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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The One About Nutritional Bars And Other Ramblings

A month or so ago I bought a variety of “healthy bars” (meal replacement, nutritional bars, workout bars, whatever you want to call them) just to get an idea of what’s out there. I wanted to find something right around 200 calories or less, that tasted good, or rather, not like cardboard and that kept me full without sitting on my stomach too heavy. Most days I come home and have either a piece of fruit or one of those bars on my way to the gym. I don’t like a lot in my stomach at the gym but I tend to get really hungry so it was important to find something light but filling. I also like to keep a box of bars at my desk in case I need a snack or I’m not going straight home after work.

So here are the different bars that I tried:

Simple Truth Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip -
This bar, while I don’t remember the exact calories (I think around 220, with 7g of protein) was pretty light and tasted ok. Honestly it tasted like most any other peanut butter chocolate chip nutrition bar. I wasn’t disappointed but I wasn’t overwhelmed.

Balance Bars –

I am not a fan of this bar at all. I was a bit excited about the S’Mores flavor but I was disappointed. It was too chewy and tasted very processed. There are 14g of protein and only 200 calories but I just really didn’t care for the taste or texture.

Zone Perfect Dark Chocolate Caramel Pecan –

I was also not a fan of this bar either. And I was also excited about the flavor but the caramel or pecans or something just didn’t work for me. The texture was not good either.

Power Bar Harvest Energy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip –
I really liked this bar a lot! It was probably my favorite out of all the bars because it tasted just like a granola bar. It was a little sticky which I liked and the flavors and texture were just all around spot on. It didn’t taste like a “nutrition bar” which I really liked. It has 10g of protein which is nice but 240 calories and 42 carbs; that’s a bit too much for a snack at work but I will keep a few of these on hand for some of my longer workouts.

Picky Bars -

I also just recently got a sample package of Picky Bars. I received one of each to try. At first I was shocked at how small they were! But at 200 calories per bar and only 28g of carbs I wanted to try them. They are also Gluten free and totally organic. I have eaten two of them so far, the All In Almond and Lauren's Mega Nuts bar. They tasted great!! They remind me a lot of the old Power Bars in their texture but the taste was very good and fresh. My favorite was Lauren's Mega Nuts. But they didn't keep me very full at the gym. I would usually have to eat a banana or something with them. And at $3 a bar I don't think I will buy them again.

Clif Bar Coconut Chocolate Chip –

This is the bar that I fell in love with, hands down. I know that it has 240 calories and 24 carbs and 10g of protein same as the above bar but man there was just something about this bar that made me buy an entire box! (it partly may have been the price…. I can get them for $1 each at Sprouts!) I really think the coconut flavor did it for me. I was skeptical about a clif bar because in the past they have tended to taste like cardboard and have that “grainy” taste. But not this one! It’s soft and the flavor is nice. I absolutely love it. This has become my go-to bar when I need a snack or mostly for pre-workout eating.

I also like to keep a box of Protein Luna Bars in cookie dough flavor at my desk. 

I don’t usually have a sweet tooth but every now and then I have the urging to grab a candy bar and this always does the trick! It tastes like a candy bar and it wrapped like one so most of the time I can fool myself into being satisfied with just that!!

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way let’s talk about what I found in my pantry last night that I forgot that I had! 

My brother-in-law works for Complete Nutrition and hooked me up with these last summer and I used them pretty religiously last summer and loved them. But I guess somewhere along the way I forgot about them until last night!

Buzzerk is a pre-workout drink mix that tastes like strawberries! Here is what the website says about it:
                Buzzerk™ is an explosive pre-workout supplement formulated for an athlete or bodybuilder wanting to build     muscle. With a state-of-the-art pre-workout matrix, Buzzerk™ provides a prolonged energy surge, increased muscle power and mind-blowing endurance.

Holy moly I forgot how much energy that stuff gives you!! I was on fire at the gym last night! I completed a 5K on the treadmill (in my new shoes!) and then 30 minutes on the elliptical and then I lighted some heavy weights! Ok maybe they weren’t super heavy but I did go up in weights on most of my reps! I felt awesome after last night’s workout!

Then when I was done I mixed 1 ½ scoops of AfterGlow with some water and drank that. It tasted like fruit punch!! I cannot find the After Glow on the Complete Nutrition website but here is the product information from GNC:
                      AfterGlow will spike natural insulin production preventing fat storage preserving muscle fibers with unrefined evaporated cane juice and d-glucose polymers. Muscles will begin their repair immediately with the nitrogen burst whey protein isolate provides Growth and repair continues while 10 grams of l-glutamine and BCAA AKG quench the body’s inner thirst for nutrients. The pure energy source for muscle contraction (ATP) is instantly restored with the patented KreAlkalyn. Strained muscle fibers and inflamed tendons are aided by the poser of ketosteroids within Cissus Quadrangularis. Destructive free radicals and metabolic waste is efficiently eliminated by l-taurine, pomegranate concentrate and R-ALA. The catabolic hormone cortisol is all but eradicated by a fitting dose of phosphatidylserine. The result is simply POST WORKOUT EUPHORIA.

I felt so great after working out last night and then woke up feeling wonderful today! I am so glad I rediscovered those things!! I will be adding them to my daily routine for sure!

After my workout last night I knew that I needed to foam roll to work out my calves. My run went pretty well on the treadmill in my Pure Flows. I did have to stop a few times just to stretch for a few seconds but I think it’s improving. But I did have some tingling and numbness in my feet during the last 3/4th’s of a mile, I’m not really sure what’s up with that, but I plan to keep an eye on it.

I will be running a 10K tomorrow morning and I plan to wear my Ghost 4’s. I managed to convince my dad and stepmom to join me at the race tomorrow and they plan to do the 5K. Then later my mom and sister and I plan to grill some burgers and sit by the pool until I have my second cookout to go to. Then I will for sure be watching some fireworks!! I absolutely LOVE the 4th of July!
What are your 4th of July plans?


Erin said...

I love the Luna Protein Bars! If you haven't tried the Clif Mojo Bars, they are really good. They are all natural trail mix bars - the Peanut Butter Pretzel are my favorite.

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