Oh hey there! Long time no post, marathon season is in full swing, meaning my life is complete chaos most days. You would think by the seventh year of this I would come to the realization the months of September, October, and November are a blur, filled with bibs, runners, little sleep, and constant panic.
Yes, marathon season.
No, not at all what you think it is.
Sorry to disappoint, I will not be running 26.2 miles anytime soon. I retired from running a few years ago, and by retired, I mean, my body said ” you’re done, pack it up.” I have a feeling I will eventually get back into it. Keyword, eventually. For now, CrossFit and hiking will do.
MARINE CORP MARATHON
The company I work for is heavily involved in the endurance space, through my job, I have the opportunity to work closely with race directors from all over the world. I get a unique experience and a different perspective on what goes on behind the scenes of the endurance events some of you adore so much. These race directors and their teams are some of the hardest working, most passionate people I know.
This past weekend, my co-worker and I were at Marine Corp Marathon in Washington DC. Not only was I thankful to be at an amazing event, year three in the books. My co-worker is also one of my best friends, so spending a few days stuck in a room with her was just what we needed.
Our marathon weekend involves ZERO running. Instead, we sit for hours, with limited personal time and space, we eat cake, cookies, and chocolate for breakfast, and exorbitant amount of bars.
Healthy food is scarce at these things ya’ll. Shocking, I know.
You can only eat so many protein bars until your stomach absolutely hates you.
So while I love and promote eating wholesome, fresh food, sometimes that isn’t realistic. Travel, lack of planning, family, work, so many factors can contribute to the need for a substitute. Welcome, bars, there is a bar for every occasion, most have clean ingredients, and make for the perfect fill in when food is scarce. Just don’t do what we did and eat bars as complete meal replacements for every meal. Your stomach will thank you.
I’ve experimented with many bars over the years, I’ve been in the endurance space long enough to live off samples at expos all day, awful idea. One bar I haven’t included but still love dearly is Lara bars, a great snack to hold you over, lower in protein but perfect for that afternoon pick me up. You will know every single ingredient in them which is a huge win.
Perfect Bars– The only bar I would eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if it was acceptable. These bars are seriously the best. You can find them in the refrigerated section at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Target, Amazon, and Costco. Yes, COSTCO! Bulk Perfect Bars = glorious.
I recently discovered, these bars can go unrefrigerated for a week without losing consistency or freshness. We had to make sure they were expo acceptable since we would be traveling for a few days. Only issues, trying not to eat them all the first day.
Macro Info: These bars are higher in fat, with a decent amount of protein. Recommend eating hours before or after a workout. Save the other bars for pre-workout or post workout snacks.
RX Bars – These are a staple in our home. RX bars are super versatile , great for pre-workout, post workout, emergency hangry food. You can find them in most grocery stores now or order them for the same price on Amazon!
Luna Bars – First time trying the Luna protein bar. Taste is great, good amount of protein per bar, easy to eat. Only downfall I see is the amount of sugar per bar. If you are using them for endurance or you are extremely active, a great choice. Made by Clif Bar.
Epic Bars – Perfect when you need a higher protein snack. The chicken Sriracha has 15 grams of protein, served with a spicy kick. I also love the bison and venison. You can find these in Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Target, or order in bulk on Amazon, we go through them quickly.
Macro Info: Higher protein, low carb, most are low in fat. Great source of straight protein. Perfect for an afternoon or mid morning snack.
Clif Bar – The OG of the bar world. I’m pretty sure even people who don’t know what bars are know what a Clif bar is. I listened to the podcast, How I built this with the founder of Clif Bar, great story. The podcast is also really fascinating. Clif Bar makes a nut butter filled bar, they were at expo and I’ve seen them advertised more recently. Nut Butter, enough said.
And, pumpkin spice, you can still maintain that basic status this fall.
Macro Info:These bars are better for endurance events, hiking, or if you need something dense to last a few hours before your next meal. Usually higher in carb, lower in protein.