As much as we anticipate the warm glow of the holidays, we don’t enjoy the inevitable remorse that goes part and parcel with the packing on of a few extra pounds. Here’s a healthy way to avoid the all-to-familiar feeling of too-snug clothing come January 2nd: make your own delicious, healthy snack mix to stash in your purse, backpack or car. If you have a few handfuls before walking into a party, you’ll be less inclined to overeat. It’s fast and easy to make at home and ounce for ounce, it’s a lot less expensive than buying it from a store.

Although store-bought snack mixes may seem like a good choice, they often contain a whopping amount of sodium, carbs and fat. By making your own, you control the nutritional aspects to suit your taste buds and dietary restrictions, whether they are low salt, low fat, low carb, no added chemicals, nut-free, gluten-free or a combination.

Raw, unsalted almonds pack a nutritional punch and form the base of our mix. We prefer to use unsweetened, organic dried fruit, unsalted nuts, and peanut or almond M&M’s. When shopping overload leaves you craving a pick-me-up, try this mix for a guilt-free tasty treat.

Low salt, low carb snack mix          
2 cups Raw, unsalted almonds
2 cups pecans, walnuts, cashews or macadamia nuts                                                     
1 ½ cup dried, unsweetened Cherries                    
1 cup dried cranberries                                                        
¾ cup shaved, unsweetened coconut       
1 cup almond M & M’s