And just like that, winter break has come to an end. It’s back to reality and back to the books, but who is to say we can’t remiss about the amazing time off we had.
I was fortunate enough to travel south over the holiday break to soak up some sun on a much needed vacation with my sister Taylor. As I have mentioned before, she is my best friend and recently moved to Florida after graduating college to start a new journey in a much better sunnier spot! My brother and his fiancee live just around the corner so it was a great chance to be with them as well!
But like we all know and can relate to- sometimes traveling can be a pain in the neck!! Usually I have pretty good luck with flights; only a delay here and there. Nothing could have prepared me for my complications. Unfortunately my original flight was cancelled and it postponed my journey to Tampa for a day. I was put up in a hotel room and didn’t get out until the next morning, which left me with a lot of time in the airport, and even more time thinking about the problems that can all come with cancellations. First off, anxiety! But aside form just the regular stress from traveling that everyone goes through, I found myself exhausted, unhappy, and realizing some important traveling essentials! From standing in lines to waiting for flights to walking around the airport, traveling can really take a toll on your body. What I came to realize was that it all makes sense! No wonder people are angry in the airport and tired after traveling!! I spent what I thought to be almost hours circling the airport looking for a place to refuel my body. They have everything from pizza to fried chicken, to fast food, and “Candy Bars” but not once did I find a place that would secure my body with a healthy and sustainable meal that followed my vegan lifestyle.
Sure, they offer “healthy options” or so they say, where you can indulge in an “all natural banana bread” or a “ simple smoothie” to which I figured out was made with ICE CREAM! On what planet do we think ice cream can be called a smoothie to instantly make it healthy! Placing signs on food ensuring they are healthy does not do the trick. Salads are considered a staple to any healthy diet but the ones from chain restaurants are actually loaded with fat and calories from add ons and salad dressings. It is up to you to make smart decisions and eat whole, raw foods that you know are going to sustain you. Without proper nutrients and healthy fresh food, my body doesn’t work how it should, and the same goes for many other people. Fresh and fueling food is essential to everyone and filling it with junk and grease from airport food stations is a way to make anyones journey feeling heavy, sluggish, and un-rewarding.
After pacing around in circles and checking each place twice for anything, I came to a realization that I would have to dissect this airport in forms of snacks to complete a meal that fit my lifestyle and didn’t leave me feeling empty. Here is my ultimate hack to healthy airport eating!(i’m still working on a budget friendly menu, but man does the airport jack up the cost!)
First off- water! I picked up the largest sized SmartWater from the first convenience store I found to give my body a good supply of electrolytes that comes in this name brand water. Electrolytes are important for the brain and are a great way to give your body minerals while holding on to the largest possible amount of water keeping you from being dehydrated. Alongside the water I grabbed a Tazo Hot Green Tea from Starbucks as well as a fruit cup filled with pineapple, grapes, cantaloupe and strawberries. Green tea is one of the most valuable things to put in your body as it reduces risks of cancer and gives your body and brain a boost of antioxidants essential to maintain energy. The fruit was a sweet side to ensure a healthy carb rich in vitamins. I then made my way to an Au Bon Pain to grab a mini Hummus and Veggie cup with a snack size bag of whole, raw, almonds. Almonds as well as chickpeas(in hummus) are an awesome alternative to regular protein as they have a large amount. And finally, a picked up two banana to hold me over after in case I felt hungry. Bananas hold a large amount of potassium, a Nutrient that many people lack without even realizing it as it comes from only plant based foods.
So sure- that is not a complete meal for anyone but is it healthy and will it sustain you over a long period of time- yes! the vitamins and minerals in each and every one of these choices are a perfect way to make sure your mood stays up, you hunger stays down, and your energy levels are maintained. Healthy eating does sometimes mean inconvenience but it never come un appreciated. While those next to me on the plane were up every two minutes int he bathroom from stomach issues because of junky foods, I was able to have a clear mind and a pleasant plane ride!!