By Be Well Health Coach Kerry Bajaj
When you think about it, flying in a metal bird at 500 miles per hour is quite an unnatural state for our bodies to be in. We run into all sorts of problems at high altitude, like dehydration, lack of circulation, and lack of healthy food options.
But with a little planning, it is possible to stay healthy on the plane! Here are some of my favorite tips:
1. Bring Your Food
Packing a meal is a much better bet than hoping you’ll find something healthy at the airport. I stopped by Whole Foods before a recent flight and picked up veggie sushi, apples, nuts and dark chocolate. You can bring an ice pack to keep your food cool. Since they rarely offer meals on domestic flights these days, you might as well pack a healthy picnic lunch.
If you have a very long journey ahead, you can at least pack your first meal to get off to a good start.
2. Eat Light
Airplane travel is sedentary. Since you’re sitting still for hours on the plane, you don’t need a heavy, hard-to-digest meal. Raw fruits and veggies are great. I like apples, bananas, avocado and carrots.
3. Pack a Treat
I associate travel with vacation and indulgence. Instead of picking up a Frosty from Wendy’s at the airport, chocolate covered pretzels or a huge bag of M&Ms, pack your own travel treat. My favorite is the Emmy’s Organics Lemon Ginger Macaroons. The Starbucks at the airport might have a bar made by 2 Moms in the Raw.
Airplane travel is incredible dehydrating! I always try to have a green juice at home on the day of departure. I bring a glass water bottle to the airport, so I can fill it after getting through security. I avoid alcohol and caffeine on the flight, as they are dehydrating. Dr. Lipman’s Sustain protein shakes are great for travel, as they come in convenient individual packets and can make a quick healthy “meal” on your flight. You can also bring a packet of Greens powder to add to a bottle of coconut water for a quick and hydrating nutritional boost.
To beat jet lag, there are a few tips to explore:
- Homeopathic jet lag pills by Boiron (look at Whole Foods or a pharmacy or health food store)
- Check out this article about fasting during your flight to beat jet lag
- Set your watch to the time of your destination when you start your flight
- Try to get sunlight when you arrive at your new destination. Experiencing sunrise and sunset can also help your body adapt to the new environment faster.
- Eat seasonal and local foods as much as possible when you arrive in a new place.
Have safe and healthy travels!