44. Energy Bars

:i'm about the size of a large dog:

:i'm about the size of a large dog:

I have a problem that gets no sympathy from anyone.

If I don’t watch what I eat, I lose too much weight. Once I dropped down to 90 bony pounds – and I don’t want to repeat that scary skeletal moment again. Not only did I lose my fantastic ass, I had to start shopping in the kid’s section. It’s already hard enough to find clothes that fit – I don’t need the added hurdles. So, I have to trick myself into eating enough, every day. It’s really hard.

One strategy is sneaking calories into my diet. If I eat a sandwich, I drink a soda with it, instead of water. One hundred calories then work their way into my body that, otherwise, wouldn’t have made it. Instead of brewed coffee, I’ve switched to drinking cappuccinos – for the milk. And if my cappuccino is too hot, I add heavy cream. If I’m hungry, then I take advantage of it. Don’t just eat some cereal, Eliza! Drink a milkshake!

Perhaps my best strategy is to trick myself into eating. I find things that I can wolf down before I have the chance to realize that I’m eating.

The two pinnacles of this strategy are Ensure shakes and protein bars. However, Ensure shakes are not rectangular, and they’re kinda heavy to carry around in my purse. And also, they’re not rectangles. I try to live only by rectangles.

:yummy, but not a rectangle:

:yummy, but not a rectangle:

So this brings us to the energy bar. I’ve spent a lot of time testing the products. There are a few Important Factors that I consider in deciding which bars pass the test:

1. Taste

2. Texture

3. Speed of Consumption

4. Number of Calories

There are two bars that I immediately dismissed.

First, the Luna bar.

:nasty, no matter how much fake caramel they add:

:nasty, no matter how much fake caramel they add:

That shit is really disgusting. Don’t fuck with it. I  mean it. It’s really, really gross. It fails Important Factor Number One. So I must dismiss it immediately.

The same goes for the Clif bar:



It tastes and feels like birdseed, failing Important Factors One and Two. I am not a bird, I am a human being – and I would like to eat food that feels kinda like human food.

Once I got past these travesties, I learned something important. I like to call it

Rule Number One of the Energy Bar:

Always go with peanut butter. Peanut butter flavoring tends to cover up any gross protein-related additions.

Once I learned to follow this rule, I started to explore three varieties of energy bar.

First – the Peanut Butter Balance Bar.

:don't order the boxes:

:don't order the boxes:

I used to eat these when I went to wrestling tournaments. They are a good, high protein, fairly tasty choice. They offer 200 quick calories. I support this option. I was ultimately forced to give it up for a highly personal reason. I started to order these bars by the box online. Unfortunately, in the shipping process, these bars tend to melt, reform, and end up tasting like shit. I ate too many of these babies (reformed and not) and I can no longer stomach them.

Let’s move onto the Peanut Butter PowerBar.

:lil bit sticky:

:lil bit sticky:

This option is not too bad. Sometimes it fails Important Factor Number Two – texture. And the caloric level is not at optimum height, at 240 calories a bar. But it is fairly easy to scarf down, even though it looks a little bit like a large, yellowish bar of shit.

Finally, I found the perfect solution – a bar that satisfies all four Important Factors.

The Chocolate Peanut Butter PowerBar Protein Plus.

:oh, it's so good:

:oh, it's so good:

This baby not only clocks in at 300 calories a bar, but the texture is perfect. It’s kinda fluffy, kinda sticky – almost taffy-like. Very satisfying. It tastes almost – well – pleasant. And, for all these reasons, it offers a very efficient speed of consumption. What a perfect solution!

And all in that magical, rectangular form.

October 19, 2009. Food, Rectangles.


  1. gourmetrd replied:

    My sister has the same problem, you’re not alone. Check out Larabars, minimal ingredients, whole food, yummy flavors for enjoyable nutrient-dense boost. No crap, only good stuff. Oh, and totally rectangular.

  2. Eliza H. replied:

    Thanks for the rec(commendation)tangle

    And support.

  3. Daniel replied:

    woah woah woah why is this post in Helvetica on a blog clearly dedicated to Verdana? Although, I have to say, Helvetica IS more rectangular.

    • Eliza H replied:

      I didn’t know how to change it.

  4. Jenny replied:

    love this post because I feel you. Well, felt you. I’m up like a ton of weight and still counting. and I’ve got an ass back. with a vengeance.

    • Eliza H replied:

      Yay! You look beautiful in your FB photos. The weight looks so good. I miss you and I love you – let me know next time you’re in Bmore.

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