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food restrictions

What Can You Take on Your Flight

What Can You Take on Your Flight

What Can You Take on Your Flight

Going on a flight overseas is especially different these days because of the flight restrictions since 9/11. Just know that you still have lots of options, even if you’re dealing with food restrictions. Here are things I would suggest to have on-hand:

  • Meals and some snacks for any flight lasting more than 3 hours. You may not think you’ll eat that much, but better safe than sorry. Airplane food is gross and should not be eaten if you care about your health. Remember, you’ll have to be to your flight at least an hour early and depending on where you live, you may be traveling for quite a distance to get there. The typical options I might bring would be a sandwich, Jamaican beef patties, nuts and dried fruit, granola, cracklings, nitrate-free salami or ham (pre-sliced), slices of hard cheese (soft cheese or butter may be confiscated as a gel/cream!), a piece of fruit etc. Of course as many of these as possible should be homemade, but definitely choose items you’d feel comfortable bringing in a plastic bag (and at room temperature for many hours) for the inspectors to see. Bring enough for the whole family. I travel to Europe typically, so bringing food for dinner and again something for breakfast is crucial.

  • A tiny bottle of lotion. No more than 3 oz. to comply with flight restrictions. Airplanes are dry and you’ll appreciate it come morning.

  • A toothbrush. Even if you don’t think you’ll sleep on the plane, a toothbrush can be a welcome thing after several hours in the dry stagnant air of the plane.

  • Warm clothing. I don’t care if it’s the middle of the summer and 110 degrees where you live. The plane will get cold at some point and those little blankets they give you don’t cover jack! A sweater or jacket is good and wear jeans or something long on your legs if possible.

  • Games, books, computer, puzzles, or a craft. You’ll need something to do and often the movie screen in front of you will malfunction or someone has already done the crossword in the in-flight magazine, so be prepared for downtime and make the best use of that time with a project to keep you busy.

  • Medications or necessary supplements. If you have a condition that requires medication or supplements, make sure you bring enough for the plane. You can pack it in a baggie. Even if you don’t, some people find a megadose of high quality vitamin C such as amalaki powder mixed into water (the flight attendant will have bottled water) is good for keeping any viruses circulating on the plane in check.

  • If you’re traveling with small children, make sure they have all of the above. In addition, don’t forget to pack things such as diapers if they’re really young (ours sat on a chair near the front door at home the first time we traveled with our daughter — not fun trying to find diapers in rural France on a Sunday where everything was closed — luckily we found one Arabic store opened).

  • If you are breastfeeding your child, nursing him or her during take-off is a good way to prevent their ears from clogging. As a last resort, if they are old enough, chewing a piece of gum during take off (and then promptly spitting it out after a few minutes)

What not to bring on your flight?

  • Leave your knives at home. When I went to Jamaica, somehow I went there and came back with a small pocket knife in my purse (didn’t know it was there until I got home). If you need one when you get to the other side, pack it in your checked luggage.

  • More than 3 oz. of liquids, creams or gels. Hotel-sized bottles are great for lotion and any other small amounts of liquid or cream you may need.

  • When returning to the US, make sure that any food you purchase for the flight is consumed before landing on US soil. The American government does not want fresh food of any kind coming onto American soil. (And they can’t figure out why degenerative disease is so rampant!) You may laugh, but I once ended up on a “contaminated” line and had all my bags scanned when I declared a pear from France that I had forgotten to eat. Their high tech equipment for disposing of the offending fruit was a garbage can with a Hefty bag in it.

This should pretty much sum up what you can take on your flight. If I haven’t covered something, drop me a line. I’ll be glad to update the page with answers to your questions.


About Adrienne Hew

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Adrienne Hew is a Certified Nutritionist and the Nutrition Heretic Podcast Host, but is best known online as an author of the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller 50 Ways to Eat Cock: Healthy Chicken Recipes with Balls! Receiving a certificate in Chinese dietetics in 2002 and her degree as a Certified Nutritionist in 2004, she has helped many clients and workshop attendees to decode their own health dilemmas by understanding the inconsistencies in conventional nutritional dogma. She currently resides in Hawaii with her husband and two children.

Eating on the Road

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For the traveler with food restrictions, the thought of travel can be even more overwhelming.”Can I get organic or gluten-free meals or snacks on the way to my destination? What will the airline allow me to bring on the plane since I can’t even eat their “healthy” meal option? What’s my back-up food plan in case my flight doesn’t leave on time or I get stuck in traffic?”

I am lucky to have overcome my food allergies, but that doesn’t mean that I can eat just anything. Once you’ve been eating a nourishing diet for as long as I have (going on 15 years), there are just some things you won’t eat. It’s not because you want to prove superiority to people who do choose Hot Pockets and Bagel Bites, but because you know how best your body works and food loaded with chemicals and preservatives just “doesn’t sit right” in your stomach. That said, when I’m on the road, I still try to eat foods that allow me to have lots of energy and think clearly.

If you or your child has severe food allergies or intolerances, your task is even harder. Not only can you not tolerate preservatives and other chemicals that have no place in the human body, but the allergies and/or intolerances are probably to real, otherwise nutritious foods such as wheat,eggs, or dairy.

Here are a few general ideas to keep in mind when adhering to a nourishing diet on the road:

1. Have an arsenal of snacks and cold foods that is at least double what you think you will eat. If your drive or flight are more than 3 hours, pack even more than that in case of unexpected traffic or airplane delays.

2. What time of day will you be arriving at your destination? For example, flying from the New York to Western Europe means that your flight will arrive at breakfast or lunch time over there. Just because you’d normally be asleep at home, doesn’t mean you won’t be hungry getting off the plane. Also, keep in mind that places like the Netherlands have laws that prevent all stores from staying open past 7 pm most days of the week. Pack extra food accordingly.

3. What day of the week will you arrive? When are stores open at my destination? Much of Western Europe is closed on Sundays — that includes farmer’s markets and supermarkets. In non-Christian countries, that day off could be Friday or Saturday. Check the net or ask the hotel or owners  of the rental property you’ll be staying at about what your options are for the first 48 hours after arrival.

4. You are allowed to bring dry snacks and foods. Homemade popcorn, hard boiled eggs, strips of bacon, sandwiches, trail mix, pork rinds, raw milk cheese, veggie sticks with dip, hummus and pita, and cold chicken are good options. Packing them in large plastic baggies or Tupperware type containers should be fine.

5. Is any of the food you’re packing for the plane going to leak at high altitudes? While bottles larger than 3 oz are not allowed on planes, you may decide to take small amounts of other foods, such as a small jar of a non-dairy butter alternative to spread on your bread. Believe it or not, I have been permitted to bring thermoses on the plane too — just make sure you don’t put something like a smoothie inside, which will ooze everywhere!

6. Is the water potable at my destination? Many countries still have water sources that upset the digestive systems of “civilized” Westerners. Find out if the place you’re staying in has proper water filtration or adequate access to bottled water. Some companies make special travel filters that you can bring along in your luggage. In restaurants, make sure the cap is tightly sealed and you open it at the table, not the waiter. Remember that salads will be washed in this stomach-churning water, so go easy or avoid them unless they are from a reputable hotel.

Throughout this site you will see other ideas of good snacks and tips on how to control your food intake overseas. Don’t think that because you can’t “just eat anything” that you’ll be missing out on a lot. While most other countries don’t have the same level of familiarity that Americans do with food allergies and intolerances, they often have much wider options of delicious local foods that are ignored by the average North American traveler.


About Adrienne Hew

Adrienne-Hew_BlackWhite.jpg

Adrienne Hew is a Certified Nutritionist and the Nutrition Heretic Podcast Host, but is best known online as an author of the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller 50 Ways to Eat Cock: Healthy Chicken Recipes with Balls! Receiving a certificate in Chinese dietetics in 2002 and her degree as a Certified Nutritionist in 2004, she has helped many clients and workshop attendees to decode their own health dilemmas by understanding the inconsistencies in conventional nutritional dogma. She currently resides in Hawaii with her husband and two children.