5-year-olds are the worst “peer pressure-ers”

I’m finally back from my trip to home sweet home Boise for the Robb’s wedding and Luke’s graduation party and what an amazing week it was.

It felt surreal to be back in the beautiful city of trees surrounded by the glow of the foothills while walking around downtown and playing softball with the sunset in the distance.

           bardenaydin      sisters

I sound like I’m describing paradise right? Boise will forever hold a special place in my heart. 


The week started off catching up with my girlfriends who came back to town during Emily’s Bachelorette Party followed by celebrating two extraordinary people joining their lives together during the Robb’s wedding.


Emily and I went to high school together though it wasn’t until she encouraged me to apply for a job as a front desk fitness consultant at Planet Fitness that our friendship really began.

                   Have we ever had some adventures since then!


Emily looked absolutely stunning and it took all the power in me to not pour on the waterworks when I saw the way Tucker looked at his future wife to be when she walked down the aisle.


It felt so nice to be able to do some of the things I have missed so much since coming to the city.

Just simple things like having breakfast with my family at Java, going to hot yoga at Sumit’s, driving my car with the windows down and blaring Blake Shelton out the window as I sing at the top of my lungs, walking through Winco’s bulk section (I can’t quite explain why this is such a thrill for me but I LOVE it), snuggling Sunni, hanging out with my sister and being complete random goofballs, and enjoying a late night walk to dinner with Luke at one of our favorite restaurants, Bardenay.


But, alas the week had to come to an end and I am back in New York and opening up yet another new chapter in my life. More about that in my next post though. Winking smile


The one thing I didn’t realize would be more of a challenge was continuing my 8 week sugar free adventure. There were a few factors that played into this.

1. Attending a bachelorette party, wedding, and graduation party means loads of tempting sweets and foods that I typically wouldn’t come across on a daily basis.

2. My mom is an exceptional cook, Luke makes the most mouth watering French toast, and there was a plate of Great Harvest Bread Company’s cinnamon rolls on the counter when I went over to my parents house. If you haven’t had one, they are to d-i-e for.

3. Finding healthy options while flying and traveling can be a challenge in itself but is even more difficult when you’re eliminating sugar.

I’m pleased to say that with all these obstacles and temptations, I’m finishing up week four strong and only gave in once….to a five-year-old that I sat next to on my flight home who gave me the worst peer pressure! Though I have to say, she was more entertaining than the book I had brought to read and the shows that were playing on the flight. And she was an exceptional sharer as we exchanged our snacks we had brought on the plane. She was lovin’ my carrots and almonds…until the flight attendant brought her Oreo Thin Crisps.

   This was my attempt at turning down a 5-year-old
who was

            ridiculously skilled in the art of peer pressure:

“Want a cookie for some almonds?”

“Oh, no thank you. But you’re such a great sharer! You can have some almonds anyway though!”

“No cookie? Come on, they’re sooooo good!” (peer pressure kicked in here)

“I know they are! I’m pretty full from my snack still though. You don’t have very many left anyways!”

“Here, just take one.” (Places it in my hand)

“Okay, thank you! I’ll save it for later.”

“Why aren’t you eating your cookie. Do you not like it?”

At this point I couldn’t even fool her with the fake eating of the cookie and her mom was staring at me like I was some kind of nut. How do you explain to a little girl you’re trying to give up sugar and that you have a friend back in New York who you can’t let down along with all your blog followers??? So I did it. I caved and ate that cookie and it was, amazing. And I don’t even love Oreos. Though it did taste incredibly sweet and I found myself not really wanting to devour another one. Oh Shannon, you should get yourself into sales when you grow up because you are one sneaky little persuader!

While I can’t help you out when it comes to saying no to a sweet little kid. I can provide some tips on how to eat healthy and avoid an uncomfortable trip the next time you travel!

Have a healthy, happy flight

Eat before your flight– The plane isn’t the only thing that should be fueling up before flight. You should be fueling your body beforehand as well since it’s more difficult for your body to digest foods at a high elevation. You’ll want something light but packed with protein to keep you full. Try eating eggs and some oats (or promeal!), cottage cheese with berries and a piece of toast, or mixed nuts and a banana. The protein will help keep you full, the berries will help to hydrate you, and the banana will give you potassium to avoid cramping.
     Tip: Avoid eating fried, greasy, and salty foods that will sit heavy and cause you to bloat and be dehydrated. While a fast trip to Mickey D’s may seem like it’s saving you time and is quick and easy, it’s going to make for a long and potentially unpleasant flying experience. And while those 45 calorie pack salted pretzels and peanuts may seem like a safe bet while flying, the salt ends up leaving you more dehydrated at a higher elevation.

Source: Digital Photos

Stay Hydrated- There is less humidity in most planes which can lead to you being dehydrated more than you typically would. Hydrate with water 24 hours prior to flying and bring an empty water bottle with you since you can’t bring fluids on the plane and fill it up before boarding. You can also ask your flight attendant if they wouldn’t mind filling it if you’re on a longer flight. Avoid drinking sodas, coffee, and look for coconut water if you need something with electrolytes. 
     Tip: Avoid the alcohol. While some people may use this to get rid of preflight jitters, alcohol will only dehydrate you more and can lead to that jet lag feeling we all despise so much.

Get up and walk around- The American Heart Association has found that low cabin pressure, dehydration, and sitting with your legs cramped can lead to blood clots in your legs. Reduce your risk of blood clots by getting up periodically and walking up and down the aisle. If you’re staying hydrated you should be getting up frequently to use the restroom anyways!
     Tip: There’s always that person doing squats, bizarre stretches, and knee bends before getting on flights. That person is probably smarter than think by keeping their blood circulation going. However, it’s more important to contract your calves over any other body part since they help pump blood to the lower portions of the body. Simple toe taps or flexing of the feet can help to circulate blood.

Source: Yogini’s Self-Portrayal

Plan Ahead– Healthy finds at airports can not only be scarce, but they can also be overpriced. $4.75 for a cup of chopped carrots you could have done yourself in less than 5 minutes for under a dollar? Pack snacks to carry on with you that are light but still filling. I brought homemade protein bars, fresh cut celery and carrots, and a bag of trail mix. You can pack solid foods when flying though any liquids or soft, gel like foods have to be 3 oz. or less. Remember you can’t bring forks or knives on a plane (though you can ask the Starbuck’s barista very nicely once you get inside the terminal if you can have some utensils!) Also try to be considerate of those around you and keep in mind the limited space allowed for carry on items.

     Tip: Want to bring something that needs to be kept cold on your flight? I couldn’t get a definite yes or no on whether ice packs were allowed through security (since they’re a gel once they melt). However, I did come across a tip online to fill a plastic bag with ice to keep your food cold on the way to the airport, then empty it out right before going through security and refill it with ice once you get through security. Next time I fly I am giving this a try!


Curious about which airlines provide the healthiest and least healthiest food options? Charles Platkin, Ph.D., professor of Nutrition at the City University of New York, has analyzed airline foods for the past 12 years and conducts a survey each year for the healthiest options. Here are the results he came up with.

Healthiest Airline: Virgin Airlines (They offer low-calorie options as well as a list of the caloric intake next to each item.)

What to order: Protein Platter (420 calories) with chipotle and lentil hummus, whole-wheat pita bread, sliced turkey, cage-free hard boiled egg, smoked Gouda and pepper jack cheese, and red grapes.
Protein plate...yum
                                                  Source: Yelp

Least Healthiest Airline: Allegiant Air (Due to mainly limiting their snacks to unhealthy options like M&M’s and pretzels).

Healthy option available in most airports:
Starbuck’s Perfect Oatmeal w/out toppings (140 calories, 5 g protein, 4 g fiber)

*You can also add additional toppings to add flavor or nutritional value

Foods to avoid that may sound healthy:
-Muffins as many can contain over 350 calories and are loaded with sugar and fat.

-Prepackaged salads. A salad? Unhealthy?? Shocking, I know. But many prepackaged salads can come with too many toppings of cheeses, nuts, and dried fruit which can all be good in moderation but have the opposite effect when consumed in excess. Just keep in mind portion sizes and try to order a fresh salad that allows you to control what goes in it.

-Smoothies. This may or may not come as a surprise, but most smoothies are loaded with added sugars. If you want something to slurp on, you’re better off with a low-fat latte where you’ll still get the filling protein but without all the added sugars.

Do you have any healthy tricks or tips when you fly/travel?

What’s your favorite snack to bring?

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