Review | Low Carb, High Protein Bars

Without a doubt, my favorite bars are “The Simply Bar“.  They have a 1:1 ration of protein to carbs, they range from 150-160 caloires.  Perfect for a snack mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

Becuase i’m based in the west coast, I have to order them online and have to pay for shipping ($14…ouch!).  This means I have to be more organized than I often am and that I have to be at the tipping point of frustration wiht my locally available options.  As I’m not yet at that tipping point, I thought I’d try a few other protein bar options.

My criteria:

  • Less than 200 calories
  • Close to 1:1 ratio of protein to carbs
  • Not too many ingredients i can’t pronounce
  • No aspartame
  • More fiber is preferable to less

Here’s what I’ve tried out so far:

  • NuGO Slim – Brownie Crunch
    • OK.  Innoffensive, didn’t taste like a brownie, or chocolate…. but also didn’t taste like chemicals (a frequent complaint)
    • 190 calories (bit on the high side); 16g protein (good, not great), 19g carbs… higher than i’d like, but the 7g fiber but this into ‘ok’ territory for me
    • Added bonus — Gluten free
  • Atkins — any flavour
    • Couldn’t do it… the ingredient list was too chemically oriented for me.  What’s the deal with all the sugar alcohol?

I have a stockpile of options in my suitcase for the week… stay tuned for other otpions.

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We canceled our CSA service

I was sad to do this.  I was more sad as I was picking through moldy beets at the grocery store, trying to find something edible.  The produce we’ve been getting from Bryson Farms has been outstanding.  It tastes fantastic, it’s colourful, it looks fantastic, it lasts a long time, etc.

Canceling the service is part of our ‘simplification plan’.  The challenge with a basket of produce that gets delivered, is that it arrives mid-week and then I have to plan my meals around what’s in the box.   This is more time consuming that going through my recipe binder and picking out the first  6 meals that look interesting to me.

Always an evolution here at the house.  It will only take a couple of weeks of moldy, wilted produce for me to go back to the CSA.

Coupons & Other Bargains

I love a bargain.  I love to use coupons.  I don’t use them very often, but nevertheless, when I can get $3 off a package of diapers or laundry detergent, I’m pretty happy.  My biggest challenge with coupons is the same one I have with bringing my own bags: getting them out of the car and into the store.

My usual source for coupons is as mix of Canadian Freebie blog, Save.ca and random stuff that comes in the mail.  The trouble, with these sources, is that they are not often coupons for brands I usually buy.  They are coupons for big name consumer packaged goods.  Hence, I was so happy to learn about ‘The Healthy Shopper’.  These guys have coupons for all sorts of green, eco friendly, or just plain stuff I like.

I’ll still have trouble remembering to bring them into the store.  Perhaps I should store them in the re-useable bags.

Top 10 “Safe” Sunscreens

I was happy to see that Mexitan, the brand of sunscreen that graces our shelves, is on the list of “broad spectrum protection with fewer hazardous ingredients”.  Who needs the extra stress of discovering that the cream you slather all over your kids every day is in fact harmful.  Yikes! 

Most of the sunscreens on the ‘recommended list’ are physical sunscreens.  This means that the ingredients that provide sun protection do so by creating a physical barrier between you and the sun.  Most sunscreens contain smaller particles and are absorbed into the skin and provide protection at a chemical level.  The trouble with the physical sunscreens is that the barrier is a barrier, not as cumbersome as trying to get my kids to walk around with parasols, but they do look like little albino kids running around.

Check out the list and see where your sunscreen falls!

Giving CSAs a chance

To say things have been busy since returning to work, would be an understatement.  #1 tip from BytownMom about returning to work:  have your childcare arrangements locked in stone!  Since letting our nanny go, we’ve been going between our bouncing between babysitters and family and no one, especially our three year old, knows which way is up.

Accordingly, we’re looking for a couple of ways to simplify things around here.  The first one is not: stop driving across town to get our fruits and veggies.  They are going to be delivered to a cooler on our doorstep on Wednesdays.  As I’m not quite sure what’s in this week’s box, I’m going to menu plan once I see what I’ve got.

From the CSA options I discovered earlier this season, I’ve decided to start with Ottawa Organics, as you can add lots of fruit to your order, on top of the veggies.  Stay-tuned for menu planning to pick back up on Friday.