The Best Food to Eat While Flying

The smell of ground coffee filled our senses as we walked into our local coffee shop. It was Independence Day and we were debating what we would like to get into. In Jacksonville Beach, we are notorious for our boozy beach-cruising and neighborhood slip and slides to kick off the fourth. Having been in Jax for the past 8 years, the charm of that song and dance has lost some of its handle bar scraping, sweat soaked, summer time appeal.

Sometimes you just have to get out of dodge.

While waiting in line to drink the nectar of the Gods, my boyfriend proposed the idea of heading out to Cardiff, a local surf spot near San Diego, to catch a swell that was passing through or stay in Jax.

It was a no brainer

We found a cheap flight and had our tickets booked for an adventure before we finished our coffee.

With 4 hours to get to the Orlando airport, and a 3 hour drive there, I feverishly packed as efficiently as I could.

Wallet, keys, phone… wetsuit – go!

On the way out the door I snagged a pint of strawberries and some almonds to hold us over on the ride down – fully expecting to miss lunch at this point. Thankfully we had a big hibachi dinner last night, so we were not as ravenous as we usually were in the morning. We made it to the airport in a timely manner and caught our flight with minutes to spare.

Up in the air, the flight attendants offered the usual fare: pretzels, cookies, and chips. I am not one to typically eat those options and my man is gluten free, so we passed on those offerings. Thankfully, on our way over, I grabbed a big bag of beef jerky and popped that open for us to munch on during the plane ride.

I like lower carb options while traveling because, although there is a decent bit of walking in between flights, for the most part, traveling is pretty sedentary. I personally am not training for any events or working hard to change my health in anyway at the moment, so my focus is simply maintaining my good health on this trip.

If you are preparing for a competition or tournament, then your traveling days are the perfect time to replenish your body’s stores. Step up your game on the road by being prepared with good snacks and meals for your travel days. This is substantially more important if you have dietary restrictions or are working hard on your nutrition to achieve specific goals.

It can be very easy to fall into eating what you are presented with (cookies, chips, crackers) in your travel and let this recovery day slip away.

Excellent options for active people while traveling are:

  • Fresh produce*
    • Baby carrots or celery sticks with nut butter
    • Fresh seasonal fruit
      • Did you forget to pack these?!?
      • More and more airports are stocking their shelves with fresh fruit and veggies options. Now you can easily find these nutrition at the convenience stands in the airport!
      • Fresh produce is one of the toughest parts of a balanced diet to keep up with on the road. Use your snacks to help fill in any gaps in your diet and to keep your waist line in check!
  • Yogurt or kefir packed with probiotics*
    • Look for the “live active cultures label”
    • This is a great option as you travel to help boost your immunity with a strong gut microbiome
  • Fruit smoothies*
    • Bolt house or freshly made are great grab and go options
  • Popcorn
    • Be mindful of the fat content
    • For a healthy snack, skip the caramelized and chocolate coated options please
    • Looking to keep on lean weight? Toss some nuts into your popcorn for a healthy higher calorie snack!
  • Dried cereal
    • Choose options that have a good amount of fiber
    • and <8g of added sugar per serving
  • Smoked or dried grass-fed meats or fish
    • Select those without nitrates or nitrites*
    • Watch out as some of these products contain gluten if you are gluten free
  • Trail mix
    • Skip the “candy mix” with a few nuts sprinkled in, they’re not fooling anyone here
    • Opt for the antioxidant blends with little
    • Any nut and fruit mix
  • Protein granola
  • Natural cheese
    • Opt for grass-fed and or organic when you can
    • The softer the cheese typically the less fat, calories and salt it has
    • Mozzarella and Swiss cheese are excellent low fat options that pack in protein
  • Dried veggies or fruit chips*
    • Choose low fat, not fried, preferably baked or freeze dried
  • Overnight oatmeal*
    • Great one to pack
  • Cottage cheese*
    • Awesome higher protein choice
  • Boiled eggs*
  • Recovery Cookie Dough Bites
Wherever you go, there you are.

The best in-flight options on United Airlines:

  • Hummus and pita chips
  • Trail mix
  • Grass fed beef jerky (GF)*
  • Haribo gummies (better treat option)
  • Overnight oats*
  • Sriracha scrambled egg skillet (GF)*
  • Egg white and chicken flatbread sandwich *
  • Chicken tinga tacos*
  • Mezze sampler

*great option for weight management

Today it is becoming easier and easier to eat well on the road but one of the biggest slip-ups many run into is lack of preparation.

It is so easy to stay on track with your health if you have a plan and are prepared for your trip. Bring snacks! Pack a lunch! These are very easy habits to get into to help you continue to progress towards your health goals, or to simply recovery and rest up for your next competition.

You don’t have to have elaborate instagram worthy snacks and meals to make the most of your travels. Keep it simple, pack an orange and some nuts for your flight and you are ready to roll. Choose something that will hold you over on the plane, skip on the empty calories of the free cookies and chips, and stay on track with your health goals.

Finally, having a homemade meal or snack vs airplane food is another no brainer for a tasty travel day win!

Do you have favorite travel snacks or meals, tips or tricks? Comment below! We love to hear what you have to say!

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