Call me crazy, but I love to food shop. In fact, the experience is even joyous when my two kids are with me. But, this past weekend the whole family (meaning my husband included) went to Whole Foods for a quick shop and it was the man-child I wish I left behind.
My kids whizzed through the large market by my side taking direction on what to toss in the cart. However, my sweet husband wandered off. And while checking out, my older son had to run to fetch him. Efficiently packing groceries, I looked up to see the man I love carrying a bunch of glorified candy bars—the protein packed, loaded with “nutrients”, chocolate chip kind.
“What?” he said in response to my glare. I was speechless…well sort of. How many times have I told him, in our thirteen years together, that most bars are doppelgangers for the candy kind? They are packed with sugar (and its many euphemisms whether brown rice syrup, barley malt or organic cane syrup); highly processed protein as in soy protein isolates; manufactured crunch; and chocolate (typically not the good dark kind). The added value—the oodles of vitamins and minerals that are dumped in to make you think that you are eating something super healthy…
Folks, think again. As I have told my husband too many times to count, if you want a bar that boosts, go for the real food kind comprised of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, dark chocolate and even a little sugar. Avoid the highly processed protein, insane amounts of added nutrients, and those whose ingredient lists read like a short novel. I urge you to check out my top choices when it comes to bars of true bounty:
- Bumble Bar
- The Pure Bar
- Health Warrior Chia Bars
- Kind Bar (though watch out for some of their powerful protein varieties)
You can even build your own bar at You Bar. Or better yet, how about a Do-It-Yourself grab and go trail mix (recipe below) that will give you all you need for a wholesome pick me up during the day.
Energy Trail Mix
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds, raw
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, raw (aka pepitas)
2 ounces sunflower seeds, unsalted
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup currants or raisins
Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss.
Measure 1/4 cup serving into small plastic bags and store in cool dry place. Great for on the go eating.