Top 6 On-the-Go snacks

Finding healthy food that is also portable and durable for traveling can present quite the challenge. Whether you are in a vehicle, boarding a flight or you are just in an environment when you cannot purchase or store food.  I like to take healthy snack food along with me when I will be away from home for several hours, including when I go to work.  Most of us have access to a fridge at our workplaces.  What happens when you are on the road or some similar situation?  Below are my top six foods for eating on the go.  The factors I considered were: overall nutrition content, minimal processing, portability and durability and of course the taste.

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  1. Raw homemade trail mix tops my list.  My favorite combination is raw pumpkin seeds and raisins or dried cranberries.  Raw nuts, sunflower seeds and other types of dried fruits can also be used.  Raw seeds, nuts and fruits contain, fiber, protein, zinc (pumpkin seeds) and a variety of vitamins and minerals.  Some dried fruits, such as cranberries do have added sugar, but if you stick with raisins and other naturally sweet dried fruits, you can eliminate that issue.  You can carry your trail mix in a small tuper-ware container or a ziplock bag.  It will survive hot and cold environments and being in a handbag or other carrying vessel.  No need to worry about it getting squashed or disfigured.  If you want to get fancy, you can make more or a granola with dried unsweetened coconut shreds or flakes and uncooked rolled oats (not raw anymore).
  2. Kale Chips are number two because they are not as durable.  You do have to be careful to avoid crushing them so that you don’t end up with kale crumbs.  Apart from that they have protein, iron, fiber, calcium, vitamins and other nutrients.  My brand of choice is Trader Joes’s because they contain simple ingredients, they are delicious and they are cheaper than just about every other brand I’ve seen so far at $3.99 for a 2-serving bag.
  3. Fresh fruit (of course).  Some fruits are more durable and portable than others.  For example, apples, bananas and pears can be carried as whole fruits.  Beware bananas do not do well in dark places unless they were only semi-ripe to begin with.  For fruits like manages and pineapple, they would have to be cut into smaller pieces a head of time and carried in a container.  They are also get messy because they are so juicy.  Once a fruit if cut, it does not last as long or taste as good if not eating quickly.  Berries are pretty portable too but can easily be squashed in transit.
  4. Now I’ll move onto a few packaged snacks that I will eat if the top three are unavailable.  Larabars are an easy-to-transport snack that is not overly processed.  Go with a flavor that preferably does not have dairy.  Their base is nuts and dates and then whatever else they add depending on the flavor.  Dome examples are chocolate chips, coconut and dried fruits.
  5. Pop Corners (sea salt flavor only) are a popped corn chip.  So they are low fat.  The Sea Salt flavor has three ingredients: corn, sunflower oil and sea salt!!  They do not offer much nutritional value apart from carbohydrates.   If you just need a light snack, they are way better than their alternatives of fried or baked chips laden with oil, artificial flavors and preservatives.   I avoid the flavored pop chips such as sour cream and cheese.  The ingredient list on these is 10 times longer and it’s all bad!  Tons of artificial flavors and all a sundry.
  6.  Enjoy Life brand snacks are vegan, gluten free and soy free so that gets them some points.  They are however, processed.  If I need something sweet, their Cocoa Loco bars hit the spot.  They get an A+ for portability and not being totally junky food but would not be my first choice.
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Super Simple Summer recipes: Jerk Cauliflower Steaks & Raw Chocolate pudding

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Cauliflower is so versatile.  You can cook it in so many ways and give it what ever taste you want.  Commonly it is used to make soup, ‘mashed potatoes,’boiled and steamed.  The cooking methods for this recipe are a bit different.  I was not able to find a jerk seasoning free of chemical ingredients so I did what any determined vegan experimenter would do.  I made my own.

JERK CAULIFLOWER STEAKS

1 head cauliflower

1-2 tbsp melted coconut oil

1/2 lemon

1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

jerk seasoning

3 tsp McCormick Grill Mates Montreal chicken seasoning

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 packet stevia

1/2 tsp allspice

  1. Wash cauliflower. Cut off base with leaves and sit base side down.  Part of the base remains so that cauliflower is still one unit.  With a large sharp knife cut it in half without breaking florets off.  Cut two 3/4 inch ‘steaks’ from each half.  You will have some florets left over than you can cook too.
  2. Preheat oven to 425
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan.
  4. Combine 1tbsp oil, lemon juice and vinegar.
  5. Use a culinary brush to coat the steaks with the mixture.
  6. Sprinkle jerk seasoning on both sides of each steak.
  7. Sear the steaks in the frying own for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  8. Remove from the pan and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  Flip half way through the baking time.

You can sprinkle hot sauce for a extra kick.  Eat with sautéed kale or spinach and onions, with a salad or over brown rice or quinoa.

RAW CHOCOLATE PUDDING

1 very ripe avocado

6-8 Medjool dates (soaked in advance for 1 hour)

4-6 tbsp raw cacao powder

1/2 cup unsweetened nut milk

2 tsp ground chia seeds

1 tbsp vanilla extract

stevia to taste.

a pinch a sea salt

Add milk to the blender first, then add other ingredients and blend until smooth.  Chill then enjoy cold.  More milk may be needed if the blender is not mixing them.  This recipe is so ridiculously easy and it’s so good.

If you’re on the fence about trying a cleanse, read this: My first experience doing a 7 day cleanse

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Cleanses have been around for ever.  There are a wide range of depths (restrictions) and lengths. Most of them have a common goal of detoxing the body in some way.  We ingest toxins through food, chemicals and the air we breathe.

I just wrapped up a seven-day cleanse.  The first three days (the pre-cleanse) I ate raw foods only and then did four days on Blessed Herbs©.  The BH cleanse requires you to drink only raw organic apple juice and vegetable/miso broth.  It includes packets containing psyllium powder, bentonite clay and apple pectin that you mix with apple juice five times per day and a capsule you take each night to help you ‘go to the bathroom.’ You can visit their website blessed herbs to read more details. (I am not affiliated with blessed herbs in anyway.  This just happens to be the product I used.  if you are interested I can forward you coupon for 20% off)

I had an amazing experience during this cleanse, much to my surprise. I am very active and I was able to do all my activities without feeling tired, weak or hungry.  Everyone’s bodies are so different and their react differently to the same program.  I decided to list some tips to help your cleanse go more smoothly.

1. Pick and plan a time during which you will have the most control over your environment.  Also pick the right cleanse for your environment and lifestyle.  I have a part time job as a spin instructor and did not want to miss my classes. I figured I would be able to do them because I was having juice which contains natural sugar, vitamins and minerals.  I was right!  Energy levels were intact. You don’t need to necessarily be at home the whole time (even though that helps.) I went to work for two of the four days during the BH herbs part of the cleanse.  I knew how much juice I needed to bring with me.  I prepared the night before and I made sure I did not have any lunch meetings scheduled.

2. Do a pre-cleanse.  The purpose of the three-day raw pre-cleanse was to get my body ready for not having solid food for 4-5 days.  I gradually decreased my intake of solid food during the three days so that the actual cleanse was not a huge shock to my body.  If you eat a Standard American Diet (SAD) of refined foods, soda and animal protein, your body may have adverse reactions to a cleanse that begins abruptly because there will be a massive amount of toxicity leaving your body all at once.  I’ve been eating a ‘cleaner’ diet consisting of plant based gluten free whole foods for a few years and I’m just getting around to doing a cleanse.  It’s like training for a marathon, you can’t just go out an run 26.2 miles on day one.  Even think of cleaning out a closet or a room.  You get better results if you ease into it instead of trying to get to perfect right away. It’s too overwhelming. At this stage in your journey you may be a few months away from trying such a cleanse. The great thing is that there are so many options that have varying levels of intensity.

3. Get support from loved ones who will help you emotionally.  Abstaining from food for days is very difficult physically and emotionally.  I had the added benefit of friends who had already done the cleanse.  They were able to tell me what to expect.  The best part was that I could connect with them to ask questions and give updates during the process.  It was great to be able to share the details with people who not only ‘get it’ but who care about you and your well being.  When others know what you are doing, there is also a level of accountability that is present. That being said, I didn’t tell EVERYONE.  There are some folks who just don’t get it and will tell you, your’e nuts etc. You don’t need that negativity and doubt.

4. Stay busy so that your mind hardly has time to think about the fact that you’re not eating normally. This also helps the days go by so much faster. I kept myself busy by teaching my regular spin classes, going to work, cleaning the house, practicing yoga and running errands.

Of course, once you complete the cleanse, maintain the new you.  If you go right back to your old ways (if they were not the healthiest) your efforts will be wasted.  Many people are inspired to eat a healthier diet post cleanse because they knows its good for them and because it feels so good to be clean from the inside out.  Due to my already cleaner plant based diet and lifestyle, I did not have a 180 shift in the way I felt but I noticed that I was calmer and I was more aware of how I was channeling my energy during my spin and hot yoga classes.  I hope this account gave you some insight into doing a liquid only cleanse.