Rule #1 while grocery shopping is to never shop while hungry.  This should not be an epiphany to anyone on a health journey.  But I broke this golden rule recently.  

I was at my favorite local natural health store to pick up some water for the office.  I was hungry so I ventured down the aisle that contains all the protein, meal replacement, and supplement bars to see if they had anything new and eye catching that may entice my appetite.

They did.  I actually picked up 3 of them.  This is my snack bar review.

Tour de Bars

1. Epic Bar.  I’ve been seeing this bar more and more lately through the publications that I read from running and CrossFit magazines to paleo publications.  The concept of it really entices me.  It’s basically meat in a bag made of bison and bacon.  I love bison and bacon so why not?

2. Clif Kit’s Organic Fruit and Seed Bar.  This is basically Clif Bar’s version of the Lara Bar.  If I need something quick, Lara Bar is usually a quick eat to pick me up or even give to our son as a snack.  Kit’s looked very similar to Lara Bar just with some added chia seeds.

3. 22 days daily Mocha Mantra Bar. This is a vegan protein bar that was gluten free and dairy free.  And who doesn’t love the flavor of mocha?  I was hungry, give me a break.

My intent was to eat one over the next 3 days.  The reality is that when I got into my car, I devoured the Kit’s Organic bar, the Epic bar, and finally the Mocha Mantra Bar…in that order with no break in between before I got back to the office, about a 10 minute drive.

Like I said, I was hungry.  From a taste perspective, I liked the Kit’s Organic bar so it enticed me to see what the others tasted like.  If you don’t know my back story, I was a fat kid and I still have the mentality of if you put food in front of me, I’m going to eat it…all.  I used to literally eat sticks of butter like it was a banana when I was a kid.

I don’t have this amazing will power with my diet, I just win at the point of purchase battle more often than not.  If we have junk food at home, consider it gone.  We just know not to buy it.  My wife can ration a tiny carton of coconut milk ice cream over a 6 month span.  I’m lucky if it lasts 6 minutes.

Anyway, I devoured the Kit’s and couldn’t open the Epic bar fast enough.  The problem is I couldn’t open it fast enough.  I actually had to rip it open with my teeth.  I guess it’s symbolic of a primal meal as I’m ripping the flesh off the animal to get to the meat.  Or it’s just symbolic that I’m pathetic and a sucker for packaging.

The scent of bacon filled my nostrils and I was ready to devour it.  It quickly lacked its appeal because it had a pink tint to it, kind of like that that picture that goes around social media claiming it’s the precursor to chicken nuggets.  I took a bite and it was tasty but after about 1/2 way down the bar, I was just finishing it to finish it and not waste it.  It was very salty and the texture did not mesh with bacon or bison.

I love the concept of the Epic bar but from a taste and experience standpoint, I put too much hype behind it.  Because of the salt overload I had to rip open the Mocha Mantra even quicker just to change the flavor in my mouth to something sweet.

The first bite of the 22 days bar was nice.  It helped dissipate the saltiness of the Epic Bar.  I was excited to get that out of my mouth.  As I kept eating the 22 days bar, the more it reminded me of the regular chalky protein bars I used to eat that were cheap calories.  When I looked at my teeth, they were a mess with chunks of chalky chocolate all over them.

With that said, the Kit’s Organic was my favorite f0r flavor and would probably buy that again and would definitely try other flavors.  The Epic Bar, I may be tempted to try another flavor but with the steep price of it and the salty experience, I’ll most likely pass.  The 22 days bar I will also be more likely to purchase and try a different flavor.

None are my favorite and none left me with, ‘I gotta have more of that.’  I am also not basing this on nutrient content but pure flavor and satisfaction.  Whether this was useful or not, don’t be afraid to try some new experiences.  It’s those challenges that enhance and make for a stronger health experience and better decision making next time.

Bon Appetite.

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  1. We usually use epic bars as a meal replacement, like when we’re traveling and know we won’t be somewhere that’s going to have food that likely we will be able to eat we usually have a few of those one hand to keep us from starving. Matthew likes them better than I do. He likes the beef one, I like the bison one…we both hate the lamb one, it has a really weird flavor with the mint jelly in it..ew.. and leaves a very bad taste in your mouth.

    Kits are my favorite sweet treat, I like the chocolate coconut one 😉 That’s my candy bar treat.