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 (www.caloriecount.com) 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 big...so...solution...I 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.
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 nutritious....it 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.
So...how 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!