I have been doing quite a bit of flying lately, and one thing I know for sure: airports and airlines are not Paleo-friendly. Heck they aren't any food friendly. It is important to learn how to eat healthy while traveling to avoid the pitfalls and land mines all over airports.
Sure, there are some airports that have better food selections than others, and I hope more and more airports follow suit and start to offer real food selections. However, as it is now, many airports and most airlines are nutritional wastelands. This has taught me through necessity how to eat healthy while traveling.
Eat Healthy while Traveling
I know, planning is like a bad word when it comes to traveling. I always find myself stressed out at the last minute. I wonder if I packed everything, if I will make it on time, and how bad I smell so my wife can handle sitting next to me. Most of the time, that means I always forget to eat until it is too late.
I have learned the lesson of airport and airplane food the hard way. Trust me, I won't get into graphic details but me being hungry for a few hours is way better than running from bathroom to bathroom while walking to my gate or causing an excess amount of methane gas at 30,000 feet. So for me, knowing how to eat healthy while traveling keeps me smiling and others around me safe.
So a few things you can do before you head to the airport to prepare are:
- Know where you are going. Research your destination and find options for dining that support your food choices so you know your first destination upon arrival.
- Plan enough food for your trip to eat every 2-3 hours. This will help you avoid the I am so hungry I will eat anything at this gas station once I land situation.
- Eat before you head to the airport. Being full, you will have more energy and be less likely to cave to the Cinnabon temptations around every corridor.
- Have plenty of paleo friendly snacks stocked up in your pantry to throw in your bag on the way out the door in case you are rushing
Bring your own food
Yes, you can bring food through security. I look at it like killing two birds with one stone. Having your own food at the airport and on the airplane not only save your health, but they save your wallet too. There really is no better way to eat healthy while traveling than eating your own food and saving money.
Here are a few ideas to implement on your next travel adventure to keep you on track.
- Bring 1 or 2 empty filtered water bottles or thermos to fill up after you pass through security. This will save you from buying a $4 bottle of water.
- Make lettuce wrapped sandwiches or avocado stacks wrapped in parchment paper sealed inside a quart size ziploc bag. All of your food will be going through security so never use aluminum foil. I recommend using lunchbots or glass storage containers for flights.
- You can bring dips and sauces as long as they are in a 3.4 ounce container or smaller and stored in a ziploc bag. Instead of that, I always have handy to go containers of almond butter and love bean fudge.
- Pack fresh fruits and veggies like avocado, bananas and apples. Just make sure you wash them and slice them before hand and store them in a ziploc bag.
- Dried fruits and raw nuts work great as well. You can make yourself a homemade trail mix and add some shredded coconut and maybe even dark chocolate :)
- Be sure to remember to bring with you napkins, moist towelettes, and disposable utensils to be able to eat all of your delicious grub.
- When you are on the plane, you do not have to take something from the beverage cart only because it was offered to you (unless it is water). You are allowed to say, “No, thank you.” Actually, I encourage you.
- If you are flying internationally, just take what you can eat during the flight. Any food that you have taken on board with you but have not eaten will have to be thrown away before you go through customs.
- TOP SECRET TIP – If you enjoy adult beverages while flying, you can pack alcohol nips because they are under 3.4 ounces and this will save you about $25 on your flight
If you have any doubts on what you can bring or not bring, TSA has an app on the website to answer your questions. You can ask all the questions you want using this app.
How to Pack the Ultimate Carry On
Most of the time, I always pack my carry on luggage and never utilize the smaller bag I can bring as a personal item. Given my last few trips, I will not forget this tip again. I got a little to hangry a few times and ended up eating not so healthy food. Not a good idea so I will be taking my own advice.
- Pack a cooler as one of your carry-on bags. There are some great travel coolers available, and even some that are on wheels that easily go through security for long flights. Always remember to make sure that it meets the size requirements for the airline that you are flying on. These are two awesome options:
- If you're like me and need your coffee fix, keep some coffee blocks in your frozen cooler and bring your own empty shaker mug with you. Mix up your bulletproof coffee once through security with hot water and enjoy.
- Pack an extra empty plastic bag and fill it with ice from a restaurant after you get through security. You can use this to keep your food cold. If you are going a long distance, pack some frozen food as well. (According to the rules, gel ice packs can go through TSA but some might still confiscate them)
Here are some travel friendly recipes
- Paleo Almond Honey Granola
- Oven Roasted Beet Chips
- Roasted Delicata Squash Seeds
- BBQ Baked Kale Chips
- Individually sliced and wrapped Banana Bread
- Caveman Crunch
- Caveman Crunch Bars
- Apple Pie Caveman Bars
- Holiday Lara Bars
Well I hope this information overload has some tips to help you eat healthy while traveling. If you are traveling soon, leave me a comment with the tips you use or send this to a friend who travels often. Now onto your free weekly meal plan.
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers from Paleo Running Mom