Like many people, I've discovered that it’s not so easy to eat healthfully when I’m traveling. Most airport options are unappealing to say the least. Case in point: the last time I flew out of Midway in Chicago and shopped for breakfast I was immensely disappointed. Everything contained a ton of sugar and had ingredient lists that were miles long. The best options? A packaged hard-boiled egg and bottle of water in a bookshop — boring at best. At the checkout line, another woman turned to me to echo my own thoughts — how were these our only options? It felt good to know I wasn't alone in this dilemma.
How is it that in so many nice airports we have to either scramble or starve to find something acceptable to eat? Until airports begin to offer more healthful choices it’s in our best interests to help ourselves. As a bit of a road warrior, who still believes in good food, here are my tips and tricks for eating well on the road.
First, and probably the most important, prepare ahead of time! Figure out where you’re going to eat or bring food with you. From your own kitchen, pack along easy to eat snacks like carrot sticks and fruit. You also can treat yourself to something from your favorite local restaurant. For example, recently we were in Portland and I knew I had a seven hour flight ahead of us, so I ordered extra food for breakfast from Cultured Caveman. I grabbed some bacon wrapped dates, some parsnip/cauliflower/sweet potato mash and a fried chicken (coconut flour + omega 3 eggs) salad, and all I had to do was stash it in the fridge and grab it on the way out the door! Just remember never to bring soups or anything in liquid form (seriously, TSA will take it and you will be sad).
Fried Chicken from Cultured Caveman - YUM!
If you didn't plan ahead (it's okay, it happens to the best of us), you can sometimes find a hidden gem in the airport. Few airports have excellent choices, but some have viable options. These are my absolute favorites:
- CIBO Express, found in many airports including DCA (Washington, DC), ORD (Chicago), MSP (Minneapolis-St. Paul), etc. This place offers awesome natural alternatives to your airport to-go shop. They have options like Krave, Hail Merry, and Dang .
- Cat Cora – Every time I have a layover in SLC (Salt Lake City), I always visit Cat Cora. They have an amazing Cobb Salad with egg, bacon, grilled avocado, sundried tomatoes, and a very natural peach vinaigrette.
- Napa Farms Market - SFO (San Francisco) has a great selection of salads and natural snacks. Also, they offer a great wine selection.
- Vino Volo has many locations and offers a grilled chicken salad for $12 that is gluten-free, dairy-free (if requested) and delicious.
- Argo Coffee or Seattle’s Best for Almond Milk Lattes
- Shoyu (MSP) has a great salmon salad with fermented vegetables (including cauliflower and beets) and a ginger vinaigrette.
- One Flew South, ATL (Atlanta) is the priciest of the options, but definitely worth it! I especially love getting the chicken “noodle” soup (an appetizer for $9), which if you ask for gluten-free has chicken, cabbage, scallions, and carrots in a lovely Asian broth. This dish is both delicious and filling while you’re on the road.
There you have it, fellow road warriors! Now tell us, what are we missing? What are your on-the-road hacks & favorite alternatives?
Simple Mills Team, out!