AdviceEat & DrinkNew YorkSlider

Can I Live On Trail Mix?

Sign up for the best newsletter EVER!

Some time ago, prompted by a bank account reading $80, and having several weeks until my next paycheck I decided to undertake a new diet: trail mix. Thought I: “hikers survive on this stuff, and they seem pretty healthy.” Nuts are cheap… well some of them in any case. And they contain vitamins. Coupled with a raw carrot every day, I would be reasonably healthy and never too hungry. Rather than meals, I would just grab a handful of trail mix whenever I needed a snack. I wondered if perhaps I had singlehandedly discovered an entirely new way of living. No meals. No extraneous food. Just the bare necessities… my own take on the food for fuel movement.

So I ordered M&Ms and peanuts.

You might at this point ask, “couldn’t you just as easily have bought a bunch of peanut M&Ms?”

Yes. Yes I most certainly could have.

And then you might ask, “but that doesn’t sound entirely healthy to me.”

No. No it most certainly would not be.

Are you beginning to see the flaw in my plan?

In my defense, I did not add equal parts M&Ms to legumes. My plan was to do more of a 1:5 mix, keeping the M&Ms as a little treat.

I tossed the lot into a plastic bag.

Now on the first day, I really did think I was on to something. I wasn’t hungry, and that sweet, salty treat really did do it for me. I found it even more delicious than my usual fare: pasta with sauce and sausage. It was gross. I was never a good cook.

I did not work out in those days. Thus, my need for actual energy was quite minimal. And so it went for a few days.

Towards the end of the first week of my experiment I began to develop headaches. I initially just attributed these to work and stress… not that I was really working a whole lot… which was why I was surviving on trail mix to being with.

Also, I began to feel hungry pretty much all the time.




So I ate more trail mix.

I presently began to understand that simply eating more trail mix wasn’t the solution since my hunger remained largely unsatisfied, and the large volume of peanuts in my digestive tract started to manifest themselves in various ways.

Now, I don’t know how many peanuts you’ve eaten in your life. But I’m willing to bet good money (if I had any) that in that first week, I probably ate as many peanuts as you’ve ever eaten. Perhaps even more… especially if you’re allergic.

That’s a ton of peanuts. For reals. A ton of peanuts.

And quite a few M&Ms too.

In my second week, the nausea set in. The headaches were still present of course, and furthermore I began to experience severe cravings… for… you know… real food.

Eventually, I was forced to admit that my attempt was rather silly. Yet, I did not relent quite so easily. Until Wednesday happened.

Periodically checking my eyes for traces of yellow – symptoms of the jaundice I suspected I might have for some reason – I sat watching television and trying to move as little as possible. I reached mechanically towards my black plastic bag of trail mix. There was still a veritable mountain of the stuff. Upon feeling the salty nuts in the palm of my hand, I thought to myself: “this is why I never go hiking.”

I called my parents and begged for a $100.

Almonds aren’t cheap.

Photo Credit:

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

Kirk Von Hammett's Day Of The Dead Bash and Book Release

Next post

Halloween Wine for the (Love-)Haters

Jules Owen - Wandering Wastrel

Jules Owen - Wandering Wastrel

Going to a rich kid school when you aren't even given an allowance certainly trains you to live large on the cheap. Armed with such expertise, Jules travelled the globe, surviving off of 50 cent beers and 2 dollar meals everywhere from Buenos Aires to Mumbai. Three years ago he returned to the United States, living first in Baltimore while he settled a debt with the IRS, then in Brooklyn where he plays music and writes. He aspires to one day live in a van on N.15th and Kent.


  1. Mani
    November 9, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Splurge on Brail Nuts and you can actually survive, plus your skin will radiate health.

  2. December 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    First of all what you are is eating is not food. A simple mix of m&ms + peanuts is does not qualify as a trail mix. A trail mix is “dried fruits and nuts”. Peanuts are legumes lie you, so they do NOT count, even though you see them in the so-called trail mixes at the stored. Secondly, m&ms have refined sugar, + chocolate, and do not qualify as well. A TRUE trail mix consists of walnuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, pistachios, etc. And that is the kind of Mix which you can survive on, -granted you had some fruit every few days for ascorbic acid. Im absolutely astonished that you thought a mix of Peanuts and M&Ms could sustain a healthy life. smh

  3. January 27, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Made me chuckle, thanks.

  4. Tata
    October 7, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I’d like to bring you to be aware that your headache and symptoms remind me a lot of how people initiate into a Keto diet (of purely fats and protein). Seeing as your little mix there basically is under the keto umbrella, then it is expected you would have a headache following a strange hunger.

    The headache would pass. Though the special hunger can be covered for by a supplementation of potassium-based table salt and some magnesium pills. For potassium and magnesium are neglected in such diets )also helps to have a multivitamin pill). For more info Google about Keto diets.