For the record, this is the level of enthusiasm I usually muster for the gym.
Some people are in it for health reasons or for the look. A much, MUCH smaller subset of people are in it for the benefits they see on a golf course. I fall somewhere in all of those categories, but also in the category of “do I have to?” and “please, no more running.”
I usually work out a couple times a week, sometimes more if my significant other manages a particularly effective judgy face. I spend most of my time running, but occasionally you’ll find me trying to look cool on some of the more specific machines. It’s fine to write about it, but it’s so much easier said than done.
My first problem is that I work in an office environment. I sit all day, fighting bad posture and an overwhelming desire to build a pillow fort on my chair. After a full work day and the commute home, all I want to do it throw myself on the couch in a similar position to the one pictured above. I have to make a conscious effort in my own time to take my health into consideration. I just struggle with motivation: getting dressed, driving to the gym, fighting for street parking…all before actually working out. It’s just so tedious when you’re already tired and hungry.
Further, I have an AWFUL diet. Pizza, White Castle, Nutella, soda…I’m not the best at saying no to my cravings. My body also craves salad pretty often, but my version of salad has fried chicken in it and enough ranch dressing to drown a cat. So it’s not as redeeming as it may sound.
Unfortunately, those two downfalls collide during the day, when idleness gives way to the munchies and I start to crave things like potato chips. I’ve been trying to work healthy snacks into the rotation – I have a box of Cheerios on my desk next to a bag of dried pineapple. Not exactly celery, but a start.
People keep telling me to grab snack bars. My significant other takes them to work – usually some oatmeal and raisin combo that looks utterly disgusting, but he has more self-control than I do. He chooses his snacks based on what’s good for him, as opposed to what’s appetizing.
On the other hand, when I walk down the snack bar aisle, I’m immediately drawn to the granola bars that are dipped in chocolate or drizzled with caramel. I found a Girl Scout cookie bar the other day and spent the next two aisles debating whether it would just be tastier to buy the actual cookies. (Spoiler: yes, it would)
Enter Nutraplex. I’ve said before that I’m not big on reviews, but I don’t mind exploring products that actually fill a void or add something to my life. When I was first introduced to the brand, it was as a “fitness bar”, which is a little scary for someone who considers running a few miles a week the peak of her fitness routine. But after a little research, I found that the bars aren’t just for fitness fanatics.
Yes, they’re sold at sporting goods stores and marketed to athletes as a nutrition bar, boasting omega-3s, protein, fiber, antioxidants and healthy ingredients like chia seeds, fruits and nuts. But ultimately, they’re just a healthy snack bar.
They come in four flavors: Megaberry, Pineapple Coconut, Pomegranate Cherry and Mango Strawberry. The people over at Nutraplex were nice enough to send me Megaberry and Pineapple Coconut to sample.
I LOVE pineapple, so that was the obvious first choice. I decided to use the bar as a post-gym snack to tide me over until dinner. I was a little weary, since my stomach can be testy on a good day, but is particularly so after a workout. Further, I was expecting another weird gel bar with a terrifying texture, so I went into it tentatively.
Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. We actually caught the moment I realized it was tasty on camera:
The texture is not what I expected – it’s definitely got a little of the gelatin thing going on, but the chia seeds give it a more reasonable feel. I finished the entire bar before I even changed out of my gym clothes.
Not only did I feel full, but I actually ate dinner almost an hour later than normal that evening. Usually, I’m eating at 7:30 on the dot, otherwise it feels like my stomach is going to turn to dust. That evening I managed to clean, shower and watch an episode of Westworld before I even noticed how late it was.
The next day, I took a couple bars to work as a snack, thinking I would dig in the moment I started feeling the onset of the munchies. I tried Megaberry around 2 pm and didn’t eat another snack (or dinner, for that matter) until almost 8 pm.
Honesty time: I was not a huge fan of the Megaberry flavor, but I think anyone who enjoys cranberries or a more tart flavor will love it. I just tend to lean more toward sweet profiles, so I’d guess the Mango Strawberry would be my ideal bar.
For those counting, the bars have 210 calories at most, with the Megaberry clocking in at 190. The sugar content is lower than most of the bars I’ve tried, topping out at 21 grams per bar. The beauty of a bar made almost entirely from fruit is that natural sugar isn’t all that worrisome, but it’s still nice to know these are on the low end.
The bars are vegetarian, non-GMO, and dairy, soy and gluten free, checking a lot of boxes for some of the more active people I have in my life. The bars are also kosher and preservative free.
I spent some time exploring the website and noticed that the majority of the imagery was aimed at active adults, but according to some of their promo materials, these bars are good for kiddos too. No reason why they shouldn’t be, but it’s worth noting that they’re great snacks for the whole family.
The last thing I looked into was the price. I put it off until right before I sat down to write this because I was positive it would turn me off of the brand. Some of the bars I’ve bought at Trader Joe’s, Mariano’s, etc. have been upward of $5 per bar and it made me want to switch back to the potato chips. Luckily, these were tucked right into the average range at $2.99 per bar.
Since I had a couple bars left over, I made a point of eating one after each workout this last week. I’m usually a lost cause after the gym – I shower, eat and pass out in front of that week’s Netflix binge. But surprisingly, I was more active after those trips, a fact I attribute to the only adjustment – the bars.
If you’re an active person (or susceptible to the munchies), Nutraplex bars are a great snack option you don’t have to feel guilty about liking. Since my audience is comprised of golfers, let me put it in those terms: these bars fit in a golf bag, can give you energy and stave off hunger during a round, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it (leaving room for plenty of guilt at the 19th hole).
You can get more specific nutritional info on their site. They’re sold there as well, but you’ll likely run into them in sporting stores, grocery stores and specialty retailers.