Today I am heading off to a conference in Washington, D.C. Since I’ve been on an “eat less, move more” kick for the past few weeks I’ve been mentally planning when – and what – I’m going to eat during my travels. Portable recipes for road trips and air travel can be a challenge, and when you write about food? Forgetaboutit.
While I am obviously planning a few cocktail party splurges over the course of the weekend, I know that one of my biggest diet pitfalls when traveling is the airport.
Flight delays mean lattes, snacks and sometimes even wine — albeit, probably not today since I have a 10:00 a.m. flight. That’s beside the point.
At the airport, snack and meal choices are typically either affordable and unhealthy, or $9 fresh fruit that looks…less than fresh. Airport security guidelines make it difficult to BYO-Snack for lengthy flights and travel days but I’ve scoured my archives to put together of airport-friendly food that is far better for you than the fast food options at your terminal.
Grilled Apple & Cheddar Cheese: Sandwiches at the Au Bon Pain at Newark International Airport will run you upward of ten dollars – and possibly, 700 calories. Before you leave the house, decorate your favorite whole wheat bread with sliced apple, sharp cheddar – and even a touch of honey mustard. To keep the cheese from getting gloppy and congealed, wrap tightly with aluminum foil to keep it warm. Eat within two hours of preparing and wrapping to avoid spoilage.
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins: If you’re rushing out of the house in the morning to catch your flight (not that I would know anything about rushing) chances are you won’t have a lot of time for breakfast. Muffins and scones are a great grab-and-go breakfast — and you can use whole wheat flour to slim them down.
Parmesan Almonds: There is no shortage of nuts and trail mixes at airport gift shops, but if you want to make your seat mates jealous (especially the loud snore-er in the middle seat) bake a batch of almonds dusted with Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and paprika for in-flight snacking. Maybe if you bribe the flight attendant with a handful of these, she’ll smuggle you a free cocktail.
Terry Walters’ NoNo Bars: Lest you get hit with a sweet tooth when you’re miles high, you should have a healthy sweet treat on hand. Fresh fruit is ideal, but if you can’t stand the thought of your apples and bananas getting banged and bruised in your carry-on, bring a few healthy snack bars. You can make your own that taste better than anything you could find at the Hudson News kiosk and they’re way better for you, too.
Prosciutto, Mozzarella and Melon Skewers: Okay, stop looking at my like I’m CRAZY. I know – why would you pack cocktail party passed bites in your carry-on? Well, if you have a long flight, you should enjoy it. Grab a glass of chardonnay, indulge in a good book and enjoy the feeling of being disconnected at 30,000 feet.