Guest Author - Christina T. Schlacter, PhD
Waking up for that 6AM flight was not enough of a challenge! Whether you are traveling for a fun adventure or on a big business trip, there is no escaping the evil truth: airports can be a health food nightmare. Travel does not need to cost you your health, nor do you have to hunt high and low to find something nutritious in the terminal. All it takes is a little advanced planning and that stale danish from the coffee kiosk will never have a chance at passing your mouth.
Here are some easy ideas for healthy breakfasts in the terminal.
Financially fit: Most airport delis stock the basics if you just ask. Grab a banana, two slides of whole wheat toast (hold the butter please), and a side of peanut butter. Add a glass of skim milk for calcium and for about $6.00US you will have a high energy meal that will not break the bank.
Sit down for a wholesome meal. Is the security line shorter than expected or your flight delay longer than you would like? Take advantage of the time and sit down and enjoy a wholesome meal. Do not be afraid to speak up for what you want. Almost all restaurants at airports can accommodate healthier choices like egg white omelets and fruit plates. Steer clear of any breakfast labeled for a state or region, these are often filled with muffins (fat alert!), pastries (sugar-high), and little nutritional value.
Coffee shop bliss. Breakfast not your thing? Grab a large latte or chai with 1% milk. Pair your gourmet drink with a piece of fresh fruit to get your energy going. You never know how long you will be out on the tarmac.
Fast food joint. If your airport does not have a coffee shop or deli, do not despair, you can still find something healthy at the fast food joint by your gate. Stay clear of any yogurt parfaits (sugar, sugar, and more sugar) or breakfast specials (fat, fat, fat). Instead, ask for a plain English muffin, a piece of fruit, and a glass of skim or 1% milk. Top your English muffin with honey and you will have made yourself a wonderfully satisfying and slimming meal.
Pack it in. There is nothing stopping you from bringing in your own food. It is cheap and you know exactly what you are getting. While bananas do not travel well and applesauce will get confiscated at the security line, you can always bring your own oatmeal, go for the plain or lower sugar instant oatmeal versions. Add a hardy, travel-friendly fruit packed in a zip-lock bag (oranges and Bosc pears travel well), and with a little hot water from a friendly vendor you have a wonderfully healthy breakfast.