Tag Archives: bars

Clif Bar Review: October Edtion

This is a review of Clif Bar’s line Kit’s Organic and their new bar flavors including several dark chocolate varieties.

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Taste of Nature Organic Bars Review

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 Taste of Nature

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Taste of Nature:

“Starting with quality ingredients is itself, a key ingredient in the making of our bars. It sounds simple and in fact, it is simple. But it requires an absolute commitment to sourcing the best of the very best. The cream of the crop. It requires attention to all details, no matter how small.

For example, we search the world for the very best ingredients. Then we work directly with farmers to pick and choose the best of their crops. We could easily buy bulk ingredients from wholesalers and save ourselves a ton of time (and money). But then, our bars might not taste so darn good.

Another example. We use whole nuts and seeds. You can see this in our bars. They are not extruded (You know, those bars that look like mush? We don’t do that). Using whole ingredients means we buy the best ingredientsthat you can see right though our package.

We could go on and on about this. Like using apple–sweetened cranberries, as opposed to sugar sweetened. Like using only certified organic and non–GMO ingredients. Like actually tasting ingredients before they are used. There’s a lot more to it, but you probably get the idea by now.”

Nutrition Facts for the “California Almond Valley” Bar:

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My Thoughts:

I am so stoked on these bars. In fact–I need to buy more because I’m bummed to have run out! 

Here’s what I love about them:

-The ingredients are entirely organic

-The bars are cold pressed (not roasted). So, you get a more intact nutritional profile. More nutrients = better for your body!

-They chose to use low-glycemic sweeteners

-They are pretty well macro balanced (a good ratio of fats, carbs & protein)

-They’re insanely DELICIOUS (every single one of the flavors!)

I was lucky enough to stop by the Taste of Nature booth at the Natural Products Expo West this year & enjoy some of their goodies and keep my excitement for this brand ignited. They recently redid they’re packaging–looks cool to me! 

Also, it was extra thoughtful to get a few tees thrown in with the goodies they sent me to try. They’re great shirts, comfortable and I love the feminine cut of them. Icing on the cake for a brand that makes the bars like I think they should be made: simple, organic ingredients that aren’t nuked and stripped of much of their nutrition. 

Happy to have collaborated with this brand & I encourage you to sink your teeth into one of their bars. They’ll be an instant favorite of yours!

Vega Sport Plant Based Supplements Review

Vega Sport

Overall Rating: 3 Stars

About Vega Sport:

You are what you eat.  And what you don’t.

Told from the onset that a plant-based diet wouldn’t cut it on the professional Ironman circuit, Brendan Brazier’s nutritional journey as an uninformed plant-powered endurance athlete began with reduced energy levels and the need to eat constantly.

But Brendan’s stubborn curiosity persevered and after years of research and experimentation, he discovered what sets a top athlete’s performance apart from the competition isn’t training or natural ability alone.  A big difference is nutrition. After intense study, Brendan created a plant-based, whole food diet that helped him recover faster and train harder – propelling him to become a top professional Ironman triathlete.

Constantly on the road competing, Brendan was challenged by both a lack of time and kitchen space to prepare the carefully composed, nutrient-dense, clean, plant-based meals that gave him his edge.  Deep down, he knew there had to be an easier way to get nutrition on-the-go.

And he was right. Over time, Brendan’s vision led to the formulation of the original all-in-one nutritional shake – now known as Vega One – which ultimately inspired the creation of the complete award-winning Vega line of nutritional supplements.”

Performance Protein

About:

“A multisource, plant-based protein powder, featuring 25 grams of complete protein, 5,000mg of BCAAs and 5,000mg of glutamine per serving, Vega Sport Performance Protein is formulated to: Improve strength and exercise performance Repair and build muscles Reduce recovery time between training.”

Recovery Accelerator

About:

“The first plant-based recovery drink mix specifically developed to address post-workout recovery. It delivers a 4-to-1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein for optimal muscle glycogen replenishment.[1] Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator is formulated to: Replenish muscle glycogen and electrolytes Reduce inflammation, muscle and joint pain Support immune system function and protein synthesis Reduce recovery time between training An important addition to your recovery routine, take this product immediately after your workout before taking Vega Sport Performance Protein as it aids in the absorption of protein and replenishment of glycogen to reduce recovery time and muscle fatigue.”

Pre Workout Energizer

About:

“Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer is a pre-workout drink mix that provides immediate and sustained energy. Sporting a unique blend of 12 synergistic plant-based performance-improving ingredients, like green tea, yerba maté, coconut oil and rhodiola, specifically selected to: Increase endurance, aerobic and anaerobic capacity Enhance mental focus Take your workout to the next level Featuring two complementary carbohydrates, Pre-Workout Energizer is balanced to provide both instant and slower-burning fuel for your workouts.”

Electrolyte Hydrator

About:

“A natural, alkaline-forming drink mix, Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator is formulated with all the essential electrolytes your body needs to stay hydrated during workouts. It tastes great, with zero calories and no sugar per serving, so you can sip it not just during your workout, but throughout the day to replenish electrolytes and minerals.”

Energy Bar

About:

“Vega Sport Energy Bar is designed to provide your muscles with the fast-acting, long-lasting whole food energy they need to endure. Moist and delicious, it’s easy to eat mid-workout to help you go the distance. Each bar features: 27 grams of carbohydrates High- and low-glycemic carbohydrates for immediate and sustained energy 1 gram Omega-3 to sustain energy.”

Protein Bar

About:

“Give your muscles the protein they crave. Recharge and repair with the convenience of a Vega Sport Protein Bar post-workout, so you can do it all again, sooner. 15 grams complete, multisource, plant-based protein 2.5 grams BCAAs 2 grams glutamine 1 gram Omega-3.”

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My Thoughts:

I was psyched to meet Brendan Brazier (creator and mind behind Vega) at Natural Products Expo West this year. It was also a fantastic chance for me to sample all of their products–as they had all of their drinks premixed in almond milk and/or water. I was impressed with the flavor!

Trevor from Vega reached out to me to participate in Vega Sport’s #FuelYourBetter mission to bring active individuals together & share how they fuel their on-the-go lifestyle.

All of these products taste great, feel like they help boost my performance, stamina, recovery & energy–but I wish that the ingredients used were raw & organic. That’s what has kept me from diving in head first to Vega as a brand.

Vega Sport impacts my exercise habit & helps me to #FuelYourBetter by:

-Providing me a convenient, portable way to get a dose of energy before a workout (via the Preworkout Energizer & Energy Bar), help me sustain my performance level intra workout (via the Electrolyte Hydrator) and gives my body the means to adequately grow and replenish after a tough workout (via the Performance Protein Powder & Protein Bar).

What better looks like to me:

Lean, inspired & ready to take on ANY challenge!

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How does having the right nutrition help me get there?

Nutrition is the centerpiece of my daily routine. I can’t be anywhere close to my best self without fueling my body well. Getting nutrients into my body is absolutely essential–it’s not optional! It fuels my adventures; and adventures make me feel alive.

NuGo Organic Protein Bar Review

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NuGo

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

About Nugo:

“REAL Dark Chocolate. REAL delicious.® REAL health benefits.

REAL Dark Chocolate isn’t just a delectable treat exploding with delicious flavor. It is a heart-healthy, antioxidant-rich superfood and a staple ingredient in many NuGo bars. Research has shown that REAL Dark Chocolate may help maintain good cholesterol (HDL),* lower blood pressure, elevate mood, reduce stress, and increase endurance when consumed before a workout. So if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle, get REAL. Get NuGo.

Our NuGO Organic® bars are naturally sweetened with tapioca and agave syrup and are coated in luscious antioxidant-rich organic cacao dark chocolate. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, they are also OU Kosher. All of NuGO Organic’s ingredients meet the USDA’s National Organic Program’s standards, which prohibit the use of synthetic pesticides, hormones, and antibotics.”

Double Dark Chocolate

About:

“Ingredients:

Organic Crunch [organic hexane free soy crisps (organic soy protein, organic rice flour, calcium carbonate), organic brown crisp rice, organic rolled oats], Organic Chocolate (organic cane sugar, organic chocolate liquor, organic cocoa butter, organic soy lecithin, organic vanilla), Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Isolated Soy Protein, Organic Tapioca Maltodextrin, Organic Cocoa Powder, Organic Arabic Gum, Natural Flavors.”

Dark Chocolate Pomegranate

About:

“Ingredients:

Organic Crunch [organic hexane free soy crisps (organic soy protein, organic rice flour, calcium carbonate), organic brown crisp rice, organic rolled oats], Organic Chocolate (organic cane sugar, organic chocolate liquor, organic cocoa butter, organic soy lecithin, organic vanilla), Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Isolated Soy Protein, Organic Tapioca Maltodextrin, Organic Pomegranate, Organic Red Sour Cherries, Organic Cocoa Powder, Natural Flavors, Organic Arabic Gum, Citric Acid.”

Dark Chocolate Almond

About:

“Ingredients:

Organic Crunch [organic hexane free soy crisps (organic soy protein, organic rice flour, calcium carbonate), organic brown crisp rice, organic rolled oats], Organic Chocolate (organic cane sugar, organic chocolate liquor, organic cocoa butter, organic soy lecithin, organic vanilla), Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Isolated Soy Protein, Organic Arabic Gum, Organic Almonds, Organic Tapioca Maltodextrin, Organic Flaxseed, Natural Flavors.”

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My Thoughts:

If you want lots of yummy flavor & fuel that you can feel pretty good about eating, Nugo’s got it. These bars are chock full of organic ingredients. Talk about a GIANT leap up from your typical snack bar.

If I had to pick one, the double dark chocolate bar takes the cake in regards to overall taste & enjoyment. I love the health boosting qualities of chocolate (when in its pure form & without additives)

Here are a few tweaks I would make with these bars:

-Lower sugar content

-More raw ingredients (like raw cacao)

-Less or no use of soy

-Specificity on what “natural flavors” are

Here is what these bars have that many bars do not:

-A laundry list of organic ingredients (these are Certified Organic bars)

-All non-gmo ingredients

-A decent macro ratio (5g fat/26g carbs/10g protein)

In my pantry, I see these bars as a healthy treat/snack for our 6 year old and a candy bar replacement for me. I like to keep my sugar intake at bay, thus, I won’t be eating several of these a day. However, a big bravo for the use of organic ingredients. I find myself looking for more raw, though! I recommend them to someone looking to make a healthier swap in their junky-snack routine, one that will provide them with fat, carbs & protein.

Essential Living Foods Organic Superfoods Review

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Essential Living Foods

Overall Rating: images    

About Essential Living Foods:

“At Essential Living Foods, we believe you deserve only the best of the best. We travel the world the year round to bring you only the most nourishing heirloom superfoods emerging from indigenous cultures and unspoiled ecosystems.

Our Farms

It’s shocking, but in most cases when you walk into a supermarket and spend your dollars on superfoods, only pennies actually go to the farmers whose dedication and labor made it all possible. We know there’s a better way. We cut out the layers of middle-men and work directly with farmers. This means we can guarantee the quality of the superfoods you’re putting in your body, and we can do it more sustainably.

Our Mission

Our mission at Essential Living foods is to improve the health of the planet, its people, and their communities.

We work in close collaboration with small farms and indigenous groups to supply our customers with the purest, most nutritious Superfoods on Earth. Our global trade partnerships help nourish sustainable agricultural practices and support meaningful development. 1% of profits are donated back to the communities who supply our exceptional products (via our partnership with 1% For the Planet).”

Essential Living Foods is dedicated to fair, ethical, and holistic business practices with vendors, customers and investors and to maintaining a healthy, rewarding and values-driven work environment for employees and partners.”

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Raw Cacao Powder

About:

“When you need Verified RAW ingredients, accept only this artisanal Balinese cacao powder. Sun-dried and pressed using cutting-edge low-temperature technology, it’s the world’s first Verified RAW cacao powder.

No one else can prove they have a genuine RAW cacao powder. We traveled to Bali to film every phase of production, from farm to extraction point, and verified process temperatures at each stage for you.

This stimulating, nutritious powder is perfect in all your recipes: hot chocolate, fudge, cookies, cakes, and raw desserts!

  • The world’s first TRULY RAW cacao powder
  • Totally Unique Flavor Profile, due to source material and processing: Astringent, Chocolatey, Grassy, with fruity hints of vanilla, nutmeg, banana, and clove.
  • Unique Variety: Made from Single origin organic wild Balinese cacao, descended from the prized Criollo variety.
  • A noticeably RAW-tasting product that gives you amazing energy.
  • Most Transparent Cacao: Traceable, transparent supply chain from farm to processing to you ensures purity, RAW status, and social benefits.
  • Possibly one of the world’s most powerful health foods, incredibly rich in antioxidants.
  • Beyond Fair Trade: Empowering 3,000+ sustainable organic cacao farmers in Bali with a ground-breaking organic, beyond fair trade cooperative facility for value-added processing, increasing farmers’ incomes over 30%!
  • Beyond Sustainable: Wild-harvested in the truly sustainable, biodiverse food-forests of Bali. The purchase of this product preserves rainforest and protects the soil.”

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Immune Formula Elixir Powder

About:

“All organic plant-based instant superfood elixir. This concentrated blend of superfoods and traditional herbs is designed to boost your immunity. Contains Camu Camu, Reishi, Tumeric, Amla, Accerola, Astragalus & Chaga in a concentrated organic form of superfood and traditional herbs to fuel and renew at the deepest level. With this whole-food supplement made with ZERO chemicals binders or fillers, and sweetened only with organic stevia. Immunity Blend was crafted with care for flavor and function. Designed to please the palette while sparking your system, this precisely-calibrated blend sprang from our belief that the best supplements are pure foods… and the best foods are superfoods.”

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Athletic Fuel Elixir Powder

About:

“An activating herbal boost of herbs, mushrooms and superfoods traditionally revered for enhancing energy & stamina. An all organic plant-based primal athletic elixir formulated with organic Cordyceps, Roiboos, Guarana, Chia, Cacao, Beet, Ginger & Stevia.”

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Keenwah Bar: Glow (Turmeric)

About:

“Beyond indulgence and nourishment, is food to give you an edge. Built on quinoa (the Incan “Mother Grain”), these deeply-satisfying functional bars offer a bevy of targeted superfood ingredients. Choose the blend that fuels your adventures!

Quinoa + Turmeric + Goldenberries = chewy quinoa crunch and herbal nourishment! Fuel deep renewal!
Ingredients:
Ancient Grain Blend (Quinoa*, Gluten Free Oats*, Amaranth*, Millet*), Tapioca Syrup*, Pecans*, Coconut*, Goldenberry*, Mango*, Coconut Nectar*, Brown Rice Protein*, Turmeric*, Coconut Oil*, Himalayan Salt, Cinnamon*, Almond Butter*, Ginger*. (*Organic).”

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Keenwah Bar: Energy (Yerba Mate + Cacao)

About:

“Beyond indulgence and nourishment, is food to give you an edge. Built on quinoa (the Incan “Mother Grain”), these deeply-satisfying functional bars offer a bevy of targeted superfood ingredients. Choose the blend that fuels your adventures! Quinoa + Yerba Mate + Cacao = chewy quinoa crunch and long-lasting energy! A wholesome daily energy boost!

Ingredients: Ancient Grain Blend (Quinoa*, Gluten Free Oats*, Amaranth*, Millet*), Tapioca Syrup*, Almonds*, Cranberries*, Cacao Nibs*, Coconut Nectar*, Brown Rice Protein*, Coconut Oil*, Himalayan Salt, Yerba Mate*, Vanilla Extract*, Cinnamon*. (*Organic) PRODUCT OF USA ORGANIC GLUTEN-FREE KOSHER VEGAN.”

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Keenwah Bar: Strong (Hemp Hearts)

About:

“Beyond indulgence and nourishment, is food to give you an edge. Built on quinoa (the Incan “Mother Grain”), these deeply-satisfying functional bars offer a bevy of targeted superfood ingredients. Choose the blend that fuels your adventures!
Quinoa + Hemp Hearts = chewy quinoa crunch and 200mg Omega 3s per bar! Enjoy! The perfect daily protein boost!

Ingredients:
Ancient Grain Blend (Gluten Free Oats*, Quinoa*, Amaranth*, Millet*), Tapioca Syrup*, Brown Rice Protein*, Cacao Nibs*, Hemp Hearts*, Goji Berry*, Coconut Nectar*, Almond Butter*, Vanilla Extract*, Himalayan Salt, Maca Powder*, Cinnamon*. (*Organic).”

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Keenwah Bar: Decadence (Cayenne + Cinnamon)

About:

“Keen-Wah Decadence is the world’s first 100% organic and gluten-free quinoa bar. Keen-Wah’s Cayenne Cinnamon bar is a bold adventure of highly energizing spices enrobed in dark chocolate with the hearty (and heart-healthy) crunch of almond.

An opening salvo of chocolate-clove and a quinoa-almond nutty crunch usher in distinct aromatics featuring a mid-palate medley of warm spices and bold finish of peppery cayenne heat reminiscent of Azteca Chocolate D’Oro.

  • Gluten-free, Vegan, Non-GMO
  • 100% USDA Organic
  • Complete Protein (Non-Soy)
  • Anti-Oxidant & Omega 3 Nutrients
  • Low-Glycemic Sweetened (coconut nectar)
  • 12% Daily Protein & 18% Daily Fiber
  • Each box contains 12 bars (42 grams each).”

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My Thoughts:

I can’t think of anything (besides organic, raw, fresh produce) that I advocate more in terms of optimum nutrition than superfoods. Making sure they are organic & raw is key to receiving all of the benefits that these potent plants have to offer. Because I am such a strong believer and user of superfoods, I really get excited when I link up with brands who are creating these products that harness the goodness of these powerhouse foods.

Essential Living Foods is a really neat brand that has a product line containing several pure superfood powders, along with their new quinoa bars which they call “Keenwah” bars. All of their products are certified organic, with most of their products are organic AND raw. My only “ah man!” issue with me wanting a bit more in terms of quality is the fact that many of the ingredients in the superfood powder blends are not raw. To me, raw is right up there in importance with organic. Raw means that I’m getting the most possible nutrition available from that food. When it’s been heated, the nutrient content isn’t even close to what it used to be–a mere fraction. That said, I’ve learned that the ingredients in these superfood powders that are not raw have been low-heat milled.

Furthermore: “We choose the best option available that meets all of our quality standards. Sometimes we are not able to acquire and distribute raw products that meet these standards, but low-heat processed may be available instead. This helps us maximize the amount of nutritional quality even though its not completely raw. We only make claims, such as being 100% raw, when we have visited the source ourselves, and verified the entire process in-person.”

The question for me is: what kind of temperatures are we talking about? It’s obviously significant enough that the word “raw” cannot be used to describe them anymore. I’m very particular with superfoods. I take them for the nutritional benefits and if they are not organic and raw, then they are not as prized in my mind.

Having raw, organic cacao powder around has been an absolute “must” for about the last 6 months. It’s really taken my health to the next level, I believe. It’s a powerful antioxidant, acts as a natural energizer and simply makes my superfood shakes take better.

I love, love, love the idea and choice of ingredients in the Immune Formula packet and the Athletic Fuel packet. I have a bit of knowledge on several of these lesser known ingredients (such as Cordyceps, Camu Camu, Reishi, Tumeric, Amla, Accerola, Astragalus & Chaga) which all have incredible anti oxidizing, detoxifying and hormone balancing qualities in them. Again, though, it doesn’t appear that many of these ingredients are raw. I find myself going “ah man!” I surely wish they were all raw. To me, that would mean I’m truly getting a spectacular product–the best of the best.

The Keenwah bars rock in regards to taste. I also love that it’s not just your average bar. They use ingredients like turmeric, cayenne, cacao, yerba mate, cinnamon, hemp and other nutrient dense foods. These bars are not raw–that would be my suggested improvement. They taste really, really good, though. They’re also satisfying and you can feel good about the ingredient list–certainly no junk to be found. The decadence bars are coated in chocolate (chocolate without the additives is VERY healthy for you!) which makes them exceptionally scrumptious.

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Giveaway!

All you have to do to get your hands on some free Keenwah bars is to head straight to the signup page. The bar will automatically be discounted when you add it to your cart and you will receive the bars in the mail after checkout. Easy as that–woop!