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Plane Nutrition

One of the hardest parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is eating while traveling. It’s especially rough if you are flying, for a few reasons:

Limited options for anything healthy in the airport.
I know in Dallas’s Love Field, Southwest Airlines home base, the first smell that hits you once you step foot inside is from Cinnabon, the second is McDonalds; it goes down hill from there. It’s tempting to stop in and grab a big, juicy cinnamon role, but stay strong my friend, it will cost you more than $5. For one thing all the fake sugars and processed carbohydrates will require a large amount of water to digest, water you can’t spare when you’re way up in the air.

If you had a weak moment and caved in, you’ll soon find that 26,000 feet high isn’t the best place to digest it all that sugar. Flying is hard on your hydration levels due to the extreme altitudes, which pull water out of your system much faster than you think. Try eating a piece of fruit instead, the fruit will provide you with water and the fiber in fruit will trigger the “I’m full” signal much quicker than anything processed.

Sky high prices in the airport.
Who wants to overpay for a lackluster meal? $10 for half of a chicken breast and some wilted lettuce, no thank you. I wouldn’t depend on the Chili’s in the airport to fill you with any substantial nutrients, and since your body craves quality, you’re still going to be hungry by the time you board the plane. $10 dollars will go twice as far if you pack your lunch before hand and then carry it with you. This is especially true if you’re traveling with kiddos. Hmmm, what should I feed my child to make sure they behave on the plane? Don’t you want natural, calming, organic food from the earth, or synthetic rocket fuel (sugar created in a lab) that will energize the little ones like they’re on speed?

I also suggest you eat a healthy meal before you even get in the car to head to the airport, and also have a lunch packed (sandwich, salad, protein bar, fruit and some nuts) to use as an emergency, because if your plane is late or cancelled, you will need it. Remember the reason we consume food is simply to extract nutrients and internalize energy. Don’t look to food for excitement; it won’t make you feel happy for more than a second, that isn’t food’s purpose. When was the last time you thanked yourself for eating junky food?

In order to avoid the pain of junk food, plan ahead; what you are eating now will determine how you feel in 4 or 5 hours. If you eat junk food right before you board at 9am, you won’t be alert and ready to explore your new destination when you arrive at 1pm. You’ll feel lethargic and primed to take a nap while your body uses preservatives and cheap sugar as substitute for energy. Is that how you want to start your vacation?


Written by DanielCrouch, True Balance Health and Wellness
Personal Trainer & Wellness Guide.

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