My healthiest day of international travel

Yesterday I posted about my intentions to eat as healthy as possible and be active while traveling, as I’ve been a bit unhealthy lately with all my travel.

Anyway, I just wanted to post a quick follow up on my experience. My morning yesterday started at the Grand Hyatt Seattle at 4AM with a 90 minute workout.

First I flew from Seattle to Chicago, where I just had a small fruit plate. I skipped the quiche and muffin.

Then on Chicago to Dallas they only served nuts and cookies, but I skipped those and instead had a banana and protein bar.

Then I had a long layover in Dallas, where I discovered the greatest airport amenity ever — a treadmill. The “A” concourse Admirals Club at DFW has a small gym, which was empty when I visited. I worked out for an hour and then had a nice shower. Fortunately the shower rooms are right next to the gym, so you don’t have to walk through the lounge drenched in sweat.

As much as I love the buffet in the Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt or massage in the Thai First Class Lounge Bangkok, I’ve never left a lounge feeling as refreshed as I did here. From now on I’ll even make an effort to fly through DFW just to get a workout in, despite the fact that the airport doesn’t have a Flagship Lounge.

Unfortunately my flight from Dallas to Santiago was delayed. The gate agent announced a 30 minute delay, though I quickly sought clarification. Was it actually a 30 minute delay, or was there just a decision in 30 minutes, which are two very different things? As it turns out it was the latter as our plane was out of service, though they found a new one fairly quickly. In the end we left a bit over an hour late, which isn’t too bad, especially given how early we were supposed to arrive in Santiago.

The one thing I underestimated is my ability to sleep in angled flat seats for nine hours. I wasn’t that tired and I was a bit hungry after working out twice in a day, so I ate in moderation.

Most importantly I skipped the nuts, bread, and ice cream sundae, and had what I’d consider to be a healthy meal.

For the appetizer I had the soup and salmon. The soup was an asparagus basil consomme and was quite tasteless, but then again it wasn’t really unhealthy either. With the appetizer I skipped the cream cheese and just had the two cuts of salmon.

The main course was interesting in that this is a “late night supper” flight and not a dinner flight. Entrees can either be served with vegetables or on a salad.

I ordered the margarita salmon on salad, which was tasty, though I only had about half of it the salad.

The funny thing is that it’s not necessarily that I’m trying to eat less (though I’m trying to eat healthier), I’ve just been drinking a ton of water and I think as a result haven’t been hungry. The only thing I had all day today was a protein bar and I’m still not hungry, even though it’s almost 8PM. I’ve had more water than I can count, though. Anyway, back to the flight…

The flight attendant working my aisle, Michelle, was amazing. One of the best I’ve had. She was a big-haired, Dallas based senior mama that was constantly smiling. I specifically told her I didn’t want dessert as I’m trying to eat healthy, though she kept trying to tempt me with the ice cream sundae. Instead we negotiated and I ended up going with the fruit salad, though skipped most of the Grand Marnier syrup at the bottom.

By the way, want to know the secret to a 65 year old lady’s heard? Tell her she looks 30. Worked like a charm yesterday (and it wasn’t totally out of context because she mentioned she was on a diet which she felt made her look younger). If only I had such luck with people my age!

After dinner I changed into my pajamas and got a solid six hours of sleep. I skipped breakfast, and when I landed felt fantastic. I didn’t get all that much sleep, though I just felt well, if that makes any sense. I still napped for two hours upon arrival, but after that I was up and ready to tackle the day.

And now I’m in beautiful (though cold as heck) Santiago…

So while I’ll still be ordering all the courses when flying a new airline or in international first class, I don’t think I’ll get anywhere close to finishing them.

Filed Under: American, Travel
  1. Was just in SCL last week. Hope you’re enjoying one of the fab hotels there (grand Hyatt, Four Seasons or my fav – the W). Can’t wait to hear what you think of the SCL Admirals Club. It is “interesting”.

  2. Congrats on bypassing the Diet Coke! I think you’ll see a ton of benefits from that decision alone, although it may be the hardest change to make.

  3. Lucky,

    How long you in SCL and where to after? Was thinking of going next week to Santiago and Buenos Aires but don’t like that’s it’s cold and rainy right now šŸ™‚ Also, I haven’t heard many good things about Santiago..what’s your take?


  4. It is tough to eat healthy while on the road. Sometimes the heathy looking food is not so heathy. Soupcan be bad especially salt wise. At least you are making an attempt. The water and exercise definitely is good. Now I need to get my lazy butt in shape.

  5. Skyped my Mom last night and she said it was freezing in SCL. Is this a layover or are you sticking around for awhile? Recommend going out around 10 pm to Borde Rio for some drinks and great dinner. Although it will be busier during the weekend.

  6. the hyatt in scl has a great club lounge and is a terrific value on points. though it is a little bit of a walk to the nearest metro

  7. If I wanted to read a fitness blog, I’d read a fitness blog. I want to read about you eating the fattiest, most calorie-ridden food the sky has to offer, and lots of it. Janesis would be disappointed.

  8. Don’t skip breakfast! Even if you’re not hungry in the morning, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Get fiber and protein. Not a lot of sugar (fruit is filled with sugar too).

  9. The more I read about your new healthy travel plan the more I like it. To be perfectly honest, I never really thought airline food was ever that fresh or tasty and I usually avoid buffets, both for the lack of freshness and the potential for unhealthy handling by other guests. It always kind of amazed me how much of that stuff you ate, although I guess you were trying to be thorough for our benefit.

  10. Lucky loves your comment on angled flat seats in J. I agree it is nice to fly an airline you are accustomed to and not feel compelled to “take in” the service and experience. You should do an international TR in Y even a short BOS/JFK-Europe now THAT would be an interesting read like AirTran…jk stick to F and occasional J šŸ˜€

  11. No soda (not even diet); no juices; natural fruits with no additives/sugar/syrup; eat more good fats such as olive oil, almonds, other nuts, peanuts without additives, all vegetables and lean meats and fatty fish — is the best recipe; Keep carbs lower in general and focus on good ones such as bean, carbs in veggies and limit even whole grains (yes, even whole grain wheat is unhealthy with a very high glycemic index)
    Anyway; Santiago has really good fish dishes and you must try ceviche. skip the pisco sour since it is loaded with sugar syrup.

  12. Cutting out the diet soda will have minimal effect on any weight loss plan (caffeine effects aside). If you’re an all or nothing kind of guy which it sounds like might be the case, then cutting out the diet soda with everything else that’s not “healthy” may be what you need.

    If it’s about weight loss, calories in vs out is the big boring secret. Take in less calories than you burn. A healthy 500-600 calorie deficit per day will net you about a pound of fat per week. Too little calories and you’ll gain weight.

    If it’s about “healthy eating” – which seems easy to define but there are many differing opinions (no red meat, vegetarian, vegan – that’s three different philosophies all believe what they are doing is healthy), calories are also extremely important, but so is the nutritional content.

    Pick what level of “healthy” you’re going for and stick with it. You’ll feel better in the long run.

  13. If you spent a little more time in the places you visit and actually walk around to see the sights you would burn off a lot of calories.

  14. A calorie is not d same across d food groups; if u eat higher fat calories u burn more calories compared to eating more carbohydrates; eating all kind of fats may not be healthy; there are definitely healthier fats; one of d causes of d obesity and diabetes epidemic is not only the number of calories we eat but what are those calories; it is definitely not all about eating less calories and more activity

  15. I think it’s pretty funny how the commenting crowd *reading a travel blog* are suddenly all nutrition experts giving diet advice.

  16. The key is to maintain a consistent lifestyle and not “diet” in the short-term. I am not sure if you are doing weights as well but yo-yo dieting in the short-term where you eat super healthy (read: fewer calories) and do cardio exercises will help you lose weight, but you will lose a lot of tone and muscle mass as a result. Try to find a balanced eating and exercise routine that you can stick to for a long time, not just short-term in order to lose weight.

  17. I am SO PROUD of you for eating well! I’m almost feeling like the Jewish grandmother you never had. I should follow your footsteps on my next AA biz class trip (I can’t do it to the same degree on CX F).

    I also am glad to hear that an AAdmirals club has a mini fitness room! I definitely want to take advantage of that…

  18. I think I’m the only person who uses the treadmill in the DFW admirals club. I’ve never seen anybody else there, and I use it at least 20 times a year. I sometimes schedule my layovers longer than necessary just to be able to get in a full workout. Last time through, I ran 8 miles, showered, and then got a haircut at the terminal C barber shop. Productive!

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