LUNA Protein Bar Review & GIVEAWAY!

I was provided a few LUNA Protein Bars for review purposes, provided by LUNA to spread the word in regard to Celiac Awareness Day.

Friday, September 13th is National Celiac Awareness Day.  Incase you’re not aware – celiac disease is a condition that overtime damages the lining of an individuals small intestine.  The damage happens due to an adverse reaction to eating products that contain gluten.  Gluten is typically found in items such as wheat, barley, rye, etc.  The damage to the intestine prevents absorption of some nutrients which overtime can cause weight loss, bloating and unsettling bowel movements. It can also cause stomach pains for the individual who consumed the product containing gluten.  Unfortunately there is no cure for celiac disease; the only way to manage celiac disease is for the infected individual to eat a strict gluten-free diet.  According to research 78% of sufferers actually don’t realize they have the condition.
Luna Protein Bars are gluten free and can be consumed by individuals who have celiac disease but also by any individual who is on the hunt for a nutritious protein bar.  I personally do not have celiac disease, but I do know many folks who suffer from it. I’ve heard that an attack is by-far not a pleasant experience – while also finding gluten free products, that are truly gluten free (meaning a company does not falsely advertise items as gluten free), can sometimes be a hassle for individuals. I am however typically on the hunt for a nutritious and delicious protein bar.
Upon opening the box provided by LUNA I found the weather (we got a crazy, humid 90+ heat wave for a few days) was not kind to the coated bars. I nearly squished one with my fingertips, so I kindly set the box in the refrigerator to chill before taking it back out and letting them sit at room temperature for half the day.  So with that, please ignore the appearance of the bars in the photos … they were pretty much melted and then reset after receipt.  Once I was able to handle them, I found I was provided a bar in each of the three flavors:
          LUNA Protein Bar – Chocolate Peanut Butter (5 points plus values)

          LUNA Protein Bar – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (5 points plus values)

          LUNA Protein Bar – Mint Chocolate Chip (4 points plus values)
Over the course of the last 6-months I have dabbled heavily in the protein bar world.  I’ve tried some I’ve loved and I’ve tried some I wish I never took a bite of. And I admit I had yet to try the LUNA Protein bars until receiving these.  Initially I was intrigued by the Mint flavoring because from what I understood about the brand, the protein bars are encased in a chocolate coating which make it like a guilt-free “candy bar” of protein-sorts.
One thing I can say is the bars are smaller in size.  They’re smaller than an average size say Snickers bar.  Even though they are small, they do pack a protein punch – each of the bars providing 12 grams, which can definitely be satisfying.  I wouldn’t suggest eating one of these as a meal, but perhaps as a snack, or even a before/after gym treat.  With the coating, they really do have a “guilty” vibe to them even though they’re not really guilty in that sense.
The first bar I tried was the Mint Chocolate Chip.  The center of the bar has a chewy nougat,.  The first bite you’re rewarded with a delicious mint chocolate chip flavor – reminiscent of the decadent Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. Mint flavor aside, as you chew you are left with an aftertaste which is usually found in protein bars. It’s not overwhelming, but it’s undoubtedly there – which is more than likely the soy and whey showing they’re present.
The second bar I tried was the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. The bar itself is definitely true to its name – providing a delicious cookie dough flavoring. The center is soft in texture and mildly chewy. The center also looks like chocolate chip cookie dough which in a weird way makes it fun to eat. There isn’t much of a noticeable aftertaste in this bar and I have to say out of the three this one is undoubtedly my favorite.
The final bar I tried was the Chocolate Peanut Butter. The center nougat has a very pleasant peanut butter flavor, but as you bite into it, you are rewarded with an unexpected crunch. It’s a crispy rice crispy like crunch, which definitely give it a unique texture.  This like the chocolate chip cookie dough does not provide a very noticeable aftertaste. This would definitely be my second favorite.
These are filling but I want to point out that the blend of soy and whey can inevitably upset your tummy. It will depend on how you digest the two, but I found a couple hours after sampling them, my stomach felt a little odd. Not queasy or sick but just … off. Then again it could have been my sampling of 3 flavors even though I only had about 1/4 of each bar.  My boyfriend took a few bites of each to sample and he said he felt full from them, but his stomach wasn’t doing the backstroke.

LUNA Protein Bars are sold at retailers like Walmart and Target and can also be found on local grocery store shelves in full-size boxes or sold individually.

To enter the giveaway, use the below Rafflecopter.  The giveaway will close Sunday, September 15that 12am (midnight). At the close of the giveaway, I will contact the winner via e-mail to inquire about the flavor of your choice (see flavors here).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: LUNA provided these products free of charge and is sponsoring the giveaway. I have not been paid to review this product, nor am I a brand affiliate. The opinions expressed, as with all my blog posts, are mine and mine alone.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough QuestBar

I received this Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough QuestBar from QuestBar from their 2 free 2 bars promo with Hungry Girl.  As far as I can see the deal is still available (see here: http://www.questproteinbar.com/hungry-girl).
I’ve heard many great things about the chocolate chip cookie dough bar so I had high hopes. I’ve heard this particular bar is a lot better ripped up into chunks and baked as you would cookies.  The bar can also be eaten straight out of the package or after being warmed in the microwave.  Since I have yet to try any of the bars heated up, I opted for the oven method.
Opening the package, I found the bar was rather dry and not the same consistency of the other QuestBars I have tried. I ripped the bar up into pieces and popped my pan in the oven for a few minutes just to warm through. Taking them out of the oven, I tried them and I have to say … I wasn’t a fan. The flavor wasn’t tasty and it wasn’t nearly close to being reminiscent of cookie dough.  It had an awful aftertaste.  The crisping in the oven made them slightly crunchy as a cookie would be – but I couldn’t get past the flavor. My boyfriend tried it and said it was okay, but he didn’t eat anymore than the single bite he took.  I’m not sure if I had a bad bar, but it was just a complete miss for me.
I enjoy QuestBars because they are jam packed with fiber and protein, something that is typically missing from snack or nutrition bars.  So far, the Chocolate Brownie is the only contender in the slam-dunk category.
This particular bar is 190 calories and 5 Points Plus values.
QUESTION:
Have you tried any QuestBars? If so, what’s your favorite flavor?

Fiber One Protein Coconut Almond Bars


I purchased these Fiber One Protein Coconut Almond Bars a while ago, tried them and forgot to post them until I just recently had another. I steer towards Fiber One products at the grocery store for snacks because they have a fair amount of protein, typically taste pretty good and are a great snack.  The line hopped on the “protein bar” bandwagon with a few flavored bars and the coconut almond seemed to be the most attractive.
I had seen numerous instagram posts saying taste just like an almond joy so I was intrigued. I like protein and nutrition bars that remind me of candy bars. But … I don’t feel this taste like an almond joy at all. They have a very prominent coconut flavor and there are almonds scattered throughout the bar. It is encased in chocolate but it has a chewy protein/nutrition bar texture (the bits look like rice crispies). I can see possibly why someone would assume this resembles an almond joy, but taste and texture wise, it’s just not an almond joy for me. Regardless, it is a tasty and filling bar.
Each bar is 140 calories but it does offer 6 grams of protein, they do calculate out to be 4 points plus values. Not bad if you are looking for something that can be sweet and filling but reminiscent of a candy bar.
QUESTION:
What is one of your favorite protein bars?

Quest Bar Protein Bar – Apple Pie


I’ve purchased Quest Bar’s at GNC because they’ve been all the rave on Instagram and YouTube.  I admit, I was intrigued – a protein bar that taste good, is high in protein AND fiber? Sign me up!  I originally purchased 4 (buy 3 get 1 free) at GNC and after trying a few I’ve found I enjoyed the ones I’ve eaten.
A number of weeks later Hungry Girl paired up with Quest Bar to offer 2 free favorite bars (the Apple Pie and the Cookie Dough) to any one who signs up for them.  The deal is still going, so if you haven’t tried them yet and would like to I’d suggest signing up before the deal is gone (sign up here: http://www.questproteinbar.com/HungryGirl/).
This particular bar is 4 points plus values and it contains 20 grams of protein and 18 grams fiber. Perfect. The flavor is definitely apple while the texture is chewy.  I did find this particular bar was sticking to my teeth (reminder: only eat these when a toothbrush is handy).  I also want to point out that this does have a very mild aftertaste – it’s not bad but it’s there, so if you’re sensitive to flavors, you may not be in love with this flavor. Quest bars can also be heated up in the microwave or the toaster oven … but I just decided to eat it straight out of the package.
QUESTION:
Have you tried any of Quest Bars? If so, what’s your favorite flavor?

Zone Perfect Chocolate Peanut Butter Nutrition Bars


After going out “on a limb” and trying the Zone Perfect Fudge Graham bars I decided to pick up the Chocolate Peanut Butter while at Wal-Mart.  The Wal-Mart I was at, didn’t have a very wide selection – but evidently I was in a peanut butter mood so these ended up in my cart.  After trying them, I have to say, I really am glad this particular flavor ended up in my cart!
These nutrition bars are a great after gym snack as well as a great snack to have between meals because they truly do hold you over.  Lately I’ve found I’ve been reaching for them during that late afternoon hunger period where I’m hungry but dinner is not going to be ready for a while. There are 14 grams of protein in a bar, 3 grams of fiber, 24 grams of carbohydrate and 7 grams of fat.
The chocolate peanut butter flavor truly reminds me of a peanut butter candy bar.  The outside is very milk chocolatey and there’s a very nice smooth peanut butter flavor.  I was pleasantly surprised with this flavor. Definitely an A+ and it scores even more points because it reminds me of a candy bar!
The one thing I do want to say is that these WILL get a little melty if they are kept in a warm area.  The weather has been all over the place here lately and one day I found these were not melting in the packaging, but the moment I picked it up with my fingers it started basically slipping/melting right out of my grip.  I wouldn’t suggest keeping these in the fridge, but perhaps a nice cool, dark cabinet – it would keep them perfect during the hot months.
The greatest part is these are incredibly filling AND they’re only 5 Weight Watchers Points Plus values!
QUESTION:
Have you tried any of the Zone Perfect nutrition bars? If so, what is your favorite flavor?

Zone Perfect- Fudge Graham Bar


I have been looking for a good tasting protein bar for a while.  The only issue with protein bars is that so many people have different tastes.  Some love certain ones, others hate them.  I’ve tried Cliff bars and have not been a fan (of at least the flavors I’ve tried).  I’ve enjoyed Quest Bars, well, the flavors that I have tried thus far.  But I started hearing more and more about Zone Perfect bars and how they’re pretty delicious and filling.  Many say they’re a perfect snack to have during the day or to have after a work-out where you’re hungry but in search of something quick.  But as with many things, everyone has a different flavor that’s their favorite.
So, I picked up a box of the Zone Perfect Fudge Graham nutrition bars on Wal-Mart’s website for $4.77.  Trying to incorporate a little more protein into my diet (these have 14 grams of protein BTW), I decided to try one and I have to say it’s delicious!  My boyfriend even had one and he was quite impressed.  It reminds me of a candy bar that’s covered in rice crispy’s. The inside has that rice crispy quality to it.  While I may not completely pick up on the “graham” I find that it has a very nice taste and it’s delicious.  Lately, I’ve been finding myself reaching for one mid-afternoon between that lunch/dinner time slot where you’re looking for something and/or just need something with a little substance.
Points Plus wise these are 5 points a piece. Not bad because they really are quite filling. I mean, you’re not going to feel stuffed – but drink some water with these and your hunger pains will be gone.  I like these so much I picked up another box (different flavor) to try out – but I think I’ve found my “go to” protein bars from now on!
QUESTION:
Have you tried any of the Zone Perfect bars?

I Received my FREE Quest Bars

A couple weeks back Hungry Girl on Facebook had a post containing a link to allow (I want to say to the first 10,000) people to sign up to obtain a free sample of 2 of Hungry Girl’s favorite Quest Bars.  Since I had just recently purchased a few Quest Bars at GNC and found that I am enjoying them – I decided to sign up to get the free flavors.
In case you are not aware – Quest Bars are a protein bar, which are sold packed with fiber (which will not only fill your belly, but will also aid in helping you have a healthy digestive system).  The bars all range in different Weight Watchers Points Plus values.  Every single person that I have spoken to has a different favorite flavor.  The greatest thing about these bars is that you can eat them straight out of the package or you can heat them up – either in the microwave or even in the toaster oven (in some instances making “cookies” out of the bar).
The two flavors provided were: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (5 PPV) and Apple Pie (4PPV).  Quest also graciously provided a code with each package for free shipping for any product(s) from their website.
If you’re wondering where these bars are sold – they are available at GNC (I’d suggest trying 1 or 2 out individually at GNC before committing to a full case if you haven’t tried before), on Quest’s website, Amazon.com, Vitacost.com, etc.
QUESTION:
Did you sign up for the free Quest Bars through Hungry Girl?

QuestBar Protein Bar – Chocolate Brownie

I’ve heard so many things about QuestBar Protein Bars so I figured I had to give them a try.  After searching for them online and deciding I didn’t want to buy a full case without trying them beforehand, while at the mall one day, I popped into GNC and purchased a few of the QuestBar’s to try.  They happened to be on sale buy 3 get 1 free, so I grabbed four different flavors – well actually 3 different flavors.  I got 2 of the chocolate brownie since it seemed to be the flavor so many people had been raving about.
The Chocolate Brownie according to the little sticker at GNC stated it was the most popular flavor.  It also had very favorable caloric stats for me – Weight Watchers Points Plus wise the bar was only 4 points plus.
I felt the bars are not bad at all – they’re definitely a pretty decent tasting protein bar.  Now we know, protein bars can get pretty gross and disgusting, but this was a homerun.  It’s undoubtedly chocolatey, but I will say this is a VERY dense bar and chewy.  This will take you a little while to consume it, so it’s not like one of those little fiber bars you can basically toss back in 2 seconds and not feel as though you’ve eaten anything.
Speaking with some folks on Instagram, apparently these bars can be put into the microwave or toaster oven to bring its flavor to a whole new dimension.  I’ve seen these transformed into cookies and I’ve seen them warmed up and incorporated into a guilt-free “dessert”.  Do note these are packed with protein (20g) AND fiber (19g) so these will undoubtedly fill you while they will also make you go to the bathroom (sorry, to the faint of heart).
If you’re interested in Quest Bars they are sold on the Quest Bar website, while you can also purchase the bars individually (which I suggest before you go slurging on something you may not like) at GNC.
QUESTION:
Have you tried any of the QuestBars?  If so, what’s your favorite flavor?