Since I have plenty of time to kill while I sit at the airport and await my severely delayed flight, I decided it is the perfect opportunity to write up a blog. And it’s not too difficult to find a topic of interest here in this sea of sad food choices. While airports admittedly are getting much better about offering healthy options on the go, I’m going to dissect 3 common foods you will find in an airport that you may think are healthy but are actually, NOT. Then, guide you toward better choices to help deliver you swiftly and sveltely to your final destination.
1) The Yogurt Parfait
While this snack appears to be healthy, full of fruit and granola, it’s deceiving you.
Evil Yogurt strikes again! Muahahahaha
Generally loaded with sugar, a typical yogurt parfait can actually pack upwards of 500 calories a pop. Au Bon Pain serves up one parfait that calorically rivals the Big Mac, weighing in at a whopping 620 calories. The added sugars are mostly the culprit. Take a peek at the fruit. If it looks like it’s coated in syrup, it’s because it has been. High fructose corn syrup, to be clear. Also, skip the granola because it doesn’t offer much nutritionally. Heavy in calories per serving, granola is also laden with, again, sugar. But all is not lost! You can have your yogurt and eat it too. Opt for plain Greek Yogurt (2-4% fat to add toward your daily healthy fat intake) and grab some fresh berries instead!
I know. It seems like it’s “just raw vegetables”. But it’s all the unhealthy stuff they put on top of the vegetables. This includes more than a tablespoon of cheese, croutons, candied pecans, fried sesame sticks, tortilla strips, french fries, ANYTHING fried, a partridge in a pear tree, a kitchen sink drenched in ranch, etc.
Dressing alone can wreck this healthy option. Skip the pre-packaged dressing which also definitely includes the low-fat and non-fat options which are full of fillers. Opt for vinegar and olive oil or simply squeezing fresh lemon on top. Sliced raw almonds, a few dried cranberries or avocado can add flavor and texture without destroying your goals. Protein options: grilled chicken or fish, grilled steak, seared ahi tuna = GOOD. Deli cuts like turkey or ham (super processed, loaded with preservatives and sodium), Falafel, actually, fried ANYTHING, and tuna/chicken/egg salad (#mayonnaise) = BAD. Also worth noting: a “taco salad” is not a salad. It does do a fiesta inside one’s mouth. But it is not a salad. But it isssss yummmmmmmy. But it is bad. You can’t have it. So here’s a healthy recipe to pack for yourself: TACO SALAD YUM YUM.
3) Gatorade/Vitamin Water:
Unless you physically ran all the way to LGA from New Jersey, you don’t REALLY NEED a drink like this. Gatorade was created for elite athletes expending ridiculous amounts of calories and electrolytes in order to replenish stores of energy for performance.
I’m gonna assume you aren’t responsible for physically pulling the plane out onto the runway when you fly, so you probably should skip the glorified sugar water and grab club soda, unsweetened iced green tea or H2O instead.
Also, I’m not HUGELY opposed to diet sodas. There is little actual evidence that supports artificial sweeteners are in fact bad. But everything always in moderation, my sweet little nuggets.
Other great snacks to grab:
- Mozzarella Stick: Yeah! Like, string cheese from your lunch in elementary school! It’s a perfect serving of good fat, calcium and protein. Also: DELICIOUS.
- Banana, Apple, Orange, etc.
- Protein Bar: READ THE LABEL! If it has more than 12 grams of sugar, skip it.
- Raw Nuts: NOT roasted, NOT salted, NOT sugared. RAW. And only a small bag.
- Starbucks always offers a Protein Box that I love. More of a small meal, however, than a small snack.
So on behalf of BeStrongBeFit Airlines, we thank you for flying with us. Restore your tray tables to locked, return your seat to an upright position. Prepare for landing.
Final destination: the envious dreams of all your friends and foes.