Jetsetting can be tough for people trying to stay on track with healthy eating. And with summer thunderstorms that can pop out of nowhere, you might find yourself stuck at the airport for quite a while. Why would you want to waste calories on airport junk?
We talked with Keri Glassman, a registered dietitian and author. She often finds herself jetting from place to place, so we asked her how to stay on track while traveling.
Fit Bottomed Eats: What are the best foods to choose when you’re stuck at the airport?
Keri Glassman: Any fresh fruits or vegetables (bananas, apples, etc.) — most airports have those. Greek yogurt, individual portions of cheese, hard-boiled eggs (look in the refrigerator case of almost any food stand). Many airports even have more gourmet food stands with items such as individual portions of hummus, olives, cut veggies, edamame and seaweed snacks — look for these!
Nuts are always a good go-to but watch the portion size and go for as “clean” nuts as possible. Many airport pre-packaged options are loaded with not only sodium but also sugar. Steer clear of the trail mixes.
For meal times, there are always options for healthy lunches and dinners, too. You can always find a salad with lean protein — just be sure to go easy on the cheese and skip the creamy dressing. Many of the chain restaurant menus offer a dish that is a simple piece of fish with veggies and rice — this is a great go-to option. If you are really in a fast-food pinch, go for a grilled chicken sandwich (skip the bun and mayo!) and ask for a small side salad in lieu of fries. Sometimes all that stands between you and a healthy meal is simply asking your waiter or cashier for a small tweak to what’s offered on the menu.
FBE: Do you pack your own snacks or meals when traveling? What are they?
KG: Always! The amount I bring just depends on how prepped I am at home. I usually bring nuts, fruit, herbal tea, chia seeds or flax to top yogurt, healthy turkey jerky. Be wary of TSA restrictions: bringing your own yogurt won’t fly, but nuts, snack bars, fruit and veggies, and even air-popped popcorn are good options. Bring your water bottle empty through security, then fill it up at the gate or be prepared to buy a big bottle. I bring herbal tea and always get hot water on the plane a few times.
FBE: What’s the best way to get back on track after a vacation?
KG: Of course, it’s best not to go on vacation with the mindset that you’re leaving your healthy diet at home. But if you’re coming back from your trip and need to get back on track, eat CLEAN. Greens, lean protein, healthy fat. Get rid of the sugar from sweets and pasta and breads, and sodium, especially from packaged and processed foods. Eat consistently through the day. No skipping meals just because you ate one too many meals on vacation. Drink lots of water, get lots of sleep, and get back to your usual workout routine STAT.
Do you have a favorite portable snack? —Gail