Fairly Symmetrical

March 2005 Archives

10:14 PM by jenny: Guest Review Reviews

Hi all, this is Jenny. I had a 4 hour rehearsal Saturday over lunch, and as I was meeting with Stephen, our trainer, following it, I snagged a bar.

Name: Clif Bar
Flavor: Crunchy Peanut Butter
Weight: 68 grams
Calories: 250 cal
Effectiveness: 3.67 cal/gram
Overall: 6

First off, the first word in the title is an absolute lie. There was nothing crunchy about this bar at all. But, come to think of it, there is not much crunchy about crunchy peanut butter. It does not actually crunch. It just has larger peanut chunks in it than creamy. That could be true for this bar as well. I like things that crunch, however. And the misnomer was disappointing.

Basically, this bar tasted like a soggy Nature Valley Peanut Butter granola bar pack- a lot of peanut butter, some oaty looking things. It was very dry. It needed jelly. It wasn't chalky, one of Eric's frequent complaints, but it did make me need water very badly.

I purposefully selected one of the lower calorie bars from his stash, as I'm not needing all the extra amounts he needs. Unfortunately, though it has the amount of calories I generally spend on lunch, it is not nearly as filling in the long term. I still needed lunch when I got home a few hours later. It did prevent my medical issues from occuring (long periods not eating is not good for me at all), but so could a Luna Bar for much better taste and only 180 calories (with more folic acid).

I would like to say, however, that I have had different Clif bars on other occasions (having run a half marathon) and those were pretty yummy. I think I'm just a peanut butter connoisseur and this did not meet my exacting standards.

04:43 PM by Eric: Power Bars: Promax Reviews

Next in my series of Power Bar Reviews...

Name: Promax
Flavor: Black Forest Cake (with real cherries!)
Weight: 75g (2.64oz)
Calories: 290
Effectiveness: 3.86 cal/g (109.85 cal/oz)
Overall: 6

First thoughts: Well, the promax definitely has a hint of the same gritty/chalky texture as the other power bars I've had so far, but really only a hint (or maybe I'm getting used to it... heaven forfend).

The packaging claims there are real cherries in there, and I actually believe it. There appear to be actual chunks of actual cherries embedded in the bar. That's a plus, since the biggest problems with power bars (in my rapidly-less-uninformed opinion) is that they're dry as a bone, and the cherries help with that.

The bar does have both chocolate and cherry flavors, but I don't know if I'd actually grant the full "Black Forest" moniker. "Dark Grey Copse" maybe. Still, not a bad effort, and thus far my favorite bar. They have several more flavors so I might give those a try when the current supply runs out. :)

Nutritionally this is not bad; not quite 450 calories, but it's not as large either, so ounce for ounce it almost keeps up with the Peanut Butter Rage. All of the other nutritional numbers are middle of the road (10-30% DV on most things), so this seems like a safe bet.


Flavor: Double Fudge Brownie
Weight: 75g (2.64oz)
Calories: 290
Effectiveness: 3.87 cal/g (109.85 cal/oz)
Overall: 9

It's hard to really screw up chocolate. I mean, some kinds of chocolate are clearly better than other kinds, but chocolate in general is pretty foolproof. Peanut butter can go awry. Even caramel isn't immune to the Power Bar Curse. But chocolate, chocolate is different, even in the topsy-turvy world of power bars.

Double Fudge Brownie? Yes please. :) While this bar suffers to an extent from the "way too dry" problem, it's certainly acceptably tasty, with no weird ingredients or surprises. A solid recommendation. The only gripe I have is that this power bar is good enough that it's hard to find anything amusing to say about it. So sad.

Edit: I forgot to fill in the links. They're fixed now. :-p

10:18 PM by Eric: Power Bars: Peanut Butter Rage Reviews

First in my series of Power Bar Reviews...

Name: Peanut Butter Rage
Flavor: Chocolate Fudge
Weight: 110g (3.9oz)
Calories: 450
Effectiveness: 4.1 cal/g (115 cal/oz)
Overall rating: 3

First of all, how can you not laugh yourself silly at the name? Peanut Butter Rage? What, like a jar of Jif got really angry and ... made a power bar? It just doesn't make any sense!

This is a "chocolate" (we'll get to that in a moment) protein bar wrapped in "Peanut butter". The peanut butter is approximately the same consistency and quality as the generic peanut butter crackers you can buy out of any vending machine, and is really quite inoffensive.

The chocolate bar, on the other hand, is a dense lump of extremely dry, untasty protein-stuff. Each bite must be chewed for at least 30 seconds before even attempting to swallow it, or else you risk serious esophagal damage (or worse, the fear that the lump you just swallowed will prove indigestible and will just sit there in malevolent lumpiness until you die, and the medical examiner discovers it). The worst part is that the peanut butter coating means that even after swallowing, you have chunks of the stuff stuck to your teeth, the roof of your mouth, etc, which means a long-lasting, icky aftertaste.

Nutritionally the thing is a caloric thermonuclear bomb -- 450 calories is the highest I've seen in a single bar yet (at least without the bar being a half-pound triple decker monster, which is cheating). It also comes loaded with 190% of your daily recommended value of Vitamin C, which is actually kind of scary. What the heck is so much Vitamin C doing in a chocolate bar?

It didn't make me want to vomit, though, which is a step in the right direction, so it ends up at a 3. If your approach to power bars is "pack in the calories so I don't have to eat as many of these things" this guy is right up your alley.

04:26 PM by Eric: Power Bars Ahoy Personal | Reviews

For those of you who don't know (which is probably everyone), the personal trainer Jen and I consulted with has told me I need to add calories to my day (this will not come as a shock to anyone who knows me) and add about 12 pounds. To this end I have been advised to eat breakfast as well as some sort of mid-day (and mid-evening, if I can manage it) snack.

Jenny has taken to this idea with great relish. We have had several shopping excursions where we go down the entire power bar aisle looking for the bars with the most calories. We then pile varieties of these bars into a shopping cart, and I go home and eat 1-2 a day in addition to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an apple.

Since I have to eat these (so far mostly) godawful power bars, I figure someone might as well get some entertainment (or would that be infotainment?) from my experiences, so I'll be reviewing each bar as I try them. All scores are on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being "Oh my god I can't believe I put that in my mouth" and 10 being "Fill up the shopping cart tasty". Different flavors of the same bar will be added to the original bar review, so check back often for updates! And may god have mercy on my soultastebuds.

The Reviews:
Peanut Butter Rage
Clif Bar

09:30 PM by Eric: Angry Bed Positions Current Fruit
10:22 PM by Eric: My dogs are barkin' Personal

I have no idea where that phrase comes from, but it makes me giggle, so I've been using it lately. Also variations on it: my wolves are howlin', my cats are meowin', my guinea pigs are whistlin'. :) So I'm easily amused. :)

For those of you who don't know, I started a new job Tuesday, working for a company that does association (membership management, fundraising, etc) software that's used by non-profits and other associations. It's a larger company than my last job (if still several orders of magnitude smaller than Boeing), so more structured and better benefits. And no travel. On the down side, I'm back in VB6 land for the moment (ack), but at some point I should get to live in C# world again. I hope. <overdramatic>Every time I load the VB6 IDE I die a little inside.</overdramatic> At least I found an add-in that enables mousewheel support in the VB6 IDE... that was a serious failing. :)

Jenny and I joined a gym this weekend. It was exhausting, but good.

In home news, we finished the office: new floor, new paint, new curtains, and new office chairs. It looks remarkably nice in here. Except for the stack of books that have nowhere to live for the moment. We actually entered all of our books into a spreadsheet while we were reloading the shelves. Yes, we are major geeks--but at least we'll know what we already have next time we raid a library booksale. :) We got some new living room furniture this week... it's very large. Also it's covered in Teflon, which I feel is really the killer app for furniture. I mean, who doesn't want a couch that can't be punctured, can't be stained, and to which pet hair refuses to adhere? Also, if there is ever a shootout in our house I am totally hiding behind the loveseat.

I feel like I have a lot of things to talk about, but not really anything to say. Work is much better, free time is good, exercise is good, and my whales are singin'. ;)

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This page was last updated Sun 23 September 2007 at 08:46 AM CDT