Tag Archives: energy bars

What About Aussie Bites at Costco?

I don’t know how long Costco has been carrying them, but I just stumbled across Aussie Bites at Costco yesterday. These seem to be a variation on the theme of Sunrise Energy Bars which I posted about here in November of 2012. They look like a smaller version of the Sunrise bars, they are packaged in a transparent plastic tub and sealed similarly (see pics). And that isn’t where the similarity ends. After I wrote about the Sunrise bars, Costco stopped carrying them for awhile. You can check the comments on that post for details. One of the items readers noticed were the Aussie Bites which seemed to be a substitute.


I am a satisfied Costco customer, but don’t have a clue about their marketing practices. Items are on the shelves then they disappear. Sometimes they reappear, sometimes they reappear with new packaging. Not a clue.

So, what about these Aussie Bites? They are granola-like with a consistency closer to a muffin. I thought they tasted similar to the Sunrise bars although somewhat sweeter.

Nutrition is as follows:
One serving is one ounce – 28 grams
Calories 130
Total fat 7 grams
Saturated fat 3 grams
Cholesterol 10 mg
Sodium 35 mg
Carbohydrates 15 grams
Fiber 2 grams
Protein 2 grams

The Aussie Bites ingredients include: Whole grain rolled oats, Whole grain oat flour, Unsalted butter, Expeller pressed canola oil, Sugar, Honey, Dried apricots, Raisins, Sunflower kernels, Flax seeds, Shredded coconut, Baking soda and Salt.

For nutritional comparison here is the breakdown for a single one ounce bar: 130 calories, total fat 6 grams, saturated fat 3 grams, cholesterol 10 mg, Sodium 75 grams, carbohydrates 17 grams, fiber 3 grams and 2 grams of protein.

Although they have the same serving size, the Aussie Bites are smaller in size than the Sunrise bars, so you need to pay attention to how much you are eating. The 130 calories is not bad for a snack, but if you eat two or three that is another story. On the positive side, I think these are pretty dense nutritionally compared with junk food like Hostess Ho Ho’s which I wrote about two Novembers ago.

Personally, these work very well for what I consider to be energy snacks. I bring them along on a bike ride and eat about 50 calories worth when I take a break. So, I get energy without tying up my digestive system with a lot of work.

If you are a snacker, you might want to check out my Page – Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.



Filed under Costco, energy bars, Exercise, Snacking

Super WebMD Item on Food Frauds

Regular readers know that I have written lots of posts based on WebMD items. I think their latest one – Food Frauds That Can Wreck Your Diet is one of their best.

Here are some of the highlights:

Caesar Salads: “You might think that because it’s a salad, it’s fine. But just a small bowl has 300-400 calories and 30 grams of fat, thanks to loads of dressing.”

Banana chips are not a healthy fresh fruit snack

Banana chips are not a healthy fresh fruit snack

This is an element in most salads. You really need to watch out for how much salad dressing you add.

Fresh Smoothies: “That berry blend at a smoothie shop can have a whopping 80 grams of sugar, 350 calories or more, little protein, and often no fresh fruit. Fruit concentrates are often used instead of fresh fruit.”

Energy Bars: They recommend, “Choose bars that have 200 calories or less, some fiber, and at least 5 grams of protein, which helps provide energy when the sugar rush fades.”

Latte with 2% Milk: “Reward yourself with whipped cream on top. But this trade-off still adds up to 580 calories and 15 grams of saturated fat in a 20-ounce white chocolate mocha. That’s more than a quarter-pound burger with cheese.”

In my opinion, designer coffee drinks are really diabolical when it comes to watching your weight. I found out years ago that more often than not they set you back instead of helping you out.

Microwave Popcorn: “The word “snack” can be a little misleading on microwave popcorn. One popular brand packs 9 grams of fat into each “snack size” bag.”

This is another calorie trap. Popcorn is usually a healthy snack, depending on how you fix it. The microwave way, while very fast, is one of the worst in terms of health. Lots of bad fat and calories.

Banana Chips: “Deep-fried bananas don’t look greasy, but just one ounce has 145 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 8 grams of saturated fat: about the same as a fast-food hamburger.”

How can anything made from fresh fruit be a calorie bomb? Easy, deep fry it. WebMD suggests snacking on a fresh banana for four times the food, no fat and only 100 calories.

There are a total of 21 of these examples of what they term food frauds. I have picked out the ones most meaningful to me. Do yourself a favor and go back and click on the link for the full series. They also give suggestions on how to tweak them to make them less unhealthy.

As always, it pays you to be alert to serving size and portion control. I grew up snacking and most of the weight problems that I experienced resulted from that.

Check out my Page – Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly for more on this.


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Is There a Good Chocolate Energy Bar?

I am a former runner, but I no longer indulge. As regular readers know, I ride a bike just about daily on Chicago’s Lakefront. If I am going to be out getting exercise, I would rather be on the bike than running. I have bad feet and when I was a runner I suffered a lot of injuries to my feet and ankles. I think running is a good healthy exercise although I do not think you should run a marathon and wrote about it on November 10.

Having said that, Chicago has a major marathon each year and it takes place in early October. Although I don’t participate, I do attend the Chicago Marathon Health and Fitness Expo which has lots of goodies for endurance athletes which includes cyclists, too.

These are the goodies I picked up at this year’s Chicago Marathon Expo

That’s where I discovered some really good and good tasting chocolate energy bars. An expo like this is valuable because you get a nice cross section of the current products available that might not be at your local stores. Also, they often have ‘show specials’ where they give you a nice discount if you buy it right there. As a retired guy, I am always happy to be able to $ave.
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What About Chocolate Honey Stinger Waffles?

I wrote up Honey Stinger waffles back in December of last year when I first ran across them. They are a wonderful energy pick-me-up that rivals energy bars, drinks and gels. You can read the initial write up here.

At the time I had only tried the Honey flavored ones. Since then Honey Stingers must be successful as they have released several new flavors including Vanilla, Strawberry and, most recently, Chocolate.

The Honey and Vanilla flavors tasted super, so I naturally tried the Strawberry, too. Another winner. For the past eight months I have been including a Honey Stinger on most of my bike rides.

A single waffle weighs just about an ounce at 30 grams
It has 160 calories 7 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, no cholesterol, 55 mg of sodium 21 grams of carbohydrates, one gram of fiber and no protein.

When I take a break on a ride, I try to limit myself to 50 calories, so I eat one waffle over the course of three rest stops. The Honey Stingers are real energy boosters with the organic honey in them.
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What are Honey Stinger Waffles?

As far as I am concerned it was love at first bite. I just stumbled across these after getting a pitch to buy them from Mellow Johnny’s bike shop. For those not familiar with it, Mellow Johnny’s is the bike shop owned by Lance Armstrong in Austin, Texas. I am wearing a Mellow Johnny’s jersey in my profile pic on our About page. Since the Armstrong debacle I have removed that pic and Honey Stinger has removed him from the wrapper pic.

Here is what the MJ website said about them, “In the over saturated world of energy drinks, gels and bars, it’s sometimes hard to know what to get. Over here at Mellow Johnny’s we think it should be something that actually tastes good.

“Not only do Honey Stinger Waffles fulfill your nutritional needs, they also taste amazing. Not runny like a gel, or unpalatable like many bars, these little waffles are the go food for our staff. This is one of those products that are easy to sell simply because we believe in them. Try one and you’ll get the idea.”

Honey Stinger Waffles are a new entry into the world of energy bars, drinks, gels, etc., here in the U.S. They are made by a company in Steamboat Springs Colorado. Here is their website with a cool You Tube video about them.

Their advertising copy says, “Waffles aren’t just for breakfast; they’re a perfect snack food for anytime. Inspired by Lance Armstrong’s favorite European riding treat called the “stroopwafel,” Honey Stinger’s Organic Stinger Waffles are a great way to replenish energy on or off the bike. Single-serving design stashes conveniently in a jersey pocket.”

A single waffle weighs just over an ounce at 30 grams
It has 160 calories 7 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, no cholesterol, 55 mg of sodium 21 grams of carbohydrates, one gram of fiber and no protein.

I was very impressed with the ingredients: Organic wheat flour, organic palm fruit oil, organic rice syrup, organic cane sugar, organic honey, organic whole wheat flour, organic soy flour, sea salt, organic soy lecithin, organic spices and baking soda.

They were just delivered three days ago, so I haven’t had much experience with them. As far as taste goes, they totally thrill my sweet tooth. You can taste the honey. I ate one after a bike ride yesterday and felt it gave me a lift
not unlike what I get from my watermelon recovery treats. I look forward to using them regularly in the coming weeks.

So far I have only had the mouth-watering honey flavored ones, there are also strawberry and vanilla available. I will let you know about further developments.

Update posted 21 December 2011. I have now had the vanilla flavored Honey Stingers, too. They are not quite as sweet, but equally mouth-watering. I take them on bike rides. The hardest thing is trying not to eat the whole waffle at one stop as I usually try to limit myself to 50 calories (about a third of a waffle) on a rest stop because I want my body to be focused on riding not digesting.


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Filed under calories, energy bars, Exercise, healthy eating, portion size, Snacking, Weight

Energy Bars – Clif Honey Oat Crunch Bar (4)

This is the fourth and final entry in my review of the energy bars I use and recommend. The Clif Honey Oat Crunch Granola bar differs significantly from the previous three bars.

They are smaller and come in packs of two bars. The two bars weigh a total of only 1.5 ounces (42 grams). So, those two bars are only 62% of the size of the 2.4 ounce Clif Builder bar. Significantly less. Also, the texture of the bar is very much like a crunchy candy bar while the others are all very much in the realm of high-powered energy food bars.

Clif Honey Oat Crunch Bar

That being said, I must confess that I absolutely love the Honey Oat crunchers. I eat them like candy. When I take a package of two on a ride, I have to work to make them last for even two rest stops. I would not hesitate to take these to a movie to keep me from patronizing the diabolical refreshment stand.

Additionally, because of their nutty texture, they are just fine in the hottest weather and can easily be carried in my pocket.

Nutritionally, they fall below the others, however, mainly due to their smaller size. A package yields only 180 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, no cholesterol, 110 mg of sodium, 90 mg of potassium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.

They are packaged 5 packs of bars to a box. I find that I have to order them five boxes at a time.


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Energy Bars – Clif Bar (2)

Clif markets a number of energy bars. This was the first Clif Bar that I tried. As I said with the PowerBar, the Clif Bar is a great idea for any of the endurance sports like running, swimming or biking.

Of this particular Clif Bar there are possibly a dozen flavors, so you can likely find one that works for you.

Cool Mint Chocolate Clif Bar

This bar has a lot of grain and grain products in it. It feels like a little patty of grain held together with something sticky like carmel.

I have used this bar a lot in riding. It is chewy and can last over several rest stops. I don’t eat the whole bar at one stop.

Nutritionally, a Clif Bar has 250 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, no cholesterol, 140 mg of sodium 240 mg of potassium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein.


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Energy Bars – PowerBars (1)

I use a number of different energy bars over the course of the year in my cycling. I think they are a great idea for any of the endurance sports like running, swimming or biking. This will be the first of a series of posts on energy bars.

Fruit Smoothie PowerBars

As I ride in the morning after breakfast, an hour of riding burns off around the 500 calories I had for breakfast, so an energy bar is more of a necessity than a treat. Their composition also includes sodium to replace the salt you lost in sweat.

The first ones I tried were PowerBars because Chris Carmichael of Lance Armstrong fame endorses them.

The two PowerBars here are the latest ones I have found and I think they are delicious. Actually, taste isn’t so relevant, as they do the job intended. They are of a taffy-like substance that you tear off with your teeth. In the cold weather I have found they get hard so I have to try to warm them up to eat outdoors. In the warm weather they have the perfect (for me) consistency.

It says on the back of the bar wrapper, “This bar is a great choice for use before and during higher intensity competitions or training sessions like running, cycling and swimming. It’s formulated to be easy to digest….”

Nutritionally, a bar has 220 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, no cholesterol, 180 mg of sodium, 80 mg of potassium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, less than one gram of fiber and 6 grams of protein. A bar weight 2.01 ounces 57 grams, so it is a very compact portion size.



Filed under energy bars, Exercise, healthy eating, men and healthy eating, portion size