The holidays are here! And for a lot of folks that means great food, no work, seeing family, and LOTS of travel! Because of that, I was inspired to write a post about tips on healthy snacks/food to eat while you’re traveling. So here are some of my suggestions on how to avoid eating the overpriced, unhealthy, fast-food at airports when you can, and how to navigate those food courts when they’re your only option! Hope this is helpful to all of you in your travels, and I hope everyone has an amazing holiday!!
To start, I’d like to introduce my Healthy Holiday Travel Cardinal Rule: ALWAYS pack food and take it with you to the airport if you can! Don’t worry – if you can’t it’s not a big deal – you can still find healthy options at the airport. But if you can, this is a great way to guarantee your healthy meals and save money too! Here are some of my favorite travel snacks/mini-meals that I always pack for my trips
Peanut or Almond Butter Sandwiches on Sprouted Wheat Bread with Blueberry Preserves: This is a great one-dish meal that doesn’t spoil, travels well and is super easy/fast to make!
http://anotherbookjunkie.blogspot.com/2010_07_01_archive.htmlSandwich on sprouted grain bread made from 2 Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges, 1 roma tomato (sliced), salt & pepper: another great go-to sandwich – slightly more perishable than the PBJ, but a good option for a shorter flight or if you know you’ll be eating the sandwich within a few hours of boarding the plane!
Fresh fruit: apples, bananas, berries: Any fruits that are easy to eat, not too messy and don’t get squished easily are perfect options. I usually stick to Fuji Apples because they’re high in fiber and filling as a snack – and they don’t spoil and don’t get squished!
http://thedavidwilsonproject.com/homemade-apple-sauce-rock/Steamed Mixed Vegetables, seasoned with salt & curry powder or salt & freshly ground black pepper: This is a great snack and a way to make sure you’re eating veggies when you travel! I like to steam the veggies in the microwave, season them, and pack them in a disposable plastic container to take on the plane.
Packets of instant oatmeal (plain), or your favorite healthy cereals (I like Kashi Heart to Heart and Barbara’s Puffins Original) in a ziploc bag: This can be a great snack or breakfast – you should be able to find boiling water in any airport (or even on an airplane) to cook the oatmeal, or low fat milk to eat the cereal with.
http://livinlifeinthefablane.blogspot.com/2010/03/heart-to-heart-kashi-review.htmlLara Bars or other low glycemic protein bars (like dried fruit/nut bars): A great 150-200 calorie snack with at least 3-4g fiber and 3-4g protein! Trail Mix: Make sure you get the kind without any added oils or sugar (I like a combination of raw cashews, raw walnuts, raw almonds and raisins in the “Go Raw” Trex Mix from Trader Joe’s). And I like to separate them out into mini portion sizes (1/4 cup each).
Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds: Great for satisfying your sweet tooth, with a bit of protein, fiber and an anti-oxidant punch!
Now, if you aren’t able to pack food and have to rely on the maze of fast food options at the airport – here is my list of healthier restaurants at the airport!
Subway is a great pick (choose wheat bread, tons of veggies on your sandwich and go easy on the mayo/oil)
Starbucks is another good one – a non-fat tall latte has only 90 calories and tons of protein, and Starbucks also offers healthy meals – e.g. oatmeal for breakfast, whole grain wraps/sandwiches, etc.
Delis that allow you to customize your sandwiches are great – think of them as a good alternative to Subway
Au Bon Pain can be found at many airports, and they have customizeable sandwiches (think the Subway strategy here) or great salads / soups too
Taco Bell – opt for the bean burrito or anything on the “Fresco” menu
Mexican Restaurants like La Salsa or Baja Fresh have great options – look for soft corn tacos, or the “bowl” option filled with black beans, veggies, salsa for a satisfying treat (try to limit the sour cream/guac!)
Even McDonald’s and Burger King have been offering a few healthy options – you can get apple slices and salads (make sure to order the dressing on the side and use it very sparingly)
Some airports have all natural frozen yogurt – like Red Mango or Pinkberry. The small size of this with fruit mix-ins are a great option for a healthy snack or dessert!
I hope these tips and tricks are helpful for you during your holiday travels. This will be my last blog post until after the holidays – so before I sign off, I’d just like to congratulate Anu who won my last giveaway !
Anu – just send me your mailing address and your chocolates should arrive soon! And with that, I’d just like to wish everyone a very happy holiday and a great new years!! Happy eating, and I’ll see all of you in 2011!