As someone who has forged a career from ensuring other travellers feel happy, comfortable and secure 38,000 feet above the Earth, Corinne Weijschedé is a consummate expert in all matters plane travel-related. But there’s more to this busy and talented mother of three than meets the eye. A passionate healthy foodie who has made a name for herself sharing real food/no junk vegan treats (read on for an original recipe!), Corinne currently wears four hats, as a devoted mother, flight attendant, singer and cookbook author (the Dutch version of It’s a Healthy Piece Of Cake is in the makings as I type).
If there’s a woman to ask about what it means to explore the world in a balanced, healthy way, surely it’s Corinne. And so I did!
Marisa: It’s commonly touted that staying hydrated when flying is super-important, but what’s your take on this? And do you have any personal tips?
Corinne: I must confess that I’m a poor water drinker, generally. However, when I work I really try to force myself to drink water more often. As you pointed out, nothing on board is so important to stay well hydrated, especially on a long-haul flight.
What I do – and what most of my colleagues do – is set up, from the beginning of the flight, a large bottle of mineral water with lots of lime or lemon slices in it. That way we are constantly reminded that we should drink. In addition, I also drink green tea with lemon slices during my lunch/dinner/break. I can’t help it. I’m mad about citrus fruit! And, between you and me, I think it’s best to avoid consuming alcohol on board. The body handles alcohol less well in a pressurized cabin. In addition, alcohol extracts moisture from your body. Contrary to what most people think, it seems that coffee does not have this effect.
Marisa: The people in your profession always seem incredibly well put together and surprisingly “fresh” even on the longest of long-haul flights. I think the whole world would like to know how this miraculous feat is achieved.
Corinne: Firstly, Marisa, thank you so much for the wonderful compliment. I have to say, I feel a lot better now. 😉 But seriously, those moments, waking up after only 1-2 hours of sleep in the middle of the night with a resulting appearance that’s anything but radiant, are more common than you think.
Things are not always as they seem. It’s a matter of timing. While most of you are still in a deep, semi-comatose state, we are freshening up. Clean, polished teeth, a little mascara and lipstick do wonders. And a little perfume helps as well!
Personally, it’s having fun during work that makes me really glow, I guess. It might sound like a cliché, but to connect with so many different cultures and discover a new parts of the world makes me smile. Maybe that’s the key, actually. A smile is an instant beautifier!
Marisa: I personally suffer from flying anxiety and have done so for years (although I have not let it stand in my way of travelling). Is there any advice you give passengers who struggle emotionally/psychologically with plane travel due to fear of flying.
Corinne: Poor you! I respect the fact that it doesn’t keep you from flying. I know that there are courses that can help in this area. In the short-term, I can suggest taking a calming herbal remedy (such as Valdispert forte). And always tell the cabin staff. They’re there to help you and to look after you! And please don’t hate me for it, but my advice would again be to not consume alcohol. Some might not agree with me on that point.
Marisa: Oh, I don’t hold it against you! As a non-drinker, it’s not an option in any case. Plus I’d much rather stick with healthier alternatives. And on that subject, you’re a well-known advocate of healthier treats as alternatives to traditional desserts. Do you take any of your homemade creations with you when you fly? Are there any travel-friendly favourites you’d care to share or general healthy ‘flight food’ tips?
Corinne: I make a lot of raw cakes, but they are just not convenient to carry. Sometimes I’ll take oven-baked treats such as slices of banana bread or leftover apple pie. I’m not the type to makes snacks and smoothies in a hotel room. At home I’m always busy inventing recipes, but while travelling the forced “rest” is welcome. I manage very well with what destinations have to offer; fresh unprocessed food. Small, individual portions of chocolate plant-based protein and small packets of plant-based milk travel well. I simply mix them in a glass for a protein shake on the go.
I always carry some raw nuts or organic nut bars with me. And oat cookies are a go-to travel snack. My Big Fat Apple Pie Vegan Cookies are a favourite. Would you like the recipe for them?
Marisa: Yes please! They sound like my kind of treat! Aside from your fabulous cookies, are there 5 items you can think of that you never fly without?
- My mobile phone
- Comfy in-flight shoes (definitely less sexy than the pair I normally wear around the airport 😉 )
- Small personal care products, including my panacea, Absolution La solution, Eclat (I apply it over makeup during flights) and a small bottle of my favourite perfume, Clean.
- Spare undergarments, e.g., tights & underwear (in case of delays/canceled flights/lost luggage, etc.)
- A bottle of organic liquid stevia
Marisa: Expanding upon that point; carry-on luggage. What are your must-haves for extra comfortable travel?
- Mosquito repellent & malaria tablets (prevention is better than cure)
- My vegan-friendly cotton satin pyjamas
- My own pillowcase
- Le Nettoyant Pureté with konjac sponge for cleansing, morning & evening
- La Crème du Teint tinted nourishing day cream
- Ahava; Extreme Night Treatment
- Vitamin B12 tablets
- Raw nuts and nut bars
- Reading material
- My iPad
AND JUST QUICKLY…
Beach or mountains? Sorry, I can’t choose! I adore the beach and my most memorable trips have been in the mountains.
Camp or cruise? If sailing counts, definitely cruise! I’ve had wonderful sailing experiences around Croatia, Greece, Elba and Corsica. It’s a bit like camping on water, right?
Day spa or hiking trail? I admit, I love a bit of luxury. However I have no patience for spa treatments and don’t like people fussing over my body. So, hiking trail it is (although it would be quite an ordeal for me!).
Favourite destination for work: South Africa. Iguazu in Argentina and the Taj Mahal in India have also been highlights. And I love New York!
Favourite destination for pleasure: I recently discovered Bali. I could live there. Busy Ubud isn’t my style, but I love it beyond Ubud and on the small islands around Bali!
Best airport in the world: My favorite airport has to be Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Everything can be found there, from fresh fruit & veggie juices to delicious fresh veg sushi. Schiphol almost feels like my second home (poor me!) considering the amount of time I’ve spent there over the past 22 years. Singapore is also very nice, but I don’t know it that well.
Somewhere you haven’t been that you long to visit: I would love to see The Great Wall of China. New Zealand is also very high on my wish list. More than twenty years ago we flew with KLM (the company I work for) to Australia and I’d love to return, both for the beautiful landscapes and the lovely people.
BIG FAT APPLE PIE VEGAN COOKIES
100 g Inca berries (soaked for 3-4 hours in filtered water)
100 g coconut oil (set aside)
100 g oats
1.5 peeled apples, cut into small pieces
2 bananas, mashed
20 g ground cinnamon
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pure vanilla powder
- Preheat oven to 180°C, fan.
- Combine ingredients – minus Inca berries and coconut oil – and mix well.
- Melt coconut oil and stir into the mixture to create a loose dough.
- Form 8 circles of cookie dough and place onto a baking parchment-lined tray.
- Place tray in the center of the preheated oven.
- Bake for approximately 17- 20 minutes.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and gently press the soaked Inca berries into the middle of the cookies.
- If they crumble slightly, press them gently back into shape and allow to cool, before resting in the refrigerator for approximately 2 hours.
To connect with Corinne and discover more about her colourful life, her even more colourful culinary creations, visit:
Corinne’s cookbook of simple, vegan-friendly, plant-based treats and breakfast options, It’s a Healthy Piece Of Cake, will be published in Dutch by the end of this year. The English version is expected to follow shortly thereafter!
*All images ©Corinne Weijschedé, quote image edited by Miss Marzipan.
*This post is entirely unsponsored by the brands mentioned within the context of the interview. They are genuinely Corinne’s favourites and I have included some links for those who may be interested.