Make the Perfect Snack Mix! | Whole Green Love

29 Nov

I love to eat constantly. When I’m done eating breakfast, I’m thinking about what I’m having for lunch. And as soon as lunch is over I think about what I’m making for dinner that night. My life is a never ending thought-fest about food. Staying on top of making healthy meals is so important, but what you are eating in between can sometimes make or break the choices you make at your next meal. Ever stop to think about that? How do your snacking choices affect your food choices overall?

Vending machines offer very convenient snacks, but unfortunately most vending machines choices are perfect examples of what NOT to eat in between meals. The cheesy crackers, salty pretzels, and chewy candy lack sources of fiber, protein, and pretty much any nutrients all together. When we are looking for a little satisfaction in between meals to hold us over, it’s essential to get a good mix of the whole foods our body is craving. As you read in our recent Top 10 Grab and Go Breakfast Options, getting that mix of complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats is a must to satisfy your bod. Sometimes the standard granola bar just isn’t going to cut it. When you need a little somethin’ somethin’ to push you through that late morning craving before lunchtime or to get you through an afternoon workout, think about customizing your very own snack mix.

Think about including some of the following whole grain sources:

  • Shredded wheat
  • Oat bran cereal
  • Granola clusters

Protein/fiber/healthy fat additions:

  • Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans

Antioxidant powerhouses:

  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Dried blueberries, cranberries, cherries, currants, or goji berries

Check out the bulk section of your grocery store for more ideas and options. Then throw together a mixture that will satisfy your cravings. The antioxidants in your snack mix should be abundant, because the mixture options are endless!

Going back to how your snacking can affect your meal choices later in the day…

Have you ever had a hectic day where you chose a poorly balanced lunch, or even worse – you didn’t eat much or anything at all? Ugh. You know where I’m going with this. The next meal you sit down for, you feel like you could scarf down a buffet full of high fat foods and top that off with 3 desserts. You get yourself in trouble by depriving your body early on in the day and your body responds by forcing you into eating some not-so-healthy options to get some fat and calories in your body pronto! This is why those chips and ice cream look like the best choice to hold us over until dinner when we get home from work. It’s our body reacting like it did back in caveman days to stock the body with calories to make it until our next hunting/gathering session. Unfortunately, the foods that have very readily accessible calories (processed, high sugar and fat junk foods!) are those that we reach for.

If you haven’t had time to make your own snack mix or you just don’t want to take the time, check out me & goji to custom make your very own cereal creation! They offer some very healthy options to load your concoction with everything your body needs. You can either choose an already created mixture of goodness or the website can take you through the process of choosing the base, dried fruit, and nut and seed options. I ordered the Swedish Moosely (a pre-created recipe), which is loaded with great ingredients and is delicious on top of yogurt or with a bit of milk. But if you are looking for something that you can eat with your fingers as a snack, you may want to choose a mixture with their healthy hoops or samurai wheat as the base. The Swedish Moosley is great, but the muesli is a bit hard to eat with your hands (although the huge, juicy strawberries are perfect for a snack mix that you are eating without a spoon!) If you are looking for a healthy holiday gift to give, you can even customize the label of your cereal creation with a name and photo. Nothing wrong with giving the gift of health this holiday season!

What is your favorite ingredient in trail/snack mixes?

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