The Grocery Score

I’m a creature of habit. This is no joke. I have two breakfasts that I eat. I drink two cups of coffee each morning. I set my alarm for the same time every morning. We go to First Watch every Sunday. I run every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and strength train on the off days. And before my long runs, I eat a South Beach Living High Protein Cinnamon Raisin Bar

… At least, I did.

… Until they were discontinued in all the grocery stores in the Kansas City area.

After realizing that I’d eaten my last South Beach bar, and being unable to find a place to replenish my stock, I tried to find a replacement. I’m very picky when it comes to protein & granola bars…

a) I can’t stand the texture of most protein bars. That rubbery, unnatural “food” sits on my stomach in as just a rubbery and unnatural way when I hit the pavement.


b) Most protein bars have just as much sugar as a candy bar.


c) Most protein bars are 200+ calories… which just seems like a lot for a pre-exercise snack.


d) Lower-calorie granola bars often have only 2-3g of protein… not enough to keep me goin’ through a longer 6-10 miler.

The fabulous thing about South Beach bars was that they were none of these things. They had a granola-y texture, just 8g of sugar, only 130 calories, and 9g of protein. AND they were so easy on my stomach that I could literally eat one on my way out the door on a run. FABULOUS!

I tried Snickers Marathon Energy bars (the dark chocolate has 11g of protein, 9g of sugar, and 150 calories). They were… fine. However, they fell under category A as listed above, and with that extra gram of sugar were floating closer to category B as well.

I tried 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter on half of an english muffin. But that ranked in at only about 4g of protein. I could have upped the peanut butter, but PB is so calorie-laden, and it requires more pre-run digestion time. It just wasn’t working for me.

A piece of fruit just didn’t do the trick since it has a negligible amount of protein.

Anyway, as you can tell from the length of this post so far, I care quite deeply about my South Beach bars. So, you can understand my EXCITEMENT when, sauntering down the grocery story aisle, I came across these babies:

Snackwell Cinnamon Raisin Protein Bars

The picture on the front of the box caught my eye because it’s literally the exact same picture as was on my beloved South Beach bars. I checked out the nutrition information, and it was nearly identical! (Lacking only ONE gram of protein.) I have yet to give them a try, because I’d already done my long Saturday run, but you can bet next Saturday I’ll be pumped to down one of these babies before firing up my audiobook and lacing my sneakers.

P.S. This particular trip to the grocery store was even more successful when I found these:

Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Crumbles

Another of our favorite “staple” foods, these turkey sausage crumbles are getting harder and harder to find. They’re so perfect in my egg white, mushroom, and cheese breakfast scrambles that I’ve been known to visit grocery stores all around the area in pursuit of their spicy goodness.

Update: (FYI: I just visited the FAQ page on the South Beach Diet Bars website, and apparently they’re remarketing these bars with a new name: South Beach Diet Protein Fit Cereal Bars. They should be in nationwide distribution by mid-January 2012. Which is like… NOW!)