Protein bars have been a staple in my pantry for as long as I can remember.
They’re a great way to get an extra serving of protein in your day and oh-so-convenient for those times when you need a quick snack to avoid falling for a pastry at Starbucks. There’s lots of variety in taste, texture and ingredients out there; really, a bar for everyone!
I’ve tried pretty much every brand and flavour available at my local grocery store and have recently fallen hard for Luna bars. I’ve been known to buy them by the box when they’re on sale. (Have you ever tried S’mores? My absolute favourite!). But Caramel Nut Brownie is pretty great too
But I’m not particular. I also enjoy Atkins, Vega, Lara and Kind (technically, the last two aren’t protein bars per se, but I lump them in with the others as they serve the same between-meal function for me). Give me fruit, nuts and protein wrapped up in a layer of chocolate and I’m a very happy girl.
Perhaps too happy.
Alas, protein bars are one of my ‘trigger’ foods. Eating one makes me want another. Right away.
And given that most weigh in at 200+ calories (not to mention the relatively high sugar load of the chocolate covered varieties…kind of like the chocolatification of cereal that I wrote about last week), one is all I should be eating between meals.
In addition to triggering my sweet tooth, I don’t find that they satisfy my hunger the way ‘real’ food snacks do. And even when I resist having a second, I end up feeling hungry way before it’s time for my next meal.
What about home made bars? I’ve experimented with lots of protein bar recipes and found the best tasting ones to be those with a hint of sweet, either from dried fruit or honey or chocolate. Problem is, they too don’t feel like enough of a between-meal snack and tend to be rather heavy on the carbohydrates-from-grains.
So, I’ve decided to take a break from protein bars of all types and re-focus my snacking on lean protein and raw veggies.
The more I pay attention to my body, the more I realize the effect of sweet and starchy carbohydrates on my appetite and eating habits. (And weight; did you know that when you’re at a good, lean weight and you cut way back on exercise, but not on food, your pants don’t fit as well any more? Here’s hoping that those intercostals heal up quickly and I can get back to my usual workout frequency and intensity…)
Fortunately, there are no S’mores Luna bars in my cupboard; I couldn’t bear to throw them out.
Hubby can work his way through the last box of Chocolate Coconut Lara bars; he likes them well enough and seems capable of stopping at one (but just because he’s saving room for his favourite vice; ice cream!).
Do you buy protein bars?
If so, do they satisfy your hunger or leave you wanting more?