Thursday, January 10, 2013

Battle of the Bars

In my younger years, the title "Battle of the Bars" would have sounded like an exciting night that I needed to grab a 9pm nap to prepare for and round up the girls! But at this stage of my life (so far one of my fav by the way, 40 ish IS THE NEW 20 ish), it means hopelessly lost in the never ending isle at the grocery store, trying to find the perfect granola bar/energy bar/power bar/magic bar that won't bruise or go rotten in the hatch of my boat like fruit tends to do.....fruit is great but sometimes, I just need a BAR.
Ironic that the big blue sign above that says: free DIABETIC GENERICS is smack dab in the middle of the bars.....

So, as I stood in front of all the bars a few nights ago, ruminating and getting exasperated, I noticed another 40 something/ish woman doing the exact same thing and I thought, I wonder if my GO WOW ladies go through this too? Taaa daaa! Our current blog topic was born. Crazy subject? Maybe...but hey, I'm hoping someone (a dietitian maybe) can clear some of this up for all of us.

So I'm going to just go ahead and confess right off the bat that I already have two favorites that are put to regular use.
1. Clif Bar Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch-MINI'S except you can't get the mini's anylonger BOOOO!
2. Power Bar Performance Energy-Chocolate or Peanut Butter

Well, of course they stopped making the mini Clif Bars. DRAT DOUBLE DRAT. The regular ones are TOO BIG and they pack 240 calories and yes I know all calories are not the same....I get it...I get the low carb, low sugar, all that stuff....but I can't survive on fruit and veggies entirely in my boat! Sometimes one NEEEDS to just grab a bar (or two, or three) and GO!

So let's take a closer look at Cliff regular bars (and yes, I've also tried to eat half the bar and the other half always gets soggy/lost/or too unappetizing to eat later).....
According to a website ( this bar gets an A nutrition grade rating. I do like the taste, but again, I don't want to eat 240 calories at once, the bar is just too guess I could store it in a tiny ziplock from the get go and save the leftover eaten half in the tiny ziplock...oh yea, that's right, I am trying to give up using ziplocks b/c they are baddd for the environment... The Cliff regular bars are also high in sugar which is a no no I've heard for women over 40....and get this: 41 carbs.

Let's tackle my other fav bar, I use the Power Bar Performance Energy to get back to the dock/launch site when on a strenuous or long paddle...or just when I NEED that extra boost of energy because I can attest, IT DELIVERS and will get you through. Actually, I never leave shore without at least one in my pfd. According to that website, it also gets an A rating, but it has a whopping 230 calories. I usually eat half (do you see a pattern here) and save the rest for later unless I am going limp in my boat. Again, I need something to put the other half in when done so it saves....I guess I will use the ziplocks but please know that I do recycle them EVERY TIME OVER AND OVER AND OVER. I even make my son bring home his baggies from his lunch box each day...he's way too cool to use the cool plastic Sistema compartment system I have that elimates the use of baggies.... if you haven't seen them, they are SUPER COOL, here's a pic:

Okay that's two pics but they are COOL. So cool that I have literally given them away on the river because people loved them so much....anyway....Bad point listed for the Performance Power Bar:  also high in sugar and 45 carbs.

So, while continuing to hang out in the bars....I started hunting AGAIN, for a GOOD bar....then I saw it...THINK THIN. I thought, well, if it says THINK THIN, surely it must be low cal and has 240 calories, and got a D+ rating, has NO SUGAR but has 24 carbs. that's better than 41 carbs and a lot of sugar.....and no bad points are listed on "the website." So what's up with the D rating....not very nutritious....

I suddenly got the brilliant idea that since they stopped making the mini Clif Bars (believe me, I harassed my normal supplier and they are unattainable...if you find any, BUY THEM AND I'LL PAY YOU BACK), and the regular ones are just too big, then I'll just buy the smaller Clif Z Bars for kids. They get a C- rating and are "very" high in sugar...20 carbs. They are half the calories, and I don't waste them, and they taste FABULOUS especially with a cold glass of milk.

Last but not least, before my ice cream melted and my milk in the cart went sour, I had to wrap it up at the bars....the Pro Bar Whole Berry Blast caught my eye because they screamed ORGANIC and had pretty, colorful packaging.......they got a C rating, are THREE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY CALORIES that's 370 CALORIES, 48 carbs and high in sugar....SO THEY ARE OUT FOR ME. are my granola habits going to change this paddling season? They aren't. I'm going to stick with what had been working and that's the regular Clif Bars eaten one half at a time, the Performance Energy Bars because they've saved my butt more than once out on the water and far far away from my truck, and I just may carry a small snack sized zip lock bag to put the other half in and store it in my clamshell pocket in my pfd.

My extremely untrained and non-certified self in the granola nutrition field final analysis:  EAT FRUIT and approach BARS with caution but I do recommend your taking a Performance Bar with you in the event your energy level drops. You can always count carbs after you get off the water but you may just need the energy boost that the bar will certainly give you so you can get back to shore.
Oranges keep well in the boat and are quite refreshing as well!
Happy Paddling and Snacking!
p.s.-if you know of a truly great bar, please do share. We always welcome positive, encouraging comments!


  1. I can attest to the importance of having some carbs when paddling. I've been on high protien and low carb/sugar diet since August (Lost weight and feel FANTASTIC) but when doing strenous muscular exercise the carbs will sustain you. Most of my Go Wow "family" knows about the night paddle at Philpott Lake when I had consumed little or no carbs that day, paddled from afternoon until around 8pm. When I got back to the launch site, I was extremley weak, shakey & light headed. I won't make that mistake again. Your body has to have the right "fuel" depending on what you're asking it to do. I've adopted a lot of new and healthy eating habits and encourage everyone to do the same - it's made a world of difference in so many ways in my life. Anyway, I do have a couple of "bars" that my nutritionist recommends - and their delicious - 1)"P.B.Meal" by: Designs for Health (Peanut Butter Macro-Bar)12g Protein & 16g Net Carbs per bar. It can be used as meal replacement - entire bar has 220 cals - or as a snack 1/2 bar. 2)"Cocommune Bar" with 5g Fiber, 12g Carbs 140 cals. Not sure where you can purchase these, I buy them from her @ $2.00 each...let me know if you want to try one or both! I'm going to have them with me for the 2013 paddling season for sure!

  2. Thanks for your awesome comment Lynne, so proud of you and your bars sound like really great choices! I'd like to try a bite if you don't mind sometime when we are on the water!

  3. I'm not usually a nutrition bar person. I've found that a handful of dark chocolate peanut M&Ms (available only at Target) and two 100-calorie packs of Diamond almonds and walnuts (no salt added), plus water, gets me through the classes.

    Thanks for the info. I'm going to try the Clif and Power Bars.