Thursday, May 13, 2010

Food Bars, Protein Bars & Power Bars

I am not one to condone eating any of those bar products like Power Bars, Balance Bars, Zone Bars, Luna Bars, Clif Bars, MetRX bars, protein bars, no carb bars, etc.

They’re a waste of money and often contain things we shouldn’t be eating like soy protein powder, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers, preservatives.... well just suffice it to say that you might as well save yourself $2 and have a Snickers bar instead.

The list of horrifying ingredients notwithstanding, I also simply don’t agree with the concept that these bars should be used daily, as if they were real food. Or even worse, as a meal replacement! Call me old-fashioned, but I think we should be eating food for our meals, not processed chemical mulch bars sold in vitamin stores.

That being said, I wanted to let you know about this bar I discovered called the Macronutrient Bar. LOL This is not a commercial, but I do like these things and I thought it was worth mentioning that I really can’t find much wrong with them. And that’s saying a lot coming from me.

I’ve tried the Chocolate Crunch, the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, and the Coconut Granola flavors, and I know there are more varieties. They all tasted good, and the ingredients list is filled with things that I not only approve of, but encourage you to be eating.

For example, the ingredients list of the Chocolate Crunch read like a list of foods on my recommend list: (now keep in mind that the ingredients list is always listed in order of prevalence in the product, so the higher it is on the list, the more of it is present in the product, whereas the things at the end of the list can sometimes be only in scant amounts). It starts with what they call a “Superfood Blend” which is flax sprouts*, puffed quinoa*, pea fiber*, broccoli sprouts*, mesquite*, spirulina* and cinnamon*. It is sweetened with agave nectar and the chocolate chips are sweetened with barley malt and corn malt. The list also includes almond butter, sunflower seeds*, walnuts*, brown rice protein and brown rice bran. That’s it. And they taste good.

This one has 230 calories and the Coconut Granola had 300 as does the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. But this one supplies 6 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. It’s got B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K, it's got phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, selenium, calcium and omega 3s and 6s; all from natural sources.

So, if you do find yourself in between meals and don’t want to eat crap but also don’t want to go hungry, it’s good to know you have an option that is JAG approved. An endorsement not given lightly, I assure you.


You can order them by the case or individually from if you can't find them in a store near you:

*these items are organic

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Struggle with the Half Moon Pose

My mentor, Jill Miller, taught me to address "those poses we hate." Everyone has a certain yoga pose that they resist doing because it's just plain hard and seems impossibly insurmountable. So what we need to do is go after that pose. Doing all of the poses that we're already good at isn't going to provide us with as much benefit as it would to overcome whatever challenges are held in the mastery of that baneful pose.

So my Battlestar Gallactica is ARDHA CHANDRASANA, the half-moon pose.

I can get close to the pose if I turn my head to face the ground, but if I want to follow Iyengar, I should be looking upwards, and that's when I lose it. I tumble, usually backwards.

Working the Yoga Tune Up® way, I first did some preparatory exercises and other poses to open me up and stretch me out in all the right places.

But what really made my Half Moon shine was putting my heel on the fence.
I could then adjust my body in a closed chain instead of flailing around mid-air. Once I established my center and held the position for a while on both sides. I tried it again without using the fence and I found, I could finally hold my best current version of Ardha Chandrasana to date.

Still a work in progress. Enjoying the ride.