Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar: All those Confusing Bars Out There

Oh, jarring world of energy/nutrition bars. So many options, so few minutes in Whole Foods to decide which one without sacrificing your melting Greek yogurt in your shopping cart. As a dietitian, it’s easy for me to dismiss bars as “processed” and send you on your merry way with a fresh fruit and some raw nuts instead. BUT, I recognize that life = crunched for time = the need for bars stashed in every drawer/purse/luggage. Bars are tremendously useful at times, especially when travelling. I wasn’t entirely delighted by what was out there, so I had a chef create MY VERY OWN line of Bars.

Essence Energy bars come in four succulent flavors: Banana bOAT, Chick, Please, Pumpkin SPICE UP YOUR LIFE, and Pe-CAUSE You CAN. They are vegan, gluten-free, and I lorded over every single morsel that went into them. They are BARking with protein, healthy fats, fiber, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and best of all – addictive flavors. I also crafted an Essence Crunch mix for those with a savory palate, full of crisp chickpeas, a zesty blend of spices, and raw nuts. They’re available online here or for purchase or in my office.

If you aren’t #blessed enough to be an Essence client, here are some satisfactory substitutes to tide you over until you get to try to the beauty of the Essence Energy bar line.

Rawevolution Bars
Organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, Paleo.. and the nutrition Oscar goes to… Rawevolution. Leave it to the Kiwis (people from New Zealand). They bust out with cute kangaroos and the cleanest bar on the market. Only 7 grams of sugar, 170 calories, and a whole lotta dietitian love. Downside: you have to buy online.

Nature’s Chemistry Bars
Big snaps to my beautiful client who recommended these for me, and now I’m addicted. You have to order them online, but you’ll be assaulting the mailman every day until they come because they are SO delicious. They’ve got only 5 grams of sugar, a whopping 15 grams of protein, and a nice dose of iron; in addition to superfoods like green tea, spirulina, and chlorella.
Try the Antioxidant Cocoa Goji Flavor.

Bulletproof Collagen Bars
While the jury is still out on the clinical use of MCT oil, a certain type of fat that may be anti-inflammatory, aid in weight loss, and is digested in a different way that bypasses traditional liver metabolism, these bars are delicious, filling, and contain collagen, a structural protein present in all connective tissues that *may* (again, I wait for clinical evidence) reduce joint pain, improve gut health, and improve skin appearance. Bulletproof bars rely on stevia

Rx Bars
These are as clean as they come. Legit just egg whites, nuts, cacao, etc. NO chemicals. However, there are about 12 g of sugar in them because they don’t rely on Stevia. If you aren’t trying to cut back on sugars/aren’t terribly concerned with weight management/are very active, these pure homies are for you.

Kind Bars
Kind Bars are tasty and ubiquitous; even Starbucks has them now. CAREFUL, though, to only choose the ones with less than 5 grams of sugar per bar. The rest of them are essentially candy in disguise. Kind Bars are nut-based and gluten-free. They also pack in some anti-inflammatory spice punch. They range in protein on the low-end, but they’ll definitely tide you over until your next meal. Personal favorite: the Maple Glazed Pecan and Sea Salt

Oatmega Bars
These grass-fed whey bars are made with the highest quality protein in the game; the one that is clinically proven to be best for athletes: organic whey. They’ll keep you satiated with 15 grams of protein, only 5 grams of sugar, gluten-free oats lending 7 grams of fiber, AND they’ve got fish oil – yes fish oil – in ‘em as well! I’m oatfully/hopelessly in love.
Currently hoarding: the Lemon Chia Crisp.

Essentially Yours,
Monica