STRONG & KIND Protein Bars

 

KIND 2Have you tried the new STRONG & KIND protein bars? I had the pleasure of working with KIND to assess the nutritional health benefits and breakdown of these bars, long before they were out in stores. It was fun coming across them at Trader Joe’s this week while doing my weekly grocery shopping. They were pleasantly displayed front and center at the check out register. The STRONG and KIND protein bar is very unique because it is gluten free, non-GMO (genetically modified organism), low glycemic index, high fiber and high in protein, but does not contain any whey or soy (which is the primary protein source used in many protein/snack bars on the market). You might be wondering where the protein is coming from.  Well, KIND always sticks with it’s motto of adding whole, natural ingredients that you can see and pronounce, and along with it’s natural source of protein (nuts and seeds), KIND has added a well balanced plant based pea protein.

 

Pea ProteinBenefits of pea protein:

  • Hypoallergenic: many people develop intolerances to whey or soy protein over time, resulting in a bloated, uncomfortable feeling and other stomach issues
  • High in BCAA (branched chain amino acids) which aid in muscle building, decreased body fat and increased satiety, and energy during workouts
  • 100% vegan (plant based with no added ingredients), gluten free

 

 

The STRONG and KIND protein bar  provides a bold and savory taste versus the sweet taste (coming from yogurt or dried fruit) found in other KIND bar varieties. I tasted the roasted jalapeno, and the honey smoked BBQ varieties and loved them! It is a great pre workout snack or travel nutrition (on the go) for people of all ages and gender.

 

KIND 3There are so many protein bars and snack bars on the market, which makes it very difficult for consumers to know which one to buy. The problem with many of the snack and protein bars on the market is that they are high in saturated fat, which will contribute to increased LDL (bad cholesterol) and therefore increase your risk of heart disease. Other snack bars are too high in sugar, or processed ingredients such as preservatives or fillers for longer shelf life. If a product is lower in sugar, then it is usually higher in salt (i.e. take out one poison and replace it with another).

 

The reason I love KIND is that is always stays true to it’s motto of using ingredients that are natural, that you can see and pronounce. They work hard to find a perfect blend of low sugar, low salt, high fiber and low fat (saturated fat) and include heart healthy monounsatured fats.

IMG_1472Pre-workout benefits: The STRONG and KIND protein bar will help to increase glycogen stores (i.e. stored form of glucose which is the body’s primary source of fuel). It provides one serving (15 grams) of a natural carbohydrate source which will leave you feeling light and ready for a workout, instead of leaving you feeling heavy after consuming a bar with 45 grams of carbohydrate per serving, or >5 grams of saturated fat per serving.

 

Post-workout benefits: The STRONG and KIND protein bar will help to refuel glycogen stores that were depleted during your workout. It will help to repair and rebuild lean muscle. It is also very important to consume your post workout nutrition within 30 minutes (post workout recovery window), and this bar is a convenient way to get your nutrition in quickly. Pair with a protein shake or a 1% chocolate milk to supplement sports recovery and performance.

My favorite post workout protein shake:

  • 6 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
  • ½ banana
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 1 scoop Designs for Health – Pea Protein
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds or ground flaxseeds (superfood)
  • 1 tbsp. maca powder (superfood)
  • 1-2 pitted dates
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

 

IMG_8961Snack benefits: (on the go, travel, or at the workplace): The STRONG and KIND protein bar helps the body maintain good blood sugar control and increase energy. It is a great thing to keep at the office and snack on during your afternoon “3pm slump,” while everyone else is tempted to consume the leftover donuts and sweets that were dropped off in the office kitchen. Pair your STRONG and KIND protein bar with a portable piece of fruit (i.e. apple, banana, orange, grapes, kiwi, pear, etc.). You can also bring it on your afternoon or weekend hike to keep your body nourished all the way through.

 

It is important to nourish your body throughout the day. Think of your body like an engine, it needs fuel in order to work properly. If you don’t fill up your tank (stomach), you will literally run out of gas (energy). Studies have shown that even athletes who skip meals or who wait more than 5-6 hours between meals are at risk of breaking down their lean muscle mass and increasing body fat. Therefore, timing of meals is crucial to body composition.

 

IMG_6589Making a healthy lifestyle choice doesn’t happen overnight. And lets be honest, no one likes change! Creating a habit and making it part of your daily routine takes about 1 month. I recommend to always choose simplicity when making a lifestyle behavior modification. Don’t overload yourself with too many goals that are not obtainable, because you will set yourself up for failure. Setting specific, attainable, realistic goals, and celebrating the small successes is the best way.

 

For customized meal plans or sports nutrition needs, contact Courtney Sullivan, Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer, and Founder of Nutrition for Body and Mind. Photo above is of Courtney representing KIND, and working as a KIND RD ambassador at the Natural Products Expo West in 2013.

Find me on YELP