Book Review: Mile High and Healthy

The day I spent with Jayne McAllister about a decade ago, she picked up pâté and a baguette for dinner later that night. Mile High and Healthy

Here's what that means to you: Jayne McAllister knows good food -- from luxury fare to, as it turns out, street snacks in third-world countries. She's what we called a foodie until the word "foodie" was banned by the trendinistas who coined it a couple of years ago. Jayne is no stern instructor bent on depriving people of all that's delicious on this planet.

Yet this savvy traveler is now an expert on how to feel great when you travel, even if you bop around the globe frequently. With a nutrition degree, Pilates expertise, and decades of worldwide travel behind her, Jayne recently put the lessons she teaches her clients into a book, Mile High & Healthy, The Frequent Traveler's Roadmap to Eating, Energy, Exercise and a Balanced Lif(Story Farm, LLC).

Jayne McAllister

I know that you're afraid this will get lectury. Quit it. Read on.

Rona recommends, after all.

I read Mile High & Healthy and here's my conclusion: The book is packed with tips to make you feel better whether you travel weekly or none at all. The tips are presented with humor along with specific details that make it easy for you to take action.

The tips are also realistic. Jayne talks about how to choose healthy meals at the airport and elsewhere. Of course she does. I'll bet your mother does, too. But Jayne doesn't say to ban all gluten, or all beef,  or all anything, for that matter -- except maybe soft drinks, but even I would tell you the banish Sprites and such from your life. As for going barefoot in the park to get over jet lag ... I'll let you read the book to learn about that one. I am intrigued.


Jayne's food recommendations are so realistic, in fact, that I actually paid attention when she said things I didn't know. I'm a life-long weight-watcher so I'm pretty savvy about ways to trim calories. That's why I was intrigued by a section that says how to pair foods. Whole grain bread and lean turkey: both great. Together, they're a no-no. "Proteins and starches do not mix," she warns. "Bagels and cream cheese? Do you even have to ask?" So much for the Southwestern wrap I had in the Delta terminal Sunday night thinking it was a good choice.


Jayne's exercise tips are practical. I echo her recommendations of choosing hotels with gyms, and keeping on your tablet or laptop. But putting the bedspread on the floor and using it as an exercise mat? Thanks Jayne. That's a great idea. I will do that.

And the specifics. So helpful! When Jayne says to pack an empty water bottle, she mentions which brand has a built-in filter so you can use the water from any hotel sink in nearly any country (Bobble Bottle). She lists  airports that have yoga studios or walking paths. She suggests packing little sachets of Emergen-C, which will give you electrolytes when you need it without "the freaky colors that scream artificial additives" found in sports drinks. I'm going to buy these.

As for humor, here's an example. Since being dehydrated really messes up travelers, Jayne put together a chart about what your urine should look like. Ew, I know, but you'll remember what she says. Know why? Because she words it like this: "If your urine is clear or looks like pinot grigio, you're okay." Yes, the author's "highly technical methodology" has you on the lookout for chardonnay-, pale ale-, and dark ale-hued pee. Call it the pee-no grigio guide to hydration.


I thought I'd skim the book and post a bit on Facebook about it. Instead, I read the entire thing, marking several places so I can return easily. Mile High & Healthy is a helpful, practical book chockful of information, including details on how to do what the author suggests without stressing.

I trust it enough that I may -- may; no promise -- order the vegan meal on my next international flight. That McAllister gal is might convincing.

If I choose to sup on pâté and a baguette, though, I won't do that in front of Jayne. I suspect she rarely indulges to that degree very often.

Mile High & Healthy is available here.

Travel safely,