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  • Writer's pictureDr. CK Bray

What Do You Eat When Traveling on a Plane?


I have been getting lots of questions about exercise and food when traveling. Let me tackle the hardest part of eating clean and healthy when traveling—the airplane ride. I seem to lose all sense of control the moment I walk into an airport.

 

Navigating airport food courts is like walking through a dietary minefield packed with calorie bombs and carb grenades disguised as snacks and candy. These high-calorie, nutrient-starved options will rocket-launch your blood sugar into the stratosphere before you even buckle your seatbelt.

 

Air travel is no spa retreat; it’s a full-on assault on your body. Jet lag messes with your glucose management, and poor sleep turns you into a ravenous zombie craving all the wrong foods. Add the chaos of overpacked airports, and you might find yourself stress-eating a giant pretzel.

 

This vicious cycle means convenience foods not only spike your glucose, but they also hijack your mood and energy. Thankfully, with a smidge of forethought, you can snack smart and break free from the junk food trap.

 

Crafty  & Healthy Snacks to Pack Before You Travel

 

You might hesitate to bring food through the TSA, but fear not. The rules are simpler than assembling furniture from IKEA: solid foods are in, and most liquids are out. Pro tip: Carry an empty water bottle to avoid the highway robbery prices after security.

 

Still jittery about what’s TSA-approved? You can reach out to AskTSA on social media for clarification before your trip. Here are some culinary concoctions that are security-friendly and won’t send your blood sugar as high as your plane flight:


  • Veggie Salad: Toss robust vegetables like kale, carrots, and cabbage with toasted pumpkin seeds and a light dressing (sugar-free). If needed, store the dressing separately in a travel-sized container.

  • Vegetable Sticks and Hummus: Pack slices of raw vegetables like bell peppers or cucumbers with a small container of hummus.

  • Celery with Nut Butter: Spread sugar-free peanut or almond butter on celery sticks, adding a dash of cayenne for a spicy kick.

  • Homemade Snack Bars: Make your own granola bars without the excess sugar found in many commercial bars.

  • Grain-Free Granola: Mix nuts and seeds to create a low-carb granola alternative.  Yes, I have to add in some M&M’s for my sweet tooth.

  • Simple Deviled Eggs: Top halved boiled eggs with a bit of mayonnaise and spices, such as smoked paprika or a sprinkle of furikake, and add a slice of avocado for extra flavor.  Be sure to eat these at the airport.  The person sitting next to you on the plane may not appreciate the egg smell.


Not into prepping? No problem. Here are some grab-and-go options that won’t make your blood sugar hit the roof:


  • Olive Packs: These little packets of olives aren’t just delicious; they're like the unsung heroes of healthy fats, ready to fend off hunger.

  • Trail Mix Sans Tricks: Skip those deceitful dried fruits and go for a mix that's straightforward—nuts and a hint of coconut for a touch of sweetness that doesn’t mess with your glycemic index.

  • Nut Butter Packets: They're like energy shots but tastier and way better for you—squeeze and enjoy the ride.

  • Vegetable Medley, Italian Style: Who says you can't have gourmet veggies in a pouch? Infused with herbs and good vibes, they're a taste of Italy on the go.

  • Protein-Packed Meat Bars: Choose bars with minimal sugar for a guilt-free chew that’ll make you forget about those other jerky options at the airport kiosk.


If All Else Fails at the Airport Store

 

Caught empty-handed? Here’s how to dodge the nutritional nightmares:


  • Nuts: They're the ultimate hunger-busters. Just keep it simple—no sneaky sugar-coated almonds.

  • Dark Chocolate: Aim for the good stuff, 80% cocoa or higher. It’s like the dark knight of chocolates—bold and barely sweet.

  • Eggs and Cheese: They're not just for breakfast. Grab some protein-packed eggs or string cheese to keep your stomach and your blood sugar in check.


With a little planning and some creative snacking, you can turn your travel day into a delicious adventure that won’t derail your health goals. Bon voyage and snack wisely!


 

LEARN MORE FROM THE PODCAST


 

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