Vacations can often mean coming home with padded waistlines. Trying new foods and skipping the gym will do that. (Who knew?) But there's no reason to throw out your healthy practices on the way to your destination. We already told you which apps to download to stay healthy on layovers, but what about snacks to bring on the plane? Fast food and airline treats are equally skip-able in favor of these less-caloric bites. Leave the all-out, shameless indulging for the trip itself.
Roasted, salted peanuts have been standard fare on airplanes for ages. To avoid the sodium hit that comes with pre-salted peanuts, try mixing your own bag of nuts, and go raw. New York City-based personal trainer Laurel Holloway notes:
"Nuts are pretty much the perfect portable snack because they're easy to measure out, (most nuts like pistachios and almonds will be about 200 calories per 1/4 cup), are filling, aren't messy, and contain a great ratio of protein and fat. The best kinds to get are raw or dry-roasted nuts with nothing added, no sugar or salt, but if they are also combined with seeds (like plain pumpkin or sunflower for example), that's another great way to get some more fiber, protein, and healthy fats incorporated into your diet."
No time to mix your own nuts pre-flight? Trader Joe's sells individual packs of raw nuts with raisins for sweetness.
Cut Veggies and Yogurt Dip
Ok, so cut up veggies seem like a no-brainer, right? Well, it's Monday, so give us a break. Where it's easy to trip up, though, is what you choose to dip those veggies in. Ranch and blue cheese dips can be very high in fat and additives. An alternative is to make your own Greek yogurt dip. Non-fat, plain Greek yogurt not only provides helpful pro-biotics, but the relatively high amount of protein per serving will help keep you fuller, longer. Here's a great recipe for Spinach Pesto dip we found on RealSimple. Each tablespoon yields 23 calories and 2 grams of protein. Remember, though, that dip may fall into the TSA guidelines for carry-on liquids. So keep your portion under three ounces and pack it according to TSA rules.
Peanut Butter and Fruit
We're going to say it again—protein, protein, protein (and good fats)! These will keep you fuller longer on a plane, and will help keep your energy stable. When you're more satisfied, you'll be less inclined to order off that airline menu, saving money as well. A great option is to pack some all natural, no-salt-added peanut butter or other nut butter, like almond, (again, remember TSA guidelines and keep it under 3oz) and cut up fruit. Most people think of bananas and apples for peanut buttery dipping, but berries and pears work as well. Note: Be aware that if a passenger with a major peanut allergy boards, you might be asked to discard your peanut butter, so have a back-up source of protein like...
Cheese is another one of those high protein, fatty foods that can help keep you satisfied better than crackers alone, and you'll eat less as a result. Opt for high quality cheese raw cheese if available. Note: Laws governing the availability and purchase of raw milk cheese can vary state to state—Fodor's does not condone the breaking of any cheese-related laws!). According to Holloway, raw, grass-fed cheese is preferable because "it has healthy fat, omega-3's, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), calcium, and protein. It maintains a lot of the healthy enzymes and nutrients that are stripped from processed grain-fed cheese and is also free of residual antibiotics or growth hormone found in factory farmed dairy." If you can't go raw, at least opt for grass-fed over grain-fed, she says. And remember, portion control! Keep it to an ounce per serving, and there'll be nothing but clear and healthy skies ahead.
Tip: When traveling internationally, be prepared to ditch any leftover snacks before you arrive at your destination. Many countries have strict guidelines about which food stuffs can and cannot be brought in.