"Essential Raw Travel Tips for Health Nuts"
PART 1: Airplane food, oh no!
by Frederic Patenaude
Have you ever gone on a trip by airplane and then realized how hard it can be to travel on a really healthy diet, when almost all the food served is not only cooked, but also processed, full of salt, oil, and rarely vegetarian?
For me, traveling has always been problematic with my diet until I learned the rules of the game. I have been on an airplane probably more than a hundred times, and it is with trial and error that I have learned the best way to stay healthy while traveling.
Before, even though I didn't eat airplane food, I didn't exactly know what to bring and would often feel sick after eating foods that didn't sit well (especially in high altitude and often in a state of sleep-deprivation!).
Or as I learned the hard way on my last trip (which took almost 2 days just to get there), it's easy to run out of food and find yourself in a situation where basically no healthy foods are available... and you are hungry (I hate Tokyo airport).
I have also experienced the frustration of ordering a special meal and not getting what I wanted, and ending up eating foods I wouldn't normally eat because of that.
Or getting my bananas seized at a US airport because US laws forbid carrying fresh fruits and vegetables into the country!
So here are some essential travel tips I have found to be useful for traveling by airplane and staying healthy.
*The Ultimate Travel Drink*
Eating fresh raw fruits and vegetables without fat is the best way to stay healthy while traveling by airplane. You'll experience ease of digestion, increased energy, and less jet lag.
However, bringing fresh fruits and vegetables can be problematic. First of all, it's a little bit messy to dispose of all the fruit peels. Second, your fruit could be easily seized, as some country (like the USA) forbid bringing fresh fruits and vegetables.
What you can do instead is call the airline in advance and order a “fruit platter” (be very specific about that: fruit only), and then bring your own food, what I call, the “Ultimate Travel Drink” (UTD).
So what's the UTD? Basically, it's a fruit smoothie. Fruit blended with water. But in this case you'll use a little more water, and you'll bring a REALLY big supply!
Why blended fruit with water? From everything I have tried, it's the best. It keeps you hydrated (which is often a problem when traveling by plane), feeds you, and is fairly easy to carry and consume.
For your UTD, here are some suggestions (my favorites):
- Seedless grapes blended with water
- Bananas, water
- Mangoes, papaya, water
Stay away from combinations and stick with one fruit only (two at the most). How much to bring? Lots.
Generally, I bring close to a gallon. I use big fruit juice containers from the store (simply because, again in the US, they sometime don't allow “home-made drinks”) and fill them with the stuff. How much you need depends on the length of your flight. For a short flight, a 36 ounces bottle is enough. For a longer flight, bring several containers like that.
An alternative to the UTD is to bring fresh fruits (and vegetables) already cut and prepared in plastic containers.
You won't have problems if you travel within the US. But if you go to a far away place (like Bali) where you can travel for 2 days before reaching destination (and several connecting flights!), you have to be prepared for the worst. Your UTD might run out, or go bad, or be confiscated (hey, stuff happens!).
So I suggest bringing a good supply of dry goods such as dried fruits and nuts. I don't recommend dried fruits except for traveling. Otherwise, it's best to avoid them (for more information see the articles on my website).
I personally travel with a dried fruit bar sold in Quebec and called Equibar. It's an almost-raw bar and I find that I digest it better than any other similar raw snack bars.
It's probably not available anywhere else, but I'm sure you can make your own or simply bring some dates.
These dried goods can be your savior when nothing else is available.
*Pay the Price*
In many US and Canadian airports, several restaurants sell fresh fruits, fruit salads, fresh juices and even smoothies. The prices are outrageous compared to what you would pay at home, but compared to the cost (to your health) of eating anything else, it's a bargain.
So I suggest forgetting the concept that “airport food is too expensive” and instead see it as a savior. $1 for a banana is still a deal compared to eating any other airport junk.
So in conclusion, I want to emphasize that traveling on a raw-food diet is really is the way to go, even if you're not a dedicated raw food eater, simply because you'll feel so much better and more refreshed on your trip. And with the tips in this article (and future ones to come!) you'll have an easy time doing it.
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