I am a bar fanatic.
I’ll admit it. I can’t get enough bars.
Life as a dancer is busy with back to back classes,rehearsals,workouts,and performances,not to mention fitting in school or side jobs,relationships, and the all important sleep. Sometimes stopping to eat can seem like a hassle,which can lead to needing to find nutrition on the go. A real meal should always be your first go to,and I do not condone swapping dinner for bars, but when you feel like you need a little boost of fuel, I think a bar can be the perfect portable solution.
You want to read labels because a lot of bars are filled with empty calories that won’t do much more than spike your blood sugar briefly only for it to plummet shortly afterwards. When I used to read labels, I would mainly look at calorie count and fat percentage because I thought that was the holy grail of weight loss.
Oh how wrong I was, and to be honest I don’t even take those two into account anymore. Now when reading labels, I tend to look primarily at sugar, fiber and protein to get a good idea of if a bar is going to satiate without overloading my sugar intake for the day. I also read ingredients to make sure I recognize everything and that I am staying as close to whole foods as possible.
Lucky for you I’ve tried just about every bar on the market, and have rounded up a few of my favorites:
My most favorite bars currently are Kind bars. They have many flavors and I have yet to find one that I dislike. My top two favorites are Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt and Caramel Almond & Sea Salt. They both come in at about 200 calories,15-16 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and only 5 grams of sugar. Don’t be afraid of the high fat count, it is a healthy fat from nuts, which is the main ingredient. Bonus: both of these flavors taste like candy bars,yumm.
Coming in second is an Austin original, Oatmega bars. Don’t let the mention of fish oil scare you off, these taste great. They have come out with a lot more flavors, but the two originals are still my favorite. Chocolate Peanut Crisp (you can’t go wrong with that combination) and Chocolate Mint Crisp (which is reminiscent of a certain girl scout cookie),both are 190 calories, 7 grams of fat, 14 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber and 5 grams of sugar. These bars get their extra protein boost from Grass- Fed Whey Protein, which is awesome. They also have the added bonus of 300 mg of Omega-3s sourced from whole foods. Whole fish to be exact, but don’t let the fish oil scare you, I promise you can’t taste it. These may have even come in first place, except I OD’ed on them during my first pregnancy. They are still my little girl’s favorite, she would eat multiple chocolate mint bars everyday if we let her.
Larabars get a gold star because they are a whole food bar with no artificial anything. Most of their bars are just dates,nuts,and flavorings. The sugar count can be higher but it is all natural sugar from dates or dried fruit. My favorite is Cashew Cookie which comes in at 230 calories, 13 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. They have so many delicious flavors though, just the names of them make my mouth water : Coconut Cream Pie, Blueberry Muffin, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough…uhm…yes,please.
I found RX Bars during my second Whole 30 and now they are regular part of my bar life. I love the simplified ingredients right on the front of the bar and they are quite delicious! My current favorites are Chocolate Sea Salt and Mint Chocolate. These bars pack a great amount of protein in and they are not overly sweet.
Try a few different kinds out and see which strike your fancy! I always like to throw a few in my dance bag and a few in my purse for when I get stuck in a day of rehearsal or stuck in traffic and I need a little something to get me to my next meal.
I am always looking for new bars to try, if you have a favorite to recommend please comment the name below!