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?

(source unknown)

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

Please. Turn back the bread.

Posted on July 11th, 2014

Want to get me cranky? Over order in restaurant and leave a ton of perfectly good stuff on your plate to be chucked out. Oh, and then not see this as an issue.

A food wastage poster from World War 1.

A food wastage poster from World War 1.

I’m really rather myopic about food wastage. Just to drum it: The biggest pollution issue on the planet is food wastage (surpassing industry and car emissions). And the biggest contributors to food wastage? Consumers (not manufacturers or restaurants or farmers).

Just because I’m a little cranky today, I’m going to outline a few ways folk can do the right thing in this regard, and in regards to wastage in general. Mostly it’s about communicating – voicing up.

Say “no bread thank you” when you place your order if you tend to pick your poached eggs off your sourdough. Or “only one piece of bread”, if that’s your fancy.

Ditto, when the bread basket and oil arrives. Reject it before the waiter plonks it (if you’re not going to eat it). If you don’t, and you let it sit there while you eat, the waiter will have to chuck it when they clear your plates.

Order on the stingy side when doing little shared plates. Then add to it, rather than over-ordering.  Apply this to sides Read more

How I stretch one organic chook to make 15 meals

Posted on June 10th, 2014

Some people watch Game of Thrones. Some play Ultimate Frisbee. Me, I get pleasure from finding novel ways to stretch a chicken further.

Roast Chook, ready to cook

Roast Chook, ready to cook

For a whole bunch of reasons (that I outline in my book I Quit Sugar For Life), one should always try to invest in an organic chicken. You can read more on this here. These things can be expensive…but not if you take full advantage of its goodness. The greatest nutritional and economic bang for your organic buck comes from eating the meat as well as the carcass, boiled up as a stock. The bones, skin and giblets contain the life-giving minerals and electrolytes that make chicken broth so good for the soul.

I cook the whole chook, often slowly, to extract as much nutrition as possible. This works out to be very economical for you, especially if you stretch a $20 organic chook to 15 meals…

Oh, the fun you can have with a Choose-your-own-adventure challenge! To play along, it entails starting with one (bulk-cooking) dish, then dragging out the various leftovers, scraps and by-products from there.

1. Start a roast chook (recipe below). Serves four.

2. Take the leftovers to make a roast dinner gratin for the next day. Serves one.

3. Freeze the remaining portion and use it to make chicken pops at a later date. Makes four snacks.

4. The carcass from the roast is used to make Leftover Chicken Stock. Makes six serves. Read more