Spotlight: Trail Mix

Mar 20, 2015

Introducing Spotlight, the blog theme by Twila to educate on various amazing things. Each post will feature a different topic in detail. Feel free to dig deeper into each topic at the gym with your trainer, or pursue a greater understanding by doing a bit more research of your own. We are never too young to learn new things!

Spotlight: Trail Mix

IMG_3256Our bodies need quality energy to excel in, and adapt to, the activities we enjoy. Simple and starchy carbohydrates can provide quick energy, but with a culture drowning in obesity and chronic disease, there needs to be an alternative. Paul and Joe can often be seen munching on trail mix in the gym, and so I went on a quest to find the best trail mix ingredients so you can make your own and reap the benefits!

Goji berries (wolfberries):

Nutritional superfood, but pricey!
Serving size of 50g contains:
– 4g of fibre
– 6g of protein
– 25% daily iron recommendation
– >100% daily vitamin A & C recommendations

Organic kamut flakes:

Cheap!!
Made by heating wheat kernels and then pressing them flat.
Serving size of 50g contains:
– 4.5g of fibre
– 8.5g of protein
– 23% daily iron recommendation

Currants:

Cheap!!
Similar to raisins, but contain considerably less sugar and more nutritional value!
Serving size of 50g contains:
– 3.5g of fibre
– 2g of protein
– 15% daily iron recommendation
– 10% daily calcium recommendation
– 7.5% daily vitamin C recommendation

Mixed nuts:

Roasted or raw, unsalted.
Almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, walnuts and pecans.
Serving size of 50g contains:
– 4g of fibre
– 9g of protein
– 7.5% daily calcium recommendation
– 15% daily iron recommendation

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Pistachios:

Hulled, raw and unsalted.
Nutritional superfood, but pricey!
Serving size of 50g contains:
– 5g of fibre
– 10.5g of protein
– 10% daily vitamin A recommendation
– 7.5% daily vitamin C and calcium recommendations
– 20% daily iron recommendation

Pumpkin seeds:

Hulled, raw and unsalted.
Serving size of 50g contains:
– 5g of fibre
– 15g of protein
– 20% daily iron recommendation

Soy beans:

Dry, roasted and unsalted.
Members of the legume family!
Serving size of 50g contains:
– 8g of fibre
– 21g of protein
– 10% daily calcium recommendations
– >45% daily iron recommendation

Cacao nibs:

Organic, raw “chocolate”.
Cacao nibs are partially ground cacao beans & the natural source of all chocolate products.
NOTE: Cacao nibs DO NOT taste like chocolate chips. Do not be deceived.
Serving size of 50g contains:
– 12.5g of fibre
– 6.5g of protein
– 17.5% daily iron recommendation

Sunflower seeds:

Hulled, raw and unsalted.
Serving size of 50g contains:
– 4.5g of fibre
– 11.5g of protein
– 7.5% daily calcium recommendation
– 35% daily iron recommendation

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Make the good choice the easy choice: I got all these things from Bulk Barn down the street from Pure. Buy 50-100 grams of each and mix together into one container when you get home. Pre-package into 1/3 to 1/2 cup portions for a quick snack. Do not consume within 2 hours prior to moderate- to vigorous- aerobic physical activity! You need to allow time for digestion.

Energy content: 1 gram of fat = 9 calories. The fat content in trail mix means you do not need much in order to get the calories (energy) you need. Nuts, seeds and legumes are high in mono- and poly-unsaturated fats which assist in lowering “bad” LDL-cholesterol and raising “good” HDL-cholesterol. The fat will take many hours to fully digest, which translates to long-lasting energy. The sugar in the currants and goji berries provides quicker energy, with blood sugars elevated within 20 minutes and lasting 4 hours because of simultaneous fibre consumption.

Nutrient content: Ingredients were chosen based on fibre, iron and protein content. Fibre slows blood glucose elevation and provides satiety – the feeling of fullness. Simple, quick carbohydrates do not provide satiety, which is one reason why our diets contain too many of them. Iron transports oxygen in the body via red blood cells. Adequate iron levels will help you feel alert and energized. Iron deficiency is a common issue among women and athletes. Large quantities of iron are found in red meat, so those who do not eat meat need to consume nuts, seeds, legumes and vegetables high in iron on a daily basis to ensure they are getting enough. Lastly, protein is essential to build and repair muscle tissue. Protein is made up of amino acids, of which nine are essential and must be obtained from the diet. Protein sources that contain all nine essential amino acids are called complete. Animal protein always contains complete protein; those who do not eat meat need to consume protein from a variety of sources every day in order to get the essential amino acids their bodies require. As a general rule, our bodies need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of our body weight, and endurance athletes should consume no more than 1.4 grams/kg body weight.

I would highly recommend this trail mixture for a post-workout hunger-quencher, a quick snack, or fuel prior to a workout IF you consume it at least 2 hours before you begin. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

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