Man, times have changed. There was a time, not long ago, when my favorite bars would include directions to the best martini on the planet (London) or maybe I’d discuss the bar, in New Orleans, where my husband and I had our first date, or the reasons why drinks always taste better with the ocean in sight. But no, now bars are things you eat before a workout or at the airport, or anytime you need a portable, relatively healthy snack. So, in keeping with the changing times, here are my top 10 energy/nutrition bars from a post I did for my favorite website Blisstree.
1. THE CANDY BAR
We cannot keep Zing bars in stock at Foodtrainers. Zings are the perfect number of calories (210) for a snack bar; and they’re gluten- and soy-free, yet do have that candy bar taste. But what candy bar has 10 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber? Chocolate coconut is our new favorite Zing flavor, but Foodtrainers clients adore the peanut butter. And certain flavors are dairy-free.
2. THE NUTTY BAR
3. THE COOKIE MONSTER’S BAR
If you don’t eat wheat, you may think your cookie-eating days are over. They’re not. Kookie Karma , organic, vegan bars made by Juli Novotny, are so delicious that it’s hard to believe they’re healthy. Some flavors are raw, and all are made without wheat, soy, or dairy. We love Holistic Chocolate Chip and Choco Lot. It may be called a kookie, but it’s made with many of the same ingredients our favorite nutrition bars contain – and is the perfect mid-afternoon treat.
4. THE CUTE BAR
Mini Lara Bars get the super-cutesy award. Our clients eat these 90-100 calorie bars mid-morning, or before a workout when they just need a little something in their stomachs. Lara Bars were the pioneers in the less-processed, more-natural, yet still convenient nutrition bars. And though their newer flavors tempt us, Cherry Pie remains our #1 flavor. You can also do the full-size Lara Bar, but the minis are, in our opinion, more fun.
5. THE DECADENT BAR
The Real Bar is truly unlike any nutrition bar we’ve tasted. It’s not a candy bar or a cookie, it’s not like peanut brittle or granola. It’s satisfying and serious, like healthy fudge. Real Bars founders are a husband and wife team – he (John Marsh) is a chef with a natural foods restaurant, and she (Gigi Barlowe) is one of New York City’s top fitness trainers. We love to chill Real Bars; then slice pieces off. (Do not leave them on the cutting board or they will disappear.) Real bars have an almost cult-like following – they’re having trouble keeping up with the demand.
6. THE KIDDIE BAR
Whether you’re on a road trip or packing an after-school snack, kids deserve a bar, too. Clif ZBars are tasty, packed with good ingredients including flax seed and oats. And adults looking for a lower-calorie (120) snack are free to partake.
7. THE COLLEGE BAR
8. THE SPORTS BAR
Someone we were working with told us they were sending over their favorite energy bars. We rolled our eyes, certain that they’d be highly processed or average tasting. (After all, we’ve been around the bar block.) Little did we know. Good On Ya Bar’s motto is “every ingredient matters,” and they deliver on this. (Good on Ya was founded by a former Olympic athlete.) Ingredients are organic; there are no fillers; and the taste nails that heavenly salty/sweet combo. We can’t all be Olympians, but let’s at least fuel like one.
9. THE HI-FI (BER) BAR
All we have to say about Gnu Bars is 12 grams of fiber. Most of us don’t get enough fiber, and this little bar provides almost half of what you need in a day. With flavors ranging from Cinnamon Raisin to Peanut Butter, these are certainly worth a try.
10. THE HIGH-PROTEIN BAR