My name is Lisa Tsakos, Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant, corporate speaker and author. This blog provides professional advice from a nutrition and weight loss expert (me!) about corporate and family health. Here you'll find recipes and articles that address work-related challenges like eating on-the-go and maximizing your productivity with the right foods. You'll also find out about how you can help your children develop strong immune systems and healthy bodies. As a nutrition instructor, I often found myself thinking, "When I have kids, this is how I will feed them." With two toddlers, I have the opportunity to practice what I have been preaching and to try out my theories. So far, they seem to be working! Follow me on my journey and also on Twitter @NuVitalityHW.

3 Apr 2014

Super Easy Gluten-Free Trail Mix Recipe

Today I had the privilege of presenting my 'Eating on the Go' workshop to a group of 40+ truck drivers. Talk about a group with unique needs! They're on the road for hours & hours at a time with very little opportunity to stop for food (how many restaurants have parking for 18 wheelers?) or for washroom breaks (I wouldn't want to drink too many liquids either).

Speaking of liquids, during the Q&A period, one of the participants brought up the benefits of drinking a glass of water with lemon - my favourite daily habit - every morning. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to discuss it further, so here's a link to an article that I wrote for Naturally Savvy last year called 8 Reasons to Start Your Day with Lemon Water.

Back to today's seminar... To bring home my points about healthy snacking, I brought in a DIY trail mix (that I threw together in, um, about 1 minute) for everyone to try. 

I make this mix at home for my family about once a month using staple ingredients. We always have at least 4 or 5 different types of raw nuts and seeds on hand (they're stored in the freezer where they last longer). Chocolate is always on hand, too (though it doesn't last the night if I don't hide it from my husband). All the ingredients are tossed together in a large bowl, separated into snack-size Ziplock bags, and stored in the cupboard. We each grab a bag on the way out the door. It's a great snack for road trips, so I was thrilled that the truckers at today's session liked it! 

Here are the ingredients:

1 cup Nature's Path Whole O's Gluten-Free cereal (if you are not sensitive to gluten, you can use any cereal, even Cheerios now that they are GMO-free)
1 cup Nature's Path Corn Puffs (optional. I add them for extra crunch)
1 cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit (sulphite-free if possible)
1/2 cup raw* almonds or other nut
1 cup raw* pumpkin seeds
1/2 dark chocolate chips or chunks
1/2 cup flaked or shredded coconut, unsweetened 
You can even throw in some hemp hearts or flaxseed

The amounts listed here make about 5 cups of trail mix. That may sound like more than you'll ever eat, but you'll be surprised how quickly it goes. If it is too much, divide the amounts in half. 

* Why use raw nuts and seeds rather than roasted? Roasted nuts may taste better than raw, but they aren't nearly as healthy; in fact, they aren't actually roasted, but fried in vegetable oil and over-seasoned, often with MSG or other glutamates. Regardless of how they're seasoned, they are a source of extra sodium. If you prefer the taste of roasted nuts and seeds, roast them yourself in the oven or on the stovetop.

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