A few months after I began flying for the airlines I was scheduled to work a PM trip. I am a morning person, and always bid for the AM reserve shift (4am to 4pm), but I was needed on a PM shift so that's what I was scheduled to work. I packed some healthy meals, but added some crunchy chips and cookies to keep me awake if I started to get tired, which eventually did happen. So I cracked open my junkfood to help keep me awake. And the drank some diet coke. I felt great for a bit and then I started getting tired again. So I snacked on some more junkfood and drank some more diet coke. But once my sugar high was gone, I was even more tired than before. By the last leg this cycle was coming to an end, with my body wanting rest after all the junkfood I had eaten. I was supposed to fly the last leg, but my sugar high was long gone. I had no option but to let go of my ego and let the captain fly the last leg.
I felt so horrible for asking the captain to do my work- to fly my leg! I'm sure he thought nothing of it, but it was a low for me. How could I have let myself get so tired? Maybe junkfood wasn't the best thing to keep me awake. I decided I would never let that happen again. I began researching and watched every documentary on Netflix regarding healthy eating and why it is so important. I loved my cookies and cakes and daily snacks, so I needed a lot of motivation to get me started on my healthy eating path.
Once I changed the way I packed my food for trips, I noticed a difference immediately! I don't remember if my next trip was an AM or PM trip, but I remember that I didn't get tired at all! And the food I ate kept me full for longer than 30 minutes. It was amazing- life changing! I had so much energy!
I want you all to feel energetic all the time, so here is a sample of how I pack- this was for a 4-day trip a few months back.
You'll want to invest in some sort of a cooler. This is the best one in my opinion, it is from luggageworks.com (thanks to a few of my awesome students for buying it for me!). It looks small, but it can easily fit 4 days worth of healthy food in there.
I try to always pack at least 1 serving of fruit per day.
These tortillas are great because there is no fatty oil in them,and they taste oh-so delicious.
Sometimes I bring veggies to fill my tortillas with, but this time I brought natural almond better and creamed honey. If you are buying Tupperware for your flight bag, I recommend square ones- circle ones take up more space.
Choose granola bars and snacks wisely- not all are created equal. LARABARs and KIND bars are my favorites because they have only a few ingredients- all of which I can pronounce. I always pack some nuts as well; make sure the ones you are buying are not coated in oil. The ones shown in this picture have salt on them but no oil. And they are so good (I bought mine from Costco).
I love protein drinks because they are easy, delicious, and filling. Shakeology is the best protein shake I have found, but it is a bit pricey, so I usually just buy my protein from Costco.
I fill my Ziplocs with a scoop of protein, some dry milk and 1 teaspoon each of fat-free-sugar-free pudding banana and cheesecake. Adding the pudding mix makes the protein shake taste like an icream shake.
I've used a few different blender bottles, and this one is my fave by far! It is insulated so it keeps my drink cold for hours and it has a little spring in it to keep shakes from getting clumpy. In the background you can also see my icepack. I usually stick 2 of those in my cooler to keep my food cold all day.
After all that I also throw in a couple of frozen meals. When I make dinners that can freeze well (for example, pastas or rice with veggies) I put 2 servings in a Tupperware and freeze it. Then when I pack for my trips I can pull a couple from the freezer. It's so easy and the frozen meals also help to keep my food nice and cold.
Everything fits so well!
Because I eat the way I do, I don't need any caffeine to keep me awake, even on those long and stressful days of flying. If you are tired all the time, maybe think about changing your diet; the worst that could happen is that you will feel better and be able to do more. :) Have a happy and safe flying career!