Airport Eating

Airport Eating

This article is for anyone who ever spent time in an airport. And, out of necessity, I’ve also learned where to find actual food in airports.

Now you don’t have to spend a lot of time in airports to benefit from my experience. This article is actually for anyone who travels. Or orders take-out. Or goes out to dinner. Or has a social life. Or a business life. Come to think of it, it’s for anyone who has a life period.

In today’s world, few folks have the luxury of eating all their meals at an actual table, let alone at home. If you live in a big city, the sight of folks rushing through the streets, chomping furiously on anything they can hold in one hand, is old hat to you. You’ve got kids to chauffeur around, schedules to meet, meetings to go to, games to cheer at, ballet class, the gym, board meetings that last all afternoon, committees to chair and families to spend time with. You’re constantly in motion.

To make matters as bad as they could be, there seems to be an unwritten law that the quality of food goes down as portability and accessibility go up. There ain’t no organic fruits and vegetables at the food court, folks.

So what to do? The opportunity here is to become a master of your circumstances rather than a victim of them.

Here are my top ten tips for how to do just that:

  1. Think Proactive. Most of the trouble comes from waiting till you’re in the middle of an emergency hunger situation before taking action (like being without food all afternoon and coming face to face with a convenient snack machine). A little planning goes a long way. If you know you’re gonna be stuck in a meeting, take along something you can eat quickly and discreetly that will keep your blood sugar from plummeting and your cravings at bay. Best choices: Celery sticks and a small container of peanut butter for dipping. String cheese and an apple. Nuts–(but watch the quantity). And the best health food in the world: A can of sardines!
  2. Use Lettuce Instead of Bread. You can wrap some leftover chicken in a lettuce leaf and eat it in the car or anywhere else a sandwich would work. Throw on some tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil and you’ve got a decent mini-meal. Some fast food restaurants are now offering their burgers made exactly this way.
  3. Find Healthy Food That Travels Well. Top tips: Cottage cheese, yogurt, celery, peppers, carrots, and apples. Throw some berries into a Tupperware with some cottage cheese and nuts and take it with you. In a pinch, high-protein low-carb snack bars beat the pants off standard machine food.
  4. Prepare The Food Before. (This is the corollary of “think proactively”). Bake a week’s worth of sweet potatoes on a Sunday, cut ’em in half and take them with you as snacks during the week. They’re as portable as you can get, they taste great cold, and they are loaded with vitamins.
  5. Think Nuts. Here’s what they do: provide good fats, fiber, minerals and a little protein. They also fill you up. The key is to not buy the big bags and nibble all day. Make your own little sandwich bags with a dozen or so nuts in each, and combine them with an apple or some string cheese. Best choices: walnuts, pecans and almonds.
  6. Think Unusual Foods: Paleolithic man carried around the original energy bar called Pemmican. It’s made with pressed grass fed meat sweetened with dried cherries. You can get them through a link on my website. It tastes way better than it sounds, and it’s healthy as can be!
  7. Find The Chicken Caesar.. At long last this has become a staple of take-out restaurants in airports. Trust me, I know. Buy them!

Know How To Order In a Restaurant. When eating out, choose fish, lean meat or chicken, and a ton of vegetables. Tell them to hold the potatoes or rice and double the veggies. Send the bread back, and skip dessert (or order fresh berries, even if they’re not on the menu).

With a little thinking ahead, meals on the road don’t have to be a disaster. And the challenge of eating well can actually be fun.
By Dr. Jonny Bowden

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