Clif Bars Review – Recipes for Healthy Bars – Clif Bars Coupon – Vegan Energy Bars for Fitness and Endurance

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I’ve tried to consciously eat more during breakfast, and to also eat more small meals throughout the day. I always eat breakfast, which is good, but I often don’t eat enough because I’m worried I will feel slowed down afterwards. However, this would only be a concern if I were eating a huge stack of pancakes with maple syrup, but if I am eating sensibly, I should be having more energy. In the past few weeks, I have intensified my work outs, and I usually do them around the late morning. Sometimes I really under eat in the morning and I usually feel unnecessarily tired and weak because I am not properly fuelling my body for an intense work out. At times I will make a nutritious breakfast full of what I need to get me through a work out, but if I do choose to have a lighter breakfast, I will often go for a vegan energy bar. Lately, I have been choosing Clif Bars. Sometimes I eat the whole thing before a work out, or I’ll eat 1/2 before and 1/2 after. I used to be afraid of eating them because of the high calorie count (they are around 250 cal), but it really isn’t bad if you factor in that you are exercising and will be burning calories, so you need to replenish your body. If I do eat one and don’t plan on working out that day, I will just count it as a small meal, as they are quite filling. They have also been great for when I am out for a few hours and get hungry but don’t want to risk getting something not so ideal. It is also going to be cheaper than buying something else that is pre-made, such as a bagel or sandwich.

Note: This is not a sponsored post. I was not paid or asked to make this review of Clif Bars and I paid for all of mine myself. This and all of my reviews are completely my honest opinion and experiences. Just thought I’d get that out of the way :)

TOPICS IN THIS POST

  1. Not all “Healthy” bars are what they seem – Comparing Clif Bars with Other Bars
  2. Clif Bar Flavours and my brief reviews on the ones I’ve tried
  3. Where to Buy Clif Bars
  4. Recipes for Healthy Bars – Make your own!

Be Careful of “Healthy” Energy/Protein/Granola Bars

*A lot* of “health” bars on the market may have a bunch of clever catch phrases and include all the great things they have in them, but some are not telling you about the weird ingredients, high sugar contents, high fat contents, sodium, preservatives…etc. Sure, they may have flax seeds and raisins and buckwheat, but do they use artificial sweeteners, weird preservatives and artificial flavours? Becoming accustomed with the nutrition label is very important and it is good practice to always check your foods before purchasing them.

I am going to compare the three bars I currently have in my house: Chocolate Almond Fudge Clif Bar, Kashi Peanutty Dark Chocolate Fruit & Grain Bar and a Peanut Butter Chocolate Simply Bar. Just because this post is directed at Clif Bars, does not mean that I think they are *the best* bars out there. In fact, I don’t think that they are. My rating for the Simply Bar is higher than Clif Bars, but at this point in time, they are much too expensive for me to eat regularly.

First, let’s take a look at the ingredients in a Chocolate Almond Fudge Clif Bar:

  • Organic Brown Rice Syrup
  • ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract]
  • Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour)
  • Organic Rolled Oats
  • Organic Cane Syrup
  • Chocolate Chips (Dried Cane Syrup, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract)
  • Almond Butter
  • Organic Fig Paste
  • Cocoa
  • Almonds
  • ClifCrunch® (Apple Fiber, Organic Oat Fiber)
  • Organic Milled Flaxseed
  • Inulin [Chicory Extract]
  • Psyllium
  • Sea Salt
  • Natural Flavors.

No weird ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Everything looks pretty good! Now lets take a look at the nutrition label for a Chocolate Almond Fudge Clif Bar:

Clif Bar

We can see  there are 250 calories, no Trans Fats, no Cholesterol, 140mg of Sodium* (our body needs about 500mg of sodium per day), and other info I have included in the photo above with my lovely cat in it. Clif Bars are not a perfect entity. While they are hitting a lot of great points (No trans fats, natural ingredients, high in vitamins and nutrients…), they do have a high sugar content, so that is something to consider. They are also on the higher end of the scale when it comes to calories. This is no problem if you are eating one before or after a work out, or taking the calories into account when eating it as a meal or part of a meal. I wouldn’t really suggest just eating one as a snack though, as there are plenty of other lower-calorie options for a snack.

All that being said, I still enjoy having Clif Bars before or after a work out. I don’t stick to this religiously, as I sometimes eat a piece of fruit or a protein shake, but in a pinch, they work for me.

* SODIUM – What it does and how much our body needs:

“Your body needs some sodium to function properly. It is the primary electrolyte that regulates fluid levels in the body. Sodium keeps your body hydrated by pumping water into the cell.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation suggests Canadian adults consume no more than five millilitres of salt (2,300 milligrams of sodium or a teaspoon of salt) per day.

Your body needs only 500 mg of sodium per day to function under normal circumstances. Endurance athletes need more and should consume fluids that contain sodium if they are exercising for two hours or more.” – Source

 

Clif Bar Breakdown:

  1. PRICE: Around $1.40-$1.80 (Can be purchased individually or in boxes of 12)
  2. PROS: High in Protein, Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, and Manganese, uses Natural ingredients
  3. CONS: High in Sugar, a bit high in Calories (Can be a pro or a con)
  4. GRAMS PER BAR: 68 grams
  5. # OF INGREDIENTS:  Around 20
  6. CALORIES: 250
  7. VEGAN?: Yes
  8. *MY LETTER GRADE RATING: A- (Full of vitamins and minerals but very high in sugar. Can get these at a decent price if you buy by the box.)

*This factors in cost and the pros and cons

Ok, now let’s look at  Kashi Fruit & Grain Peanutty Dark Chocolate Bar:

Ingredients in a Kashi Peanutty Dark Chocolate Bar:

  • Rolled grain blend (hard red wheat, oats, rye, triticale, barley)
  • dates
  • dark chocolate (evaporated cane juice, chocolate liquor, cocoa)
  • roasted peanuts (peanuts, salt)
  • chicory root (inulin)
  • brown rice syrup
  • glycerin
  • soy protein isolate
  • expeller pressed canola oil
  • natural peanut butter (peanuts, palm oil)
  • semi-sweet chocolate (evaporated cane juice, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla)
  • soy grits
  • evaporated cane juice crystals
  • cornstarch
  • evaporated cane juice syrup
  • honey
  • corn flour
  • rice starch
  • soy lecithin
  • natural flavours
  • salt
  • oat hull fibre
  • seven whole grains & sesame flour (whole: oats, hard red wheat, rye, brown rice, triticale, barley, buckwheat, sesame seeds)
  • milk ingredients
  • almond flour

Wow, that’s a lot of ingredients in a small bar!

Nutrition Label:

Kashi Bar

Kashi Bar Breakdown:

  1. PRICE: Around $0.70 per bar (they come in a box of 6)
  2. PROS: Small amount of Iron, Very High in Dietary Fiber (almost as much as the Clif Bar and the same as the Simply Bar), 4g Protein, Trans Fat free
  3. CONS: Huge amount of ingredients, very little nutrient content (aside from the Fiber)
  4. GRAMS PER BAR: 32 grams
  5. # OF INGREDIENTS: Around 30+
  6. CALORIES: 130
  7. VEGAN?: No
  8. MY LETTER GRADE RATING: B- (High in Fiber, but too many ingredients and no significant vitamin content)

Now for the Simply Bar

Ingredients in a Peanut Butter & Chocolate Simply Bar:

  • Soy Crisps (soy protein isolate, tapioca starch, salt)
  • Organic Brown Rice Syrup
  • Inulin (Chicory Root Fiber)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Vegetable Glycerin
  • Organic Cocoa
  • Natural Flavor

Simply Bar Breakdown:

  1. PRICE: Average price. Around $2.70 (Can be purchased separately or in boxes of 15)
  2. PROS: Small amount of ingredients (all natural), No trans fats, medium amount of calories, very high in fiber, low in sugar, high in Iron, contains Calcium
  3. CONS: Much more expensive than the Clif Bar and has 28g less per bar.
  4. GRAMS PER BAR: 40 grams
  5. # OF INGREDIENTS: 9
  6. CALORIES: 160
  7. VEGAN?: Yes
  8. MY LETTER GRADE RATING: A (Only a handful of ingredients, high in Fiber, Iron and Calcium. Low in Sugar. Quite expensive for most people. I’ve seen a box of 15 go to over $40)

Simply Bar

Gaiam.com, Inc

 

 

Flavours (I will comment on the ones I have tried)

Oatmeal Raisin Walnut

  • Peanut Toffee BuzzI was excited for this but because I had high expectations, I didn’t like it the first time I tried it. I tried it a second time and I actually liked it a lot more. Either the first one I tried was a bit stale or I just warped my perception from having a weird expectation on how it would taste. 8.5/10

Peanut Toffee Buzz

  • White Chocolate MacadamiaThis was the first full box I ever purchased and it sounded so yummy but after a few days of having them, I just found them way too sweet. 8/10

 

Seasonal Flavours:

  • Iced Ginger
  • Peppermint Stick
  • Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Where to Buy Clif Bars – Clif Bars Coupon

You don’t have to use my discount coupons, but they are here if you wish to use them:

You can also get them here:

Recipes for Healthy Bars

Gaiam Subscription Clubs

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5 Responses to “Clif Bars Review – Recipes for Healthy Bars – Clif Bars Coupon – Vegan Energy Bars for Fitness and Endurance”

  1. Thanks for such a terrific post. So helpful!

  2. Clare says:

    Yay! Glad you enjoyed it :) –Clare

  3. […] Clif Bars Review – Clif Bars Coupon – Clif Bars for Fitness and …Clif Bars Review – Recipes for Healthy Bars – Clif Bars Coupon – Vegan Energy Bars for Fitness and Endurance. May 8th, 2012 Clare. clif_thumb. I’ve tried to … […]

  4. william says:

    Great information Clare. You really described it in detail and I think this bar is healthy too after yoga session

  5. Clare says:

    Thanks William! :)

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