Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mmm, bars...!

I often ponder how well, or how long, I could survive on granola/energy/protein bars. Clearly, I have deeply philosophical thoughts....that may be a bit un-future-dietitian-like of me.
Oh well.

Sure, there are a lot of glorified candy bars out there, but there is also a lot of legit stuff, made of actual foods tthat your grandparents would recognize - take Larabars, for instance.

My favorite flavor, Cherry Pie contains: dates, almonds and unsweetened cherries. Not too shabby. Mind you, it makes a really filling snack and works like magic before or during longish, chilled-out trail runs. It's easy to chew (so important when you're 20 miles in...) and beats energy gels both nutritionally and in terms of the "real-food" factor.

Nutrition: 200Cal, 8g fat / 30g carb / 5g protein and lots of vitamins/minerals.

Now...the ingredient label of my latest semi-probematic addiction, the Nutz over Chocolate LunaBar is less grandma-friendly. But it is non-GMO, vegan-friendly, mostly organic, fortified with a bunch of vitamins and minerals...and full of sugary goodness. It's made by the CLIF bar guys and the website does a good job at explaining what the ingredients are to those who care to know. And it's definitely not too sketchy.
I can have these at any time of the day but I really like them as a pre-morning-run breakfast (supplemented with an orange if I plan on going longer than 10 miles) and sometimes as a post-run treat, especially after speedier/shorter (5-8 mile) runs.

Nutrition: 180Cal, 6g fat / 25g carb /  9g protein, fortified with lots of vitamins & minerals.

I do like my CLIF bars, too, in case you were wondering...and while I have had them as pre-run fuel many times, I prefer them post-run. They tend to get me a little too jittery before a run, I am guessing due to the enormous amount of sugar in them (more than twice that of a Luna Bar).

Here's why. There's been tons of research to suggest that a 4:1 ratio of carbs and protein (i.e. 4x as many grams of carb vs protein) is optimal for muscle recovery for endurance athletes.

My favorite flavor, Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch nails that ratio.

Nutrition: 240Cal, 7g fat / 40g carb / 10g protein, also fortified with lots of vitamins & minerals.

However, depending on the run, 40g carbs (with 21g sugar) might just be a bit too much and I have to hold myself back from inhaling the whole thing at once. After a marathon though...bring it on.

Oh, and...

While I am not trying to pull of a "Supersize Me"-esque adventure, this was my lunch today.
No time to make real food + need to eat while driving + so hungry + "mmm, chocolate" = this.
 It was delicious, thanks for asking. 

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