The Crew Meal: Eating Healthy In The Air

It was the final day of my four day trip.  I was excited to be almost done.  Due to some major flight delays, my schedule did not go as planned, and I spent four hours sitting, with my crew, at a very small airport.

I had the option to dine at the one, and only, restaurant in the little terminal.  However, I chose to wait until my flight returned to San Francisco, where I would have more restaurant choices.  As our delay lengthened, it became apparent that my meal plans might not happen, but I still hoped for a brief break between a scheduled aircraft swap.

When we arrived in San Francisco, I was ravenously hungry.  My tired body needed to refuel, but unfortunately, the delay gave no time to for even a to-go purchase.  My captain, thinking he was brilliant, had the perfect solution—he grabbed a Crew Meal for me.

Airline Crew Meal

Some people think that Crew Meals are a great concept—convenient packaged meal,  just for those of us who face the no-time-to-eat dilemma.  In this particular situation, I felt my body asking for a “Real food”, foods that are satiating, filling, and full of sustaining energy, and void of blood sugar spikes, and simple carbs.  Besides, I had already consumed a Crew Meal during the trip and had no interest in round two.  So, I opted for my lunch bag, finding a fresh orange, raw almonds, and dried fruit.

When I finally made it home, and I was able to make and enjoy a “Real Meal” of  Savory Lentil Soup, homemade Vegan Pizza, and a fresh, Green Leafy Salad.

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Being stuck in an airport, away from home, or with an overly busy schedule creates challenges when it comes to adequately fueling your body.  Without the option of “real foods”, when on-the-go, it is easy to grab the closest food item available, which often is not the healthiest option.  It is important to pack in your purse, gym bag, laptop case, or lunch bag, some natural food snacks that can hold you over until you can eat a satisfying meal.

Here are some suggestions for making your own Crew Meal, with a list food items to carry in your lunch bag.  Be sure to include some ice for those items that need to be chilled (fresh veggies, some fruits and yogurt).

Stock your Lunch bag with:

  • Raw Almonds, cashews, pecans
  • LaraBars
  • Fruit (Oranges- pack better than apples. Apples- better than bananas.  Bananas are just sensitive souls. Grapes or blueberries are nice if you can pack them in a small to-go container, otherwise these can easily turn to juice)
  • Veggies (Carrot sticks, Celery sticks, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cherry tomatoes in small to-go container, raw baby asparagus spears, Jicama sticks)
  • Hummus packets and crackers (Dr. Kracker brand has 5g of protein per serving, 3g of fiber, 14g of whole grain);  Sabra makes individual hummus snack containers with pretzels:
  • Natural nut butters and  fruit jams (Justin’s Nut Butter has travel packs)
  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Salsa
  • Greek Yogurt, Lowfat Yogurt, Soy Yogurt
  • Lowfat or homemade Granola
  • Oatmeal packets (or portion your own)

To make Brenda’s Real Food meal, click here for the recipes.

Savory Lentil Soup

Vegan Pizza

Salad & Dressing


About the Author Kara

Curious. Bubbly. Creative. Curating a life I don't need an escape from and inspiring you to do the same.

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1 comment
How To Minimize Jet Lag | The Flight Attendant Life says June 8, 2012

[…] Eat healthy foods:  If the snack and meal service is not served on the your eating schedule, go ahead and pass on the food.  Pack your own healthy granola bars, trail mix, dried fruit, etc.  Also, be careful and avoid foods that cause gastrointestinal distress and be careful not to overeat. […]

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