Sharing my go-to healthy snack and protein bars!
So the next two weeks are going to be crazy. This weekend, I’m headed to Des Moines to celebrate my best friends bachelorette party and then next week I’m flying out to Austin, TX. Traveling always gives me a little anxiety. Mostly because it takes me out of my norm. I’m such a schedule follower that any time my schedule either gets a little off kilter or is completely jumbled, it throws me. Thus, a plan. This weekend won’t be so bad as it’s only really a day and a night and the two restaurants we’re eating at have gluten/dairy-free options (woo!). The trip to Austin will need a little more prep (anybody have any Austin recommendations?). Usually once I reach any location, I’ll hit up a grocery store to grab the essentials, but I always travel with snacks.
I’ve tried my share of healthy snack and protein bars. The good, bad and ugly. Here’s the lineup that’ll be coming with and keeping my slightly less hangry than usual.
| Thunderbird Bar | SIMPLE Squares | FATSBar | Pecan LaraBar | Coconut Rx Bar |
I get a lot of questions about snack and protein bars. Do I eat them a lot? What about the sugar content? Is pea protein ok? What about stevia? And to be honest, snack and protein bars can be a “no breaks” treat for me. Meaning, if I have them sitting around the house, I’m going to eat them. So I try to keep them limited to traveling or when I’m out and about and in a bind (like if I’m at the gym during meal time). it’s hard. Right now I have probably 20 random bars sitting in my cupboards and they’ve been taunting me. I’m getting better at being mindful of eating them, but because I’m (mostly) an abstainer, having them in volume in the house = dangerous.
To break it down a little further, I’ve included the nutritional facts labels to these snack and protein bars to give you a better idea of what their nutrient counts look like.
I don’t necessarily get too caught up in the numbers. You’ll see that both calories and sugar vary quite distinctly. If I’m looking at anything, it’s always the ingredients (obviously) and the amount of sugar. The Pecan Larabar tips the scale with the most sugar at 18g (also the one bar I want 10 of). Sugar content is coming 100% from whole dates. On the flip side, the FATSBAR has only 5g of sugar, some coming from stevia as well as dates. I’m not usually a fan of stevia, but this bar tastes the least sweet out of the bunch (aka: the least likely I’ll want 50 more) which is a plus in my book. The others are scattered in between. Each containing pretty clean, simple ingredients.
Q1, What do you look for in a snack and protein bar?
Any time I’m going to splurge on a bar, I always look at the ingredients. I’m looking for whole food sources, natural forms of sugar (if any), NO: fillers, gluten, soy or dairy (whey).
Q2. What’s your favorite snack/protein bar?
My top TWO picks right now: ThunderBird Bars (the Goji Pecan one) and Simple Squares (Coconut)
Q3. What about protein bars?
Honestly, I don’t eat protein bars for their protein content. If there’s some extra protein in it, great. But I’m always going to promote eating whole-food sources of protein that you’re preparing (meats, fish, poultry, eggs, etc.). Processed proteins aren’t the greatest. Unless the company has a commitment to their ingredients, a standard of quality and sustainable practices (which sometimes you can’t tell off a wrapper), you can’t quite be sure how processed/refined the protein is, where it came from or what else is in it. Keep an eye on the protein, but more importantly keep an eye on the protein source and quality.
Q4, Do you eat a protein/snack bar every day?
No. I try not to. I usually eat them if I’m on the go – either traveling or going from work to a workout. For starters, eating a protein bar a day ain’t cheap and secondly, if I’m constantly feeling the need to grab for a protein bar every day … I’m obviously not eating enough in my meals throughout the day.
And there you have it! My quick little how-to on how I choose healthy snack and protein bars! And because I love ya’ll – I’ve teamed up with two of my favorites to bring you a schnazy deal:
25% OFF – ThunderBird Bars with code: KMerritt25
15% OFF – SIMPLE squares with code: wellu15