I wouldn't exactly call myself a weekend warrior, but around our house grabbing a meal or snack during the day, especially on the weekend, is a challenge. I'm all in favor of anything that makes the job of getting through the day that much easier.
I had the opportunity to try out the Fuel Natural Endurance bars from Natural Emphasis and did a field test with the bars; Apple Crunch, Chocolate Crunch and Chocolate Espresso - all organic, certified kosher ingredients with no preservatives, added sugar, gluten and dairy free and non GMO. What I really like is that these bars contain no trans fats as well. I stuck one of each in my pocket for one of those days (the typical day with me racing back from the office picking up the kids, racing to the swimming pool, taking one of the boys to lacrosse - all in half an hour). With an evening like that It's hard to find something that is healthy and has the ability to keep one satiated until the next opportunity to eat something. Oh, and something that tastes good.
I started off with the Organic Apple Crunch - before even biting into it my first impression was that the bar looked like it was going to do the job. The Apple Crunch weighs in with a whopping 310 calories (see the Nutrition Facts on the Natural Emphasis site - http://www.fuelbars.com/bars/org_apple.html). After biting into the bar the immediate taste was from the hemp seeds then a nice subtle apple taste. It wasn't overly sweet, but was really chewy and after finishing the entire bar I found it quite filling. The others would have to wait.
I didn't wait too long. After the experience with my Apple Crunch I just had to try the Organic Chocolate Espresso (I'm definitely into coffee). After opening this one, I was actually a little worried. It looks a lot different from the bar I just had, and similar to those other dark brown 'all protein' slabs. I took a bite, I admit I was hesitant, but I'm glad I did. Again as with the Apple Crunch, the hemp seed taste was first then the espresso. This bar is a winner with me, chewy, good tasting (the espresso taste is not overpowering) and to think it's good for me too. It packs 210 calories and is a slightly smaller serving of 45g compared to the 65g Apple Crunch.
Last but not least was the Organic Chocolate Crunch bar. By the way, I'm stuffed by this point, but thought I would give the last one at least a try. I expected to see a similar looking bar but was surprised to see that the Chocolate Crunch looked less like the espresso bar. It was similar in ingredients and has 220 calories to a 45g serving, and was good as well. Chewy and again the hemp seeds came through the chocolate. To me that's a good thing as I like the hemp seed taste. If I wanted a chocolate bar I'd get one. This is definitely not a chocolate bar.
So I'd say I was satiated, after my 740 calories over a few hours. Okay I did give a few bites of the Chocolate Crunch to my wife and her friend (I almost didn't get to try the Chocolate Crunch). These bars are not geared towards meal replacement, but for sustained energy and for those individuals that are active or on the go. I still felt full. These bars give a great taste and the benefits as per nutrition profile. I'm thinking that one will be accompanying me to the gym for the après workout replacement. Natural Emphasis recommends half a bar to a bar an hour (120-240 calories) to replenish spent muscle and brain fuel or eating a Fuel Bar right after exercise to replenish the glycogen stores and not to mention the protein will help with muscle recovery.
The Fuel Bars can be purchased right from the website at http://www.fuelbars.com ($25 cdn/$20 US for a box of 15). You can also purchase them at a number of food markets in the U.S. and Canada - Wholes Foods for one. Any of you Retailers out there that carry this product let me know and I'll include your store in a list on this article.
That's the bite of it.