What You Should And Shouldn't Do On Long Flights To Stay Healthy, According To Jessica Sepel

Plus, we came up with a list of 20 plane snack ideas that you can pack yourself!

things you can do to improve health
Image: @jshealth

If there’s one person who knows a thing or two about staying healthy whilst travelling, it’s Jessica Sepel. Splitting her time between Sydney and LA and jumping on and off planes everywhere in between, Jess has got this whole travel thing down pat.
“In Sydney I pack a JSHealth lunch box of raw nuts, seeds, health bars, salad, kale chips and dark chocolate,” Jess tells Amodrn. “When I land in LA, I head straight to the local supermarket and stock up my apartment with healthy produce. I also ensure I don’t drink alcohol in the first few days after my arrival. This allows my body time to re-adjust and heal.”
Read on to hear more of her thoughts about staying on top of your health and wellness goals en route:

On healthy food options at airports…

“They are definitely getting better. There are quite a few salad bars in airports as well as newsagents that stock healthy bars and raw nuts, which is helpful. I always aim to find a spot that has fresh salad and veggies so I can get those nutrients in. But I do always carry my own food and snacks, just in case!”

“I’d love to see lots more fresh food or salad bars to meet the needs of people with different dietary needs. It would be amazing to have healthy juice and smoothie bars that contains nutritionally balanced options—and aren’t loaded with sugar and processed fruit juice.”

On eating plane food…

Whether or not Jess eats food served on planes depends on if they offer a healthy meal of fresh fish and vegetables. “If the options are limited, I just stick to my healthy snack and enjoy a really yummy fresh meal when I land. It’s great to just enjoy the light snacks I’ve prepared for myself. This always guarantees that I feel good upon arrival.”


“Plane food is often quite high in sugar and salt. It’s really best to avoid the carb-heavy, creamy or gravy-based meals and stick to the vegetable and protein dish. I think airlines are really trying to do the best to offer at least one healthy option. It’s also best to avoid the sweet snacks or desserts offered. I prefer to snack on dark chocolate and almonds.”

Jess’s top tips for staying healthy whilst travelling:

  • Drink two litres of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon
  • Don’t drink alcohol on the plane and avoid it for the first few days of your holiday
  • Try stretching and breathing practices on the plane
  • Avoiding any processed or packaged foods; especially refined sugar options
  • I recommend taking vitamin C, magnesium and B complex vitamins on the plane to keep my energy good and immune system strong
  • Stick to one coffee each day
  • To stay calm and entertained, try listening to podcasts
  • I recommend taking melatonin and magnesium under the guidance of a medical professional. I find that they help me fall asleep and adjust to new time zones

20 healthy pack-your-own snack ideas:

  1. Raw nuts
  2. Homemade muesli bar/slice
  3. Protein balls
  4. Veggie sticks
  5. Hummus
  6. Kale chips
  7. Dark chocolate
  8. Pumpkin seeds
  9. Goji berries
  10. Crackers
  11. Apples
  12. Bananas
  13. Avocado (use as dip)
  14. Popcorn
  15. Rice cakes
  16. Protein powder sachets
  17. Boiled eggs
  18. Bircher muesli
  19. Healthy sweet treats (check out some recipes by Jess here)
  20. Herbal tea bags

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