• Monika

What to eat at the airport?

Many of my clients travel on regular basis so eating while being on the road is definitely a hot topic of our consultations.

During my latest travel to Poland I took an opportunity to take some pictures at the JFK airport of things to eat and decided to write this quick guide to help you navigate the options.

Unfortunately I was flying from terminal 7 and the options were quite disappointing. I'm used to flying from other terminals where my go to place is CIBO EXPRESS (terminals 2, 5, 8). They offer a ton of options from organic, gluten-free, kosher and more. You can grab hard-boiled eggs, organic yogurts, cheese wrapped in prosciutto, fresh fruit, gourmet salads and sandwiches. It's pricy but worth considering.

Anyway, back to my miserable terminal 7.

My options were: two regular bars, wine bar (where they only served cheese, cold cuts and pizza), Aunt Annie's, McDonald's, Box Chef and a couple of other small places.

I considered getting this Wall Street Grilled Chicken Salad or the Gluten Free Tuna wrap (decent option if you don't like vegetables).

I dismissed the bars as food there is usually super heavy and I wanted something light as I had a long, overnight flight ahead of me.

So, lo and behold, of all places I picked McDonald's.

I told myself it would be an interesting experiment for me. It's good to step outside of your comfort zone once in a while...

Of course, the obsessive person that I am, I went online and looked up the salad's ingredients. Once I saw that the grilled chicken is 100% chicken breast and antibiotic-free it was a go.

This quite small Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad and water cost a whooping $10.15.

Definitely not cheap considering that I could have ordered 4 cheeseburgers and a soda for the same amount. Still wonder why we have a problem with obesity in this country?

Back to the point...

The nutrition info (without the dressing) was as following:

350 calories, 27 g carbs, 12 g fat, 38g protein.

So far so good.

I skipped the dressing and the tortilla chips.

I liked the beans and corn, and I was pleasantly surprised that the salad included baby kale and baby spinach, not just plain lettuce. The chicken was awful though. It was covered with some sort of sweet glaze and although it was supposed to be grilled chicken breast there was some sort of brown skin on it.... Very, very odd. Also there is no way that there was 38 g of protein in that salad. Maybe 20g at best.

I regretted not getting that boxed salad with grilled chicken and balsamic.

After I ate my sad dinner, I was walking around and taking pictures of some other things you could buy.

These are my favorite chips. Gluten free, non-gmo and made locally in Deep River, CT. I love all of their flavors. If it was a shorter and a day flight I would have definitely bought some.

These are my second favorite pretzels. I usually buy them at Costco for the house. They have only a few ingredients, they are non-GMO with no artificial stuff in them. I like that they stock them at the airports now.

There were quite a few snack/protein bar options (although I brought my own Garden of Life Protein Bar).

As per a sweet treat this brand has caught my attention:

It's rare to see sprouted products (other than bread and beans) and I've never seen a sweet snack that has sprouted nuts in it.

This had 2 tsp of sugar and 9 g of fat per serving so not too bad for a dessert. I will get it next time!

Just to wrap up the article here's a quick summary of my thoughts and tips:

7 tips on eating at the airport:

1. Drink & buy plenty of water for the airport and the flight.

2. If you can, bring your own sandwich and healthy snacks. I promise they will not take it from you through security.

2. If you decide to eat at the airport, stick to light foods such as salads with protein, soups, hard boiled eggs, yogurt.

3. Avoid anything fried.

4. Avoid candy.

5. If you're going to drink, go for wine or vodka. Beer can be very bloating and that's the last thing you want when flying.

6. Skip foods high in sugar alcohols which can cause bloating which again is very inconvenient on the plane.

7. Take digestive enzymes that will help you with proper digestion of the foods you eat and may help ease stomach issues.

Hope you enjoyed this article!

Do you have your own favorite places to eat at the airport?

Please share them with me and my followers by emailing me or leaving a comment on Facebook.