Just STOP with the Bars!

Note to myself (and anybody else who needs to hear this.)  The ‘energy bars’ are not that good.  They are not what they are labeled as.  They are not ‘coconut cream pie,’ or ‘cashew cookie.’  They are not ‘cookies and cream’ or ‘macadamia white chocolate.’  They are a mix of processed foods and they never taste as good as pure foods, and for sure they don’t taste like what they are named after.

Larabars are a mix of mostly dates and nuts.  They are probably the most ‘real food’ bars you can find.  But somehow, whatever they do in the making of them, they do not taste nearly as good as a plain old medjool date or plain old walnuts.  And for sure they taste NOTHING like coconut cream pie or cashew cookie.

And luna bars are still probably my most favorite and best tasting bars, just for a treat.  But they do not provide the energy that I can get from real food.  And they do not taste like what they are labeled either.  Even my favorite, Caramel Nut Brownie is NOTHING like a brownie, and only  a dim reminder of caramel.

So what happens is that I go down that energy bar aisle in a weak moment, and these bars are on sale, and so I get a few of them.  Then they sit in my cupboard for months because I like all the real food better.  Then one night I come home from work and I’m not hungry.  But I want to eat something.  So I do that thing where you go and stand in front of the open cupboard (which, BTW, is not something I normally do,) searching for something to satisfy [Debby, sleep is the only thing that will satisfy you at that moment…] and I start tasting the ‘energy bars.’  I take a bite or two of each one and throw it out.  Well, this gets rid of the energy bars, but a bite or two of four or five energy bars???  That’s a lot of calories.  And then, to prove my point, I end with a real date and some real walnuts.

Oh, well.  Got up, dusted myself off, and went back to good eating this morning.  Food has been a bit unconventional today, but is ending up fine.  Lots of days I notice I eat really heavy between when I get up (usually around 5-6am) and about 2 pm.  But then it slacks way off, and I can easily stay within my calorie limit.  Especially if I am paying attention to my hunger levels and not to ‘what’s next on the food list.’

I had some protein pancakes with blueberries cooked into them this morning, with the mashed banana/maple syrup topping.  Some lo-bars on the way to church, and an asian pear between church and the gym.  I worked out REALLY HARD at the gym (thanks for the motivation, Lori!) and picked up a bunch of Vicky food for the week ahead.  Then I had to stop at the store for just a few things, and I got myself a Peets coffee for the drive home.  Which made me eat the raspberry fig bars that Vicky had made (alarm!  alarm!  unplanned food alert!)  But those bars were really perfect with the coffee.  And when Vicky makes them, I can be assured that they are actually nutritious, and will not give me that sugar high/sugar low thing.  All turned out okay, because then I wasn’t hungry until 4pm, and I just had an early dinner.

I know I’ve talked about this before, but want to just mention it again–what a delicious meal this was!  I had one more serving of my darn good spaghetti sauce left (BTW, this stuff freezes great,) and I cooked 1/2 serving of Ronzoni Smart Taste spaghetti (90 calories.)  At the same time, got out the vegetable peeler, and peeled away at 2 carrots and 2 zucchinis and sliced 4 mushrooms thinly. Threw all of these in a hot skillet sprayed with some oil, added salt and pepper, and sauteed for a bit.  Added the pasta, and topped with the sauce.  About 250 calories for a good size platter of delicious and nutritious food.  I have had it with just the veggies and loved it as well, but the bit of chewy pasty is worthy to me.  Sorry I have no pics.  The new camera has arrived already, but the memory card was not mailed at the same time.  Hopefully, I’ll be filling this blog with pictures on Monday or Tuesday.

Blog mention:  I’ve been on Susan’s site before, but don’t know if I’ve checked out her recipes before.  She has some very good ideas.  I think I might try her protein bar recipe.  Hehheh.  You just gotta laugh at me.  I can’t help myself… Hey, at least I know what’s in these bars, and the stats are pretty good–200 calories, 4 grams fiber and 16 grams protein.


18 thoughts on “Just STOP with the Bars!

  1. LOL! As you know, I am currently trying to break my addiction to these things. I actually really like them. Balance bars in particular are like candy bars to me. Candy bars with protein, but still candy bars.

    I’m not even making my own yet, because I will probably eat more than one.

    Yay for the workout!

    • Can you believe I’ve never tried a Balance bar? And if you like them, I don’t dare start! I liked the stats on Susan’s bars. Oh, and I hate to mention it, but those Jay Robb bars ARE as good as brownies. Fortunately, they are only to be had at Whole Foods, which is not convenient for me to shop at.

  2. I hear ya on the bars – I stayed away from them for a long time, but lately have been buying them “for emergencies” – and have been regretting it almost every time I ate one. Is there a bar intervention we can get? It’s crazy how one type of food can undermine a lot of good work.

    • …”Hi, I’m Debby, and I’m a bar-a- holic…

      I have used that emergency excuse too. But the truth is, there is no emergency I have found where you can’t grab an apple and walnuts, or cottage cheese and grapes, or yogurt and muesli…

      I shouldn’t be so hard on the bars. I credit them with getting me started on the weight loss, and keeping me going on it. I ate them for breakfast, for lunch, and sometimes for dessert after dinner. Not all on the same day. Nevertheless, they were a good substitute for chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and cheesecake.


    And I limit myself to one a day and NONE unless my life forces me to eat on the run.

    I love em.

    lovelovelove 🙂

    my body? not so much.

    • Hmmm, now we have a conundrum. Someone as healthy and fit as Mizfit condones them. Maybe we should have you as a guest speaker at our next ‘Bars Anonymous’ meeting.

  4. bars are one of the things that are hardest to explain to kids. Protein helps – if they do not have at least a serving of protein – they are clearly a candy bar. And it is always interesting to look at the stats on an actual candy bar to compare – a candy bar with peanuts in it – is not that far off the mark. NOT suggesting eating Candy bars – suggesting looking at candy bars with peanuts to realize how misleading the bar thing is.

    that is the protein/nutritional side of it.

    The other side of it is the adiitives.

    the MAIN side of it is setting off the WANTS.

  5. and is there ‘hidden’ protein in what you wrote you ate (beside the bar talk?) – at first glance – it looked like carbs withOUT protein. And it is protein that holds you.

    • I wasn’t eating because I was hungry. I was eating because I was too tired and should have been in bed. My food before I got home was very balanced.

  6. I like the pretty new color on your blog!

    I’ve never been a big fan of the bar. They’re teensy and they don’t hold me. Not sure why I can’t apply that same logic to cake! 😦

    • Well, thank you, I like it too.

      You can’t apply that same logic to cake because cake is big and fluffy and does not try to masquerade as being nutritional. At least cake is honest.

    • Those KIND bars really are delicious. They don’t pretend to be anything other than what they are i.e. fruit and nuts. But I don’t think they have much protein in them–I think of them more like a dessert type thing.

  7. My name is Pubsgal, and I am a Bar-a-holic. 🙂 I go for the lower sugar bars (<= 1 carb serving) and typically only on workout days. LOVE the Jay Bars and the Kind bars ( nut ones only, fruit ones are too high carb). I like the South Beach protein one in peanut butter, too. You're right, they have taken the place of candy bars in my life. Never thought of it that way.

  8. i struggle with hunger this year in a way i never have before. my son leaves the house at 7 a.m. this year for middle school, when last year he didn’t leave until 8:30. so i’m up a few hours earlier and find myself starving by 10 a.m. i’m trying not to eat when i first get up, but then the coffee jitters set in!

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