What I eat on planes

Posted on July 24th, 2014

This is another one of those posts I do when the questions on a particular topic roll in too thick and fast for me to respond to on an individual basis. Every time I travel somewhere I cop this one: but what do you eat in the air?

Image via Favim.com

Image via Favim.com

I’ve covered off what I eat when I’m travelling, that is, what I eat in foreign countries when I don’t have access to a kitchen and familiar foods.

I’ve also touched on what I eat on the run, including toting my breakfast and lunch to work. But today we’re going to cover air travel in all its hyper-packaged, processed, over-salted glory.

I mostly don’t eat on domestic routes

On short flights I simply don’t eat. Honestly, all of us can survive 1-2 hours without food. Snacking is a confection of the food industry to get us eating more of their food. Up until the 1990s common wisdom was to eat three square meals a day. This is what our bodies are designed to do. They like to rest a good 4-5 hours between meals. But in the early 90s nutritionists modified this to the “5-6 small meals a day” prescription in response to their client’s crazy blood sugar issues (from eating too many sugars and cheap carbs).

My issue with snacking is also this: snack food is mostly crappy. And always so on planes.

Know this:

Because our sense of taste dilutes at altitude, plane food is jammed with extra flavourings and salt.

On international flights

On long flights, or if my transit and flying time is right on a meal time, I will generally pack my own food and eat it at the airport or mid-flight. This is what I do:

  • I use up veggies that will go off in the fridge while I’m away. I chop up red capsicum, beans, snow peas etc and put in a ziplock bag (these can be rinsed out, dried and rolled up taking up less room in my suitcase than a lunchbox). I tend to always have a wedge of avocado or cheese lying around. I put that in the bag, too (I always eat fat Read more

How to plan a great hike

Posted on July 23rd, 2014

It’s kind of funny being asked to explain something that comes as second nature to you. “Um, you just do it,” comes the reply from the nuclear scientist who splits atoms for a living.

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 10.04.09 AMBut given I’m so often hike-bragging (hagging?) all over social media under the pretense of encouraging more people to hike on their weekends and vacations (in lieu of shopping), I feel it’s my responsibility to actually break things down for those who are wanting to give it a go, some of you for the first time. Anyone doubting the incredible benefits of hiking it’s worth my flagging:

*Research shows that spending time outdoors increases attention spans and creative problem-solving skills by as much as 50 percent.

* Just one hour of trekking can burn well over 500 calories (if calorie counting is your caper).

* Hiking can lower blood pressure by four to 10 points, and reduce the danger of heart disease, diabetes and strokes for those at high-risk.

* Another study found that long distance hiking trips may improve antioxidative capacity in cancer patients.

* And this bit of boffinism shows that using hiking as an additional therapy can help people with severe depression feel less hopeless, depressed and suicidal.

In a semblance of order, here’s how I do it:

I make it all about the hike.

Some people travel to a city or region for a museum, or the café scene, or for the wineries. From there they experience other things (great food, sights, smells). When you really want to give hiking a go, go to where the best hike is and build in other experiences from there. It’s not a bad formula to adhere to. Great hiking scenery generally attracts great food and culture and other experiences. And like-minded people.

I use hiking as the raison d’etre of my travelling. That and eating.

Research your hike thus:

Google: “Best hikes in [insert name of area]”. If you’re really happy to travel anywhere in the world for a rippin’ hike, check Read more

my daily health routine…since you asked for it

Posted on June 27th, 2014

Gosh, we’re really getting down to the rats and mice of my life here…but I’ve been getting too many emails from you asking how I order my wellness habits to ignore the topic much longer. I’m no expert (on anything much), but I have taken consulting of experts on this topic to pedantic levels and have a thing or two I can share with you. As always I share as an invite, not as a didactic instruction!

xxx

Jumping into my day (awkwardly) with 20-40 minutes of exercise (outdoors as often as possible).

I’m a big fan of having very regular morning movements. (Ablution entendres not really intended.) I’ve written about the benefits of having a morning routine before. It’s the one thing about 80 per cent of the health experts I’ve interviewed, from HH The Dalai Lama to Oprah’s life coach, have in common.

1. When I wake up

* I wake at 6.30am or so… naturally. I scrape my tongue (an Ayurvedic practice) and clean my teeth.

* I drink 1 litre hot water with lemon juice while I make my breakfast and lunch.

* I take my thyroxin and then I potter (listening to news radio) while I drink…and, let’s be frank, hang about until nature calls.

* I drink 100ml of kombucha. This gives me a little spark to get through until breakfast.

* I tend to ablutions and head straight out the door to do exercise.

2. Exercise and meditation

Exercise

* Me, I do something every day, even on thyroidy days and days when I’ve had no sleep. I just scale it back if I’m feeling crap. The “doing it every day” bit is what counts. Deciding whether I should exercise or not is not an option; less options in the morning is very key. Studies show we have limited decision-making energy and that it’s best to “auto pilot” our mornings as much as possible so we can eliminate as many angsty choices.

* I don’t do fuss. I carry only a key – down my bra or in a small pocket in my shorts. Equipment just bogs you down and acts as a disincentive (“Where’s my water bottle?! Oh, darn, look, now I don’t have time to go for a jog”). Read more