Jun 14, 2013

Fit Friday #4: Ingredients for a Great Trail Mix!

It's Fit Friday again!

This week, I'm focusing on an aspect of healthy travel - healthy snacking! 

Especially if you're traveling by airplane and dependent on the airline-delivered meal, to be served whenever is convenient for the stewardesses, it's very important to pack some snacks. You don't want to be sitting in your seat, starving and miserable, with no options for food!

I've been on flights where the meal seemed to come as soon as we were at a safe cruising altitude, but I've also been on flights where it felt like two hours before they even started heading to the galley to prep the meal. You never know what you'll get!

One of the easiest snacks to pack, that doesn't require refrigeration, doesn't have any TSA-unfriendly components, and doesn't have a strong smell (please don't make your seat mates suffer through you snacking on boiled eggs or pickles just because it's 'part of your diet'), is trail mix! 

Trail mix is particularly awesome, because it combines slow-digesting carbs, satiating healthy fats, and some vitamins and minerals to support your health in flight. Best of all, it's yummy!

To make a great trail mix, start with a healthy cereal, like R.A.W. Honey Nut Granola.

You want something that has big chunks, making this cereal pretty ideal, to avoid making snacking a big mess. Look for a cereal that has whole grains as the first ingredient and doesn't have a crazy amount of sugar.

Another great option is Kashi Go Lean Crunch - but that one has a lot of fiber, so make sure you pick up a drink after you pass the TSA checkpoint!

Next up, you'll want to add some nuts. This is where the healthy fats and minerals come into the mix - and nuts are just absolutely delicious!

Any nuts that you like are great, you don't need to stick to just almonds and walnuts. Other nuts have benefits, too!

Cashews are rich in copper, keeping your hair and skin looking great! Pistachios (shell them first!) are  a rich source of vitamin B6, an important vitamin for the nervous system. And pecans have more antioxidants than any other tree nut!

Oh, I am so using that one to justify seconds on pecan pie next Thanksgiving.

Whatever nuts you choose (or if you decide to go with seeds)  just make sure that the ones you choose aren't roasted in hydrogenated oils or coated in too much salt. That way, you keep your trail mix super healthy!

Next up are dried fruits - vitamins, fiber, and sweet chewiness!
Dried bananas, raisins, craisins, chopped prunes, chopped dried apricots, and dried figs are all delicious options. I love dried fruits!

The last step is to add something fun and random - whether it's chocolate chips, M&Ms, Reese's Pieces,  or even Skittles, it will make your trail mix uniquely yours.

And it's important to remember that health is about the balance - not everything needs to provide dense nutritional value to make it worth eating. Some are just fun!

Bars are also always great, in case you forget to pack trail mix. You can find a wide assortment of yummy bars in most airports these days!

What do you like in your trail mix?

What's the worst thing a seat mate ever did on a plane?

What is your fun trail mix add-in?

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