Friday Five: The Nutrition Bar Edition

why is it that i always feel compelled to start every Friday post with “Happy Friday!”? i mean, yes, we all love Friday and want to celebrate its fabulousness, but i think i need to come up with something more original to replace that…or else just embrace its cliche nature and get over it. πŸ˜‰ i DO love this Cure song, though, so let’s go with that this week:

Friday_Im_in_love.jpg
there. Friday image problem solved for one week.

i’m back to linking up with the DC ladies Mar, Cynthia & Courtney for their Friday Five link-up. they’ve changed things up this year, so every 4th Friday of the month is “Free Friday,” where we choose our own adventures in the fives.

this week, I’ve decided to go with a food-based theme:

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i am a nutrition bar/granola bar/protein bar/fruit & nut bar (whatever you want to call them) gal for sure. yes, i fully understand that certain bars are little more than glorified candy bars and that granola is basically candied oats, half the time, and yes, i pay attention to ingredients and weigh my options and am careful about what i choose. i know not all bars are created equal, and i know we all have our favorites. i’m not judging anyone else’s choices, by any means; some of us prefer gluten free, some of us go for protein content, some of us watch the fat, some of us are picky about sugar (or substitutes). i’m not a nutritionist, but here are some my top choices for (what i consider to be) healthy nutrition bars (all are vegan, gluten free, dairy-free, non-GMO, whole-food based):

1. Larabar.

lara

these babies are comprised entirely from whole foods (no additional preservatives or additives or sugar): the only ingredients are unsweetened fruit, nuts, and spices. bam. they’re all date-based and make healthy taste good. i’m a fan of the Apple Pie and Carrot Cake flavors (both 190 calories). all carbs & sugar come straight from the fruit.

lara.pngthis week’s airplane snack, paired with Athleta leggings.

2. Picky Bars. i was first introduced to these bars when a friend sent me a marathon care package from California this fall, and although i haven’t bought them again (i haven’t come across them in stores in NYC, but they sell them on Amazon), i was totally hooked. openbars-home_v2-1024x498they’re created by pro athletes (a triathlete and a runner couple) with the mission of devising a bar that combines real food & fuel for performance, geared at keeping athletes sustained through strenuous workouts. (hence, they made perfect sense as a marathon-package treat.) i love the overall vibe & feel of their marketing and branding, and they have have a rad, fun website as well, which can explain their story and the science behind their bars much better than i can, so check them out.

3. Oatmega. i’m sitting here with one of these wrappers in front of me at the moment, as i just had one for part of my breakfast (and just tried my very first one last night! so far i’ve had the Chocolate Mint Chip & Vanilla Almond Crisp – both great, prefer the vanilla). they’re delicious, first of all, and with 14 grams of protein and under 200 calories, i see them becoming regular additions to my diet.

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they’re gluten free, non-GMO, omega-3 laden, protein-packed by grass fed whey, and come in some great flavors. (you can check out their ingredients list here.) they also are big on social responsibility and giving back to the community, which we all love to love.

4. Kind bars. i couldn’t very well leave these popular favorites off the list, now, could i? i don’t eat these as often as i know many people do, as i try to go easy on the nut intake, but i do enjoy them every now and then. my mom & i tried a bunch of flavors when i was in Florida this week, and these were my two faves:

Cashew & Ginger Spice (i’m such a ginger fan)k2-_8497431e-a386-42d9-97ac-ad55721b0e3e-v1.jpg
Apple Cinnamon & Pecan

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5. Macrobars. so i don’t actually eat these myself, but my boyfriend recently discovered them and i’ve tried bites of his, and they’re pretty delicious. they pack more calories than i prefer in a bar (over 200), but are all organic and whole-food based, and offer some pretty tasty combinations. Macrobars have a great story as well: they were created by a family who adopted a macrobiotic diet after the mom was diagnosed with cancer. they bought a farm in Wisconsin to start their business, and these bars are their way of sharing their commitment to a healthy, whole-food based lifestyle with the world.

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happy snacking, friends. oh, and start your weekend off well, willya??

Fave bars?
What do you look for in a nutrition/energy bar?

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30 thoughts on “Friday Five: The Nutrition Bar Edition

  1. I’m a bar lady too. Always have one in my bag. (I’m a bar lady too πŸ™‚ )

    I like Larabars & Kind bars. I eat a lot of Cliff bars too. I want to try picky bars. I heard they’re good.

    • bag & bar lady, eh? πŸ™‚ i used to eat the Clif Kids’ bars and really liked the oatmeal ones. def try Picky Bars — the mocha or espresso one was so good.

  2. Bars freak me out because I feel like they often are laden in calories. And can you believe I’ve never had a Larabar?! I find Picky Bars in running stores (helps to be a runner who makes the bars). Maybe at Jack Rabbit?

  3. mmm haven’t tried the Picky or Oatmega!

    I’ve been enjoying the Chia Health Warrior bars recently. Perfect size for small afternoon snack. Chocolate + PB is great, as well as Coconut!

    • i’ve seen those but have yet to try them, as seeds sometimes bother me — but i’ll have to check ’em out sometime (when the boyfriend is here to eat it if i can’t). πŸ™‚ thanks!

  4. I’ve never had Picky Bars or Macrobars, but they sound great! I’ve been preferring trail mix to a bar recently because, when measured, it feels like I get to eat more with the trail mix haha! I just like to chew πŸ˜‰

    • give ’em a try, i think you’ll dig! i used to eat a lot of trail mix too but since i had to cut down on nuts, that went out the window. haha love the “chew” comment! πŸ™‚

  5. I Love Go Macro Bars. I received them as samples in my run love box. The sample size is perfect as they are only 100 calories!!

  6. I don’t like Lara bars – I think it’s the consistency – but I do like Kind bars. I haven’t seen the others. I was surprised to find a lot of bars at Target.

    • i haven’t yet, even though i’ve thought about it many times. i need to be wary of seeds (they don’t sit well with me) but i should give it a whirl at some point and see what i come up with. thanks for the suggestion! do you have any faves?

      • I’m going to try pumpkin and sunflower seed ones tomorrow, was going to say I’d let you know how they turn out but that’s not much of help if you don’t eat seeds. My friend made nice ones with dates, oats and dried fruit. You could always use a basic recipe and substitute seeds with nuts of something else you like..

  7. the only bars on this list I’ve had are KIND bars. I’ve been enjoying Think Thin Lean Protein bars lately, but I’m also bot a big bar person in general! btw, I love your header photo πŸ™‚

  8. Hehe Z Bars! I get them for Betty and almost always steal one to take to work as a morning snack. I am going to have to try a couple of the ones you mentioned as well as I have never heard of them before!

  9. Pingback: Friday Five: 5 Weekly Faves |

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