This past weekend I traveled to Chicago to go to a Notre Dame Game with my husband and his best friend. It was epic, as tailgating and watching a college football game often is.
But as I was packing for the trip I noticed that I was writing down a checklist of things to have for my flight. Of course, these items didn’t include the most important things that would actually get me ON the flight (ticket) and TO Chicago successfully (credit card and license), because for some reason that’s not where my mind goes to when writing a list of the things I HAVE to have on my flight.
For me, the most important things in my bag are items that help make the flight a healthy and occupied one. Here I am focusing on keeping it a “healthy” flight because I just need a good book and I am occupied for hours.
In our day to day lives, we work so hard to establish habits to make healthy decisions, and I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to blow that hard work on the luring snack store right before my terminal.
In life I have this, “Is it worth it test?”. It’s something that I do to gauge whether something is worth eating and breaking my healthy pattern. Chocolate Ganache cake from my cousin’s local farm, ABSOLUTELY. My mom’s homemade chicken cutlets and stuffed bread, obviously. The snacks at the convenience store? Not so much.
I wanted to write about what I do to stay strong and not give into those tempting colorful bags that I know are filled with salty and chewy goodness, and stay in the healthy decision-making mode. What I do… is I put together a game plan.
I have a game plan and a pretty consistent routine that I follow every time that I pack for and do once I get to an airport.
Let’s start with what I pack IN my bag…
The first things I pack is hand sanitizer and tissues, always.
For starters, I personally feel kind of gross any time I go to an airport. It’s like going to NYC, I want to clean everything I own after. I know that some airports are probably pretty clean for the most part, I just don’t feel that way. Plus it always feels like once someone comes back from a flight they are sick with something and it’s just kinda grosses me out, not going to lie.
These two are something you would immediately think of when making “healthy choices”, unless you are Emily Muckle, who has turned me into a halfway germ-a-phob, but in reality, it’s the most important part. To stay healthy you need to not get sick, and a way to prevent you from getting sick is hand sanitizer and tissues.
The hand sanitizer is obvious, use it before you eat anything or after you touch anything. I also bring tissues because for some reason my nose always runs when I am in the air and I sneeze more than I do in a month on a two hour flight. Weird and gross, but true.
Then we move onto beverages. #hydrationnation.
My cousin Shelly got me into this habit, shocker there to those of you who know my obsession with Shell… But every time Shelly gets on a flight she always buys the biggest water bottle she could in the little shop in the terminal and brings it on with her. We went to Arizona once together and she got me into the habit. She said that she buys it because we all get dehydrated and like dried out when flying in a plane for so long and they barely give you anything to drink, unless you fly JetBlue. To make sure she stays hydrated she buys a big before the flight and tries to finish it by the end. Genius.
A way that we can make that even better and help save our planet is to bring a big empty water bottle with you to the airport and then fill it before your flight. Pretty much every has some type of water fountain that would allow you to do this!
I stopped buying coffees before a flight a while ago, unless I am planning on drinking it immediately, because there are no cup holders on a flight and I always always always drop my coffee and spill it everywhere. No lie, I have done this at LEAST 10 separate times, and everyone always hates me for it, rightfully so. Coffee will also make you more dehydrated.
Then we move onto the good good – the food.
This is obviously the main reason I am writing this blog, but I am putting it at the end because I think the first two are more important. I put those two first because I often have to remind myself that I won’t actually starve if I don’t eat anything on a 2-3-4 even 5 hour flight. I will likely be totally fine almost the entire time as long as I am hydrating and drinking enough water.
The hand sanitizer and tissues have me covered for the touching stuff, and really staying hydrated and having enough water should cover you for the rest. It’s funny, because I think most people forget this when they are about to board a flight. They get two weeks worth of snacks for a 2 hour plane ride… But I am no different and fall victim to the what if I starve scenario. So JUST IN CASE, I do feel like I am starving of hunger, I pack a few things.
My go-to’s are a peanut butter or pb&j sandwiches on Ezeikel Bread, because no one doesn’t love a pb&j. Then a bag of carrots and celery with a little to-go container of guac, or hummus if you prefer that. Then a baby apple and one of the mini date bar bites from my “Trader Joe’s Treasures”. Again, this is likely MORE than enough food for most flights, and most times I don’t even eat half of what’s in there because I don’t need it.
Some other ideas for flight snacks are be a bag of almonds, some dried fruit (but you never want to indulge too much here) or a Kind, Lara or Rx bar.
Now, for the game plan…
Part of the game plan is preparation, which is actually packing snacks, hand sanitizer, tissues, and buying the water.
Then comes the execution. Once I get on the flight, I use the hand sanitizer and get my tissues close buy. I start drinking my water immediately, and I hold off on the food. I try to not even touch the food until I truly am hungry. At first, I looked at is as a game, let’s see how long I can go without eating and seeing how long it actually takes until I feel hunger. By doing this I have honestly shocked myself. I have gone for hours and hours with just water, maybe an apple or a bar or half a sandwich. It’s actually incredible, and has been a huge eye-opener to the fact that I really don’t need as much food as I thought I did. During the remainder of the flight I work through that water bottle and always asking for more water and seltzer when the flight attendant comes by.
Right now I am finishing this blog thousands of feet in the air, I have about 1/5 of my water left, and haven’t touched any of the snacks that I haddddd to make sure I packed for my 2 hour flight…
To me maintaining my healthy lifestyle as often as I could is incredibly important. It might not be for everyone, but for me, it’s just not worth breaking a healthy diet, getting sick or dehydrated. Saturday tailgating is a whole other story, but for now, I will win the small victories where I can. 😉
I wanted to add this little section coming up because it just didn’t feel right just ending the blog and only talking about what I pack to maintain my healthy habits. Because obviously I pack more than snacks, hand sanitizer, and tissues…
There are other essentials that I HAVE to pack, so I thought I would add them here for fun. =]
The “other” essentials are:
- A book or my kindle. To pass away the time.
- A scarf because I always get cold.
- A notebook to write goals, thoughts, lists of any sort.
- The old headphones with the circle bottom. Just because apple changes all of its accessories it doesn’t mean that the airlines have caught up… Bring your own headphones so that you can watch a movie without having to buy a new old pair you will never use.
- Gum. I always chew this on the way up and down to let my ears pop.
Now hopefully you fly somewhere really cool soon so that you can follow this checklist. 😉