gRUNola bar - product review

100% whole grain
Designed with the active person in mind, gRUNola is carefully formulated with teff, chia and quinoa to provide energy and nutrition without artificial ingredients and preservatives. 

With a little planning and a lot of passion for real food, I know that nothing made in a factory will be as good for my body as real food. If I am in the grocery store, in need of healthy snacks, mother earth has me covered for she has a delicious selection of seasonal fruits for me to choose from, all year long. 
I'd like to think that any food product manufacture that promotes a "healthy" product would not disagree that nothing beats real food.

But my diet does not include an off-limit food list for there are foods I emphasize on a daily basis and other foods that are consumed under specific circumstances. 

And that's why I want to talk about bars. 

It's interesting to hear people talk about nutrition for there's a long list of reasons not to eat something and then another list of reasons as to why to eat something. But in a society that has experts and gurus giving a reason (or excuse) for almost every food in the diet, I believe that we should consider the special circumstances for choosing foods, like bars, that may not be consumed on a daily basis but may still have their place in a heart-healthy diet. 

Certainly, you do not have to be an expert to know that some bars are a bit more healthy than others...


Here are a few bars that I recommend to my athletes and fitness enthusiasts when they need a bar under specific circumstances.

(if during training - I have my athletes get 90-100%% of their calorie needs from a carb/electrolyte beverage like INFINIT nutrition and then if they need a tummy satisfier, 30-50 calories/hr from a carb-rich bar, from a reputable bar company. I do not personally use any solid foods during training/racing for any distance.)

(I recommend the following bars for situations such as traveling, meetings, errands, in your car or "just in case." I do not recommend substituting real food for a bar so whenever possible, combine a bar w/ real food OR be sure to compliment your bar with real food when possible. I never travel without a few bars with me in the car/plane.)

There are many other great bars out there but these are a few of the most common bars that you can find at the grocery store (or local bike/tri/run shop). Most natural food stores have a variety of wholesome bars with real ingredients if you choose to buy a bar, instead of making your own. 

Not too long ago, I received a nice email from Karen Simmonds-Brady, founder of gRUNola. 

She asked if I would like to try her bars in exchange for feedback and did not ask for anything in return like a blog post, to pay me or promotion on social media.

The information I share with you via this blog or social media is because I want to be consistent with the information that I give you. Therefore, I do not believe in bashing companies if I try something (or receive something) that I do not feel would benefit other athletes or fitness enthusiasts (and I have turned down plenty over the past few years). However, I also do not want to only promote what works for me for I have worked with dozens and dozens of athletes and fitness enthusiasts and every body is different. I am happy to share what I love and use/eat but it doesn't always mean it will work for you. So to discover what works best for you, let's work together so I can treat you like the individual that you are. 

So, after trying the bars, both Karel and myself really liked them and when I like something, I love to talk about it. I am always proud to support products, food, gear and equipment that I use and believe in and I welcome any questions via email or for us to work together: Contact @ marni@trimarnicoach.com.

At a recent sport nutrition talk of mine at the Open Road Bicycles store for the monthly Hammerhead tri club meeting, I provided samples of the bars for the audience. 

Happy tummies always listen well when I talk. 

It's really great to see Karen living out her dream with her small business and I am proud to help her support her bars and I encourage you to also help her support her business by purchasing one of her delicious bar varieties to help nourish and fuel your body. 

But most of all, as a sport and clinical dietitian, it makes me really happy to see a bar on the market that uses quality, natural, wholesome and safe ingredients to keep the human body healthy and fueled and that is why I am very happy to share this bar with you.

Unlike other grain-based bars on the market, Karen's bars are made with Teff, which is a staple carbohydrate for elite Ethiopian runners for decades.  Not only is Teff rich in amino acids and protein as well as fiber and complex carbs, it is filled with vitamins and minerals. 

The bars also contain chia and quinoa. Talk about a fiber and protein-rich combo!

It's a nice sweet treat to see that the bars are sweetened with unrefined sugars and that the dark chocolate and they have 72% dark chocolate in the dark chocolate peanut butter and dark chocolate coconut bars. 
If you are unaware of the difference between cacao and cocoa, here's a local TV segment that I did:
Eat, drink and be merry 

Each bar has 200 calories, 8g fat, 27g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 9g sugars and 5g protein and provides 8% iron and 4% calcium in a 2000 calorie diet so this would make for a suitable snack if real food is not available OR you are seeking a healthy way to add in more grains into your diet, especially in the case of traveling or when food options are out of your control. 

The varieties are:
Dark chocolate coconut
Mixed berry (Karel's fav)

For more information and to order:
you can visit the WEBSITE.