Sarah Remmer: The Non-Diet Dietitian


What To Eat When Travelling By Air

Don't limit yourself to the overpriced gross sandwiches on the plane

I am leaving my family behind and jet setting off to Toronto in just 2 DAYS to finally meet all of the fabulous bloggers that I work with here at the Yummy Mummy Club. We have been lucky enough to score ourselves some tickets, courtesy of our amazing boss (thank you Erica Ehm!) to Blissdom, a Canadian blogger conference. Telling you that I am excited would be an understatement. I am flying all the way from Calgary (that's a long flight) and have flown enough times to know that planning what you're going to eat is essential (especially now that you have to pay for those disgusting airline sandwiches). So if you plan on travelling anytime soon (or ever), read on for some handy tips on how to travel healthfully. 

Don't skip breakfast the morning of your travel: It's not good to skip breakfast EVER, but it's especially important on days that you are travelling for long periods of time. Even though you are likely going to be more sedentary than usual—you'll likely be sitting for most of the day—you still need to kick-start your metabolism, give yourself some energy and brain power and also curb cravings for later in the day. A good breakfast is key.

Focus on protein-rich foods for your pre-travel meal: Protein is essential for keeping you fuller longer because it is digested slowly. If you have a meal or snack that contains ONLY carbohydrate-rich foods (starchy foods or fruits), you'll find that your stomach will start to growl within an hour (or sooner) of eating it and you'll be looking for something carb-rich to snack on. When travelling for long periods, it's best to stick with high-protein foods such as lean meats, eggs, dairy foods, nuts/seeds, beans/lentils paired with veggies and/or fruits and a small serving of whole grain for your meals. This way your blood sugar level will remain stable and you'll be able to go longer periods without eating. 

Pack nutritious snacks: Unless you want to eat little packages of trans-fat laidened cookies or "bits and bites" throughout your flight, pack healthy snacks that you enjoy. I've been able to get away with bringing a small cooler full of things such as individual Greek yogurts, individual cheeses, fruit, veggies and hummus. But if you feel more comfortable packing non-perishables, try high fibre granola bars (look for at least 4 grams of fibre, 7 grams of protein and less than 8 grams of sugar), make-your-own trail mix containing your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit and whole grain cereal, a high fibre cracker and peanut butter sandwich (I use Ryvita), or your an apple paired with some nuts. Healthy snack foods can be grouped together as a meal on the plane or can eaten in between meals. I recommend eating approximately every 3-4 hours to avoid overeating later once you get to your hotel or destination. 

Scout out healthy choices at the airport: There's no harm in grabbing something at the airport before your flight or to take on your flight. But do your research first. Depending on the airport, there may be slim pickings in the healthy eating department. Check to see if there are healthier options. Try a chicken or turkey sandwich from Tim Hortons or SUBWAY paired with some veggies or fruit, or a latte from Starbucks paired with a yogurt parfait or a breakfast sandwich. Grab a chicken wrap and small smoothie from Jugo Juice, a pre-made salad with some chicken or a hard-boiled egg on top or some sushi if that's available. 

Stick with familiar, easily-digestible foods: If you are going to be sitting—in close quarters—with people you don't know very well, you'll probably want to stick with foods that you know your tummy can handle. Stay away from really high fibre, greasy, or spicy foods right before a long flight or drive. These foods might produce cramping, bloating, discomfort, and frequent trips to the bathroom, which let's be honest, is not ideal. 

Stay Hydrated: Don't rely on the flight attendants to keep filling your water cup. Purchase a water bottle after you've gone through security and bring it with you on the plane. It's easy to get dehydrate while in the air, so you'll need to drink more than usual. 

Happy travels!!