Sunday, September 02, 2007

Unsolicited product endorsement o' the week

True confession time. I have always enjoyed working out. Playing basketball, lifting weights, aerobic training and sparring have been staples for over twenty years. With age, of course, comes many compromises. Injuries may limit physical capability, but the desire to push myself has thankfully never dissipated.

The most important part of staying fit, though, is diet. You can work out like Lance Armstrong, but if you eat fifteen Big Macs a day, you'll look and feel like Michael Moore. For over a decade, I've been very careful with my diet (okay, my wife says I'm "nuckin' futs" and that I "have an eating disorder"). Basic rules: no dairy (cheese or otherwise) and no red meat; plenty of salmon, egg whites, veggies and fruit. Okay, maybe I am a little off-kilter. But I feel good, still work out hard, and have a lot of energy for work and hobbies.

Truth be told, it's often difficult to find healthy food while on the go. If a lunch meeting includes pizza or a catered dinner only offers roast beef, I'm out of luck. That's why I've usually kept a stash of power bars (or their equivalents) around - a quick meal that's relatively healthy and won't bust the nutritional balance.

I was at the grocery store a few weeks ago and spotted a new brand of bar. Called Organic Food Bars, they claim to be:

...the only line of organic food bars rich in phyto-nutrient dense sprouts and superfoods in a base of easy digestible, alkaline-forming vegetable protein for muscle and organ building, essential fats to promote a healthy cardiovascular and hormonal system, and complex carbohydrates for long lasting energy - without the 'crash' of most bars high in refined sugars...

All of our ingredients are certified organic, kosher and purchased as fresh as possible since we receive fresh ingredients every month. Unlike most companies we make our own Organic Food Bars "with lots of love" in house. Fresh product made on a weekly basis gives our customers fresh highest quality finished product possible. Our ingredients are mixed, blended, packaged and stored at room temperature to preserve the natural qualities and enzyme activity of the ingredients...

Our Organic Food Bars are sweetened only with whole-food sweeteners, including organic dates, organic raisins, organic honey, and low Glyecemic Index organic agave nectar to keep your blood sugar levels stable... The Organic Food Bars follow the high Austrian Organic Certification Standards. They are the only USDA Certified Organic, non-dairy Certified Kosher, and Certified Vegan bars in the world... [all suppliers] are independently certified organic by both USDA and EU standards in their country of origin...

No soy and no peanuts, for those with allergies; and lots of choices, including a vegan bar. Even a high protein (22g) bar.

So I bought a bunch of different Organic bars and began real-world testing. Review:

Five Almonds: Incredibly f---ing good (substitute the work "freaking" if you're easily offended). Not covered with refined sugar and other unhealthy crap like typical protein bars. Not coated with saturated fat nor slathered with caramel.

If you're looking for a healthy snack or quick meal replacement, I'd highly recommend Organics. Now that they've hit upon a successful formula, my recommendation to Organic is not to f--- it up. Don't slap the label on Snickers-clones like other food makers out there. Don't try to make every food on the planet. Concentrate on real organic food, and you'll have at least one customer for life.

Remember, try Organic. They're f---ing good! Hmmm - I wonder if they're going to steal that phrase as their tag line?

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