I love Trail Mix. I've always loved it. Especially the M&M kind. Sweet, chewy, crunchy, colorful trail mix.
Just a glimpse of a Ziploc bag of trail mix cheers me, and conjures images of growing up in Eugene, where we called it Gorp and you bought it in bulk at the health food store and wondered why the chocolate tasted so weird, until your sister told you it was actually carob. Thank god someone got smart and put M&Ms in there and started selling it at Walmart instead.
Trail Mix has been with me during hikes up Half Dome in Yosemite, chair lift rides up mountain passes, while backpacking through Europe, and staying up all night writing papers in college. And of course, there have been years and years of picking out the chocolate during during "certain times of the month" when nothing else will do. Trail Mix and I have a long history together.
But Trail Mix has a deep, dark, secret: it is addicting. I can gorge on Gorp, I tell you. In fact, my name is Julie A., and I'm a Gorp Addict.
"Here's a trick," said Cathy, my sports nutritionist/Gladiator. "When you're on the go, carry emergency snacks, like Trail Mix, lean jerky and pretzels so you have a good balance of carbs, protein and fat to keep you from eating junk when you get hungry. Never miss a meal, never."
This is why I like Cathy so much. 'Trail mix' and 'don't get too hungry' aren't just music to my ears, they are Mozart Arias.
So I bought trail mix, against my better judgement. I know better. I should have worked a 12 Step Program against the bag, when it stared at me sweetly from the shelf at Costco. I should have lit a candle and chanted a mantra and done some zen breathing right then and there. But I didn't. I bought it.
Here's what happens when I give in and buy Trail Mix: I start out with the two tablespoons, like Cathy suggests. Have you actually measured out trail mix, to know how much you're eating? Maybe you shouldn't. It's just too sad to see what a real serving is. Two tablespoons? I doubt that would sustain Hansel or Gretel for more than 20 minutes. Even the birds need more than that.
So I eat the two tablespoons, all mixed together, and enjoy the lovely combination of textures and flavors mingling around in my mouth. Then I say "I love being a Gladiator! I've lost 6.5 pounds of fat and gained lean muscle. I'll be running a 10k by spring for sure, and I'll take Trail Mix with me!"
But then the trouble quickly starts. I finish my ration, then I pick out a few more M&Ms. Just a couple, mind you. Then just one M&M and two peanuts. Peanuts and chocolate? Duh. They're made for each other. Then, another little baby-sized handful of everything, so the raisins don't feel left out. Because you don't want a pile of raisins sitting there all alone at the end, right? Before long, the two tablespoons has turned into 1/2 a cup. Then 3/4, and so on, and so on.
It's a slippery slope and pretty soon I think I should be calling my sponsor. Does anyone out there know of a Gorp Addict 12 Step sponsor? G.A., Gorp Anonymous. I'm happy to start a GA group. I think I can find a church basement for us. Maybe we can meet there between a Jazzercise class and Mom's Group, so we can get more people to join. And we can pass a plate and collect $1 from everyone to chip in for snacks. But no Trail Mix allowed.