How To Stay Healthy While Flying

18 Apr 2013

I recently went on vacation and had that same thought that many others have while traveling and/or going on holiday: how do I stay healthy during a 15 hour journey? I am constantly flying and have pretty much mastered the art of keeping myself healthy during the flights so I wanted to outline some tips that I followed on my long journey in order to be happy, healthy and have a good trip with no guilt.

1. Pack your own food: This one is simple; if you bring your own healthy snacks with you, you wont be tempted if the airline serves pastries, sandwiches, chips, crackers, chocolates or those dreadful airline meals (see next point). My go to snacks are things wont go off, which means I stick to vegan based foods as they don’t need to be refrigerated. My go to things are:

  • Raw nuts. I love almonds and cashews.
  • Homemade protein balls (I have a fab recipe in my new recipe book)
  • Fruit such as apples, bananas, grapes or anything you can put in a baggie.
  • Container of homemade muesli. Oats, nuts, flaked coconut, raisins, goji berries, cacao nibs, etc. The great thing about this is you can add milk when they come by offering drinks.
  • Container or small bag of snap peas for the sweetness and crunch or steamed asparagus, chopped bell pepper, or cucumber and carrot slices (gotta get your greens and other veggies in!)
  • Salads in mason jars or sealed containers. Check out my recent youtube video to understand more of what I pack for shorter flights)
  • Healthy chocolates (as pictured above) and other treats.

2. Request a meal: If you have a long-haul flight go on the airline’s website and request a either vegan, vegetarian, (definitely choose this–>) low-salt meal. Food loses it’s flavor at high altitudes so the airline companies pump it full of sugar and salt, unfortunately this wreaks havoc on your body. It bloats you, increases water retention and dehydrates you. The great thing about the low-sodium/salt option is they give you more fresh fruit and vegetables than whatever mystery food your seat neighbor will be having and you can always add more salt according to your taste buds later. The vegan option has no meat and I personally don’t want chicken that’s been preserved, frozen, and reheated 35,000 feet in the air.

3. Bring a 1 (or 1.5) liter empty water bottle. Fill it up once you are through security by asking at any coffee shop or restaurant. photo 1(1)Staying hydrated is key during your flight, no matter how long, and will help dramatically with any jet lag you may experience. I also love bringing tea bags of mint and green tea with me. I either keep them in a small container or get the ones that are packaged individually. Most airlines don’t offer many healthy beverages (no, your milk and orange juice are not the best choices. Stick to water!) and really only provide black tea. Bringing your own tea bags and adding them to your water or hot water provided on the plane is perfect to keep you refreshed and your metabolism working even if you are sitting for hours.

4. Bring mini packets of Spirulina & wheatgrass with you. Now I’m sure many of you have not heard of these two super foods and I’ll do another post on why you need them in your life, but for now adding them to your water while you travel will help you with the following: increases energy levels, contains all essential amino acids, contains glycogen for instant energy, supports balanced blood sugar levels and helps manage cravings, and supports mental clarity and focus. Having one packet a day will keep your immune system healthy (especially if you’ll be drinking alcohol and eating no-so-healthy foods).

Once you have hit your destination, whether it’s holidays, a business trip, or heading home, you will feel much better having eaten your own delicious and healthy food. You wont experience the bloating that travel gives people and hey, you might even strike up a conversation with your fellow passengers on what delicious foods you have and maybe make a new friend!

Below are pictures of my recent holiday after 15 hours of travel. 100% worth it though (especially after keeping myself healthy and hydrated on the flights!)

@nikkisharp
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