I separated flying from traveling because for me, they are two separate animals. When travel i always scope out the nearest health food store and know ahead of time what my options are but in an airport, your options are pretty darn limited so it is important that you be prepared for whatever.
You may think i’m crazy but then there are those of you who will thank me because you have been delayed by weather and have gotten stuck for 1/2 a day or night at the airport due to one delay after another.
So for flying as with anything in a celiacs life it all comes down to preparation.
Eat before you leave your home. And, I don’t care if its at 5:00a.m. down a protein shake on the way. If you fly often and you are familiar with the food options in your terminal and there is a safe option, then I’m not talking to you. My only question is are you 1000% sure that, your safe option will be there and that you have time enough to stand in line to get it?
For the rest of us who don’t live in airports and don’t have a clue what restaurant options are available, I choose to be over prepared and have healthy snacks on-hand in my purse and in my carry-on. And I’m not just talking about throwing a banana in your purse, I’m talking about some protein sources. When you need to stay full, you need some protein not just fruit and certainly not just gluten-free carbs.
Depending on the length of my flight say 2 hour versus 6 hours across the country also determines the amount of food/snacks I bring. Also a determining factor should be are you flying direct or do you have to change planes 1/2 way, cause if that is the case you can always count on having a few delays and needing to have more food with you.
Now TSA won’t allow you to bring liquids in, but they do allow you to bring in prepared foods (depending on where you are traveling to) or at the very least prepackaged items. So I go for single servings of nut butters, hummus, some gluten-free seed crackers, almonds or other small containers of nuts, and protein powder. These are my staples, then I’ll add some berries or a banana. And, I always carry more than I think I need.
Another thing to consider is, if all goes according to plan and you are on-time to your destination, will you have enough time to get to the nearest health food store or some place for dinner before they close? If you may not, then I tend to carry a dinner option for me, enough to get me through to the morning when everything is open and I can be prepared. So I generally bring a big salad, have a cooked protein source (that I carry in a cooler bag so that it says fresh and I can usually quickly heat it up if I need to), a single serving gluten-free dressing option (that has been doubled bagged to prevent leaks) and throw any extra nuts from my snacks on top. Or I make my own gluten-free sandwich and bring it with me, all wrapped up and cut in pieces.
Can’t tell you how many times that has saved me during a several hour day.
Starbucks is usually my last but only option for finding a gluten-free snack if I have run out or didn’t have enough on my trip back. I go there because they generally have packages of nuts at the counter and often carry a Kind Bar or a Two Mom’s In The Raw Bar which will absolutely due in a pinch and Starbucks are in many airports.
However, some airports support their own local coffee companies on occasion, I have been surprised that they carry a gluten-free option but more often than not, there are no options.
So it is hugely important that you know ahead of time and are banking on there being a Starbucks in your terminal and have them come to your rescue, that they are actually there. Do not leave yourself out of options and starving, that’s not a good plan.
Would love to hear your tips on flying, please share in the comments below. Also, if you have specific tips you’d like to request, click on the question box and I’ll get to yours just as soon as I can.