For a long while I just ate more nuts when I needed a boost of protein mid-morning or before going to the gym.
I’ve recently found a number of protein bars that are healthy and tasty. I’ve even found a few that could be entirely customized to your taste buds or nutritional needs.
Thanks to these new finds, I’ve been able to go back to eating protein bars because I’ll tell you that travelling with one of those is so practical and I never hesitate to grab one when I have an early morning meeting that prevents me from taking the time to eat a proper breakfast.
That said, in your quest to eating well, you really have to take the time to read the labels on your protein bars because that reality is (just as it is the case with food) protein bars aren’t created equally at all.
Here are the 5 protein bars I eat on a regular base:
1) Lara Bars: These bars are manufactured in Denver, Colorado. I started eating Lara Bars as a substitute to those conventional protein bars that have a terrible aftertaste. It took me only one bar to be hooked. I LOVE Lara Bars so much and after trying all of them, I can safely say that their Cherry Pie and Cashew Cookie flavours are by far my favourites.
Reading the list of ingredients of a Lara Bar is a five-second affair because there are very few ingredients. My Cashew Cookie bars contain (are you ready?): cashews and dates! That’s it! Only two ingredients were used for this bar.
Now, the Lara Bars don’t contain some of the other ingredients that you’ll find in the other bars listed here, but if you are on the run and hunger strikes, I find a bite of a Lara Bar to be the ideal solution.
I love Lara Bars so much that I usually always travel with one or two to hold me when I’m about running around the city I’m in!
2) Genuine Health Proteins+ Express: Genuine Health is a Canadian company and it must be one of my favourite food supplement company on the planet. I cannot tell you how I love a lot of their products because it’s always about quality first and foremost with them.
A few months ago, I was sent their new protein bar and I was not too keen on trying them because a) it was chocolate flavoured and I don’t like milk chocolate at all (please do not send me emails saying that I’ve lost my marbles … I know it’s weird to hear a woman say that, but I really do NOT like milk chocolate; b) I saw the words “weight loss support” and I immediately thought of tasteless and boring food. Given this was Genuine Health, I decided to trust everything I know about them. It took me one bite to realize there is nothing boring about these Genuine Health Proteins+ Express bars. To the satisfaction of many readers, I’ll even say that I quite enjoyed the chocolate flavour.
I have to admit, this is another winner for Genuine Health!
3) You Bars: YouBars.com is a company that allows you to create your own energy bars and bypass a lot of the really bad ingredients and high sugar content found in most commercial energy bars.
The company is the brain child of a frustrated mother-and-son team who were simply not satisfied with the limited selections offered in most stores.
You Bars allows you to choose the base, protein powders, nuts and seeds, fruits and berries, sweeteners, seasonings, grains and infusions of your bars. The company can even accommodate special requests such as organic ingredients or “extra crunchy” on demand!
Here again, you can bypass the custom part, by going straight to the “popular bar” page and you can get a bar that someone else created that appeals to you. You can choose from popular favourites like “breakfast bar”, “honey cashew” or “date with chocolate”.
YouBars has quite the following of celebrities who swear by their products.
Hollywood celebs such as Randy Jackson (“American Idol”), Fergie, Cloris Leachman (oldest contestant on “Dancing with the Stars”), Rex Lee (“Entourage”), Jason Priestley (original “90210″) and the USA Men’s Water Polo Winners, to name a few, are all big fans of these healthy snacks!
You’ll find more information on how you can order your own customizable energy bars here: YouBars
The ElementBars and YouBars both make for healthier snacks that will help keep your weight in check because the quality of ingredients is far superior to most of comparable commercial bars.
4) Element Bars: ElementBars.com based in Chicago and YouBar based in Los Angeles are two companies at the forefront of the customizable bar industry.
Element Bars only use all-natural ingredients and their bars contain no artificial sweeteners, processed starches or new food technology. The site is so easy to use and navigate and you can quickly and effortlessly create your own energy bar combination. You get to choose from ingredients like soynuts, apricots, dried blueberries, dried cherries, cashews, dried prunes, omega-3 and many more to create the perfect energy bar.
You don’t even have to worry if you make a mistake in the food combination while creating your bar because the site warns you if you’ve selected incompatible ingredients, and it will even recommend a mix for users who answer a few lifestyle-oriented questions. After trying their bars, users can rate and comment on their creations, as well as sharing them with their friends for voting or further customization.
Each bar costs $3USD and popular bars are sold for a discounted price of $2.50 per bar.
You’ll find more information on how you can order your own customizable energy bars here: ElementBars
There are so many combinations you can create with Element Bars … I’m sure you’ll find one you love!
5) Vega Bars: I also tried the Vega Complete Whole Food Meal Replacement bars and unlike most protein bars that make me sick because of their aftertaste, the Vega bars were very tasty.
Until doing research on the product I had no idea most other bars on the market used processed and cooked ingredients in their formulation. Vega bars are 100 per cent raw foods and they require less energy to digest and provide a greater net energy gain to your body.
Vega bars do have a taste that is quite their own and it’s due to the Maca that they use. MacaSure (aka organic gelatinized maca) is rich in alkaloids, glucosinolates, minerals and sterols. Maca increases energy levels, reduces stress, balances hormones and improves libido. The gelatinization process enhances potency and the ease of digestion/absorption of the maca in your body.
As a result, it might take you a few tries before you fully enjoy your Vega bars, but it’s so worth it!