I love food, I love cooking, I love eating healthy, I love everything about food! Dedicating this post to everyone asking me about my food preparation routines. I love talking about food so it’s a pure joy for me to share this! Before I start writing a huge shoutout and Thank You to my friend @emiliepix for being my biggest food inspo and for always being so patient with me when I ask you all kind of food-related questions! She´s a guru when it comes to healthy cooking and what to eat and what not to eat, my dream is to one day to a cooking channel with you…I haven´t told her this yet haha Emilie is a flight attendant for one of the worlds biggest airlines and I a pilot for one of Europes biggest airlines, I think it would be a great combo!
Below are some useful tips that I have tried out during years of flying commercially to make sure that you get the nutrition that you need during a flight, but also without feeling bloated, getting gramps or ´food comas´ these works for me, that necessarily doesn’t have to mean that they will work for you. I have no education what so ever when it comes to nutrition, but I have a strong passion for it and are picky with what I put in my body, these are 100% my personal opinion! I hope you’ll like it and that you find them helpful for you xx
I always prep my food the night before. The day I don’t do that will be the day that I oversleep and will have no time to do it in the morning, I also like to get as much sleep as I possibly can, so doing it in the morning would be a waste of quality beauty sleep, especially for the mornings when my alarm goes off at 03:00 am and prepping food is the last thing on my mind.
I start the morning with a ‘power wake me up smoothie’ I mix fresh red grapefruit juice, ginger, turmeric, black pepper (I recently learned that to get all the benefits of turmeric you need to add black pepper) and sometimes chili. I mix it all in my Ninja Blender and drink it on my way to work. Ginger has so many benefits that are good for you, that it would take up this whole blog post if I were to list them all. I drink it mostly for my stomach (see this link to read more about the benefits of ginger: 11 Health Benefits of Ginger). Turmeric has just as many great benefits as ginger and is believed to be anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidant (read more here: 10 Benefits of Turmeric). I add chili carefully, I used to use a lot of it, and still love the spicy kick that it gives, but studies have shown that eating too much chili (eating until it burns) can have an increased risk of cancer so I have slowed down my chili consumption significantly, until more studies have been done.
This is pure luxury and joy! I do my chia pudding the night before. Mix almond milk with chia seeds, add agave or date syrup. The next morning when it has ´set´ I add a tablespoon of coconut yogurt, add granola, peanut butter, and top it with more agave syrup. This is not for every morning, only on special occasions, so delicious, so yum!
Eggs and my favourite greens, arugula, spinach and black cabbage.
Red lentils, carrot, and parsnip in tomato sause.
The amount of pasta I maximum eat, I would only add it in salads like this once in a while and I prefer to use a whole wheat brand, oven cooked sweet potato is also mmmmm…..
Stay away from…
I stay away from gluten. Gluten bloats me and can give me stomach cramps, especially when I eat it in a pressurized cabin, many of us have a gluten intolerance without even knowing about it, sorry, but no sandwiches, no bread and I stay away from pasta, occasionally I will take for example a pasta salad with me, but not a heavy all pasta dish, sorry all Italians, I LOVE pasta but I don´t eat it when I work, it just has too much flour in it – gluten.
I make sure to pack in small but many portion meals. You don’t want to eat a huge meal followed by ‘food coma’ plus eating is fun, right? It´s time-consuming for long flights. If I fly a four sector day I have at least four different kinds of foods with me, to make sure that I can eat something on each sector/leg. It can be, for example, two hard boiled eggs for breakfast, followed by a chia and granola pudding for the next sector, a hot lunch for the third and a small salad or fruits for the homebound leg.
One time I took spicy leftover food from the night before with me, never ever again! I have never had such stomach cramps. Even if you´re pretty good at taking spicy food on the ground, that doesn’t mean that your stomach can handle it at cruising altitude when the airplane is pressurized, I have never ever had such stomach cramps and they lasted for a good hour, I learned my lesson, gentle seasoning.
No dairy!! People will hate me for this and think that I´m throwing my vegan lifestyle food at ya. (I dont eat a fully vegan diet but I don´t eat meat, fish or dairy, I do however eat free range eggs). Stay away from dairy best you can as that can give you gases, same as with gluten, many more than you think have lactose intolerance and sitting stuck in a small cockpit when that happens isn’t something that you want. Also for passengers, you don’t want to sit and hold xx in during a long flight! (or be the person sitting next to someone that is letting it out 🙈)
I eat as many fruits and water-rich foods that I can, the air is dryer than we are used to so we need to drink more water than we normally do. Still, we tend to forget, or rather we avoid to drink so that we dont have to disturb the person sitting next to us when we need to constantly use the lavatories, but believe me, drink water, your neighbor will just have to understand. You will land feeling more refreshed and did you know that about 90% of all headaches are caused by a lack of not drinking enough water, so before you go for that pain relief pill, try to drink water, wait half an hour or so, you will feel much better. Bonus tip, bring a refillable water bottle with you, you will have to empty it before you pass the airport security due to liquid rules. I normally fill mine before I go to the airport, it´s a good reminder of drinking water before my flight when I have to empty it (drink it) before my turn in the security line. Plus by taking your refillable water bottle with you, you´ll use less plastic which should be everyone’s goal.
I don´t salt the food that I prepare, salt draws out moisture so you should want to avoid that.
And last but not least I always keep a couple of healthy bars for a quick energy boost when my blood sugar is running low, during a ground delay, slot, etc when we just sit and wait.
I love bars! They are a perfect quick snack. I chose one with the fewest and cleanest ingredients @larabar are amazing and available in so many different flavors you´ll never get tired of them.
Red grapefruit does wonders for your digestion and metabolism.
Never underestimate the power of a single ´date´
Fresh organic raspberries for the extra fancy days.
If you have any questions, anything please let me know in the comments below or on my Instagram @pilotmaria
Until next time, thank you for checking in.