Heber Brown, III
Hard To Eat Healthy On The Go
Ever since becoming more diet-conscious and especially when I transitioned to a vegetarian diet a few years ago, I've noticed that it is hard to eat healthy while traveling. Most of the easiest to reach food choices at the airport and off the highway are fast food options. You usually have to really work to find nutritious food while traveling.
If you want to eat healthy while traveling, you almost have to bring your own food and not leave it to chance.
As much as I travel, I haven't really paid much attention to what is and isn't permissible to take through security at the airport. I knew fluid is a no-no, but I never thought about bringing my own food until this trip. While preparing to travel to Prairie View A&M in Texas, a close friend raised the thought of me bringing my own snacks.
So I brought two of my all time favorite fruits: oranges and kiwis. It felt so good pulling my own food out on the plane, but I must admit I was so tempted to get some of the snacks offered on my United flight. They had those stroopwafel cookies! It took everything...and I mean everything in me to decline the offer when the flight attendant came to my row offering those delicious cookies. (Did I mention that I have a sweet tooth?)
But I did it. I resisted the urge to get my hands on those free cookies and enjoyed my fruit instead.
The other thing that I love about my fruit snacks is how they both are known to boost the immune system and fight disease - two things that are very important when jumping from plane to plane and hotel room to airport. Travel can wreak havoc on one's immune system. My healthy snacks were right on time.
Oranges boost the immune system and do a ton of other things too like lower blood pressure and fight inflammation. Like oranges, kiwi fruit stimulates immunity, reduces risk factors for heart disease and provides many other benefits to the human body.
Refusing to completely outsource my food options during this trip proved to be a good choice.
In the context of my work at the Black Church Food Security Network, I often say that African Americans will never "get a handle on our health until we have power over our plate." This is true at an individual level as well so I'll guess I'll be bringing my own plate from here on out.