8 Healthy Homemade Snacks for Your Next Flight

What’s more exciting than flying?! Alright, maybe flying isn’t exciting to everyone but it means you’re traveling…and we looooooove traveling! But what’s one of the first things to fall by the wayside whether you’re taking a vacation or just jetting off for a quick business trip? Usually your healthy diet. This diet typically starts at the airport because let’s face it, there aren’t many healthy options at most airports and if you wait until the onboard café to find some snacks your options are even more limited; not to mention expensive! It doesn’t have to be this way however, you can eat healthy, save money and keep your healthy lifestyle intact while flying…it just takes a little work. Here are 8 of our favorite ideas for healthy (and easy) airplane snacks:

Avocado Smash with Plantain Chips
Avocados are an awesome travel snack because they don’t require refrigeration, they provide healthy fats to your diet and they can be mashed up with just about anything. Bring along some crispy plantain chips and you have a great healthy snack for flying. It’s even gluten –free and paleo approved!

To make: Take 1 avocado, scoop into a bowl, add seasonings of choice: lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic, hot sauce, chives, lemon zest…options are endless. Then using a fork smash the avocado with the seasonings until desired consistency is achieved.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Skip the chips and instead make this easy, addictively crunchy snack for your next trip. Chickpeas are high in fibre and protein so unlike chips or popcorn, this spicy snack will also fill you up. Spice combinations are endless so you can experiment and find a flavor combination that you crave.

Spicy Chickpeas

To make: Drain a can of chickpeas, toss with 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp ground cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne powder to taste. Spread on parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a single layer for 30 minutes at 400° F, shaking tray half way through.

PB Power Balls
These tasty little peanut butter power balls are about as easy to make as it gets; they’re full of energy boosting oats and protein rich peanut butter to keep you satisfied through those long flights. They’ve also got a little kick of chocolate for those sweet cravings and best of all –no baking required!

To make: Combine 1 c. oats, 2/3 c. shredded coconut, ½. c peanut butter, ½. c mini choc chips, 1/3 c. honey, 1 tbsp. chia seeds and 1 tsp vanilla in a bowl and mix until combined. Roll into 1 ½ inch balls and refrigerate until firm.

Hummus and Veggie Wrap
Hummus is such a versatile spread and provides way better nutrition than any mayonnaise based dips and spreads with its high fibre and protein thanks to chickpeas and tahini. It’s a perfect option for flying because it can stand some time out of refrigeration and won’t make your sammies soggy. Pack a couple of these easy hummus veggie wraps for a healthy snack on the go.

hummus wrap

To make: Take your favorite store bought hummus and spread a couple tablespoons onto a wrap (or a leaf of lettuce if you want to go all out on health factor) and add your favorite fresh veggies like grated carrot, tomato, cucumber, peppers, sprouts, radish, avocado, or anything else you like, roll it up, wrap in plastic and keep in the fridge until it’s travel time.

Sesame Edamame
Our favorite Japanese appetizer can also be a great (and satisfying) travel snack on the go. Edamame beans are cheap, easy to cook, rich in carbs, protein and fibre…and best of all they travel well thanks to their natural ‘packaging’.

Edamame

To make: steam some frozen (or fresh if you can find) edamame pods in their shells until tender, drain off excess water, then toss with 1 tsp sesame oil, sea salt, fresh ground pepper and sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds. Just pack in a container for your flight and bring a little baggie for those shells.

Chocolate Crunch Bars
Candy bars and other sugar-filled, chocolaty treats are all too easy to come by at airports and on-board but they do nothing good for you. These chocolate crunch bars require a little work but are a great alternative with far less sugar, protein rich almonds, fibre filled dates and enough chocolate to satisfy any sweet craving!

To make: Bottom layer- Combine 8 medjool dates, 2 tbsp. shredded coconut,  ½ c slivered almonds, 2 tbsp. cocoa powder and pulse in food processor until well mixed and sticky. Press into small square dish. Top layer- Melt ¼ c. coconut oil and ¼ c. chocolate chips until smooth and combined.  Add 1 tbsp. maple syrup and 2 tbsp. cocoa powder, stir and pour over the date/nut base. Refrigerate until firm and then cut into squares and wrap in plastic for travel.

DIY Dried Fruit
Fresh fruit is great but doesn’t always travel so well. By the time you make it through airport security your banana is usually battered and beaten at best. The answer? Dried fruit! It’s easy to make your own dried fruit at home and it’s free of preservatives and added sugars (unlike some of the store bought stuff). It travels extremely well, fills you up with fibre and satisfies a sudden sweet craving.

Dried fruit

To make: Select your favorite fruits that are ripe but not overripe (apples, banana, mango, peaches, pears and apricots all work well) remove seeds/cores and slice to about ¼ inch thickness. Place on non-stick baking sheets and place in 170°F oven to dry for anywhere between 4-8 hrs. Drying time all depends on thickness and moisture content of fruit. Once dried, pack in bags or add to granola for a healthy travel breakfast!

Quinoa Nut Clusters
It’s no secret that quinoa packs a healthy nutritional punch and it’s a welcome addition to any diet with its abundance of vitamins, minerals and protein. Combine it with nuts and cocoa in this easy to make snack and you have a winning combination that not only travels well, but is sure to make your neighbors jealous while they pick from sad airplane snacks.

To make: Mix ¼ c. melted coconut oil, ¼ c. maple syrup or honey, 2 tbsp. cocoa powder and 2 tsp coconut flakes in a bowl until combined, add in 1 ½ c. puffed quinoa and ½ c. chopped toasted nuts of your choice (almonds, peanuts, cashews all work well, or for nut-free add toasted pumpkin seeds) and combine. Spoon into muffin liners and refrigerate until set.

FlyJoy Bars

Ok, this last one isn’t in the homemade category but lets say you get scheduled for a last minute business flight and you have no time to do your usual healthy snack prep… don’t worry because FlyJoy has you covered! These delicious, nutritious bars make it easy to enjoy a healthy snack on the go, since they’re filled with wholesome ingredients like quinoa, oats, flaxseeds, chia seeds, dried fruits and nuts. Just pop a few of these bars into your carry-on and you won’t have to worry about temptations like airport fast-food and unhealthy in-flight snack options.  Plus they come in seven fun flavors like Peanut Butter & Jelly and Cashew Cookie Dough. To get your hands on some, head to flyjoy.com.

FLYJOY

8 Reasons Why Vacations Are Good for Your Health

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that vacations are good for us—after all, taking time for ourselves to discover new places, to engage in activities we enjoy and even just to spend quality time with family and friends all seem like great things to do and pleasant ways to spend our time. But vacations have some other surprising health benefits that you may not know about. These 8 benefits show why taking even just a short vacation is good for you and everyone around you (including your co-workers!).

8. Vacations Decrease Stress

We’ll start with the obvious: taking a vacation is a great way to bust stress, a view supported by multiple studies and the American Psychological Association. The day-to-day grind of our hectic lives can leave us feeling overwhelmed, like we have too much to do and too little time. Often, we have competing demands: maybe there’s a big deadline at work that’s fast approaching, but you need to make time to care for a relative or child. Evenings and weekends sometimes aren’t enough time to unwind. Taking a vacation gives us more space and time for ourselves, to do the things we like to do and things we want to do. It allows us to get away from, say, the co-worker we don’t like or to forget about doing the laundry. Even though it’s a temporary escape, taking the time off can have a huge effect on our stress levels.

stress and paper work

7. Your Health Will Improve

Several studies have shown links between vacation time and decreased risk of particular disorders and diseases. In the landmark Framingham Heart Study, taking regular vacation time was linked to a lower risk of heart disease, an outcome that was repeated in other studies, like the National Institutes of Health’s Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial for the Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease. While it’s hard to say if the vacation itself lowered the risk (perhaps by lowering stress levels) or if taking vacation time is just a habit of people who live lower-risk lifestyles, regular vacation time was definitely implicated in improved cardiovascular health. People who took at least 1 week of vacation each year were 30% less likely to take a heart attack than their colleagues who skipped vacation time. So book your getaway—it’s good for your heart.

heart health

6. Relationships Grow Stronger

It’s no secret that the key to successful relationships is spending time with other people. Unfortunately, our personal ties often take a backseat to professional pursuits. Working too much can not only put you under stress but also cause your relationships to suffer, especially if you start cutting people off, turning down invites or bringing stress into your interactions with friends and loved ones. A vacation allows us time to reconnect with the people we actually want to have in our lives. Traveling is especially good for deepening bonds between people: vacations are quality time for relationships and shared experiences, good and bad, help bring people together. People with strong bonds tend to feel less stressed, are less susceptible to disease and are less prone to mental health issues such as depression.

couple holding hands

5. You Mental Health Will be Better

Physical health improvement isn’t the only benefit of taking a vacation; mental health is also affected by whether or not people take vacation time. A study by the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin reported that women who took vacation time on a regular basis had a lower risk of depression. A study by the University of Pittsburgh’s Mind Body Center had similar findings. Again, multiple factors come into play—such as getting more Vitamin D by visiting a sun destination in the winter or simply allowing the body to recuperate—but there’s no denying vacation can lower the risk of mental disorders like depression and burnout. If your boss puts up a fuss about you taking time off, tell them you’re doing them a favor—depression-related losses in productivity cost employers around $79 billion every year.

Happy meditation

4. It Helps our Brains Recharge

We talked about how vacation time can help your mental and physical health in the short term and how it can be preventative—but it can also help your brain itself. Most of us have routines and rote tasks; we’ll find ourselves essentially on repeat, doing the same thing over and over. That doesn’t allow us much mental flexibility; we’re less likely to be spontaneous or creative, especially in heavily routinized jobs. And when we are asked to be creative, we’re likely to find that we’re tapped out; our brains are tired. Just as vacation gives our bodies a break, it also gives our minds a chance to recharge. This is especially true when we get out and explore. Making our own schedules, being spontaneous and learning new things actually energize our brains, giving us new experiences to analyze.

relaxing on beach

3. Vacation Gives us a New Perspective

Any good traveler knows that the best way to learn about the world around us is to get out and explore it. That can mean jetting off to an exotic locale or simply checking out a new museum on the other side of town. These new experiences can help us learn about the way that other people live. When we learn about different cultures and peoples through first-hand experience, we learn to be more sympathetic and understanding of those peoples, their cultures and their ways of life. This helps us develop an awareness and appreciation of others. These new perspectives can be beneficial in many ways: they can be earth-shattering enough for us to decide to start a movement or to change our habits, or they can subtly shift our mindsets to view problems in new ways—and maybe see solutions we didn’t see before.

museum France Paris
MarKord / Shutterstock.com

2. It Boosts Productivity

The effects of vacation last even after we get back to the office. For one thing, rested minds (and bodies) tend to be more creative, which means we see new and inventive ways of solving problems. If you’re trying to get a big promotion, that can be a huge help. Being rested also gives us the mental resilience to keep working, even under stress, which can help us achieve goals or meet deadlines. And being rested has another huge advantage: it simply allows us to be at our best, which means we do more work and good work. When we don’t take vacations, we can feel ground down, bored or tired. A vacation helps us come back to the office ready to tackle all the problems we might have felt were insurmountable before we went away.

happy office workers

1. Vacations are Incentives

Psychologists have long talked about reward/punishment paradigms, wondering what works better to motivate people. In most cases, rewards are better motivators—and a vacation is a huge motivator for most people. Up to 8 weeks before a vacation, people will notice positive effects on their work; they will be more motivated to achieve goals and more productive. The vacation becomes a reward for a job well done. This incentive is so powerful that experts recommend planning your next getaway almost immediately upon your return. Having something to look forward to will help you slog through the tough times at the office or at home—and you’ll feel that you’ve earned the time off when you do finally get to take a couple of days or a couple of weeks for yourself.

vacation calendar