What Your Horrible Boss and Bad Airport Food Have in Common

Believe it or not, your horrible boss has a lot in common with bad airport food. That gross sandwich you just picked up in the departures terminal? It’s more similar than you think.

Horrible bosses lie, they cause you issues with your co-workers and with your health. Just like bad airport food. (Well, maybe not the co-worker part.)

Bad bosses break their promises and they misrepresent themselves at the beginning of your relationship. Doesn’t bad airport food do the same?

That salad looks like what you want until you open the lid and find it’s all wilted and gross. Yuck.

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How bad airport food choices relate to your horrible boss:

Your boss is a liar, just like your sandwich

Bad airport food also lies. How many times have you thought you were making a healthy choice in the terminal by buying a salad or a sandwich, only to feel horrible after? Turns out that roasted veggie salad at CPK with grilled chicken breast has over 900 calories and that small cup of fat-free dressing that you poured on it? Add 220 calories to the total.

How to fix it?

Do your homework! If you do a little research into the food offerings at the airports you’re traveling through, you’ll easily find nutrition information for most of the places. If you arm yourself with information before you go, you can decide on the best choices to make while you’re on route.

Your boss fails to communicate, just like the weird, off-label salad you grabbed from the deli

It’s hard to advise you to avoid all unlabeled airport food, but if you don’t know what’s in it, you really should take a step back. Nutrition labels are not a perfect science, but they do give you some sense of how deep in the unhealthy vortex you’re going to travel.

If you didn’t do your research like I suggested in the first tip, your second-best choice will be to find a food that has a nutrition label and ingredients on it so you can educate yourself on the spot.

How to fix it?

Purchase labeled food whenever possible, and try to stick to these parameters: A snack should be no more than 250 calories, a meal no more than 500.

Try to keep sodium as low as possible – lower than 480mg ideally, for your heart and your ankles, which will swell like balloons if you’re overloaded with salt on a flight.

The same goes for added sugars – keep them as low as possible, and you might need to compare product labels to find the best choice. Also, if you’re buying a pre-packaged snack food, check out the portion size on the label and stick with it! No one needs a family sized bag of Combos, unless you intend on feeding your entire row with it.

Your boss gives you that weird feeling in your stomach, just like that gross hotdog you bought near the gate

I mean, do I need to explain this one? Nothing is like that horrible taste in your mouth coupled by the queasy stomach that you get when your horrible boss calls you into her office for another blame session. Well, except for that you get the same feeling from eating horrible airport food.

In my recent travels, I spied the following on offer: a giant cream puff covered in chocolate; stinky corned beef sandwich; bags of Combos with at least 4 servings in them; huge burgers with fries; and an assortment of salty junk food that is bound to make you feel like crap when you’re in the air.

When you fly, your body is more prone to swelling, and when you facilitate that swelling by consuming vast amounts of sodium, it can be a problem for your blood pressure as well as the fit of your pants.

Your digestion also slows down in the air, so eating huge quantities of fat before you fly can only cause you gastric distress (more about that in a second).

How to fix it?

Keep it clean! Choosing mostly fresh, unprocessed foods is key, even if you have to bring them from home. Look for veggie sticks with hummus, fresh fruit, small amounts of cheese and crackers, CLIF Luna or Mojo bars.

Bringing food from home is your first line of defence against unhealthy airport food, so take the time before you leave to throw a few things together. I promise you won’t regret it, and as you eat your snacks, your bag gets lighter, too!

Your boss causes issues with your co-workers, just like the nachos that are going to cause issues with your seatmates

Oh boy. Like I said earlier, flying causes your digestive system to slow a bit, and it also causes the gasses in our bodies to expand. What do you suppose happens when you eat junk food under these conditions? Bombs away!

You don’t want to be responsible for making everyone’s flight unpleasant, so trust me: stay away from anything gassy and fatty if you can. It’s just common courtesy, as well as the healthiest thing for you. Again, eating as clean as possible will help your system remain calm throughout the flight.

Your boss can be sweet, but she’s really nasty underneath it all

You’re tired, you’re cranky, you want a treat, so you find the nearest Cinnabon and settle down with a nice homey cinnamon roll. Not so fast!!

No one deserves a treat like this because it’s not a treat. It’s an all-out assault on your body. For 880 calories and almost 15 teaspoons of sugar – that’s almost the amount in 2 Snickers bars – this is a disaster that tastes sweet, but does ugly things to your body. Even though you’ve been traveling all day and you want something treat-y, try to make a good choice anyway. You’ll feel so much better for it.

How to fix it?

It’s okay to have something sweet but try not to go overboard. Choose a fruit and nut bar that contains chocolate – such as a CLIF Organic Trail Mix bar, or even a Starbucks cake pop, which is cake, but a portion-controlled piece. That’s all you need anyway, right?

But enough about bad airport food.

Check out some really great airport restaurants here.


Abby Langer

Registered Dietican, Brand Ambassador, Consultant, Abbylangernutrition.com

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