Here’s part 2 to my tips for eating well on the road. This two-part article was originally written for a flight crew newsletter, but I find it can translate to all kinds of professions, as well as for travel. Check out part 1 here.
1. Replace Unhealthy Meals With a Healthier Version
This may seem super obvious, but it can be hard to get creative with this one. But once you’ve cracked the code once, the possibilities are endless!
I recently purchased a vegetable spiralizer. Saved. My. Life. Now, I make Pad Thai with low sodium soy sauce and zucchini noodles. Pesto pasta with zucchini noodles. Literally, any kind of pasta-based dish is 100 times better for you. I even have my mom and sister converted. It can even be as simple as switching burgers to homemade turkey burgers. Skip the bun and use butter lettuce or iceberg to wrap it in. Yum!
2. Always, Always Check Your Fridge
Unfortunately, I’ve learnt this point the hard way. When you spend three hours of your only day off cooking healthy meals for your pairing, you don’t want that delicious, healthy food going to waste. If the fridge in your hotel room is cranked any more than halfway to the coldest point, TURN IT DOWN! I’ve frozen many perfectly good salads and wraps this way. And unfortunately, most fresh greens and veggies don’t recuperate after being frozen.
3. Get Inspiration From Your Coworkers
Whenever I am stumped on what kind of new dish, treat or snack to start packing on overnights, I always turn to my partner in crime. You will be surprised how different each and every flight attendant’s lunch kit looks. The best part about seeing into your co-workers lunch kit…they will ALWAYS give you the recipe! and sometimes, they have the missing ingredient to make your chicken tastier, or your lettuce wraps last. Sometimes it’s not even just sneaking-a-peek. But, just talking about foods. Recently, I found a recipe online for veggie wraps that used collard greens as the wrap, instead of a tortilla. After searching the city’s grocery stores for collard greens, I was left using the regular old whole-wheat wraps. When I told my fellow Flight Attendant about my failed trek for the southern veggie, he suggested using kale or cabbage. My mind was blown. So simple. But, It probably would have taken me months to figure that out on my own.
4. Use a Food Diary or Tracker
The first time I imputed my meals into My Fitness Pal I was shocked. I used to eat about half an avocado at breakfast and throw the other half in my salad. Everyone always rants and raves about how great these Mexican crops are for us. And they are, don’t get me wrong. But there is a ton of calories and fats (healthy fats) in one of those bad boys. After realizing how many calories I was consuming with just this one fruit, I cut it to a one-quarter a serving instead. In case you’re curious, one avocado has 250 calories and 23 grams of fat. The lesson I’m trying to teach with this story is that the trackers can really help us discover where we may be ailing ourselves in our everyday meals. It can help change some unintentional unhealthy choices.
5. Pack Your Own Coffee and/or Tea
It is so much easier to drink a black coffee or a green tea when you aren’t standing in front of a Starbucks contemplating the venti white chocolate mocha. It also helps to stop you from buying that delicious bearclaw under the glass counter. When you decide to stay in the plane, instead of running up for a cup of joe, you won’t be tempted. No one has willpower while they’re working a 12-hour shift that started at 4am. So just avoid it!
Pack some Via’s or David’s Tea in your kit. Your body will thank you later.
*BONUS TIP* Workout If You Can
Who has ever ate a big mac meal, gone for a run, and felt good after? Who’s ever gone to the gym and craved a mac and cheese? Well, it can happen from time to time, but for the most part living an active lifestyle can help push us to eat healthy as well. When you start to listen to the way your
body feels, and what it craves, especially after a sweat session, you will start to make healthier choices.