Little sleep, long flights and less than ideal food choices are usually the first things that come to mind when we think of a typical travel day. Throw in trying to navigate our meals for the day to hit our macros and stay on point and what should be an exciting start to our trip can often have us feeling overwhelmed and in a panic.
Here at Working Against Gravity, we strive to ensure each and every one of our clients is equipped with all the tools and information they need, to ensure they feel confident in their ability to stay on plan - allowing you to focus less on your food and more on the experience of who you are with and where you are going.
To help enhance your travel experience, we’ve created a list of the top airports, airlines and the foods available, in addition to tips and tricks on how you can navigate the airport as smoothly as your pilot navigates the flight path.
Before leaving for your trip:
- Take the time to actually map out on paper a timeline of your travel day. It’s easy to know that we have a 10-hour travel day, but what does that day actually look like on paper. Map out where you will be and at what time, so you know when you can eat and what you can eat.
- Research the airports that you’ll be travelling through, so you know what restaurants are available to you.
- Contacting the airline or amending your meal option online is one strategy that can be really helpful in terms of helping to plan your meals and have more control over the day. Not to mention, you typically get served your meal first. Most airlines give you the option of selecting your own meal. Gluten free, low sodium, low carb options to name just a few, can be selected for no additional cost.
- Researching the other in flight options available. That way you know what snacks are available if you’re in a pinch. Just be aware that this stuff can change from time to time, so be sure to leave some wiggle room with your macros.
- Inquire about the lounges available at the airport and what’s available in terms of foods options and facilities. Often it can make more sense to head to the lounge and dine in comfort on the foods available for a small price, rather than paying a premium for low quality foods in a noisy environment.
- If you know you are going to be out for an extended period of time, loading up on a solid portion of our macros whilst we can have control of our food, before we leave the house can be helpful. Stock your plate with a volume packed protein and fiber rich meal, to keep you well satiated straight up for the day ahead. Fats and carbs are typically easy to find on the go, but as we all know, protein can often be a challenge. Manage what you can when you can.
- Emergency Kit - Always have a bag of emergency items in your carry on such as chopped cucumber, carrots, peppers, celery and/or beef jerky. This way if you can't find what you had planned you have a stash of some high volume macro friendly options that will ensure you can tide yourself over and not give in to temptation!
Easy to Find Cuisines Located at Most Airports:
- Mexican - (Salad, rice and meat options)
- Sushi - Sashimi
- Asian Food - Rice, Veggies and Lean Protein
- Diner Food - Basic Egg White, toast, salad options
- Burgers - turkey and chicken options always available. Hold the cheese, fries and condiments.
Typical Snacks Available to purchase at every Airport:
- Greek Yogurt
- Boiled Eggs
- Protein Shakes
- Tuna Snack Packs
Common Outlets and best choices available:
- Starbucks - Turkey Bacon Sandwich, Oatmeal, Spinach & Feta Wrap
- Dunkin Donuts - Ham Egg & Cheese, Egg & Cheese Muffin, Egg White Flatbread
- McDonalds - Favorites Under 400
- Mexican Place - Chipotle Nutrition Calculator
- Sandwich Bar - Build your own
- Sushi - SushiFAQ.com
Additional Fast Food Options:
A Real Life Example:
The Smooth Day:
Wake up at 5am. Shower and head into kitchen to make breakfast which consists of a balanced meal containing fats, a good chunk of fiber, and some carbs. I also go a little heavier on the protein. I do this in anticipation that it will be harder to get my protein on the go. On the way to the airport we stop by the grocery store and pick up some protein bars, jerky and fruit for me to snack on at the airport and on board. When making my booking, I pre-ordered a meal for the plane, asking for the option that best suited my taste preference which was the low fat meal. Given the high caloric nature of fats, this makes most sense to me. Flight goes smoothly and we land on time. I then pick up a snack from one of the salad bars I’d found at the destination airport before we left. I jump in a cab and head to the hotel where my room has been fitted with a fridge. I head out for a walk to the store which I had located before the trip to head out to gather groceries for the next day. I return to shower then head to a local eatery, which had listed the nutritional information online. I later return home after a beautiful meal which fit my macros perfectly and jump in bed knowing I’ve successfully nailed my day, arrived at my location safely, and am waking up to a fridge full of foods that fits, ready to tackle another beautiful day!
The Bumpy Day:
Day starts of rough - alarm does not go off. No time to eat breakfast. The arranged cab turns up late which then means I’m late to the airport. Tired and hangry I jet to the customs gate via a news stand where I’m able to pick up a protein bar, some jerky and a yogurt for my breakfast. After fighting to make it through customs, I board the plane which is then delayed. We’re told we have to sit on the tarmac for 45 mins. Fortunately, the plane serves on board snacks. I purchase some fruit and snack on this whilst we wait. Eventually we arrive, late. I’m hungry and it seems that I am without any food available. However, luckily, I know there are some chain outlets at my destination which serve quick macro friendly options. We pick up something off the menu online whilst we’re on route. It’s not my ideal choice, but it fits and it’s helping to satiate me and reduce my already heightened anxiety from the trip. On the way to the hotel, no grocery store appears to be in sight. So, I do my best to grab some yogurt, jerky and a bagel from the Seven11. I arrive at the hotel - no fridge. Lucky they have an ice bucket. I fill this with ice and load up my cold items in it to keep until I can sort in the morning. For now, I’m going to have to do my best to plan to order from the hotel restaurant for breakfast and be OK with asking for a special request or navigating this to the best of my ability until I am able to spend some time, ironing out of the creases of my food requirements. Things did not go as smoothly as I hoped, but I continued to stick to my plan knowing that although not always the ideal options, I can still make ideal choices.