Fly The Friendly (and Healthy) Skies

  united airplane"Make sure you're in the lobby by 6:30. You're sharing the shuttle with 2 pilots," the desk clerk advised me the night before.  As a motivational speaker on health and wellness I made sure I got enough sleep (no sleepless hormones storing fat in my midsection!) and you can bet I was there, perched on the arm of the overstuffed lobby chair with styrafoam coffee in hand by 6:20 a.m.!  

If it wasn't for their navy United pullover sweaters and sensible shoes I never would have guessed these 3 young, blonde, bright eyed, pony-tailed women were the 2 pilots and flight attendant at all!  One of them unzipped her top bag and started digging around in the contents, which I couldn't help but notice was actually her insulated lunch box.  My oh-so-subtle glance turned into a wide-eyed ogle.  This girl not only had the "better-eat-it-today-brown-spotted" banana tucked on the side, but at further inspection I saw:

  • Chocolate Muscle Milk
  • Chobani yogurt
  • Apple
  • Justin's Almond Butter packets
  • Applegate cold cuts (no antibiotics, or preservatives)
  • Odwella's Green Algae Drink
  • Hummus
  • Whole Wheat tortillas
  • Carrot sticks

"Excuse me.  I can't help but notice…"  Yes, that was me piping up and starting a conversation with the three women that lasted all the way to the airport (and it turned out they were actually flying my plane, yippee!) 

It was fun listening to their gripes and ideas, and admiring how adament they were about eating healthy while flying.  They all bemoaned the "stinky" lining of a well-used insulated lunch box.  All of them wished someone would invent a "Self-Refrigerated" lunch box, and, while all of them got really bored with the above food list, they still maintained it was better than succumbing to the high sodium restaurant fare. Oh, and they all agreed that they would pack green salads but the hotel room refrigerators are not dependable and can end up freezing the greens.  I hate that.

Tara, the flight attendant, had this fantastic idea for a travelling Kale Smoothie (I'm telling you, these girls were die hards): 

Wash and freeze whole leaves of kale.  Put favorite smoothie ingredients in your Ninja blender (which they swear by), easily strip off the frozen fronds of kale into the mix (brilliant), blend and pour into 10 oz. freezer bags.  These green smoothie baggies serve as ice packs for the travelling food!

I was really impressed with the commitment they all had to their health while at home and on the road. I know that the benefits of eating healthy show up as sustained energy, sharp focus, level emotions and the ability to handle stresses and not burn out.  You better believe I was happy that they were in the cockpit on my flight!

Hope you all can find something in this post to help with staying healthy away from home!




Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford didn’t always know the phytochemical benefits of kale, in fact, those words weren’t even in her vocabulary 30 years ago. Neither did she see any reason to do jumping jacks on a cement surface for an hour. But all it took was a chance vegetarian cooking class and some high-energy music to open her eyes upon a whole new world of healthy living. For 30 years Polly has practiced, studied, taught, educated and lived a healthy lifestyle that makes her such a powerful speaker.

Polly’s down-to-Earth and humorous approach mirrors her own lifelong journey to lasting, positive changes. The audience walks away with tangible plans for improving their health and their lives through food, fitness and fun.
To book Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford, call 941-685-7725 or visit her at

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  1. Wowee!! I LOVE this!  The nature of the motivational speaker business is that we have to USUALLY fly to wherever we are going. Can you say "Sarasota to Seattle to Florida in the blink of an eye?" I WISH I had packed like these smart women did. I ended up with some HORRIFIC salty, tasteless food on this trip because I didn't plan well. I LOVE the frozen kale idea! Thanks for sharing these ideas, Polly!!

  2. Okay, Polly, you peaked my interest with this tasty, healthy food list. Does the chocolate muscle milk (liquid) or frozen kale paks have to be under 3 oz to make it through carry-on security? I believe I saw a woman recently get her yogurt taken away by TSA.  I'd be so happy to be misinformed.

    • Good point Colette.  Shoot, it makes sense that the pilot and co-pilot could carry on gallon-sized containers of liquid if they wanted to!  I guess we'd have to use snack-sized baggies of frozen kale smoothies…a lot of them :(  Back to the drawing board on the liquid thing.  Thanks for that observation my friend!

  3. I never thought of pilots and how they obviously fly more than we do – and how they stay healthy on the road.  Kudos to you for opening up the conversation with these amazing women!  I see a story in your future keynotes!

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