How to Stay Healthy While Flying

Healthy travelling doesn’t have to be tricky! It just means you have to put a little more thought into what you’re eating and how you’re moving your body, and everything else will just fall into place.

If you’ve ever made a change to a healthy lifestyle (or tried something new), you’ll know that anything unfamiliar takes time to adjust to. So when you’re travelling, start small and try and adopt a few tips here and there – you will thank yourself for it when you get to your destination, because you’ll feel so much better physically and emotionally – especially if you have a complicated relationship with food.

Here are some words of advice and some tips that I’ve learnt over the years:

Plane food is okay in small amounts, but if you can it’s always best to bring your own food – from home or a nice salad from a cafe! If you’re on a long haul flight you can opt for the protein and vegetable option, as opposed to the pasta, rice or refined carbohydrate dishes.

It’s also best to stay away from options with cream and sauces, as these are high in sodium and preservatives. Stick to the savoury dishes, and avoid the desserts and ice creams. If your meal comes with a bread roll, you’re better to have the cheese (protein!) and crackers, as this will keep you satiated. The fruit and salad are perfectly fine to eat. I also love to have herbal tea and raw nuts on the plane.

Bring snacks and mini meals. I usually bring with me: raw bars, raw nuts, flaxseed crackers, corn thins with almond butter, green apples, homemade protein balls and sometimes I will take a salad or some brown rice and chicken in a disposable container.

Keep hydrated with herbal tea and water – all flight long! Remember that on international flights you won’t be able to take your bottle through security, so wait until you’re at your last check point until you buy water for the flight. Be mindful that some countries won’t allow you to bring plant matter (including tea leaves) in through customs – so either finish your tea, leave it on the plan or check if you’re unsure!

Keep moving – I walk up and down the aisles every couple of hours and also practice some yoga stretches at the back of the plane

Sleep as much as you can – try and get your sleep in. I take some sleepy herbs and melatonin (your nutritionist or health store can advise) to fall asleep. I also drink chamomile tea and magnesium powder – both are so good if you’re struggling to sleep.

Read a healthy book – inspire yourself! My favourites are:

  • Accidentally Overweight – Dr Libby Weaver
  • Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life – Dr Claudia Welch
  • Breaking Free from Emotional Eating – Geneen Roth
  • Diet No More – Judith and Jenny McFadden
  • Food Rules – Michael Pollan
  • Food: The Good Girl’s Drug. How to Stop Using Food to Control Your Feelings – Sunny Sea Gold
  • In Defense of Food – Michael Pollan
  • The Conscious Kitchen – Alexandra Zissu
  • The Gabriel Method – Jon Gabriel
  • The Optimum Nutrition Bible – Patrick Holford The Ultramind Solution – Mark Hyman, MD
  • The Pill – Jane Bennett and Alexandra Pope Thrive – Arianna Huffington
  • Wheat Belly – William David, M.D.Dr
  • When Food is Love – Geneen Roth
  • Women, Food and God – Geneen Roth
  • You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay
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