Jayne McAllister

Travel Wellness Expert and Author


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The Best Airline Meals You Can Purchase

When was this made?

When was this made?

Last fall I learned that most airline meals – for coach class – are typically made anywhere from three to 18 months in advance.  That includes your breakfast omelet… Since then I’ve always ordered a special meal as I know that my Hindu vegan dishes will be made to order.  It’s not so bad if you’re in business or first as your meal may actually be made the same day, possibly the day before.  If you’re flying up front on Etihad, Austrian or Turkish Airlines, chances are you’ll have a chef on board too.

What if you’re stuck in steerage and you didn’t have chance to pick up anything at the airport?  Some airlines offer food for purchase on otherwise food-free flights, or even as an upgrade to regular offerings.  Here are your best bets:

Delta Air Lines has a new line of healthy menu items from Luvo in the economy cabin on transcontinental flights between JFK and LA, San Francisco and Seattle.  Luvo Inc is an Atlanta-based company committed to providing healthy meals made with natural and sustainable ingredients, no added trans-fats, and hormone and antibiotic-free proteins.  The meals are complimentary for customers seated in Economy Comfort and available for purchase for customers seated in Economy.  Offerings include Luvo Quinoa Crunch Wrap (360 calories), Luvo Grilled Chicken Wrap (400 calories) and Luvo Roast Turkey & Havarti Wrap (440 calories).

Air France allows you to pre-order an “à la carte” meal up to 24 hours prior to departure on its long haul flights.  You can select from traditional French, organic, Italian, fresh seafood options or an extravagant menu  from the renowned Maison Lenôtre. Prices range from 12 euros for “La Dolce Vita” Italian option to 28 Euros for the Maison Lenôtre.

This is what first class on Iberia gets you - terrible.

This is what first class on Iberia gets you – terrible.

American Airlines offers “fresh breakfasts” (as opposed to the one made 12 months ago), and “light and fresh meals” (also as opposed to the one made 12 months ago) for purchase on domestic flights over 3 hours. Between $6.79 and $9.99 will get you a breakfast sandwich, fruit and cheese plate, or a cobb salad among other offerings.

United Airlines has a Bistro Scramble as a select breakfast on certain flights but there’s no mention of when it’s made, so beware if you’re as leery of eggs on a plane as I am.  On certain flights the Bistro On Board repertoire extends to a chicken stir-fry ($9.99), Asian-style noodle salad ($8.49), and an Artisan Cheese selection ($7.99). Sandwiches include a chicken wrap and a roast beef and cheddar baguette (both $8.99).

Of course this all pales in comparison with Korean Airlines whose very own farm provides organic produce, chickens, eggs and beef for its inflight catering.  The farm was started by the family that owns Korean Air in 1991.  They were way ahead of the inflight catering curve.

Finally, I sought the advice of Nikos Loukas, founder of  www.Inflightfeed.com and consultant to the airline catering industry.  Nikos suggests that you go to the airline’s website and see how much space they devote to inflight meals.  The more information there is, the better off you’re likely to be.  I have to say, my research proved this to be very true.

BonVoyage et Bon Appétit!

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30 Tips for Staying Slim and Sane Through the Holidays: Part 12. Final!

Holiday Survival Tip #29: Make A Commitment Now For the New Year

A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.” Author unknown.

2014 new years resolution is DIET!In just over a couple of weeks, the New Year’s resolution frenzy will begin.  Sadly many hopes of being slim and trim will be thwarted by unreasonable expectations and lack of support and accountability.  Forty-five percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions; only eight percent reach their goal.

Take the step now to commit so that once January 1st comes, you already have your ducks in a row.  Shameless plug – my 3-week Dine Out Lose Weight program starts on January 13th.  Reserve your spot now and you will have set yourself up for success because I will be supporting you each step of the way.  Confucius said, “Success depends on previous preparation and without such preparation, there is sure to be failure.”

Holiday Survival Tip #30: Wear a Seatbelt and Don’t Smoke

I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist this, but here are the two single, most effective action steps you can take for your long term health.  Like all the other tips, follow these year round and you’ll be the healthiest version of yourself that you can be.

Thank you so much for joining me for the 30 Tips for Staying Slim and Sane Through the Holidays.  It has been both my pleasure and a blast sharing them with you.


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30 Tips for Staying Slim and Sane Through the Holidays: Part 10

Holiday Survival Tip #23: Eat mindfully

Just how much are you eating mindlessly?

Just how much are you eating mindlessly?

Another one that we’ve heard before but we’re all guilty of it.  When was the last time you watched TV or read a book while eating?  And at this most wonderful time of the year when you’re glued to the telly watching Miracle on 34th Street and sobbing your eyes out, you definitely won’t notice how many cookies you’re eating.  The longer you watch TV while eating, the more you will eat.

Brian Wansink in his fabulous book, “Mindless Eating,” tells that people who watch TV for an hour while eating will eat 28% more than those who watch and eat for half an hour.  In this case, it was popcorn and carrots.  What they were eating really didn’t make much difference.

Holiday Survival Tip #24: Distract Yourself When Eating Between Meals

If you’re eating between meals, ask yourself if you’re really hungry or just looking for something to do.  The whole concept of eating five or six times per day is a relatively new, American concept.  Traditionally people have eaten three squares and been quite satisfied.  Then the snack food industry came along and changed all that.

Before you reach for the peppermint bark, sugar cookies or eggnog ice cream, go for a walk around the block, call a friend or play with your Holiday train set.  By keeping your mind occupied, you’ll forget about eating.

One of the same Brian Wansink’s friends commented to him how he lost 30 pounds within a year by eating anything he wanted.  The trick, apparently, was that if he had a craving when he wasn’t hungry, he would say out loud, “I’m not hungry but I’m going to eat this anyway.”  Apparently declaration a voce alta was enough to deter him.  Try it and see!

Holiday Survival Tip #25: Take a dance break.

Get up and dance!

Get up and dance!

I think Christmas is about celebration and, come on, on the inside everyone wants to dance.” TobyMac.

This is the one time of the year that we’re bound to boogie.  If the thought of dancing the night away at the office party isn’t your thing, then I strongly recommend closing the curtains, turning up Mariah and truly dancing like no one’s watching because they’re not.  If you have a dog or cat witnessing you access your inner Lady Gaga, reassurances and treats might be in order afterwards.

Dancing uplifts your energy and mood, burns a ton of calories, and puts you in the festive spirit.  It’s also a good distraction tactic (see tip #24, above).  This time of year is a free for all, so go for it.


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30 Tips for Staying Slim and Sane Through the Holidays: Part 9

Holiday Survival Tip #20: Re-gift the chocolate

Christmas is a stocking stuffed with sugary goodness.” Mo Rocca

Portrait of beautiful young girl with chocolate cupcakeRe-gift?  Are you joking? Okay, within reason.  A box of Godiva’s new line in truffles is one thing but your fifth box of Russell Stover’s is another. Keep a little quality goodness for when it’s needed and donate the rest to a homeless shelter or food bank.  Spread the cheer to those who don’t have as much.  You’ll feel really good and look really good inside and out.

Holiday Survival Tip #21: Fat, fiber, protein at every meal.

Qué?  One of the secrets to not overeating is to balance your nutrients.  Does this mean counting calories, fat and carb grams?  No.  Making food about numbers creates food obsessives.  Combining the right foods at each meal makes for a satisfied body and mind, and fewer cravings and overeating.

Aim for good fats (nuts, avocadoes, oily fish, olive oil); quality protein (lean meats, fish, organic eggs and legumes), and fiber (vegetables and fruits).  For more information about balancing foods, give me a shout at info@jaynemcallister.com.

Holiday Survival Tip #22: Don’t give up when you get derailed

On December 13th you over indulge at a party.  That’s it, you say.  I’m done. I have no control.  I may as well wait until January 1st.  And since when did one little lapse make anyone a failure?  Time to pick yourself up, stand tall and carry on.  What would make you happier right now? Wandering down the path of self-destruction or picking up where you left off?  Every little step you take now is going to take off the pressure on January 1st (we’ll talk about that later).


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30 Tips for Staying Slim and Sane Through the Holidays: Part 7

Holiday Survival Tip #14: Hang Out With Kindred Spirits

I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up – they have no holidays!” Henny Youngman

Surround yourself with people who have similar goals to you.  If your best friend wants to sit next to the buffet table, leave her to it and go hang out with others.  Releasing weight can bring out the worst in people you love.  Expect to be told you look ill or to not lose any more weight when in fact you’ve lost 1 ½ pounds,not 10.  A pal who will help you stay on track by eating healthily and exercising with you is worth their weight in gold, even if their weight is decreasing.

Holiday Survival Tips #15 and 16:  Plan Some Rewards/Eat A Little of What You Want (These two are related)

I have to call you out here. Rewarding yourself with a non-food gift, such as a massage or new item of clothing is a fabulous idea. However, it’s another of those tips to which we tend to pay lip service, then we eat an entire pack of cookies on reaching our first five pound goal.  It sounds great but the cookies are more appealing.  This means that you are depriving yourself on some level so you have to compensate by bingeing.  In the words of the wonderful Geneen Roth, “For every diet, there is an equal and opposite binge.”

How about you have it all?  Treat yourself to a little of what you want (that doesn’t mean the entire chocolate log; it means three bites) and pick from your self-care menu* for a fabulous reward for staying on track.  You can even do this every day so that you’re feeling so darn good about yourself, the food temptations will eventually be diminished.

*A self-care menu is a list of all the non-foodie things you love to do, such as soaking in a hot bubble bath; watching sunrise or sunset; playing with your pet for an extra 15 minutes a day; thrift or antique shopping with a friend; tickets to a special ball game.  Keep the list to hand so you can refer to it often.


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30 Tips for Staying Slim and Sane Through the Holidays: Part 6

Holiday Survival Tip #11: Remember How Many Days There Are Between Thanksgiving and New Year

People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas,” unknown.

There are 33 days between Thanksgiving and New Year. Do you really want to let go for a twelfth of your year?  You can stay on track through the holiday period like you have for the rest of the year.  The odd splurge and fabulous dinner are, of course, allowed.  Throwing caution to the wind is not.

Holiday Survival Tip #12:  Get Enough Sleep

The relationship between weight management and sleep is underrated.  For a start, if you feel rested and have enough energy, chances are you won’t be reaching for pick-me-ups (usually sugar and caffeine) at all hours of the day.

Secrets to getting a good night’s sleep:

  • Don’t eat too late (post 8 PM).  The liver goes to work sorting out your system between 10 PM and 2 AM.  Help it out by not eating too late and you’ll avoid indigestion.
  • Don’t drink too much.  The second glass of wine inevitably leads to a 4 AM internal wake-up call.  Trust me, I know.  Without vino, I sleep for 9 glorious, uninterrupted hours.
  • Start cutting back on liquids in the evening so you don’t have to get up to go to the bathroom during the night.  Drink most of your water in the morning to rehydrate and the early part of the afternoon to keep you going and to stave off hunger.

Holiday Survival Tip #13: Keep The Unhealthy Stuff Out of Sight

FeiernOut of sight is truly out of mind.  While that might not be good for the love of your life, it’s perfect for the inevitable influx of candies and cookies that should be starting to head your way about now. If you’re not going to re-gift them, stick them in the back of a cupboard where you have to make an effort to get them when you really want them.  If they’re in plain sight, that’s an invitation to mindless eating.

Finally, how the heck are you doing with these tips?  Do let me know in the comments below.


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30 Tips for Staying Slim and Sane Through The Holidays Part 5

Holiday Survival Tip #8: Take Control of What’s On Your Plate

Fill your own plate if that’s an option so you can go heavier on the veggies and lighter on the fattening stuff.  Most of us don’t eat enough veggies anyway and you’ll avoid feeling bloated and heavy, and probably sleep better!

Holiday Survival Tip #9:  Think Twice Before Seconds

If you think you want seconds after your main course, have a drink of water and wait ten minutes.  Check in with yourself to see if you are really hungry, especially if you’re planning on having dessert.  If you do decide to head for seconds, limit them to vegetables.  If you’re truly hungry, they’ll fill you faster.

ScaleHoliday Survival Tip #10: Stay On Your Weigh-in Schedule

Be sure to continue to weigh in weekly.  If you let it slide, the weight can creep on really easily.  Even if you’re eating healthy food, too much healthy food is unhealthy.  While I was in college, I spent time in Africa, in a town where modern conveniences were practically non-existent so I had no access to a scale.  I was eating like the locals, so no processed foods and enjoying a well balanced diet.  One day I went to the “big city” to see an expat friend and she had a scale. I was horrified to see that despite my good eating habits, I had put on 10 pounds.

Weight can creep up even if you’re being moderate, because of stress, sleep patterns, the wrong foods or a shift in thyroid.  Weigh yourself on a Sunday since parties are usually on Friday and Saturday nights.