I’ve been on the lookout for a good protein bar.
Apparently I don’t get enough protein. That can happen when you don’t eat cows, much chicken, most dairy, or anything else that tastes good.
So about two months ago, I went to the health food store and asked the woman in the snack section which protein bars are the most popular. I figured people who actually eat them ought to know.
She recommended five. “I eat (Bar 1) every day,” she said. “I like the dark chocolate.”
Well, of course, I thought, and picked up Bar 1.
“These are good, too,” she added, handing me four more options.
They all have 12-14 grams of protein. Which is good, I guess. I don’t know how big a gram is. I know 4 oz. of meat is a serving.
(My husband just informed me there are approximately 28.5 grams in one ounce. He knows this, he said, because in the Air Force, he weighed confiscated marijuana. Really, I said. I never knew this. The things you learn bar hopping.)
That day, for lunch, I opened Bar 1. It had a sweet, waxy white frosting and tasted like a dense granola bar. Chewy, but gritty, like sawdust. But in a healthy kind of way.
I ate only half before I was full. No kidding. It felt a bit heavy in my stomach. Not uncomfortable, just very filling.
I guess that’s what 7 grams of protein feels like. A brick.
I ate the other half a few days later, when I knew I’d be out running around for a while. A little concrete in the gut would hold me for several hours. And it did.
A week later, I tried Bar 2. It was gritty too, but more like potting soil. The bar was chocolate, so it looked like I was eating dirt. But the flavor was OK. Again, I could eat only half.
These bars are only 1.5 ounces, but I swear, they’re like eating a whole turkey. Never have I eaten so little and been so stuffed.
That night, I ate the other half of Bar 2 for dinner. Along with a banana. Half an hour later, I was in my pj’s, dozing off.
I decided to wait a week before I had another bar. Two bars in ten days was too much. How can people eat an entire bar every day?
The following week I tried Bar 3. Still couldn’t get the thing down in one sitting. I find this ridiculous.
The brand is fuco, with two dots over the ‘u’, which, unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to add here. Without those pronunciation marks, you might get into trouble asking for it in the store.
As protein bars go – now knowing they are a heavy, typically grainy product – this one is fairly good.
Bar 4 came in handy several weeks ago, when Mom was hospitalized after a fall. I strolled the halls and gnawed on this bar while Mom slept. It was the first protein bar I finished in one eating.
But it took me an hour.
I’ve decided you have to work up to these things. Kind of like jogging. You run a mile, and as you adjust to the soreness and exhaustion, you add another mile. It’s not really enjoyable, but it’s good for you, so you keep at it.
I had Bar 5 last week. Another day of running errands, not knowing when I’d get a meal.
A protein bar doesn’t really taste like a meal, but after you eat one, you’re not eager to eat anything else for a while. So it’s good to carry one when your schedule is off kilter. They’re wrapped so tight and are so solid, I think they would last for years.
They’d be the food you’d want to take into a bomb shelter.
I learned recently there are “dozens” of brands of protein bars out there. But, I think I’m done with exploring the options. I doubt any will taste like a Milky Way.
My favorite (favorite is a relative term here) brand?
balance is really kind of OK.