Thursday, January 29, 2009

Vegan in the Air

If you are anything like me, you might have something of a love-hate relationship with traveling.  While it is great to get away, my gym schedule is messed up, my food schedule is messed up, water schedule is messed up, sleep schedule is messed up.  Geez.  This is all exacerbated when you have 13 hours of travel, 4 hours of sleep the night before, and a 7 hour time change.  

Well, obviously doing all this is worth it, but I thought I'd share a few things that I do to make plane travel easier.  

First, book far enough in advance to get an aisle seat.  Yes, it is fun to look out the window, but I find that if I have to ask other people to move, I won't get up as often, and consequently, I limit my water intake.  Bad idea!  You are already more prone to being dehydrated in those pressure controlled cabins, keeping hydrated is the easiest thing you can do.  

Luckily, more people tend to want the window seat rather than the aisle so that isn't too hard.  I've been on the plane for three hours, and I've already gotten up twice.  Just to stretch and move around a bit.  

Sleep is pretty difficult for me on planes.  Again, I would check the seat assignments, as it is always easier to not have to sit next to someone.  My seat mate and I have an empty seat between us, so I could kind of curl up into the middle seat and lean my head on the top of the arm rest.  I find that some relaxing music and an eye mask can help too.  Yes, you will look silly, but you're on a plane, people understand...especially if you took off at 6:30 in the morning.  

Another important sleep factor is that it typically takes a day for ever hour of time change that you've made, to get used to the new time zone.  Since I have a 7 hour time change, and only 4 days in Hawaii, I won't even have a chance to make it up.  I suggest sticking with your new time zone as quickly as possible.  For example, when I get in today it will be 3:45PM, but will feel like 10:45PM to me, but I will just stay up until it is nighttime in Hawaii.  That first day may be kind of rough, but if you stick closer to your home time, you'll end up having a pretty lame vacation, going to bed in the middle of the afternoon.  That all being said, it is funny to be in Waikiki and see how many people are walking around in the middle of the night because the time change takes so long to stick.   

The hardest part of being on a plane for an extended period of time is the food situation.  I think the choices (which were $7!!  Rip-off much?) were a turkey sandwich with yogurt, a fruit, cheese, and meat plate, and chicken salad.  So, not exactly plentiful for a vegan.  Luckily I got this To-Go Ware for Christmas, and was able to put it good use.  

I wasn't hungry when I woke up, but I had a banana before we took off, and on the first half of my flight I had some leftover Corn Pasta Fritters, with a Oatmeal Scotchie.  When I stop in Phoenix, I am going to try and pick up a salad, but I'm pretty set even if I can't find anything.  For my second flight, I made some Stovetop Millet Cakes that I thought would travel well (the rest I froze), with some roasted cauliflower.  

Excuse the ugly bland looking picture, please :)

Word to the wise, if you have metal containers like these, they can be a pain at security.  They'll just make you open everything, so take care that your stuff isn't too messy.  Meaning, chili, or something like that, probably wouldn't travel well.  If you don't want people opening your food, you can bring plastic, but I prefer the metal containers.    

While I am with my husband, we'll be staying in a hotel, and I am sure we will be eating out for almost every meal.  I did bring some GoRaw bars, apricot kernels, and dried mango, but that is clearly just for snacks!  I'm sure we'll also be visiting some food stores, but I still always tend to eat more than I normally would when I eat out.  To remedy this, I am going to scale down my eating, keeping in mind that if I don't, I won't have any leftovers to eat on the way home on Sunday.

The last, and easiest to accommodate, is the workout plan that is getting messed with.  When you're waiting for your flight, go ahead and explore the terminal a little.  Yes, your stuff is heavy, but that's a good thing.  Even if all they have is a newsstand, just walking back and forth keeps your blood moving.  You're going to be sitting for a few hours, why add to it?  When you're on the plane, be sure to stretch your legs.  I'm sure everyone has heard about getting blood clots in your legs from sitting for an extended period of time, and while you may think it won't happen to you...why risk it?  I usually get up with my iPod and go dance in the bathroom.  No, I'm not kidding.  If you aren't as fun (or ridiculous, whatever) as me,  Just getting up to walk up and down the aisles and stretch is better than nothing.   

As for the rest of the time I am on vacation, I am going to be missing three days of yoga, one day of lifting, and three cardio/running sessions.  When you are going to someplace like Hawaii, it is easy to get some extra cardio in.  I brought running and gym clothes.  I am looking forward to running outside, maybe some hiking, and I hope to make it to the gym on base tomorrow.  If you are like me and feel at a loss without any yoga in your life for extended periods of time, I really like the Yogamazing podcast, and like to do a few of them when I am away from home.  If you don't have gym access, you can always supplement your workout with some simple push ups, sit ups, and lunges.  If you're creative there are plenty of ways to add weight to them, but even just using bodyweight is beneficial.  Also, if you can find a bar parallel to the ground that can support you, reverse rows are a great way to work your back while you are away from home (the lower the bar, the harder it is).

Bonus:  I tend to only get sick when I travel.  I buy the Immune System Support from Target (knockoff Airborne), and have one a day while I am traveling.  

Even if I remember to bring any vitamins I may want, being off your schedule sometimes makes you forgetful, and it is easy to just pop one of these into your water bottle whenever you remember.  Not to mention the fact that, bottled water is expensive, and tap water can taste bad, and these are really good as masking the taste of free, but less than stellar water.  

So, taking all my own advice, I hope that the rest of my vacation goes well!  I am currently posting this from the Phoenix airport (well, hopefully it will post). 

Expect for the next post to have way more pictures and way fewer words!!         

Bathroom Dancing Song of the Day:  'I Even Rehearsed' - The Title.   


  1. Good advice. Especially the bit about dancing in the bathroom! That does sound like fun!

    You're way more disciplined than me though. I work out 5 days a week normally, but when I travel, I see it as an excuse to gorge myself on junk food and not work out at all. Maybe next time I travel, this post will serve as an inspiration.

  2. I danced in the bathroom yesterday and I thought I was weird. I'm glad I have a buddy.

    I hope I can somewhat follow your recommendations when I'm in Thailand. I'm in a routine now and I don't want to ruin it with a month away. I'll definitely have to bookmark this post.

    I remember you saying you didn't like the Lemon Bumble Bar. I tried it in Almond and it was delicious! I have a Chai one in my bag too. Yum. I think you should give them another shot!:)

    Have an absolutely amazing time!

  3. What a fabulous post! I'm going to AZ for spring break so this is really helpful, thanks!

  4. Ah! That to-go ware looks very similar to lunch boxes that we used to have in India... I am all nostalgic now!

  5. I miss you already! Have a great time! <3 you and nick

  6. Haha, I love that you dance in the bathroom with your ipod!

    Hope you have a great time!!! : )

  7. have a great time! your to go ware, seems so practical...!

  8. Ha - I love that you dance in the bathroom with your iPod - that is great! I also love those metal containers you possible security mishap).

    I too get anxious about traveling. I look forward to the trip but stress about all these same things. Thanks for all the tips. Really good post Gina!

    PS - I love those inflatable neck pillows, and eye masks are the best - I don't care how silly I look!

  9. Definitely some good tips... I wish I could put them to use, but I don't think I'll have the opportunity to travel any time soon... :(

  10. gina hula girl....i have been posting but blogger isn't sending out my feeds. the rss feed disappeared and i couldnt get it back on ...tried for days.

    thank you for visiting my new playground.

    here have a cookie and can't wait for ur new posts!


  11. Great travel advice! I am so with you on the isle seat/restroom thing.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip and have fun dancing in the bathroom! :)

  12. I grew up with those multi layered tiffin boxes! All the kids in India carry lunch to school in those!

  13. Have a great trip! I love Hawaii. I think the weather and hubby will make up for the workout disruptions. Nice travel containers, but I can imagine they must be a real pain at security.

  14. gina, you are like the traveling nazi!! haha you know everything a person needs to know about getting away. you could right a book about it if you wanted to.

    i've never been on a place, but is there only one bathroom? that seems a little absurd but i'm just curious.

    good thing you made your own food or you would've wound up starving.