Monday, September 14, 2009

Fit-Food: The Periodic Table of...Energy Bars

Tired of the same old flavors of Clif Bar, PowerBar, Luna, Kind, Balance and more? Not seeing the results you hoped for in an energy bar, find yourself allergic to an ingredient or inable to tolerate it in your digestive tract? Or do you dream of playing in your kitchen to concoct your own food products but either don't have the time or would rather pay someone else to do it? You could be just the candidate for a design-your-own bar, custom built for your taste and ingredient preferences. Meet two of the contenders:

Element Bars. While winding down after an exciting Ironman Wisconsin yesterday (no I didn't race but I have a spectator report that I need to find time to write and post) I found myself watching Shark Tank on ABC. The first negotiator introduced a product he developed in his kitchen and turned into a business, Element Bars. You can build your bar online either picking from popular favorites or playing with your own mix, check the nutrition count so you don't overload on calories and get a natural, personalized product in return. And I swear I went to college with the entrepreneur, but that's beside the point. It's fun to play on the site and experiment with different flavors in hopes of finding a portable, race-friendly food your body can handle.

You Bar. It's all about custom food at You Bar: You can also create your own trail mix and shakes. Same concept as the Element Bar and you can watch the nutrition facts change as you add or switch ingredients. You can even recommend your own suggestion for a base and make special requests in each section. I'm a fan of the descriptors so I know just what I'm adding as I play chef in the kitchen.

But as for actually trying them? I'm a novice at the moment, opting for convenience over personalization. I'll just pick up a bar when I'm at Trader Joe's and know I need to eat one on the spot or have a race coming up where I could use it. Plus I know if I had a whole box of bars at home, they probably wouldn't last very long...too tempting to eat every day. Posted by Kate

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