Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Greenbelly Bar Review

A few weeks ago Chris over at GreenBelly Bar contacted me about his product. A fellow thru-hiker, he has taken the personal lessons learned about nutritional needs of endurance athletes and turned them into the crafting of the GreenBelly Bar. He asked me if I'd be willing to review his products if he sent me some samples. I agreed.

And boy was I glad.

GreenBelly currently has 3 flavors: Cranbery Almond, Peanut Apricot, and Dark Chocolate Banana. All three flavors were excellent. As someone who is essentially solar and chocolate powered, I of course was partial to the Dark Chocolate Banana flavor. My hiking partner, who dislikes both apricots and peanuts even agreed that that one was "OK". That's how you know these are well balanced flavors. We both agreed that the Cranberry Almond was an excellent "trail mix-y" flavor.

So what can you say about yet another bar? A few things:

  1. Texture: This is not a dense bar. It has a light crunchy texture akin to a rice crispie treat. This is a welcome change to most other bars on the market.
  2. Caloric content: In my adventures I am usually looking for the most calorie dense food items I can find. Anything approaching 100 cal/oz is ideal. Weighing in at just over five and a half oz and over 600 calories these babies are the bomb!
  3. Nutritional value: When I am on an adventure I seldom stop. This includes eating. Therefore, I like to find nutritious foods that I can eat easily while walking. GreenBelly Bars supply 1/3 each of your daily requirement for calories, protein, fat, fiber, carbs, and sodium.
  4. Taste: This is perhaps the most important factor. I pretty much lived on bars on my 2013 FKT on the Pacific Crest Trail. I got really sick of eating the same two flavors all the time. GreeBelly Bars taste like real food. There is NO weird vitamin aftertaste. I love that. The other taste factor is that they are not overly sweet. Most snack items and bars rely too much on sugars for palatability. These are a nice balance of sweet and salty, especially the Peanut Apricot.
  5. Satiety: I can pack away two Snickers bars easily (440 calories, full nutrition info here). But, I'll be hungry again in an hour or so. I ate the GreenBelly two pack (600+ calories) and wasn't hungry for the rest of the day. Five hours. Seriously. That NEVER happens to me. I was stoked!
All things considered, GreenBelly Bars are a delicious way to improve the nutrition of your trail food as well as add variety. In addition to that they are dedicated to impacting the world positively; donating a meal bar to the Atlanta Community Food Bank for every bar that is sold.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

New Opportunities for 2015

In 2014 I was incredibly blessed to work with three great companies: Seven Hills Running Shop, Gossamer Gear, and Altra Running. Each of these companies not only have great products that I firmly believe in, but also great people. I have been made to feel like family to each one. It is a wonderful thing to be supported both tangibly, and more importantly, intangibly. In this world where we often lose sight of the most important things because they are hidden behind the looming stresses of finances, job security, and stability I find it refreshing to be known as an individual and encouraged by those at these companies. It's a form of mutual support I'd expect from friends and family.

With 2015 now underway, I am fortunate to be partnering again with not only these companies, but several others: Trail Butter and Ultimate Direction. My contact with these brands has been ongoing for quite some time and they have cheered my efforts throughout the last year. I am humbled to now be an official part of their teams with many athletes that are far superior to me.

I am excited for the things that 2015 will bring, both in adventure and in my personal life. I hope to grow and learn and continue to find myself pursuing my dreams. I am thankful to have so many who support those goals.