Raising the Bar
Bars are not a good substitute for healthy eating; but they can be a great addition to a healthy, well-rounded diet. Let’s face it, these days it’s hard to stay balanced and have good quality snacks readily on hand–especially when we’re on the run, travelling or doing a million errands during the Holiday season. I always like to have a bar stashed in my purse or bag for those times of the day when I need a boost, after a workout, in between my meals or as a meal replacement if I really can’t sit down for lunch.
Here are a few healthy options and some of my favorite bars:
Very Pure: LaraBar-made with just fruits and nuts, this bar is for the purist who doesn’t want any added sugar or other ingredients. Most LaraBars are concocted with 3 things: dates, nuts and fruit. My favorite is the Cherry Pie, a delicious blend of dates, unsweetened cherries and almonds. Due to their low protein content, LaraBars are good to pair with a hard boiled egg or plain yogurt for breakfast or snacks. Steer clear of the cookie flavored ones if you are watching your sugar intake, since the chocolate chips added do have sugar in them. The Chocolate Coconut Chew only has unsweetened cocoa powder, though.
Next to Very Pure: Kind and Pure Bars. Pure Bars are really awesome they are similar to LaraBars using mostly fruits, nuts and dates; but Pure Bars also contain agave which is an added natural sweetener. Kind Bars use honey as an added sweetener and rely mostly on nuts as the stars of their bars. I love the Peanut Raisin Crunch Pure Bar and Kind’s new lower sugar Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt bar.
High Protein Favorite: Quest–If you need a bar with higher protein, one you might consider is Quest. I recently discovered this bar and was pleasantly surprised by it’s minimal list of ingredients and the use of whey protein (a great source of protein that is readily absorbed by our muscles and good for recovery). All of the flavors are delicious, I especially love the Lemon Cream Pie and Cinnamon Roll. These bars have a very high fiber content so make sure you drink enough water with them; or start with just half of a bar, if your tummy is fragile, and pair it with a piece of fruit.
Good mixes: Zing & YogaEarth–These two bars are really good blends of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Zing Bars were created by nutritionists who really value quality ingredients and were looking for a bar that would help with blood sugar crashes. Zing Bars are SO tasty they can be addictive. I like to have one chilled (Chocolate Coconut especially!) and really take my time savoring the bar, while drinking a cup of tea along with it. YogaEarth recently came out with new Keen-wah bars which are equally as delicious as Zing bars. I’m a huge fan of anything spicy so my favorite YogaEarth bar is the Cayenne Cinnamon flavor, I love the added kick! Zing and YogaEarth bars are great substitutes for that mid afternoon cookie craving. You will get a wonderful flavor sensation while treating your body to something healthy, wholesome and nutritious.
Dark Chocolate: Sweet Riot–Sometimes a girl’s just gotta have chocolate. Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants; and a recent study came out that said people who indulge in a little chocolate daily, actually weigh less than non chocolate eaters. Chocolate lovers rejoice! When choosing your chocolate, though, you want to look for a high cocoa content at least 65% or greater. Sweet Riot is an awesome choice when it comes to dark chocolate bars, and their nibs are to die for. An entire container of Sweet Riot nibs weighs in at only 140 calories. Dark chocolate can be a healthy snack when eaten on occasion.
Let me know what are some of your favorite bars. I’m always looking for new great snacks and healthy foods for myself and my clients!
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!