Feel good food

Onboard Hospitality - - Opinion -

I have long main­tained the mer­its of good com­fort food in­flight as a way of bring­ing fa­mil­iar­ity and re­as­sur­ance to the alien en­vi­ron­ment of a fly­ing tube. How­ever, since my life took some­thing of a turn last year, my views on what we eat have evolved some­what.

Hav­ing worked in the hospi­tal­ity in­dus­try all my pro­fes­sional ca­reer, my ever-ex­pand­ing waist­line hit a but­ton in the no lie mir­ror that made me take ac­tion, and thanks to the 5:2 (in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing diet) and the in­evitable gym and swim­ming I shed six stone, 39kgs or 84lbs. I feel both some shame at hav­ing been quite so large and pride in get­ting rid of it, and whilst I en­joy food too much to ever see it as purely for func­tion, I re­alise now it re­ally is about bal­ance and eat­ing to feel good.

Fear fac­tor

When you’re fly­ing you want to feel good but you’re re­liant broadly on the choices al­ready made by oth­ers. Deep down, most pas­sen­gers travel with a lit­tle un­easi­ness and whilst the air­line in­dus­try had its safest year yet in 2017, the sta­tis­tics don’t set­tle that un­easi­ness quite the way a de­li­cious pie can do! That might make them feel bet­ter tem­po­rar­ily, but will it make your pas­sen­gers feel good in the long run? Prob­a­bly not.

Much of the food we eat we choose for the short term fix but there is a sea change com­ing in eat­ing habits like we’ve never seen be­fore and it will un­doubt­edly per­me­ate on­board. To be com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful air­lines need to of­fer a mix of com­fort foods and health­ier, tasty op­tions that pro­mote well­be­ing.

There are some foods sim­ply best avoided on­board al­to­gether, foods that make you feel

slug­gish and bloated

Ones to avoid

There are some foods sim­ply best avoided on­board al­to­gether, foods that make you feel slug­gish, bloated and fre­quently lethar­gic. Beans and pulses might be good for your pas­sen­ger on the ground but in the air they cause gas, as do cab­bage, onions, cau­li­flower and broc­coli. These are never go­ing to sup­port a com­fort­able, pleas­ant flight or sup­port sleep.

Heavy foods that take time to di­gest are also a mis­take. Red meats in par­tic­u­lar take even longer to di­gest in­flight (when we are so seden­tary) than on the ground, so a big juicy steak might sound great but is un­likely to make your pas­sen­gers feel great.

Sim­i­larly that full English breakfast served just prior to land­ing may read well on the menu but is un­likely to sit well in their stom­ach.

Spicy foods are in vogue and are prob­a­bly bet­ter for adding flavour than lots of salt,

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