Fashion week season is officially here, and that translates to spending hours on planes for a lot of us.
This is a guide for what to do to feel as high as the clouds when you fly. The real reason I’m writing this is because last night I got off a plane feeling very low, dizzy and nauseous from eating food I would never have put in my mouth had we not been cruising 40,000 feet in the sky. Having left Brooklyn and my book behind at that morning as I carried my suitcase and stumbled my way down the slush-covered subway stairs at rush hour, making my way to teach two classes before going to the airport, I then sat in my window seat book-less with just two options: to fall asleep or think obsessively about what to eat. I fell asleep for as long as I could, but then feeling wide awake, began to panic realizing I only had Greek yogurt in my backpack. At this point, it became obvious that I would succumb to the evil powers of airplane food. So I did. I quickly devoured the aluminum-covered heavy cream butternut squash “flavored” pasta with god-knows-what-else in there. Granted, airplane food has come a long way since the ubiquitous anything stroganoff.
I landed in Bogota feeling like I had been run down by the plane that had gotten me there, and, trust me, the 8,660 feet of altitude did not make things any better.
So the great question then becomes: What do you do on a plane so you don’t feel foggy, scattered, exhausted, and jet-lagged when you arrive at your destination? A 10-hour fast. I know, sounds scary, but trust me it works.
Basically, don’t eat anything for 10 hours before you get to your destination, and plan to eat soon after arrival. This means DON’T eat on the plane. The in-flight meals served by the airlines consistently have the same processed, heavy, stale flavor profile so you’re not missing out on any gastronomical magic anyways. Plus, they’re packed with scary ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, sodium nitrate, BHT, and other synthetic additives. Even their nuts are calorie-dense and drowned in fat, and those “healthy” wraps they serve are usually no better than a white (potassium bromate) bread sandwich.What you can do instead is ask for a big cup of hot water at the airport, or even bring your own hot water bottle to steep your favorite tea, and add a bit of coconut or almond milk.
Things to sip on before and during a flight:
- Turmeric ginger tea: helps with inflammation and circulation.
- Relaxing herbs like: chamomile, ashwagandha, lemon balm, holy basil, and passion flower.
- In case you have to work from the plane, you can take any of these stimulating herbs that are not as harsh as coffee for a positive alertness effects: ginseng, ginger, licorice, and ginkgo biloba.
- I always travel with spirulina or one of its blue-green algae cousins, chlorella or E3live. You never know if you’ll get high quality fresh ingredients at your destination, so it’s best to play it safe by adding a nutrient-dense, blue-green algae that has all essential amino acids, is high in protein, and contains minerals like iodine, calcium, potassium, and magnesium that support the body’s ability to produce hormones and regulate all key metabolic functions.
- Upon arrival have a Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee since mushrooms have great adaptogenic power to help your body to overcome physical, chemical and biological stress.
If you sip on these warming teas throughout the flight, and choose to do a healthy 10-hour fast, then you will be doing a huge favor to yourself. The fast helps click a reset button on your circadian rhythm, so you can adapt quicker to the new time zone. Also, if you think about it, you’re not expending any energy sitting on a plane. Where’s the need to eat? You should drink plenty of water (or tea) even if you have to stand up several times to go to the bathroom (it’s good for your legs, anyway!)
I know traveling can pose some stress around food and run you down. But, if you mentally and physically prepare for it, it doesn’t have to.