Jumping Into Protein Bars

If there is one staple of healthy food bloggers, besides smoothie bowls, I would have to say it is protein bars. My Instagram feed is full of so many I’m not surprised when one shows up that I have never heard of. Last year I was super into Luna bars, but I also knew that they weren’t the healthiest of the bars and also expensive, so I let that obsession fall off.

One of my biggest weaknesses is snacks, like all the time, so I have been trying to figure out a healthier way to satisfy my constant snack cravings. Last week I made these pickled cucumbers , but they only lasted two days and they were almost too good. If my snack is a large bowl full of something it probably isn’t the best. Now these were definitely healthier than my go-to Doritos or chocolate, I knew I couldn’t sustain the cucumber love.

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I ate much more than this at once

So I decided to make my first trip to my local Whole Foods to peruse the protein bar aisle. I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for, I was just winging it. I landed on trying three different kinds to see what I was in to — knowing that these are not my Chewy granola bars, I had a feeling this would take some trial and error. Here are my thoughts on all three:

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3. RX Bar-Coffee and Chocolate

This review warrants a disclaimer: I was hesitant to try this one because I haven’t been the biggest fan of date bars in the past, and this reaffirmed that feeling. I keep telling myself that I just need to get used to it, but I don’t know if that is possible. I could see where this would be appealing to people, but the texture and flavor was not working for me. The coffee and chocolate flavor seemed off as well, too bitter.

2. Square Bar-Chocolate Covered Coconut 

I decided to give this bar a go after seeing it all over In it 4 the Long Run’s Instagram. I was mostly not disappointed —its pretty hard to mess anything up that is completely covered in chocolate. The texture was a little off from anything I had had before, but it was doable. It reminded me a lot of an Almond Joy, which is never a bad thing. I will definitely be trying more of their flavors.

1. Pro Bar Meal-Peanut Butter

This was by far my favorite of three that I tried. It had that classic protein bar chewiness, but there were enough of the other ingredients, like sesame seeds, that I wasn’t focusing on that part of the texture. There was also little pieces of dried fruit, which were much welcomed sweetness. This one even had dates in it, but because it was not the main ingredient I was able to deal with it and like it. The peanut butter flavor also wasn’t too powerful compared to everything else going on in the bar, which was a lot. It may claim to be a meal bar, but I would definitely need to supplement it with some fruit or yogurt. This may be my new go-to snack. Does anyone have any flavor recommendations??

2 for 3 isn’t too bad for my first round!

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Weighing the (Literal) Costs of Health

There isn’t anything in life that doesn’t involve money in some capacity — clothes, a place to leave, entertainment, the list goes on. And from what I have found on my health and fitness journey is in order to make actual changes and lead a healthier life it takes both a mental investment as well as a monetary investment.

The mental investment either it happens or it doesn’t, a decision needs to be made whether the time and effort is going to be put in to make a change for the better. For the most part I on the right side of the decision, I choose to make healthier eating choices and work out a few times a week. Sometimes I am on the wrong side, but who isn’t? I am a sucker for a good dessert and tiredness tends to creep up on me.

Lately I have found that if I want to make the health and fitness changes that I set out to make mental investment isn’t the only thing that is going to get me there, I need some monetary investment that thus far I have not been willing to make. This isn’t to say I haven’t spent any money toward betting my life; I have when it comes to some of my grocery shopping decisions, but there are SO many more that I wish I could make.

However what I really feel like I am missing out on is a gym membership or fitness plan. I can join a gym for $15 a month — not too bad for the city — but as much as I have said I want to, I have yet to take the plunge. I have talked about spending $40 on PIIT28, a pilates intense interval training program developed by Cassey Ho of POP Pilates, but again haven’t pulled the plug. I even considered Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide, but the price for that scared me away  quickly. There are all these programs and gyms out there, options for taking my fitness to the next level , but I can’t get over the money hump without knowing if these things are going to work for me or give me the results that I want.

I’m sure I would see results if I truly devoted myself to any of these options, but will I like it or actually want to do it? I have thought that making a monetary investment will make me more likely to use the program because I would feel guilty otherwise, but is that really the reason I want to be working out, guilt?

One of these days I’m sure I will bite the bullet and shell out some cash, but given my current financial situation (#unemployedlife) and not knowing if I will see the results I want, I can’t pull the trigger. If I find something that offers me a free trial before committing I will be all over that. Until then it will be free POP Pilates videos and runs in the park.

Has anyone else struggled with having to spend money on a fitness plan? How about anyone who has found a fitness plan that works for them and is glad they spend the money on it? Let me know!