Pro(tein)/Con: Squarebar

Squarebar protein bar review | The Slender Student

I’ve been in a bit of a snack rut lately. For awhile I was perfectly content grabbing a protein bar in the middle of the afternoon or following a workout for a little refuel, but I’ve grown pretty tired of my usual picks. This means I’ve had to get a little more creative with my between meal bites– smoothies, fruit and yogurt, or cottage cheese + hummus and veggies. Unfortunately, time does not always permit the preparation of said dishes.

Squarebar protein bar review | The Slender Student

So when I received an email from the people at Squarebar asking if I’d like to try their product– an organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, peanut-free, corn-free, chocolate-covered protein bar– I jumped at the chance.

Depending on the flavor, the bars are about 200 calories and contain 11-12 grams of protein, 18-20 grams of carbohydrate, and 9-11 grams of fat. I wasn’t thrilled with the saturated fat content of the bar, but my usual diet is low in sat fat from other sources, so no red flag was raised for me there. Additionally, I’ll admit that the calorie count is on the higher end of what I’d usually have for a snack. However, the Squarebar philosophy is that #ingredientsmattermost, or in other words, “ingredients are a better indicator of nutritional and environmental health than nutrition facts.” I can get on board with that.

Plus, like, how is any self-respecting human going to deny themselves something that’s both covered in chocolate and full of protein?

Squarebar protein bar review | The Slender Student

Calories: 200-220
Fat: 9-11 g (Sat Fat: 6-9 g) | Carbohydrate: 18-20 g | Fiber: 2 g| Protein: 11-12 g

Cocoa coconut: this bar is soft in texture and rich in both the cocoa and coconut flavor; the taste of coconut is further enhanced by the coconut flakes throughout the bar

Cocoa almond: this bar is definitely nutty, with a subtle cinnamon flavor

Cocoa crunch: this bar is definitely my favorite flavor; it’s the most dense in texture, which really makes you slow down to eat it; there’s a deep, decadent chocolate flavor; the crunchiness makes it seem more like a candy bar than a protein bar

Squarebar protein bar review | The Slender Student

If you’re looking for a chocolate-covered way to get out of your own snack rut, the folks at Squarebar have generously offered my readers 40% off their orders by entering the discount code “theslenderstudent” at checkout. This offer expires on December 31st, so don’t procrastinate!

Health Warrior Chia Bar Review

Health Warrior Chia Bar Review | The Slender Student Earlier this summer, I was sent a box of products from Health Warrior to try out. It included a bag of white chia seeds (with which I made these patriotic parfaits) and a selection of their Chia Bars. Needless to say, I was suuuper excited to have a new snack bar to try. Since I’m on campus a lot, it’s nice to have grab-and-go options as part of my meal prep. These did not disappoint.

Health Warrior Chia Bar Review | The Slender Student

At just 100-110 calories, each of these bars satisfy in both taste and nutrition. Their unique flavors really come through without tasting at all artificial, as many bars tend to. Plus the combo chewy/crunchy texture from the chia seeds is something I always love. These little snacks offer good fat, fiber, and even a smidge of protein, so they really work to tide you over between meals without putting much of a dent in your calorie bank for the day. Not sold yet? Check this out:

The bars are all-natural, vegan, dairy- and soy-free. As the only bar on the market boasting chia seeds as its #1 ingredient, Health Warrior Chia Bars have 1000 mg Omega 3’s, 16% DV of fiber and only 5g of sugar.

Chia seeds pack a mighty punch in a small package: 1⁄4 the size of a grain of rice, pound for pound, Chia has more Omega 3 fatty acids than salmon, more fiber than oatmeal, more protein than tofu, more calcium than milk, and more magnesium than broccoli.

Health Warrior Chia Bar Review | The Slender Student

If you’re ready to become a Health Warrior yourself, see where they’re sold in your area here!

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Pro(tein)/Con: Gnu Foods Flavor & Fiber

It’s been a minute since my last Pro(tein)/Con review, mostly due to the fact that by the end of last semester, I only snacked on Oatmega 3 bars. Over the break, however, a reader named Melissa e-mailed me recommending the Gnu Foods Flavor & Fiber bar, so I thought I should give it a shot for the sake of my admittedly bored taste buds. Now, to label this bar as a “protein bar” would be a misnomer. There isn’t a significant amount of protein in these, nor does Gnu Foods make any such claims… I just can’t give up a clever series title. Sorry.

Snack bar reviews! | The Slender Student

Flavor & Fiber Chocolate Brownie Bar
 Calories: 140 | Fat: 4 g (Sat Fat: 1 g) | Carbohydrate: 30 g | Fiber: 12 g| Protein: 4 g

– where you can find it: I’ve seen these bars at Snap Kitchen and Central Market here in Austin. Check out the Gnu Foods website to see where you can pick one up in your area.

– the good: I’ve now had two flavors of Gnu bars– cinnamon raisin and chocolate brownie. The cinnamon raisin version was tasty, but a pretty tough. While that texture kept me from gobbling the bar down in about .3 seconds, it also wore my jaw out. The chocolate brownie bar, on the other hand, was soft and rich and chocolaty and didn’t taste healthy at all. There are little grains throughout that keep it chewy without making it difficult to get through. I definitely preferred the chocolate.

Nutritionally, I’m pretty impressed with this bar. Normally I look for high levels of protein to keep me full, but since I’ve been recording my intake with My Fitness Pal, I’ve noticed that my protein intake is usually too high. Most days this doesn’t concern me, but when I’m not working out, I just don’t need that extra protein. This is where the fiber comes in. Fiber is every slender student’s friend because it’ll keep ya regular and slow down your digestion without adding extra calories. Awesome. This bar also has 4 grams of unsaturated (good) fat, a parameter I’ve been trying to increase in my diet. Fat also helps keep you full, FYI. Additionally, I wasn’t scared or confused when I read through the list of ingredients, which is always a plus.

– the bad: Because you can really only find these bars at specialty stores, they’re a bit on the pricey side. If you want a dupe, try Fiber One bars. They have a little less fiber and healthy fat for the same amount of calories. They’re somewhere in between a Chewy bar and a candy bar in flavor and are easily found at any grocery store.

– repeat? Because of the price and how difficult they can be to find, I don’t think I’ll be adopting Gnu bars as my daily snack. Should I find myself becoming bored, though, I might pick one up occasionally as a special treat. I really want to try the carrot cake, espresso chip, and blondie flavor. Yurm.

Thanks again to Melissa for recommending the Gnu Foods bar! If you have any suggestions, please send them in! Also, keep submitting your nutrition/fitness/random questions AND let me know how your sorority keeps it slender!

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