5 foods for jet lag prevention & general travel sanity
- Raw fruits & veggies
- Deconstructed salad
- Chewy/crunchy grains
- Healthy fats
- (Semi) guilty pleasure
Awesome and exciting: traveling halfway across the world.
Not awesome or exciting: trying to stay healthy, fully fueled and airline-regulation-friendly in the process.
After hospital food, airport and airline food may be the actual worst, y’all. Chain restaurant menus, $12 deli sandwiches or in-flight meals of white bread and maybe a few wilted veggies, if you’re lucky? So not into it. But if TSA won’t allow freshly-blended green smoothies on board, all hope is lost, right?
Come on, now—you know better than that. Here are five alternatives to traditional airline food that will keep you satiated and feelin’ good, but won’t cause unnecessary suspicion and/or full-body pat downs.
5 foods for long flights
1. Raw fruits & veggies
Dehydration = a much longer recovery time from jet lag, so focus on fluids here. You’re in a metal tube where dozens of people are breathing the same recirculated air, maybe knocking back a glass of wine (or, in my case, whiskey soda) or contemplating whether the complimentary pretzels and peanuts are worth the calories—hydration’s probably not at the forefront of your thoughts. But in times like this, it’s more important than ever! Pack a tupperware case of the most water-heavy fruits and/or veggies you can find—cucumber slices, celery sticks, julienned peppers, grapes and melons are all good choices.
2. Deconstructed salad
Nobody likes a wilted salad—you know, the kind that’s been at room temp for a few hours, so the dressing’s left the lettuce leaves all mushy? Ugh. Here’s your anti-wilting solution: put your chopped greens in one small container (bonus points if you toss in a paper towel to absorb any extra moisture), and put your toppings (grated carrots, roasted veggies, nuts, beans, etc) in a second container—I chose roasted asparagus, lentils and wheatberries. Drizzle a small amount of dressing over the toppings, seal up both containers, and voila! Just mix the two together when you get hungry, and you’ve got yourself a flavorful, non-wilty salad at 10,000 feet.
3. Chewy/crunchy grains
Whether the habit’s healthy or not, I’ll admit it: I’m a boredom snacker. I like to munch to keep myself occupied. And this kind of snacking is way more satisfying (i.e., more quickly curbed!) when lots of texture is included. Crunchy crackers or dense, chewy bread will always be my go-to grains when I’m on the run—store bought granola bars? No, thanks. Bland texture and a bucket of sugar = not for me. For the flight to Shanghai, I tested out Oh She Glows' Super Power Chia Bread and really enjoyed the unique flavor—adapted recipe to follow next week!
4. Healthy fats
Coconut flakes! Walnuts! Whole avocados! They’ll keep you full but not bloated and can’t accidentally spill all over your personal belongings—win, win, win. My New Roots’ mango sunshine cashew bites are an awesome, healthy-fat traveling treat (I swapped sunflower seeds for the cashews because they’re way cheaper and still get the job done).
5. (Semi) guilty pleasure
Pack nothing but power foods and you may end up staring wistfully at the chocolate chip cookie accompanying your neighbor’s in-flight meal—boring as it may be, we always want what we can’t have, right? So be prepared; snag something *kinda* naughty before you board, but make sure it won’t leave you dehydrated (lookin’ at you, uber-salty potato chips) or headed straight for a sugar crash (like, uh, pretty much any conventional candy). I’m head over heels for dark chocolate, and have slowly upped my pure cocoa—vs. sugar and other ingredients—preference to 85% over the years. Sooo rich and satisfying, and there’s no reason to feel bad eating it alongside cucumbers and carrot sticks!
I know there are plenty of other tricks for maintaining sanity during travel—which ones do you use?
Note: this post was shared on Gluten Free Friday.