Let’s Go to the AIRPORT for Some Healthy Food!
That’s right, I said airport. Many of my patients have heavy travel schedules and I commonly hear the response, “Well it’s impossible to eat healthy when you travel.” I typically just take a deep breath and simply try to absorb the expressed frustration but after years of these deep breaths I now have to explode and cry “WRONG!!!” I travel monthly related to lectures and education and find myself in airports and hotels regularly. As I write this I am sitting on the tarmac of a runway waiting clearance for take off. (Thank you United Airlines for lifting your ban on iPad use). I have spent 4 days on the road and have not ingested ONE morsel of wheat or dairy and IT WAS EASY. I want to share my findings as a healthy road warrior.
We have all had the experience of buying a car. Let’s say you buy a Chevy Blazer, and then suddenly as if by magic you find yourself noticing how many Blazers are out there on the road. Seeing a Blazer in the past went unnoticed but now that you are member of the Blazer club, it’s like they are everywhere. You simply notice them more with your newfound sensitivity. And so it is with food.
If I am in the habit of eating sandwiches and my brain says that it’s acceptable to eat bread and sandwiches, then when at the airport that is all I will see. I’m a sandwich club member. And I say silly things like “there is nothing else to eat.” WRONG. So very wrong. I just left the airport (we are now airborne by the way) allow me to tell you and show you what I saw. There was water available everywhere. At the coffee shop they had bananas (that’s fruit and it’s healthy travel food), they had nuts (that’s a whole unprocessed food, and it’s healthy), and they had a cup of fruit already diced for easy consumption. I saw it because I am a member of the whole food club. That’s what I am trained to look for and see – real whole foods.
I left the coffee shop and walked across the concourse and was immediately met by one of those “magazine, candy and soda pop” generic airport shops. Guess what I found? A large chopped salad – hey that’s whole unprocessed food and nothing trumps salad for getting nutrition. Right next to it was again diced fruit. And next to that were bags of trail mix and nuts. Yes some had M&M’s in the mix but many had only seeds, nuts and dried fruit. Some were even “organic.” How did the TSA miss that one? They let actual organic food past the security check? Someone could lose their badge over such an offense but there it was.
So then I took a few steps down the concourse and once again, right in my face was a bar/restaurant advertising their egg breakfast. Tequila was optional. Eggs, a wonderful protein whole food source for vitamins and in fact considered by many to be good brain food given the choline content of the yolk. Did you know that the yolk contains most of the nutrient value in an egg? (See egg articles on this blog).
I passed by the eggs as I already had a bag of nuts, a salad for later, a banana in my mouth and a giant bottle of water. All of this was EASY and fabulously available but only to me, not to others, because my eyes are trained to spot whole food. So be brazen and join the egg club, join the salad and fruit and nut clubs while you’re at it. Membership is free and the bonus points you get for frequent flyer status could save your life (not to mention your pant size).
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