I’m back!!! It has been a very long time since I have even thought about writing again but I have had several people recently tell me they missed reading it and I remembered how much I loved writing so I decided to get back at it! The feedback I received on my last post was honestly very overwhelming, much appreciated and thank you all for all of the kind words you sent me about it! Today will be much lighter than the last time I wrote…I think we all need light right now!!
I hope you all have been well over the past several months; my life has been a complete whirlwind! I ‘launched’ my first baby into the real world in May (there is a whole blog coming your way on this soon about this….honestly, I am still processing all of my emotions about my baby graduating high school!), we moved into a new house in June, spent the better part of July in Michigan enjoying my family cottage (the pic at the top of the blog is Ava in front of the cottage….I mean how beautiful is this?!?!) and working on the new house, spent August traveling for work, working on the new house and getting my girls ready for their last years at their current schools (Ava in 8th and Andie in 12th….yep that means 2 more graduations this year!) and September has really just been us just trying to figure out how to navigate this new routine between the new house, new schedules, and new territory of blending households….honestly it is a chaotic circus on most days but I love it and would not want it any other way! We somehow have kept a standing Sunday dinner time, which I thought, with 7+ people including three teens, would be a bit like herding cats, but to my surprise, it has worked out very well, they all show up most of the time and it honestly has become the glue that holds my sanity together. As our babies grow, time becomes quality over quantity for sure and I am just trying to take in every minute I get (without being the super annoying mom with my millions of questions and too many hugs!!)
Anyway, with all of the chaos over the past few months, I have not had the time to spend in the kitchen creating and crafting my homemade protein bars as usual and because of the craziness, I have had an increasing need to have a healthy grab and go snack on hand. I have shared some of my bar recipes in the past and for those of you who know me, I do not like the idea of processed anything but let’s be real, I just do not always have the time to make my own! So after researching as well as a lot of taste testing trial and error, I have found my Top 5 Protein Bars. Now, there is not one bar out there that is 100% clean, because in order to put them on a shelf, some type of processing occurs but these are the ones that I found that are close and I like them because for me personally, it is not about consuming a bar that has 50 grams of protein, I just don’t need or want that but for those of you that do….go for it! For me, it is more about finding as natural of ingredients as possible (I need to pronounce them all!), no fake sugars, no GMOs and a good balance of proteins, fats, carbs of all good stuff that my body knows how to process and that doesn’t taste like cardboard or Styrofoam!
So here is this week’s Top 5:
1) Rx Bar
These bars are simply delicious and nutritious! Most all of the ingredients are listed on the front, very straight forward as to what is contained in each bar, all whole food ingredients! They are simple, no GMOs, no dairy, no gluten, no soy, no added sugars – just egg whites, nuts, fruit and spices…. they use a lot of the same things I use when I make my own bars! Egg whites and nuts are the main protein source, 12 grams in each bar. Dates and other fruits are the natural sweeteners versus fake sugar. Personally, I like that there is not added protein powders in this bar. They are just simple, easy, straight forward…. my body does really well with processing all of that both mentally and physically! My favorite flavors are blueberry, peanut butter and coconut chocolate but I would highly recommend buying the variety box first to try them all out as there was not one bar in there that I did not like!! Also, look for coupons for free shipping and discounts off boxes!
2) Go Macro
I am not sure what I like more about these bars, the actual bar itself or the story behind the company (check it out on their website, super inspiring!!) …either way, they make a variety of amazing and delicious bars that are organic, gluten free, non-GMO and they are also vegan. So for those of you that are not a fan of animal products, these are a great choice!! This company though….I love them, their mission, their values….all good stuff (they would be fun to work for…just saying)!
Their story is awesome, their core mission is perfect ‘The pursuit of health is a path of living in balance with ourselves and nature with products that have positive effects on the world’ (love this!) and the core principles of this company are:
- Live long – Macrobiotic – A macrobiotic diet is the key to a long, healthy life
- Veg out – Vegan – Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
- Be Well – Wholesome – If nature did not make it, we do not use it
- Community – Give back – Pay it forward. Give back. Change the world.
- Tread lightly – Sourced Sustainably – Let us walk the earth softly with all living beings great and small, remembering as we go, that one God kind and wise created all.
Anyway, I have loved each and every one of these bars that I have tried so it is really hard for me to pick my favorite, it depends on my mood (and time of the month…sometimes you need chocolate!!!).
They also have a sample pack so if you’re feeling adventurous….I would go for that option!
3) The GF Bar (The Gluten Free Bar)
Ok so I feel the same way about these as I do the bars above….I am not sure if Iike the bars or the company more but if I had to choose…these guys are based out of my home state of Michigan so I might be a little biased there 😉 Check out the website…it is a good one!
They pride themselves in all natural ingredients that even kids can pronounce and of course they are free of all of the genetically modified garbage! They are also are a Certified B company which means they care deeply about social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency….basically…they are good doers for keeping things clean!
Also, they have more than good protein bars, they have really good snacks too!! You can build a sampler pack online and I would highly recommend checking them out!
All of the bars have between 10-12 grams of protein and my favorites are cranberry toasted almond, oatmeal raisin and coconut cashew crunch!
These are a grass-fed whey protein bar for all of my whey loving friends J Now, I will tell you, my body generally does not love whey protein but either it is the grass fed whey source that they so carefully use or the minimal processing, but my body seems to like these! This company has a pretty cool story too (I guess I am a sucker for a good story), each bar has 14 grams of protein and a good balance of fat/carb/protein from all non-GMO sources. For my GF friends, they are free of glutens too! My favorites are the vanilla almond crisp and the wild blueberry crisp! I wish they had a sample pack but you can usually find them in the health food sections of grocery stores!
5) Health Warrior Superfood Bar & Chia Bars
The main reason these vegan, plant based protein bars made my list is because they have a very unique variety of flavor choices as well as the chia based protein source! Chia seeds have so many good health benefits….I mean who knew when we were sprouting Scooby Do and Mr. T heads as kids that we could have actually ate the chia seeds and they would have provided us with some super awesome health benefits!?!?! These bars are well balanced with fat/carb/protein and although they contain a few more processed ingredients than the bars I listed above, I still think they are really good option. I have found them in the health food section of most grocery stores and occasionally at airports!
Also, a side note that has nothing to do with protein bars….I seriously do have a love of chia and I will be including a recipe for chia seed pudding in a blog soon because that is one of my favorite snacks!!
**Disclaimer** I am in no way sponsored by any of these companies! I just happened to find them and want to give them a shout out for making kick-butt bars! 🙂
So that is my top 5 this week. Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your day to read. I am hoping, through my trial and errors in protein bar tasting, that by me sharing my ideas, I can save you some money as well as spare you the grossness of eating bars that taste like a dirty shoe or chalk! I also hope that in this current craziness happening in the world around us that you can take 15 minutes to have a cup of coffee, relax and read something fun or inspiring! We only have one today, let’s choose happy and enjoy it!
Enjoy Today ~ Choose Happy 🙂