guest post! lara b.

by Janetha on October 3, 2009

in meals

Hello, Meals and Moves readers!  This is Lara from Thinspired Blog and I am so excited to be writing a guest post for Miss Janetha.

As I write this post I am sitting on a 10-hour flight from London Heathrow to San Francisco.  I often find myself in this position, essentially having a place to call home on both sides of the Atlantic makes for frequent travel!  After many trips that were less than smooth sailing, I’ve finally nailed down a list of set rules that I always try to stick by. These have been posted on my blog before but I am always making amendments with each experience!

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  • Leave the pepper spray at home and do not attempt to hide it in any luggage.  The big scary security men will find it.  Don’t ask me how I know.
  • Wear comfortable clothes!  It sounds obvious but there have been a few times when I have dressed to impress rather than for comfort and I have regretted it.  There is nothing worse than sitting on a plane for 10+ hours having to adjust straps or waistbands.
  • Buy a huge bottle of water straight after going through security.  How much water do you typically drink over a 10-hour period?  A lot more than those little airplane cups every two or three hours!  Yikes.  Must remember to hydrate while in the air.

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· Bring snacks.  The last sentence of #2 is actually not true.  There is something worse than being in uncomfortable clothes, and that is being hungry and stuck on a plane.  I’ve been there too.  So now I bring food.  Lots of food.  More than I think I will eat.  Enough to make a meal (or two) if need be, because sometimes plane food is just intolerable any way you slice it.  I brought these goodies below and also picked up some salty rice cakes at the airport!

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· Arrange to have a “special meal” choice.  This might seem contrary to the above rule of bringing your own food, but there will probably be some point in life when you have little choice but to eat plane food, no matter how many snacks you pack.  I read somewhere to always order the low-fat option.  I tried it for the first time, very nervous that “low fat” would just equal a pile of bread or pasta.  I was pleasantly surprised and always order it now.  It’s simple switches like fruit for the breakfast plate instead of that scary cheese roll.  Totally do-able.

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o This is my low-fat meal on this flight.  A plain salad with some surprisingly edible chicken, wholegrain crackers and (not pictured) a granola bar.

· Avoid alcohol like the plague.  Exception: the few times I have flown Business or First Class I have definitely accepted the complimentary champagne.  Other than that, it’s bad news.  Don’t ask me how I know.

· Accessorize: sleep mask (personally I need one to sleep anywhere, but even if you don’t normally use one, you might be seated next to someone who wants to read the whole flight!), earplugs (aka screaming baby blocker), socks (I wear these old-lady flying socks to help circulation but anything to keep your feet warm), and reading material.  I do not recommend any action novels that start with plane crashes.  Don’t ask me how I know.

· Do not stop yourself from eating when you are hungry simply because it is not a mealtime in the countries you are traveling to or from.    If you recall, this is a new rule I established the hard way during my last long flight.  I tried to eat at set times while being awake for a 30+hours and it was hell.  I was starving, cranky and in tears halfway there.

· Maintain your standards.  In the delirium of hunger and boredom, a hot dog while sitting in Chicago O’Hare for 7 hours can become oddly appealing.  Do not eat anything you wouldn’t otherwise accept as food under normal circumstances.

· Sleep whenever you can.  I do not believe in this “let’s stay up all night so I can sleep on the plane,” theory.  Most people will not get quality sleep on a plane, anyway.  Sleep.  Whenever and wherever you are able.  Your body’s clock will adjust quicker than you think.

· When you aren’t sleeping, stretch.  Walk around.  I do stretches in the galley of the plane and roll my ankles and wrists in my seat.  I’ve walked circles around airports, and up and down the aisles of a 747.

· Be kind.  I have pretty much decided that travelling unfortunately brings out the absolute worst in human nature.  Pushing at airports, screaming at flight attendants…I have witnessed crazy behavior.  More than usual, I try to be extra forgiving while travelling.  Sometimes it’s hard and I am tempted to become the crazy person.  I will not.  I will breathe.

Well, that’s all I’ve got, but I could always use more guidance.  Do you have any travel rules to live by? Any tips you want to share would be great!

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VeggieGirl October 3, 2009 at 7:52 am

AWESOME tips, Lara!! And I just purchased that issue of Real Simple – I need to start reading it, since it’s pretty hefty.

balancejoyanddelicias October 3, 2009 at 8:07 am

great tips! I’ll save it for my next trip! :)

Graze With Me October 3, 2009 at 9:04 am

Great tips Lara! I don’t travel long distances that much but these are all really helpful, even for short trips, thanks!

Andrea@WellnessNotes October 3, 2009 at 9:22 am

Great tips!

I always get cold on airplanes, so I make sure I wear many layers…

Kristin (Kristin's Nibbles) October 3, 2009 at 9:27 am

Great tips, Thanks!

The Foodie Diaries October 3, 2009 at 10:45 am

I love your be kind tip; I’ve had so many travel experiences tainted by rude people. Very important to spread el amor :)

And I ALWAYS have earplugs on hand; mine are bright orange haha

Allison (Eat Clean Live Green) October 3, 2009 at 11:15 am

Great tips! I love all the ‘Don’t ask me how I know’s :)

hayleycepeda October 3, 2009 at 11:24 am

This is an awesome post Lara!! I haven’t read anything like it before, but this is great advice. I highly agree with everything you wrote! I saw something on TV the other day that talked about how you can dress comfortably but still look stylish. I could care less about what I looked like on a plane – normally I end up wearing my most comfortable pair of stretchy pants, a tank top and a sweatshirt…and I ALWAYS bring some of my own food!!

Good planning. :)

Lara (Thinspired) October 3, 2009 at 11:24 am

Thanks guys! Thank you Janetha, for letting me post!
It is a GREAT issue of Real Simple, by the way!

fittingbackin October 3, 2009 at 11:56 am

Thanks for the awesome tips!

sunshineandsnowflakes October 3, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Good tips Lara. I’m going on a mini-break in a few weeks, they’re perfectly timed!

Meredith October 3, 2009 at 1:01 pm

They won’t find the pepper spray at MIA! I have mine attached to my key chain and forgot to take it off. Fast forward to me finding it as I dug through my purse on the airplane looking for some gum! Scary, right?

The Candid RD October 3, 2009 at 6:38 pm

GREAT list of rules!! I especially agree with the rule to bring a snack. I always end up eating more than just my pretzels (the only place rides I’ve been on are 2-5 hours). If I get a meal, I still end up eating my snacks!!
I like to live by another rule; always have a book or some soduko to keep you busy!! I’m an antsy girl, so I need to be mentally occupied.

Angharad (Eating for England) October 3, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Yay! Awesome tips miss thang. Flying long distance sucks and I fully agree with both the water, eating and sleeping advice wholeheartedly. I also advocate not wearing a smidge of make-up (you can always apply at the end of the flight!) and taking a good facial moisturizer to apply mid-flight. That airplane air is dryyyyyyy.

Jo October 4, 2009 at 1:14 am

Great post Lara and some brilliant tips :)

Deb (Smoothie Girl Eats Too) October 4, 2009 at 7:37 am

Great post and tips lara- I do most of what you do, and bring lots of layers for FUUURrrreeeezingness on the plane. Also sudoku (like CandidRD) and I often order a Hindu meal- yes Hindu b/c there’s lots of lovely “pulses” aka lentils, garbanzos, veggies. i also take other food: veggies, (NOT YOGURT as they confiscate), HB eggs, Seitan Sticks. And sometimes if I’m feeling grannyesque I’ll take one of those u-shaped neck pillows. Such a dork, eh?!? Hahahah!

Leah October 4, 2009 at 8:48 am

Love this guest post!! I can relate to a lot of the travel tips you gave. I have never tried the flight socks though.. maybe I will next time.

Last time I had the vegan meal on a flight and it was disgusting. Nothing against vegan diets but the company was definitely not educated enough! All I got was fruit and these gross cracker bread things… tasted like cardboard!

I’ll be going for the low fat option from now on!

Lizzy October 4, 2009 at 11:39 am

aw this is this best post ever! great tips, and the “don’t ask me how i know’s” are so funny! thehe!

carascravings October 4, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Those are good words of advice…I have quite the long plane trip coming up, so it’s good to get some good tips. Thanks

Holly (The Healthy Everythingtarian) October 5, 2009 at 9:37 am

LOVED THIS POST! as an avid traveler myself, i was nodding my head throughout the entire thing. i think when traveling, you have to cut yourself a bit of slack. i try to sleep as much as i can, and if i need 1 (or a couple) starbucks at airports to get me through, i do it.

i also advocate lots of reading materials + music for traveling, as well as an extra pair of socks and layers, because i ALWAYS get cold in planes.

thanks for the tips miss lara!!!

BadGirl92 October 23, 2009 at 6:17 am

This screw is a ratchet wheel screw. ,

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