Thursday, December 17, 2009

Best Choices at the Airport

I found myself hungry, in the airport on the way back home from a conference in sunny San Diego. I was so hungry, but now that I am studying nutrition I am practicing mindful eating. I collected myself and thoughtfully considered my options. This exercise made me realize how much we operate on auto-pilot when we are hungry, especially when we have waited a little too long to eat. When we are hungry in the airport, and maybe we even have our kids running around, we can't leave our stuff, we've been waiting forever and a day to board our plane, we choose convenience and what would we think would taste good in that moment. This usually results in a slice of crappy pizza, some kind of really gross fast food like McD's, or some other place that serves the same quality food as your basic fast food chain -- but markets themselves as a step up (you know the ones I mean).

The reason I am even posting this at all is so the next time you find yourself in the same situation maybe you will remember a little bit of what you have read here and perhaps make a better choice. Why make a better choice? Because eating more nutrient-dense and efficient foods makes you feel better, gives you lasting energy, and you feel better about yourself for striving to take care of your body.

This is what I found to be my best options:
  • Cup of fruit from Starbucks: gives you quick energy + fiber (if you get a fruit cup from another source, please check that there isn't any added sugar)
  • Small bag of mixed nuts: protein and fat, long-term energy, filling (make sure there isn't any added oils!)
  • Whole wheat bagel - toasted, with nothing on it, or butter if you prefer
  • Grab a banana and a hard-boiled egg, or even better, a whole grain bagel and a hard-boiled egg!
A lot of folks think a salad is a good option. Although they aren't particularly bad for you, they tend to be very nutrient vacant. The lettuce is usually crappy and mostly water, the vegetables are packaged and have been around for a very long time (and there are few of them), and who knows what's in that dressing! Probably rancid or poor quality oil, which can actually make you feel ill or cause you to be more hungry because you aren't getting the kinds of fats your body actually wants. Yes, there is often times some chicken on that salad, which is good, but without some good complex carbohydrates you increase the chance of the protein being stored as fat, proteins are hard to digest and the carbs actually help you digest the protein.

Here is an interesting article on the MSNBC website about
healthiest restaurant choices if you and the family intend to sit down for a meal, or need to grab something more than a bagel.

No comments:

Post a Comment