Eating healthily on board

by Khushboo on August 22, 2012

I can’t believe today’s my last day in London. It’s actually a bittersweet feeling.  As amazing as the last 2 ½ weeks have been, I am kinda ready to get back into routine and of course see my friends there.  As I’ll be boarding my flight in a few hours, I wanted to share a few tips on eating healthily on board.  Besides tasting pretty terrible, airplane food is hardly reputable for being healthy,  I don’t even want to imagine what goes into their meals, so here goes:

Good times with good friends :-)

  • Brown bag it: The same way you’d pack a lunch for work, do the same for your flight.  Just remember to avoid carrying any liquids over 100 ml.  I once carried an $18 of nut butter in my hand carry and unfortunately had it confiscated.  Did I mention it was unopened?
  • Do you research: In case you want eat before your flight (or buy a meal to enjoy on board), seek out your options beforehand. All it takes is a quick Google search to find out what restaurants/cafes are in your terminal.  Just for the record, don’t expect much if you’re flying out from LAX- I wasn’t impressed at all.

Talk about a “sweet” ride…

  • Cater to your needs: From low sodium to low cal, vegan, vegetarian, low sugar, kosher (to name a few), airlines have become more accommodating over the years.  As long as you book your meal at least 24 hours in advance, chances are you will find something which suits your dietary needs.  As I tend to carry a meal on the flight, I usually opt for the raw vegetable platter- if I’m going to be eating mindlessly, better that than chips.

One of my best meals of the trip at Busaba (Bird Street, off Oxford Street)

  • Board with a bottle of water to stave off the dehydrating effects of flying. Although airplanes serve water, those piddly cups last all of 2 sips.
  • Guard up with snacks: Between flight delays, overly expensive airport food, and hunger striking on board, I’d rather be over-prepared than underprepared.  While the choices are infinite, I usually opt for protein bars or trail mix.

Laters, London!

 How do you stay healthy on board? 

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Sable Weisman (@SquatLikeALady) August 22, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Ugh, I once had an entire 6-pack of single-serve Greek yogurts confiscated! I figured it’d be okay since they were sealed =(

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Parita August 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I despise airport food! And yet, I’m still bad about bringing my own food with me. Haha! But I really think that’s the trick – bring your own sandwich, snacks, etc.

And my sister once had a brand new jar of PB&Co peanut butter taken up at the airport. She was so upset. :(

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Khushboo Thadani August 23, 2012 at 9:17 am

I feel your sister’s pain…I really do :) !

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Khushboo Thadani August 23, 2012 at 9:16 am

Yikes I would not have been happy…at all!!

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Corrie Anne August 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I always buy expensive snacks in the airport!!!! I’m the worst – never prepared. But last time I ate a salad for breakfast. It was soo good! Definitely the best option. And your time is all messed up when you’re traveling anyways!

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Khushboo Thadani August 23, 2012 at 9:18 am

Anything flies when your travelling…I lose all sense of what time zone I’m in!

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livinglearningeating August 22, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Great post! I actually really like airplane food – but I do pack snacks from home/the airport, like yummy bars! Sometimes they don’t give you enough food, so that’s always handy. Especially for breakfast!

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Khushboo Thadani August 23, 2012 at 9:18 am

Agreed, especially as you’re more than likely going to be asleep when breakfast does come around!!

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forgottenbeast August 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I can’t remember the last time I’ve been on a flight where food was even an option–so I definitely pack my own! PB&J sandwiches and apple are a great option for travel–they pack well, and don’t need to be refrigerated. And in addition to your own food being healthier–it’s SO much cheaper! I’m always baffled by how expensive airport restaurants/shops are. $3 or more for just a bottle of water?? Yikes…

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Khushboo Thadani August 23, 2012 at 9:19 am

Gah water bottles (amongst the many other things) are crazy expensive….and the sucky part is that airports can get away with it because we have no other options!

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forgottenbeast August 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Exactly! Unless you want to fill a bunch of tiny travel-size shampoo bottles with water ;D

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Khushboo Thadani August 24, 2012 at 9:43 am

Haha water shots all round ;) !

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д§mд August 22, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I’ve usually so much to think about whilst preparing for a flight .. food is definitely the least I think of. And on my last trip I was very content with what I got … its usually my 2 year old toddler I’m worried about and do try to have enough snacks for her ready. Though she really enjoyed the fruit servings and the starters we got in-flite. So no need to worry for her too next time ;) The food I got at Dubai airport was totally a different story though … had the worst croissant from there :< Heathrow's blueberry clotted cream muffins are best though ;)

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Khushboo Thadani August 23, 2012 at 9:21 am

I am actually in the Dubai airport now- next time try Cosi. They have yum salads, sandwiches, and pizzas. And if all fails, there is always Pinkberry :)

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Alex @ therunwithin August 22, 2012 at 9:36 pm

I am a snack queen, I always pack snacks. I am much more a snacker than real meals when I am on the go and traveling.

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Khushboo Thadani August 23, 2012 at 9:22 am

Eating frequently on flight definitely helps kill time :)

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sprint2thetable August 22, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Great tips… but now I’m craving Reeses. ;)

I always bring snacks – protein bars, celery, carrots, apples, and tuna pouches all travel well.

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Khushboo Thadani August 23, 2012 at 9:26 am

Haha I wanted to take a bite out of that cab! I love tuna steaks but just can’t get on board with the chunks…which sucks because they’re so portable & protein-packed!

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Tessa@AmazingAsset August 23, 2012 at 1:48 am

Good tips here… especially helpful because I really do get nervous when I travel about the food situation.. .although it has gotten much better in recent months! Bringing snacks helps to ease my anxiety the most- protein bars, cut up veggies, apples, cereal and nuts are my go-tos!

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Khushboo Thadani August 23, 2012 at 9:27 am

Can see how it would help with the anxiety- always good to have back up :)

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Kym August 23, 2012 at 2:25 am

Heading to California in a month so i’m definitely going to be planning my snacks for the flight! You’re right, LAX doesn’t have great food selection. I remember my flight last February, it was either cheap greasy diner food or an overpriced box of salad. -____- Oh and i’ve also had an experience with getting liquids confiscated. I totally forgot I had my facewash set in my carry on so my bottle of toner got confiscated. BOOOO!!!

Anyway, hope you have a safe flight!!

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Khushboo Thadani August 23, 2012 at 9:29 am

Thanks Kym :) ! I definitely spent way more than I should have on a box of salad at LAX…and ironically enough, that was the airport which confiscated my nut butter- gah!

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Jess August 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Great tips! The water thing is SO important!!! I always by a tonne after I go through security, I always feel gross getting off a plane!

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Khushboo Thadani August 24, 2012 at 9:40 am

Same! All I want to do is jump into the shower and down a bucket of water!

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sonalii1988 August 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Ahhh I always have the intention of packing a meal for the flight but the last minute to-do list distracts me, so i usually just take carrot sticks and an apple as a snack for short flights…..but ALWAYS take extra snacks with me from the airport for long flights ;) It scares me being in there for 10 hours without being prepared haha! I lovee Busaba! It soo good :)

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Khushboo Thadani August 24, 2012 at 9:40 am

Next time you’re at Busaba, you HAVE to order the pad thai- better than any gourmet Thai restaurant I’ve ever eaten at!

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Min August 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Goodbyes are so hard! Def bittersweet! Great tips as usual! I usually pack bunch of healthy snacks to munch on. I have a tendency to really swell up (to the point that my rings won’t come off) so I try to pack snacks that are not high in salt content. Unsalted nuts, healthy bars, fruit…and I try to drink a lot of water! IT’s kind of annoying that I have to pay close to $3 for a bottle of water, but what other choice do I have?

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Khushboo Thadani August 24, 2012 at 9:41 am

Good tip about packing low sodium snacks…flights and bloating seem to go hand in hand- ick!

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Sarah August 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Sucks to hear about the nut butter! I swear that’s barely even a liquid, more like a… paste? Although I don’t think pastes are allowed on board either haha. I’m going on holiday next week and am definitely brown bagging it on the plane, just the smell of airplane food makes me feel ill!

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Khushboo Thadani August 24, 2012 at 9:42 am

Apparently soft cheeses aren’t allowed either…and I learned that on my last flight- whoops!

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Nada (One Arab Vegan) August 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

That’s really clever with the raw veggie platter! I’m usually alright with my in-flight meals, but I’ll never forget once when literally all I ate was fruit – I was seriously craving something savoury by the time I landed!

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Khushboo Thadani August 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I’ve done that too in the past…as much as I love all things sweet, there’s only so much I can take (fruit included) after I need to get my hands on salt!

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Honey What's Cooking August 28, 2012 at 8:45 am

I hardly stay healthy on board… I usually eat before boarding the flight though, I need to be smarter about packing my lunch, but I get so excited about airport food. That’s a nice picture of London.

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Khushboo Thadani August 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm

It’s one of my favorites..the view alone was enough motivation to get going for a run while I was there!

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