Thursday, April 14, 2011

Travel Wise 2

Peanuts or Pretzels?
For the most part airport food is overpriced and overloaded with fat, calories, and weird shelf stabilizing ingredients.  Remember, a large portion of travel time is spent sitting and waiting so there is no need to eat a giant Cinnabon or slurp down an iced venti caramel mocha-chino.  Even-though beverages are no longer allowed through security, solid food is.  My friend Lucy flew with a single serving of Jiffy peanut-butter and several carrots covered in serran-wrap (to keep them from touching her shoes and clothes)  A small bag of cut up veggies would travel well too and take up very little space.  They could even be stored inside an extra pair of shoes in a carry on.  Avoiding the squish factor is important.  Soft vegetables such as zucchini and cucumber slices may get banged and bruised if kept in a bag instead of a container which will take up more space.  Bring your own granola/snack bars to keep yourself from being tempted by ice cream and cookies.  Most airports now sell items such as trail mix, clif bars, and fresh whole/cut up fruit.  However, you will spend a ridiculous amount on them, so go ahead and pack your own.  I spent $5 on a small plate of fresh broccoli and carrots with a small container of hummus from Starbucks in the Atlanta airport.  Packing my own would have saved me about $4.  

Flying will dehydrate you in a flash.  If traveling in the morning a cup of coffee is fine, but try to mix in some plain water as well.  When flying through several time zones avoid lots of caffeine in the afternoon/evening so you will be able to sleep that night. Again, you will probably be sitting for an extended period of time, so drinking excess calories in the form of juice, smoothies, and fancy flavored coffees is not advisable; especially for people trying to watch their weight or who have diabetes.  Besides, most of these will cost more than they are worth.  Try packing your favorite bags of tea and ask for a cup of hot water, this will set you back less than $1 and will help keep you hydrated.  If you want one of those flavored creations, bring a pack of hot cocoa mix and add it to a regular coffee, you'll save money and calories.

Even if the plane leaves at 7am, most travelers know to arrive 90minutes early in order to get through security.  Remember, breakfast is still the most important meal of the day.  Just because you are traveling, don't be sucked in by the doughnuts and greasy biscuit platters.  Instead, bring a container of your favorite high fiber cereal and purchase a low-fat milk carton.  For people who want eggs there is always the famous Egg McMuffin, make sure you order the original and not the sausage version.  Dunkin Donuts and Subway both offer egg/eggwhite sandwiches these days too.  The protein will keep you full, and the carbs will fuel you through lunch time.  The fruit and yogurt parfaits and bran muffins may look 'healthy' but for the most part they are giant sugar bombs with more calories than a small bowl of ice cream; so just say no.

Once on the plane stick with low calorie beverages when the stewardess comes around.  Water, hot tea, coffee and tomato juice.  If given the option skip the pretzels and cookies and opt for the peanuts.  They will give you a boost of protein and heart healthy fats.  If your flight is during meal time, make sure to have other snack options with you on the plane.  Again whole fruits and cut up veggies are great... as long as you haven't eaten them while waiting for the plane.  A PB&J or turkey sandwich from home packed in a ziplock will probably not offend anyone quite like the smell of a tuna sandwich might.  You may only be in the plane for a few hours, but please be considerate of your fellow passengers.  If the options are available in your terminal, purchase a 6" turkey sub loaded with veggies before take off and bring it on the plane with you.  It doesn't even have to fit in your carry on.  Small terminals may only have a few offerings, so stick with the basics.  A grilled chicken sandwich will almost always have fewer calories than fried, depending upon the type of bread used and how much cheese and mayo are slathered on.  Salads are another great option since they will keep you chewing longer and not leave you feeling sluggish like a burger and fries might.  Of course, many salads today come with extra helpings of cheese, bacon, and high fat salad dressings.  Be aware that all these fancy toppings add up and can doom an otherwise low calorie dish of lettuce and veggies.

Now sit back and enjoy the flight.

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