Clean Plates Founder, Jared Koch

Clean Plates founder Jared Koch and author of the book Clean Plates shows Joe how to stay on track and keep a healthy mindset while traveling. Here are his most helpful tips. Need more? Sign up for the Clean Plates newsletter to get the latest healthy eating tips, what to look for in a restaurant, and more.

Jet Set, Go: 4 Tips for Healthy Eating When Traveling

As much fun as it is to travel, the reality is that with recirculated air, cramped coach seats and more processed food than not, flying does take a bit of a toll on our bodies. It’s important to understand that at 30,000 feet, it may not be possible to stick to your normal healthy eating routine, and that’s okay. The idea is to just do as good a job as you can to stay nourished, and then, leave your worries behind. Here are some of my best tips to take with you:

Pack food. Domestic flights no longer provide food, and though international flights do, the cuisine can be an energy-killing, highly processed carb-fest. (Forget about the overpriced snacks for sale on board; not only will they gum up your body with artificial junk and loads of calories, they’re a post-flight sugar- and salt hangover waiting to happen.) I usually pack a hearty salad, and a homemade trail mix with nuts and seeds for the plane ride, plus oatmeal that I’ll eat for breakfast at my hotel. If, for some reason, you aren’t able to bring food, opt for the best choices at the airport: look for salads, fresh fruit, or bags of nuts; just make sure to get the ones with the fewest added ingredients.

Plan ahead. On the plane or before you go, take a few minutes to look up healthier restaurants and markets near where you’ll be, so you’ll know your best options. If you’re going to NYC, LA or Austin, check out our nutritionist-approved restaurant guide at

Don’t fly dry. In-flight air is can be dehydrating. Make sure to drink lots of water—bottles are usually available at the back of the plane, where you can help yourself—and be ready with lip balm. Look for a brand made without phthalates, petroleum, parabens or mineral oil, such as Burt’s Bees or J.R. Watkins. To keep your spine and joints lubricated, get up at least every couple of hours. Movement is life; go on, and inspire your seat mate to move. In your seat, you can also do the yoga pose “Cat/Cow”: curve the spine forward and back a few times.

Get grounded. Once you land, make sure you continue to hydrate, and try to get to bed early the first night to give your body a chance to rest and adjust. Make sure to have a nutrient-dense meal so you’ll boost your body with the fuel it needs.

Clean Plates

You can get Clean Plates’ free newsletter, iPhone app and restaurant guides (I like to say it’s like having a nutritionist in your in-box) by signing up to Clean Plates here.

Whether you’re a conscientious carnivore, a vegetarian, or going gluten-free, Clean Plates has restaurant reviews, news and tips to help boost your health and keep your taste buds happy. Clean Plates founder Jared Koch graduated pre-med from the University of Michigan and is a nutritionist and health coach certified by the Teachers College of Columbia University, Global Institute of Alternative Medicine, and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Watch Jared in episodes of the Joe Show.