The two questions I get asked most frequently about food revolve around my favorite nutrition bars and protein powders. I’ll save protein powder for another day because it deserves its own post. For now, let’s hit the bars.

I should start off by saying that protein and nutrition bars are a highly personal thing and that what is right for me might not be what suits your needs and dietary restrictions. I’ve done my best to highlight a variety of different bars that are designed for different purposes. It should also be noted that contrary what I thought in college, protein and nutrition bars do not make a suitable ‘real food’ meal on a regular basis. They do a great job at filling in the holes on a busy day, during exercise, as a snack or while traveling. However, it’s my belief that eating bars should never take the place of salads, smoothies, fruit, whole grains and other wholesome ingredients.

#1: Larabar
Nutritional highlights (banana bread flavor): 13% DV of potassium, 5 g fiber, 6 g protein

Why I love them: These are by far my favorite bar of the bunch. I first discovered them in college and was drawn to them because of their short ingredient list, which is rare for a bar. The banana bread variety only contains three ingredients: dates, almonds and bananas. Doesn’t get more transparent than that!

Favorite Flavors: Banana Bread, Cashew Cookie, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Coconut Cream Pie, Peanut Butter Cookie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

#2: Cliff Bar 
Nutritional highlights: 10 g protein, 23 vitamins and minerals, high in fiber, vegan, 70% organic

Why I love them: I’m a big fan of the protein in Cliff Bars, and while the ingredient list is longer than that of a Lara Bar, I can pronounce everything in them. They are a great choice for before or after a tough workout because they provide a big boost of carb-filled energy. They come in a large variety of flavors, all of which taste delicious.

Favorite Flavors: Carrot Cake, Crunchy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Peanut

Nutritional highlights: 10 g protein, 3-4 g protein, gluten-free, good source of fiber
Why I love them: Unlike many nut-based bars, these babies contain 70% less sugar than traditional varieties, which I appreciate. They also have plenty of protein to keep me full throughout the afternoon and come in around 200 calories each, a reasonable calorie count for my afternoon snack. I guess it goes without saying that these taste great. They really do.
Favorite flavors: thinkThin Mixed Nuts Crunch Bar and thinkThin Chocolate Dipped Mixed Nuts

Giveaway time! The amazing people at Larabar sent over some samples for me to try and a set of Larabar flavors for you to try, too! Flavors include Carrot Cake, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Coconut Cream Pie and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.


To enter, leave a comment below telling me what protein/nutrition bars are your favorites by Wednesday, June 9 at 10 p.m. I’ll announce a winner on Thursday!


Madison

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16015419039380431528 Mariah

    I really like Luna Bars–they're big, but not calorie-dense (around 180), come in a variety of flavors, and have iron and folic acid and other lady-nutrients.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11990894748931845144 Chelsy Ethridge

    My faves are the mini-sized Lara Bars for a quick snack, usually the coconut cream pie, cashew nut, apple pie, or peanut butter cookie. I also love love love Be Kind Bars, especially the blueberry almond flavor! Sooooo yummy!

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, I have never tried a Lara Bar. Of the other brands I have tried I always stick with peanut butter. I have yet to find a bar I like though and just haven't made it to Lara bars yet!

  • Molly

    I enjoy Kind bars as well as Luna bars. I always enjoy making my own bars too.

  • Anonymous

    PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP LARA BARS! Love your blog! Just started reading it :) roxiehankins@hotmail.com

  • http://keepitsweetblog.com Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    Love this! I really like KIND+ bars because they have a fairly short and understandable ingredient list and a good amount of fiber and protein.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16175030912573160999 Beth

    Larabars are a favorite of mine b/c of the few ingredients they contain. I also love a kashi bar on occasion too!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06406458188627082042 Kim

    I really like LunaBars & the clif bars for kids, but I recently started trying Lara Bars and I'm liking 'em!

  • Erin Y

    I also love clif bars– especially when I serve! I can eat them quickly and have energy for my shift at work! :)

  • http://sunnyseedstories.tumblr.com/ Lisa

    Clif, Luna, and Kashi granola bars. But I love bars in general!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11238846717220329716 Jenny

    I'm a fan of Pure Protein bars…the peanut butter flavor. Not as natural but it packs a punch without too much sugar.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16407715408242911362 BP

    Haha, I like the sugary kind, more like snack bars than health bars! ;D Those flavors sound delish! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01025616113625172187 Jessica

    I actually don't have a favorite protein bar, because I never know which ones to try! I have been wanting to try the Lara Bars though since seeing a promo for them on The Biggest Loser.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05744345314687643699 stephreyn85

    I love Chocolate Raspberry Balance bars, its secretly like eating a candy bar :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01330411897215291190 Amanda

    My favorite bars are clif bars, but lately I've been making my own homemade bars to save $$. I've actually never tried Larabars but would love to try them!

  • http://sugarfooteats.com/ sugarfooteats.com

    Cherry Pie Larabars are my fave! I also really like Kind bars

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06183913265070385492 Emily Hunt

    Lara Bars are my favorite, but I also really love Luna Bars too.

  • Anonymous

    Larabars are my favorite! :)
    Meggs♥
    urbakinmecrazyy@aol.com
    urbakinmecrazyy.blogspot.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03438122594639901635 AHE

    Larabars are my favorite! As a new “plant based dieter” I find myself always with a stash. You have to try the key lime, amazing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14194815440194123998 CupcakesOMG!

    I like Larabars for the exact same reasons!! they fit in pretty well with my paleo diet.

    i used to eat Luna bars all the time too, but I find they have too much unnatural sugar now.

    http://www.cupcakesomg.blogspot.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07297768246663981574 Debbie B.

    Larabars! :)

  • Anonymous

    love larabars!

  • Anonymous

    Larabars are my favorite due to the limited ingredients and because they're compatible with a Primal eating plan.

    Iron Girl bars by Powerbar are my second favorite due to pronounceable ingredients and they're lower in calories than most energy/protein bars out there.

    Mona M.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07238058457587933248 Urban Wife

    Confession: I have yet to try Larabars! Crazy, I know. The bars I like most right now are Luna but I'm sure I would love Larabars when I get a chance to try them. :)

  • http://loglunch.blogspot.com Laura S

    Larabars are great… I'm also intrigued by thinkthin, since I'm gluten free and need low sugar.

  • http://barrysbites.wordpress.com/ barrysbites

    I don't really have a favorite, but I'd love to try some.

  • Katie C

    I love Parrillo Graham Cracker Energy Bars. Never tried Larabars, but the flavors sound yummy:)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15362591216971587088 Happy.Healthy.Sweet

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15362591216971587088 Happy.Healthy.Sweet

    I am an avid Larabar eater for so many reasons! People continuously ask me what a good mid-morning snack would be and I always suggest a Larabar! Full of flavor and contain all the necessary ingredients for an energy boost!! My favorite flavor is the chocolate chip cookie dough; when I have a sweet craving I immediately snack on this nutritious bar and it's satisfied. I would be estatic to try the new flavors and pass my review onto my friends, good or bad!

  • Brandy

    Well lets see I have had one lurabar which was delicious, I had one think thin bar which was also nice and one clif bar with was okay as well. But I must say the larabar was my favorite and I would love to try other flavors please!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15959451809024382109 Sara

    I like the simplicity of ingredients in the Lara bars. I Los like Be Kind bars.

  • Brindi

    I eat bars to get a little extra fiber and protein into my diet. So recently I've been enjoying Fiber One bars and Zone bars. But I feel these have way to much sugar and feel at times they're more like a candy bar. Not. Good. I've been excited to try all 3 of the bars you've mentioned because everyone keep raving about them. (and I love ANYTHING with peanut butter!) but I've hear the LaraBars are the best!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18191367329555391317 Sarah

    Definitely Larabars, especially the cashew cookie one. And I also love your recipe for homemade Lara Bars!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13644588588023623372 Kelly

    Larabars are by far my favorite, but I have been known to use Clif Crunch bars before a workout.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15631174584021250627 Cassie

    Hey Madison! I really like key lime pie Larabars…and what draws me to them are the few ingredients on the label as well :) I also enjoy carrot cake flavor and ginger snap. They taste exactly what they “claim” to be withought ruining your diet.

  • Jennifer

    My favorite are your recipe for homemade Larabars!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10902911795725142985 Stephanie

    I absolutely love Larabars…I don't think I've had a bad flavor yet!

  • Jenny

    Ginger Snap/Cherry Pie Larabars and Oatmeal Crisp/Carrot Cake Clif Bars. I don't know how I would survive without them!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01626895793224539796 Rachel

    I'm currently liking Supreme protein bars, because of the protein without the sugar. But not a fan of all the chemical additives. So I'm on the lookout for a new one! I haven't tried lara bars yet. Been making my own at home.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13830938432043057496 Cindy @The Flipping Couple

    My two favorites are definitely Larabars and Clif bars. Any of the flavors that include chocolate are a winner in my book. : ) I keep telling myself to branch out and try some of the other flavors but it's hard when the chocolate are oh-so-good!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02820001783545167859 Micah

    I haven't had a chance to try Larabars yet (haven't really found them in my area), but I really like the Clif Bars. I take them on roadtrips and keep a few in my desk for days when I need a snack to get me through the day.

  • Neena

    I love Larabars, but I always have a secret hankering for Balance Bars. They have a ridiculously unpronounceable ingredients list, but I find them to be strangely addictive as a once-in-a-while treat.

  • Hanna

    I love Larabars too!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02262146711859794442 Jenny Hill

    I honestly do not have a favourite – I have had a few Cliff bars, but never had a Larabar – I would love to try them though!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16667211370565584993 erin

    Larabars are my FAVORITE! i, too, was drawn to them by their short ingredient list. i like to know what's in the things i eat. plus, the only sugar is what's in the fruit, which is key for me. plus, they're SO YUMMY.
    my husband's more of a Clif bar guy, but once i found Larabars there was no going back for me. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08409356018392717224 Always dreaming

    When I can afford them I really like YouBars…you can create your own type of protein/energy bar. Picj your ingredients and such! I LOVE IT because when i try to make granola bars at home they sometimes dont turn out that great :) Other times I really enjoy Kashi's bars :) tasty and good for you :)!!!!!!!!!!MMMMMMMMmmmm

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00475271710781560512 Michelle

    I love Larabars!

  • Anonymous

    My Fav is definitely the Lara bars. Yum… My Favorite flavor is cashew cookie. I crave them. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07223840964487999435 Cara

    Perhaps the nice people at Larabar would consider shipping a box to a really cool American girl in Germany who can't buy them. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04793504106868511623 Roxy

    I love Larabar's! They are very affordable and I am able to eat two different flavors. My fav would have to be Apple cinnamon…

  • http://helennaturally.wordpress.com helen

    I am a Larabar and Cliff bar type of girl. Although I have to admit that I buy the cliff bar's more frequently because they are cheaper!

  • Jac

    Obsessed with Larabar's short ingredient list – Lemon is the best. YUM.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03060670483925845193 cheercfa07

    Larabars are my favorite too! I like the cookie dough and PB & J flavors!

    –Meagan

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03581309107289743257 Kerrie

    I love Kerrie Bars. They include peanut butter, honey, dry oats, and whatever nuts/fruit you want to add! Coming to grocery store shelves soon… actually, probably never. :)

  • Diane

    I must say ProBars are quite fantastic…it's like eating pure (but tasty) earth… though the chocolate/dates of Larabars are favorites!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00996612641530286107 Carissa

    I love larabars and soyjoy bars! Those are my absolute favs :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08285657654963472256 AAnderson

    I like fiber one bars…I know, I know-fiber! I also like Luna bars, and Cliff bars but haven’t every tried Larabars!

  • Krisla

    I like Special K protein bars!

  • http://pjmort.gmail.com Peggy M

    I like the Larabars too. My goal is to find ways to reduce the “bad” sugars and this bar is one that comes the closet to meeting that. I like Cliff bars as well.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15086431077677223046 Natalie Clark

    Best protein bar EVER is Lenny Larry's Muscle Brownie!! Unfortunately, I could only find them when I lived in Waco, so I am now obsessed with Supreme Protein bars!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04563786127702672480 Rebecca

    I've actually only tried Larabars whenever I went to Costco and they happened to be sampling them. I guess I must like them, because I always take seconds!

  • Brittny

    Larabars are for sure my favorite too! Tomorrow I am attempting to recreate them in my kitchen!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11863427572750525283 Natalie

    oooh made it just in time! that prize package is to die for…i only recently discovered larabars and i can't get enough! my other favorite bar? anything homemade!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00334347021185557404 Sonnet

    Wow, we have the same favorite bars! Larabars are super tasty for breakfast, but I love cliff bars as an afternoon snack/treat. Love the blog, :)

  • http://peanutbutterandginger.wordpress.com/ peanutbutterandginger

    I LOVE larabars! They're so tasty and their coconut cream pie flavor is amazing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03647517103126905687 Nikki

    Actually I have never tried them. But being someone that has had weightless surgery, I am always looking for in-between meals to increase my protein intake.
    I just found this giveaway and hoping the 10 pm deadline is PST lol

  • http://ummadison.tumblr.com Madison

    I like Cliff bars, but they are a bit more expensive so I settle for Special K and Chew bars.