On the road (again)

Road signs for Boston Logan airport and Brighton/Cambridge on Interstate 90 in Boston.

Yesterday I left Boston for South Bend, IN, for a conference at Notre Dame.  The conference is FEMMSS— The Association for Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies, Metaphysics, and Science Studies.   I’ll be giving a joint talk with my colleague ( and friend of the blog) Dan Hicks, on weight categories and medical risk ( or lack thereof).

When I looked at Facebook, I got one of those “X years ago today” posts that I could choose to share.  Mostly they’re mundane (like many of my posts– I don’t mind, as it’s what I use Facebook for often). Here’s the one I saw:

 

Facebook post featuring a picture of LAX terminal atrium, a person walking in foreground.

 

This time last year I was on my way to Sydney, Australia for the first time, going on sabbatical. It was a great trip and I’m extremely lucky to have the privilege of interesting travel. I flew a lot last year, and to a lot of different places.

And I’m flying a lot this year: a total of 6 conferences, two family trips, and  back to Australia for a month-long research trip.  That’s a lot of schedule interruptions.  It means having to plan meals, movement, and sleep in places where I often have more environment constraints and often less control.

One of those places is airports.  Wandering around at lunchtime, before my flight, I was greeted with a host of food options.  Since I was in Boston, there was of course Dunkin Donuts:

 

People waiting in line at a Dunkin Donuts in Logan aiport in Boston.

 

For those with more continental tastes there was the La Baguette Marche (I’m not sure that makes much sense in French):

 

People shopping in an airport food store called La baguette marche, in Logan airport in Boston.

 

And then there was the Friendly’s, with some advice that I appreciate, but decided not to heed right then and there:

 

A sign saying "Eat more ice cream" at a Friendly's restaurant in Logan airport in Boston.

 

Of all the foods to take with you on an airplane, I think ice cream might be the least practical.  At any rate I declined their offer.

I found a place selling sandwiches and salads and bought a tomato and mozzarella sandwich with pesto.  It was not great, but not bad tasting.

Figuring out food while traveling is not easy for me.  I want to eat in ways that feel good-for-me: in terms of taste, satisfaction, in keeping with what I think is healthy-to-me.  The ostentatious presence of these other food venues (which are around in my real life, but not generally with 15 feet of me) is something I find distracting and unsettling, if familiar.

One way to deal with this would be to develop some habits or rituals around eating-while-flying.  I have to say that I haven’t been successful at this so far.  Sometimes I bring food or snacks from home, which I sometimes eat and sometimes reject in favor of airport-purchased snacks.  Sometimes I have a sit-down meal in an airport.  Sometimes I order one of those more tempting and less healthy-to-me options.

It would be nice, at the very least, to feel a bit more at peace with the lack of control and overabundance of food while traveling.  What we really need is one of these in every airport.

Woman with carryon suitcase entering the yoga room at San Francisco airport.

This yoga room is at San Francisco airport.  I went there once, and it was lovely.  And there’s no Dunkin Donuts in there.

What do you do about eating while traveling?  Do you have a routine? I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

About catherine w

I'm an analytic philosopher, retooled as a public health ethicist. I'm interested in heath behavior change, particularly around eating and activity, and how things other than knowledge affect our health decisions.I'm also a cyclist (road, off-road, commuter), squash player, x skier, occasional yoga-doer, hiker, swimmer and leisurely walker.

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