By: Allyson Dahl
There's nothing quite like the excitement of getting on a plane to travel somewhere you've never been to before. Upon landing that feeling is usually dampened by how lousy you feel from the long flight. The environment of plane cabins can often leave you feeling dehydrated, constipated, and sluggish. Fortunately, you can prevent this from happening by fueling your body with the right types of foods while in flight to your destination. Below are three carry-on friendly meals that will keep you feeling great during and after your flight.
Oatmeal contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is beneficial to consume during long plane flights because it prolongs satiety, preventing mood swings and a drop in energy (Hetherington et al., 2013). Also, if you feel full longer you won't have to purchase an overpriced airplane snack. Insoluble fiber increases fecal bulk and acts as a natural laxative (Smulders et al., 2018). Due to this it is recommended if you are prone to becoming constipated during travel.
When preparing your carry-on oatmeal pack ½ cup of dry oats along with your preferred toppings in a seal-able tupperware. Twenty minutes before you want to eat your oatmeal ask your flight attendant for a cup of hot water. Pour the hot water into your oats, put the lid back on to prevent spills in the case of turbulence, and let the oatmeal sit for twenty minutes. If you want to save room in your carry-on you can pack your oats and toppings in a plastic bag and ask the flight attendant for an empty cup to make your oatmeal in. After the time is up your oats will be soft and ready to eat.
black bean & corn salad with citrus dressing
The superheroes in this dish are the resistant starches found in the black beans. Resistant starches are not digestible by human enzymes, therefore they don’t cause spikes in blood glucose levels (Winham, Hutchins, & Thompson, 2017). This will prevent you from feeling sleepy and sluggish during and after your flight.
If you don’t plan on drinking much water during your flight limiting your sodium intake can prevent you from feeling dehydrated. Rinsing your canned beans with water can greatly reduce their sodium content. Using fresh orange and lime juice, instead of a salad dressing, to dress this salad is another tactic you can use to lower the amount of sodium.
Black beans are perishable, so this meal should be consumed within the first four hours of your travel.
Hard Boiled egg & frozen grape snack box
Hard boiled eggs are packed full of protein. Due to this they promote enhanced satiety (Phillips, Chevalier, & Leidy, 2016). They are also perishable and must be handled correctly to prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria. One way to do this is to pack your eggs in a container full of frozen grapes. The grapes will act as an icepack and keep the eggs cool and out of the danger zone for an extended period of time. The additional benefit of doing this is that you get to eat the grapes. Grapes are 81-84 percent water, so eating them will help you stay hydrated and feeling refreshed (Busch, 2017).
Busch, S. (2017). Percentage of water in fruits & vegetables. Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/350652-percentage-of-water-in-fruits-vegetables/
Hetherington, M., Cunningham, K., Dye, L., Gibson, E., , Gregersen, N., Halford,J., Lawton, C., Lluch, A., Mela, D., & Van Trijp, H. (2013). Potential beneﬁts of satiety to the consumer: scientiﬁc considerations. Nutrition Research Reviews, 26, 22–38. doi:10.1017/S0954422413000012
Phillips, S., Chevalier, S., & Leidy, H. (2016). Protein “requirements” beyond the RDA: implications for optimizing health. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 41, 565-572. https://doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2015-0550
Smulders, M., Van de Wiel, C., Van den Broeck, H., Van der Meer, I., Israel-Hoevelaken, T., Timmer, R., Van Dinter B., Braun, S., & Gilissen L. (2018). Oats in healthy gluten-free and regular diets: A perspective. Food Research International, 3. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2017.11.031.
Winham, D., Hutchins, A., & Thompson, S. (2017). Glycemic response to black beans and chickpeas as part of a rice meal: a randomized cross-over trial. Nutrients, 9. doi:10.3390/nu9101095
Ashley. (2013). Black bean and corn salad [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://veganfeast.tumblr.com/post/59604288425/cookingincombatboots-guacamole-salad-1-yellow
FewMinuteWonders. (n.d.). Frozen grapes [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.fewminutewonders.com/2012/04/frozen-grapes-snack-under-70-calories.html
JupiterImages. (n.d.). Oatmeal in jar [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://mom.me/lifestyle/8400-10-products-organize-your-home/item/glass-containers-lids/
Teschner, M. (n.d.). Sunset from plane window [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20151019-the-moments-that-made-me-love-flying
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