3 Tips to Keep You Healthy While Traveling: Airport Edition

On the list of travel priorities, eating well most likely falls far below remembering your passport and getting to the gate on time. Plus, airport terminals are ripe with temptations—from glossy gossip magazines to sweet and salty snacks. 

Even when you’re traveling for business, it’s easy to slip into a vacation-mode mentality. As soon as our feet hit the moving walkways, we drop our usual healthy eating habits. Boredom, travel anxiety, and a mean case of hangry hits hard and we end up making not-so informed food decisions. 

Thankfully, there are lots of healthy travel tools you can wield next time you fly. Here’s your airport cheat sheet so that you can stay energized, healthy, and alert throughout your trip. 

Eat Big Before You Leave to Prevent Airport Binges

Fill your belly with a balanced and healthy meal before you leave the house. The day before you leave, plan and prepare a meal or two that you can eat quickly on your travel-day. 

If you’re leaving in the morning, prep a breakfast that’s packed with protein, complex carbs, and produce. I love whipping up a batch of this Sweet Potato & Brussels Sprouts Hash with Bacon. It’s super filling, comes together in 25 minutes, and my whole family loves it. For a faster option, mix up a bowl of high-protein overnight oats

Heading out in the afternoon or evening? Toss a sliced chicken breast in a salad kit for a fast and filling meal. Grab a pack of brown rice sushi. Or roll up some chicken, hummus, and veggies in a low-carb wrap.  

Hunt Down the Healthiest Airport Foods

“Healthy airport food” sounds like a contradiction. Fast food, cafes, packaged snacks, and premade veggie-less sandwiches might be all you’ve seen while traveling. But you can find some healthy options even in the airport if you know where to look. 

If you do decide to brave the airport food court, opt for these healthier meals and snacks:

What to Eat for Breakfast:

  • Oatmeal: Head to Starbucks. They offer one of the healthiest breakfast options at the airport. Their classic oatmeal bowls come with nuts and dried fruit, providing you with some early morning fiber, protein, and fat to keep you satiated longer. 
  • Veggie Egg White Sandwich: Dunkin’ Donuts serves up this savory breakfast option that’s loaded with 14 grams of protein and only 240 calories. Besides egg whites, you’ll get bell peppers, spinach, and onions to add a little extra nutritional value. 

What to Eat for Lunch:

  • Grilled Market Salad: Chick-fil-A’s salads are packed with produce and protein. If you want to keep things low-cal, opt for the light Italian dressing that’s only 25 calories or skip the dressing altogether. 
  • Protein Bowl: Starbucks offers a chicken and quinoa bowl that’s topped with fresh ingredients, like black beans and greens. You’ll love the flavor, and this lunch will keep you full for hours.

What to Eat for a Snack

  • Fruit: Nearly every cafe and quick-stop restaurant will offer apples, bananas, or a bowl of mixed or pre-cut fruit. 
  • Yogurt: If you’re at the airport in the morning, some cafes will have individual plain yogurts available for purchase. 

What to Eat for Dinner:

  • Salad with Chicken: Au Bon Pain has a few options that will do the trick. Try out their Chicken Cobb Avocado, Southwest Chicken, or Mediterranean salads. 
  • Burrito Bowl: Chipotle’s bowls and salads are packed with greens, meat, and beans. Ask for brown rice to keep your blood sugar stable and your belly satiated. Boost your healthy fats with a dollop of guacamole. 

Pack Your Own Food

Skip the soups and smoothies—liquids won’t be allowed through security. But there are plenty of healthy, travel-friendly options you can bring with you to the airport. 

Even if you can’t pack food for half the day, bringing one or two options can help tide you over while in the airport. 

Here are seven no-mess snacks that’ll fit in that carry-on: 

  • Sugar snap peas: They’re fresh, crunchy, and pack nearly one gram of protein in every oz!
  • Mandarins: These easy-to-peel little treats will also help you stay hydrated. 
  • Raw nuts: Snacks full of protein and healthy fat will help offset the heavy-carb options so common during our travels. 
  • Homemade trail mix: A blend of no-sugar-added fruit, nuts, and seeds will keep you full without taking up precious space in your luggage. 
  • Apples and nut butter: Toss a few squeeze packs of almond butter to pair with a hard fruit that won’t bruise in your bag. 
  • Hard-boiled eggs: These little protein packets can last safely for 2 hours outside of the fridge. 
  • Protein bars: Skip the carb-y snacks and opt for a high-quality protein bar to fill you up fast. 

Get on That Plane Without Any Weight Gain!

Skip the GI upset and sugar crashes. You don’t need that on top of the travel stress. Try out these healthy airport hacks next time you’re headed out of state! 

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