Fitness Fun Fridays #15

Posted by Adam | Posted in , | Posted on Friday, October 17, 2008

Let me just start out by saying that the gym etiquette comments were probably the most fun comments that the universe has ever seen. Everyone had an individual story, and you guys covered alot of things that I missed... like water fountain loogie-ers and people that wear cologne and makeup to work out. Great stuff... like Mastercard priceless even :)

Well if you're reading this, then Blogger helped a brother out on my first MIA posting. As we speak (or read), I'm away on a short vacation in Buffalo, NY, visiting friends and relaxing until a semi-hectic week begins. I'm not sure if I said this before, but my school has two clinics, the one on Long Island near NYC (where I am), and this other one in Buffalo. So, my plan is to do what normal college kids do, which is go out and be awesome, all while maybe part taking in some Buffalo wings. What do they say? When in Rome...

So today is going to be a pretty short and sweet post, because you need to enjoy your Friday, and I need to go buy some Franks Red Hot... which is the hot sauce of choice in NY :)

Today is going to cover Protein/Meal Replacement Bars. Now, before I start... let me tell you I am not a big protein bar fan. Sure they are convenient, they are awesome for the car and traveling, they CAN be good for dieters (remember to watch calories)... but I just like whole food so much better. I'm a big eater, and these bars are about the size of a cell phone from early 2000. I'm hungry afterwards... like 5 minutes after. And there's no broccoli flavor, either.

I was just kidding about that. Veggie flavored bars would be pretty strange if you ask me.

However, when I'm on the go, or super busy... I do partake in protein bar consumption. And if you like them, that's cool too. My dad loves them, and thinks they are great for work, but he's always confused about the label. Ya know, that nutrition fact stuff. So let's sort this craziness out :)

We're going to tackle this in 3 steps. The first step is the easiest, then it gets a little more difficult as we go along... kinda like the levels in Tetris.

First, find a flavor you like. Choco-banana-mint-cheesecake-smore whatever. Whew, that was easy. Now get past the shiny wrapper and flip the bar over.

We are once again going to look at calories, fat, carbs, and protein. First make sure the bar has calories that fit in your 'diet budget', and then take a look at the individual numbers. You might be surprised to see how high some of these numbers are. Here is an example of a Clif Bar nutrition that I randomly pulled. 6 grams of fat isn't bad... that's fine for a meal, and the protein is good at 11 grams, but the problem here is the sugar content. 20 grams! Whoa, how did the the elves fit 20 grams in this thing? Do you know what other bars have about 20 grams of sugar? You may have heard of them...

Anybody care for a regular Hershey's or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?

So, the moral of this story is to watch your sugar in these bars :) Sugar as you may have read in a prior FFF post, spikes your insulin, and can lead to fat gain. Look for bars that are low in sugar, and higher in fiber, which will make you feel more full, and slow down digestion. I'd say 5 grams of fiber or more is a good number to shoot for. Brands that I like that do this include Lara Bars, and some of the Luna and South Beach Bars. While some of their fat content is high, they are from natural sources (think like nuts or natural oils) and the carbs are equaled out with the fiber. Ingredients are important, which we'll tackle next.

Without going too crazy in depth, if you can't say the words, they are probably not good for you. Remember those commercials with the kids reading the ice cream ingredients? It's like that :) If you see partial hydrogenated anything, put it on the shelf. This is trans-fat, and is unhealthy no matter how you look at it. Your body can't break it down. It's like digesting a tin can, and you're not a goat :) Unfortunately, many of the bars have these kinds of oils, because they prolong shelf life, which can last up to years. It's a preservative. Just something to think about.

So are all protein bars bad? No of course not. Just like any other food, they can be part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle, especially when you're in a rush. Just make sure to read the labels, watch the sugar and funny words, and make sure the ingredients are as natural as possible. I know for a fact that VeggieGirl loves Lara Bars, and they are both organic and vegan. Dawn actually put up a review about some bars before, (see... men can remember things) and I would trust her with my health and tastebuds. Heck, her and I are taste-buds... get it haha :)

Sorry for the semi-rushed post, but that's all I have this week. A special thanks to everyone who has been supportive to me reaching 50 posts... I feel like everyone is really routing for me, like Rudy. If I'm not around to comment on your blogs, it's because I don't have a computer this weekend. The rest of my week is hectic as I travel to North Carolina, and then packing up my life and moving back to mom and dad in Albany. Just bear with me, and I'll be back to visiting and leaving funny comments as best I can :) Enjoy your weekend guys!

Comments (41)

Have a nice and relaxing weekend in Buffalo! Great tips for the protein bars. I hate that so many of them are loaded with sugar and junk and everyone assumes they are healthy. It is SO important to read labels!

Lots of people are tricked by protein bars...I can't stand them. Not only do they not taste that great (to me anyway), I am always still hungry afterwards. I would much rather eat something healthy that will fill me up (like fruit or nuts) than a protein bar. Or maybe buffalo wings... :)

i HATE protein bars. the taste is just fine, usually. but they almost always have either A) partially hydrogenated oils, or B) fake sugar. and i dont go for either of those if i can help it.
but! good post. it is important to look at the labels, but also important to know what your looking for :p
have a good weekend/week!

Like VeggieGirl, I am a LaraBar fan. There are a lot of sugars in those, but they are at least natural and from fruit! On the other hand, so many bars have such a high amount of aritficial sugar in them. I picked up one the other day that had 20 grams of sugar alcohols. ICK!

Hell yes for the shout-out!! Especially since it relates to my beloved Larabars, which contain NO MORE THAN 6 INGREDIENTS!!! Talk about wholesomeness!! :0)

Enjoy the rest of your time in Buffalo, Adam!!

i've never been able to get into food in the shape of a bar. protein bars, snack bars, granola bars.... even chocolate bars. i don't know. maybe i have an undiagnosed problem.

Hey! Have a fun weekend! I am always hungry, protein bars or not :)
Great tips about picking the right one, will remember when I am starving...

Better to eat a healthy snack than a protein bar. Have a nice week and enjoy :)

Lol, that first photo is about as priceless as the ladies who wear make-up at the gym :D
Have a great weekend in Buffallo (wings)! As for protein bars I can't even distinguish...I mean I used to eat granola bars when in a rush but I don't know if they qualify as protein bars. However I remember their sugar content being quite high.

Well, after all that, I was expecting a recipe for some kind of homemade protein or energy bar - what gives?

You forgot to mention that those bars on the shelves are also expensive - you can definitely do it cheaper, and better, yourself.

So, how about it? You got any good make at home energy or protein bar recipes? Come on, you've got to have a trick or two up your sleeve.

Have a great weekend in Buffalo! great tips on how to pick a bar! I have never thought of choosing the right has always been 'something to eat!'.

I got tired just thinking about your upcoming week! Hope you're having a great time in Bufallo! It took me a while to get the first picture, but finally I got it. You're not the only one with a big brain you see.
Protein bars? Ok, close you eyes now: the only bars I have are candy bars and cookie bars! Well and the ocasional cereal bar. Next time I'll wrap them in cheese and ham and I'll have my own self made protein bar, what do you think about that?

OMG did you have to put pics up of those Reese's Cups? God, those are good.
I've been in Buffalo many a time and eaten a ton of them hot wings, along with pitchers of beer. I did try them super-freakin' hot once and it killed me (and I love hot stuff). I can never get used to those accents though.
I still eat my Lara Bars, but I'm totally hooked on those Kashi choco-oatmeal cookies. They rock dude, tastes just like a thick cc cookie.
Packing up and partying eh? Have a couple shots for me will ya? Later.

I love me some Franks!! Have you ever had the hot sauce from the dollar tree? We use it at festivals because it's so cheap, and it's actually very good!

Have some fun while you are in Buffalo.

ooh, i'm so with you on bars... i bet we'd be taste-buds, too :-P have fun in buffalo, and good luck heading back home!

I don't buy bars. I prefer real food but I'm glad you did explain the label. Some people are confused with that like my dad. Have fun & a great week!

I always stop in Albany when I travel from Philly to Quebec City!!!

I was completely distracted by the buffalo wing and Frank's hot sauce. Give me both and throw out the protein bars!

I am not even sure I ever ate protein bars. The only ones I've ever eaten are those Kellogg's low calorie bars. Have a nice time and relax.
Wow, are buffaloes that big!!

you have a nice place here..thats a good one!

Why are partial hydrogenated oils in everything?! They need to get rid of them forever.
They're even in hot cocoa packets! Terrible.

Have fun in Buffalo. I love Franks.

Hope you're having a great mini-holiday!

Man, sounds like I really missed a doozie of a post whilst on my vacay last week. SOO much good stuff to catch up on!

Yeah, I hate all of this artificial crap. I really feel like starting my own food company... I'm not kidding.

You kill me - I'm not sure how you get Fitness Friday and Buffalo wings all in the same post :). Now, of course you have me craving a trip to Honey's. Buffalo is only an hour from us and a trip we take very often - I mean Canada doesn't have Bath and Body so what's a girl to do and you can't possibly go to Buffalo without stopping for wings - it would be a sin.

hi Adam, another great FFF post! I never liked those nutrition bars, and after reading your post, I am kind of glad I don't eat them. Considering that I am on the verge of being a sugar patient, I definitely should not be eating them either:-) Enjoy everything that you are doing, have fun...

Protein bars scare the heck out of me. Although there was a time when I was living on only protein bricks and skim milk. *shudder*.

I'm not a big fan of protein bars or protein shakes either.And its a bad bad bad choice to buy any processed foods with trans fat\partially hydrogenated oils. Besides we need a balanced meal to survive the tough busy schedules, just a high protein diet can leave us hungry and lethargic .
Hope you a safe and joyful traveling adventures:)

Another informative FFF!

I like the idea of protein bars - energy on the run etc etc, but never actually eat them as I'm susceptible to hypoglycemia and try to avoid over-processed/high sugar food. Good to hear there are some healthier options out there!

I hope you're enjoying Buffalo.

Ya know - i've never tried energy bars before...I'm always leary of something like this. I thin I'm goign to try them - lol.


Hope you had a great weekend! I am not much of a protein bar person either. But I do love Buffalo wings!

Honestly, I'd rather eat those peanut butter cups than protein bars! haha Enjoy your trip to NC.

Adam, you are so smart. Another wonderful post my dear. Good luck with your clinic.

What? You're still not back. Your adoring public awaits!

Hope you're having fun, Adam :)

I hate those partially hydrogenated oils they put on everything. Those big companies really poison people in order to make an extra few bucks. Yuck!
You're doing your share for bringing it into the spotlight Adam!
Enjoy your time in Buffalo!

I had no clue about those clif bars... they're usually my favorites (or at least were my favorites). I hope you had a great time in buffalo - I was also in upstate new york this weekend... it was FREEZING!

Adam I hope you had a lovely time in Buffalo! we are waiting for you dear!!!

May you post about Fribroalgia (I dont know is OK the word) My Mom suffer of this, I know is about stress too, some advise????? xxxGloria

So with you on some of the "health bars" out there - you may as well grab a Reeses. I also love Zone perfect bars - they taste heavenly and have nice nutrition content.

Adam, sweetie, don't have too much fun. We're waiting for more words from the wise. When you have a moment to spare, please come by my blog and pick up an award I have for you. Till then, be cool fool:)!

Hope you had a great weekend! And that you found that bottle of Frank's!

I'm a fan of the Lara & Luna bars myself -- though I don't find myself snacking much these days. What I do like is that they can contain enough protein to make for a relatively decent breakfast if I'm hard-pressed.

Have a great move! Looking forward to your return :)

congrats!! 50 comments is completely awesome.