I love the sense of accomplishment I feel after a hike. Sometimes the climb is slow and gradual. Other times it's more intense and grueling. It doesn't feel much like exercising. Sure I can feel my heart pumping and my body warming, but it's a sensation I welcome. It's one I'll take over the elliptical at the gym any day, especially come spring. The elliptical kind of makes me want to poke my eyes out. I step on and cover the 'time to completion' countdown with a magazine. I push like a robot and go nowhere, thinking only a fool would work up a sweat and remain in place. I can't help but peek under the magazine, over and over, convinced it N-E-V-E-R moves. Everyone around me is huffing and puffing, increasing their resistance, battling the road to nowhere.
~Goji berries are indigenous to Tibetan and Mongolian regions
~Have a long history in Chinese and Eastern medicine, used to treat inflammations, skin irritations, nosebleeds, aches, and pains.
~Are recommended for sharp eyesight, healthy liver function, and to improve circulation.
~Studies found goji fruit extracts significantly reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol and raised HDL (good) cholesterol
~Are filled with powerful antioxidants that may help prevent cancer and other illnesses, including heart disease
~Are rich in vitamin A
Not too shabby for a little berry, eh? I feel pretty good about all this snacking. Trail mix is the best kind of snack really. It has variety, crunch, and sweetness. I was always a fan of the classic peanut, pretzel, and M&M version, but thought it was time for a healthier makeover. This version is pretty alluring and packs a wallop of antioxidants and protein. Purchasing the ingredients separately, as opposed to buying pre packaged trail mix, gives you more bang for your buck. Besides, it's more fun designing your own. I pack bags for hiking and send some off with Donny and his friends when they go fishing. The rest is stored in small glass containers on my counter and never lasts very long. I hope I've convinced you to try some goji berries, or at the very least, to step outside and get lost in the sniffing process.
~Goji Berry Trail Mix Recipe~
1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup goji berries
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup raisins
Mix ingredients together with your hands or in a large bowl. Transfer to an airtight container or individual bags for traveling. Makes plenty for sharing. Serves a crowd.