Because we all have those hectic days when we need something quick to replenish our energy or to gently boost falling blood sugar levels, I’d like to recommend a couple of bars that are great for eating on-the-go. Not only are these meal/snack bars gluten free, they’re free of dairy, soy, peanuts, and preservatives as well. Even if you don’t have food allergies or sensitivities, these bars are far healthier than the typical “healthy” meal bars that are full of refined sugars and ingredients you can’t pronounce. Sounds good, right?
Not a particularly creative title, I admit, but I LOVE these things. My dear friend Susan introduced me to them a couple of years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. They can be a little tricky to find, although Whole Foods almost always has them, and some HEB and Kroger stores carry them too (just check in the health section or nature market aisles). They are made primarily of almond butter and dates, with a few other yummy ingredients. This makes them high in fat (13 or 14 grams), but keep in mind that it’s the good kind of fat. Plus, the fat, along with 6 to 7 grams of fiber and 12ish grams of protein, helps slow down the digestion and absorption of the sugar, which comes from the dates and a little honey or agave nectar. The bars are primarily raw and are designed to be alkaline-forming. While I enjoy all the flavors, I gravitate toward Active Greens, which boasts a “green superfood blend.” If you’re just starting out, I’d try the Original or Vegan flavor first. The only downside for me is the price: $2.69 at most stores. Nevertheless, if your choice is between fast food and a $2.69 meal bar that’s actually good for you (and gluten-free), the better option is pretty obvious.
I do notrecommend other Clif products (they contain gluten and soy protein isolates), but the Nectar line is fantastic. Like the Organic Food Bar, they are organic and composed mostly of nuts and dates. In fact, Nectar bars all have 5 ingredients or less. These make great snack bars at only 160 calories eat–the perfect blood sugar pick-me-up. Again, I like all the flavors, but in my opinion, the Lemon Vanilla Cashew steals the show (ingredients: dates, cashews, goji berries, lemon juice concentrate, and vanilla–all organic). A little sweet, a little tart…perfection! Oh, and in case you’re a chocolate lover, Clif has recently released three Nectar Cacao flavors.
3) Lara Bar
Of the bars mentioned here, these are probably the most popular and easiest to find. This brand boasts whole, raw ingredients in simple combinations (6 ingredients or less). Again, nuts and fruits create the foundation for these 180 to 200 calorie bars. With 12 awesome flavors, you can’t go wrong. I recently tasted one of their most recent additions, Cocoa Mole, and promptly fell in love. With a little warmth from cinnamon and chili, the dark chocolate really shines. Lara Bar also produces many chocolate-free flavors for those of you with chocolate sensitivities/allergies. Of these, I usually reach for Ginger Snap or Banana Cookie.
Note: None of the meal/snack bars listed above would benefit someone battling a severe Candida albicans infection. The sugars, while from whole, natural food sources, would only inflame the problem. Unless your doctor/chiropractor/naturopath suggests otherwise, I recommend using these products only after the gut imbalance is under control.