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How to survive international air travel

Neither appetising nor Primal


“If you don’t like something, change it.

If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”

Mary  Engelbreit


If you have read any of my other blog articles, you know my approach to weight loss prioritises food quality over food quantity. I don’t bother with calorie counting. Instead, I focus on eating the right stuff.

But modern living sometimes puts you in situations where you have to get by with less than ideal food sources. One example is international air travel, which I do a lot of. In fact, I am writing this article on a flight from London to New Jersey.

Airline food is not very appetising and caters poorly for a low-carb life-style that emphasises non-processed foods.

When I first started my diet, I thought diabetic in-flight meals was the solution. But I have been disappointed and  horrified with what airlines serve diabetics. An abundance of refined carbohydrates and very little fat is what airlines seem to think diabetics need. Get ready for a serious spike in blood sugar if you eat that!

Instead, I stick with the standard meals on offer. I then follow a few simple tips to make in-flight meals acceptable:

  • I generally only eat the meat, poultry or fish in my meal along with the few limp and overcooked vegetables that come with it.
  • I do not touch the starch that is served with the meal.
  • I also leave the dessert alone.
  • If the meal comes with cheese, I eat it on its own.
  • If I am sure the little wrapper of  “butter” is actual butter, I will eat it. I generally melt it on top of my meat, poultry or fish. Sometimes I just eat it straight out of the wrapper. (This attracts looks from my fellow passengers that range from puzzlement to horror.)
  • If the salad dressing comes on the side, I generally leave it and eat my salad undressed
  • If my salad is read-dressed, I choose not to worry about the potential for highly processed plant or nut oils. I eat the salad.
  • The same goes for wheat or additives in any sauce that may have been poured over my meat. I don’t worry about it. I figure I need to eat something. I don’t go out of my way to eat all the sauce, though. Just the stuff that happens to cling onto my protein.
  • If there is a choice of meals, I avoid the pasta options. The other choices usually contain more protein and fat.
  • Sometimes I bring food with me on the flight. Typically, this would be nuts, vegetable crudities, or snack-bags of chorizo. I leave all left-overs in the flight cabin when I disembark. I don’t want to be stopped in customs with food I’m not supposed to bring into my destination country.
  • If the departure airport has decent restaurants, I may have a large low-carb high-fat meal before boarding my plane, so I can completely avoid eating the in-flight food. I am particularly fond of all-day English breakfast and steak with salad.

Some might argue a long-distance flight is an ideal opportunity to practice intermittent fasting. At the risk of upsetting Paleo purist, I have to admit I don’t find fasting very pleasant. The same goes for long-distance air travel. I fear combining the two would tip me over the edge.

Each to his own, though.

Happy travels!

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