pack it in your carry on! Buy it after you get through security, or bring an empty water bottle and fill it after security.
- Keep a sweater or jacket in your carry on. Those planes can get COLD and it amazes me the people who show up in shorts and sandals.
- If possible, pack something healthy to eat. It will help you keep up your energy and is better for your body. You never know when your flight will be delayed or cancelled and you are stuck waiting.