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Energy Bar Review: Probar Meal Superberry & Greens

Probar Superberry & Greens energy bar

With a whopping 360 calories, this “meal” bar lives up to its name. Just tear open the wrapper and enjoy this nutty, fruity bar for a fast, convenient way to refuel your engine.

Nutritionally, this ProBar has 50g of carbohydrates (WOW!) to quickly give you the energy you need for strenuous, outdoor activity, and it will keep your motor humming for sure. Plus, it has 8g of protein to help repair muscles.

Fruity and Nutty

We love the taste, too. Its sweetness comes from a medley of fruits, with notes of raisins, dates, blueberries and pineapple being the most prominent fruity flavors. Combined with that is the satisfying richness of cashew butter and sunflower seeds.

And the texture of the bar is soft and chewy—a plus.

ProBar Superberry & Greens energy barHealthy, Too

The real bonus here is the healthy greens and fiber. These ingredients read like they came from a must-have list of items you might find in the healthy aisle at the health food store:  spinach, broccoli, carrot, green tea, rose hips, maca root, spirulina (a superfood full of anitoxidants and vitamins), and alfalfa. On top of that, this bar is filled with both pre- and pro-biotics to keep your digestive system working at its best.

It’s also vegan and gluten-free.

The ProBar Superberry & Greens Meal bar was featured in the July 2017 Trailfoody.

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Trail Mix Review: Happy Healthy Human’s “Motivation”

Happy Healthy Human Motivation trail mix

There’s a saying that you are what you eat. But, with Happy Healthy Human’s trail mixes, your mood is what you eat. Nutritionist Samantha Attard, founder of Happy Healthy Human, designed a family of healthy, tasty snack mixes that can influence your mood.

Choose Your Own Adventure Mood

There are four to choose from:  Calm, Balance, Relief, and Motivation. The Trailfoody Fam can always use an extra kick to battle the switchbacks on the way to the summit, so naturally, we opted to feature Motivation in the July 2017 Trailfoody.

“Goodbye sluggish, hello excitement,” is what it says on the front of the bag, and we agree. After munching on this mix, we did notice a get-up-and-go feeling.

Healthy Ingredients

What’s the secret to this Motivation mix? Roasted, organic chickpeas; organic pumpkin seeds; organic, dried cranberries; plus, a little salt; olive oil; and smoked pimentón. Pimentón, or paprika, is made from ground red chile peppers, and is what gives this mix such a rich, robust flavor.

What did the Trailfoody Tasters say about Motivation?

“I like to save this stuff for the crux of the climb when I need to be in the right frame of mind. Ultralighters will appreciate that it’s calorie dense, with 200 calories in only 1.5 ounces.”

Grif Steele
Super Famous Outdoor Guy

“The subtle smokiness from the pimentón gives a rich depth to the flavor. You’ll get a small kick of spiciness that’s well balanced with the nuttiness of the pumpkin seeds and the crisp sweetness of the dried cranberries.”

Britt Foodlove
Trailmix Mix Master

“[Whines]” Translation:  I’m jealous that I didn’t get any.

Gracie
Wannabe Taster

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The Secret Behind This Dried Fruit That’s Juicy

Fruit Bliss Organic Turkish Figs

Fruit Bliss makes dried fruit that is actually quite juicy. Fruit Bliss’ own Susan Leone writes this guest blog post about the secrets behind how they get their dried fruit to be so juicy.

What makes Fruit Bliss the perfect trailfood? Fruit Bliss’ deliciously juicy fruit doesn’t add any sulfites or other added preservatives, making it a great healthy, organic snack.

A Unique Process Brought to the U.S.

Fruit Bliss is a very unique snacking experience. We choose our organic whole fruits from the best orchards around the world – Agen plums from France and apricots and figs from Turkey, for example. All of our fruit is picked when it’s perfectly ripe, sun dried and then the magic happens. We say our fruit is “dried fruit reinvented” because all of our fruit gets a steam bath to make it super juicy again. The flavor, texture and taste are all enhanced by water infusion. Once the process is complete, you can bite into a juicy Fruit Bliss fig and almost taste the intense Aegean sunshine that helped to grow this luscious organic fruit.

Shelf Stable, But No Preservatives

Each pouch of Fruit Bliss is shelf stable, so you can take it on-the-go for any hiking, biking or canoeing trip without having to worry about refrigeration or the delicate nature of fresh fruit. We never use any preservatives or added sugar in any of our fruits such as potassium sorbate and sulfur dioxide (chemicals commonly used to preserve the shelf life and color of conventional dried fruit). All of our organic dried fruit oxidizes, or turns brown, since this is the natural color of dried fruit. It may not be as pretty, but it sure is a much healthier snacking experience!

Try This Great Trailfood Recipe

Fruit Bliss is also a great addition to many recipes. One of our favorites for hitting the trail is our Fruit Bliss Fig Bites. This is a simple mix of pureed Fruit Bliss Figs, any nut butter, coconut oil and flax seed. These crunchy and energy packed treats will keep you going on the trail from early morning until dusk.

Fruit Bliss is sure to be a great addition to your fanny pack of goodies when you hit the trail, wherever you are!

Fruit Bliss was founded by Susan Leone, a mom who wanted to bring this European idea of rehydrated fruit stateside. She believes that providing a simple, clean snacking experience is key to a healthy lifestyle.

Fruit Bliss’ Organic Turkish Figs were selected to be in the July 2017 Trailfoody.

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Workout Nutrition 101: How to Eat for Your Best Performance and Recovery

trailrunning

Founder of Happy Healthy Human and nutrition PhD Samantha Attard writes this guest blog post for Trailfoody with some valuable tips for performance and recovery. She has a unique approach to her trail mixes that we love:  they’re tailored to affect your mood, and that’s why we were so excited to feature the Motivation mix. It’ll give you the extra kick you need to reach the summit!

After some workouts or outdoor excursions, you feel on top of the world. Your energy is good and you feel strong. After other workouts…you’re a little less king of the mountain. The worst is when you feel so crappy mid-workout you have to stop early.

Why do some workouts feel so good?

It turns out that a huge predictor of how you feel when you work out actually has to do with what you eat before, during, and after that workout. With a little bit of planning, you’ll start to feel and perform better more often. And lucky for you, eating for a great workout can be easy and delicious.

Because nutrition (and exercise nutrition) can be very confusing, let’s be clear about what sort of workout/activity we’re talking about today. For the purposes of this article, let’s assume your workout is about a 2 hour run, hike, bike ride or rock climbing session. You’re working up a sweat, but you can still breathe/talk to your neighbor. For short or longer workouts, I’ll provide some extra tips at the end.

Before Your Workout

About an hour before your workout, get some carbs and fat into your body. Your carbs will fill up with glycogen, priming your muscles for your activity, while the fats will provide you more sustained energy for your entire workout. Don’t overdo it on the fat (about 10 g or less should be sufficient), or else you’ll go into your workout feeling over-full and not ready to move.

Great choices: Banana and peanut butter, Kind Bar, carrots and hummus.

(continues)

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During Your Workout

The most important thing to remember during your workout is hydration. Water is a major key to giving you enough energy and stamina throughout your workouts. This is true particularly if you’re eating dried fruit, bars, or jerkies. Because these foods have such a low water content, you actually have to rehydrate them in your body so they can be digested. That means you need extra water to keep your hydration in balance.

electrolyte hydration mixParticularly for these longer cardio workouts, include simple carbohydrates (sugar) and electrolytes for better stamina and long-term performance. Grab an electrolyte powder like PowerPak or Enduralytes to put in your water. Make sure to snack on some fruit (fresh or dried) or lower-fat energy bars to keep your activity level at your peak.

Note that I generally recommend adding food during your workout if you’re working out for longer than 75 minutes. If it’s less time, you should be fine with water and electrolytes.

For your electrolytes, I love Trace MineralsSkratch, or Enduralytes for your electrolytes. For carbohydrates:  add some delicious fruit!

After Your Workout

After you complete your workout, it’s time to refuel. This is the time to get a generous helping of protein and carbs (fat is good, too!). We often focus on getting protein after a workout, but if you don’t have enough carbohydrates to refill the glycogen in your muscles, that protein is burned for energy instead of being used to repair and build muscle.

Happy Healthy Human

As soon as possible after your workout, refuel with at least 10g protein and ~15g carbs. But getting a full meal within 2 hours of your workout is another way to time your post-workout food.

Great Choices: High protein bar or shake, Happy Healthy Human Organic Trail Mix, or a huge, beautiful salad!

Your Post-workout food is one of the main determinants for how long it takes you to recover from your workout, so take it seriously! The faster you get fuel back into your body, the quicker you’ll recover and the better you’ll feel.

How to adapt this for shorter exercise:

If you’re working out for less than an hour, it’s less important that you eat directly before your workout. In fact, some people prefer to work out on an empty stomach! However, take time to notice how you feel when you do or don’t eat before your workouts, and find the right balance for you.

How to adapt this for longer exercise:

The longer you workout, the more important it is that you fuel during your workout with enough carbs and water. Researchers have found that it’s basically impossible to eat too much when you’re running or biking. The most important thing is to not only drink water but to include electrolytes while you fuel as well.

Find out what works for you

What I’ve laid out here is a guideline. You may find that your body feels better with slightly more or less food, or that you prefer sweeter or more savory meals. That’s why things like Trailfoody are so great! You can experiment with different meal choices until you figure out what works best in your unique body!

Enjoy the feeling of having your best workouts every time!

Samantha AttardAbout the author

Samantha Attard is a nutrition PhD and founder of Happy Healthy Human, a company dedicated to helping people eat, move, and live with intention. Her line of organic trail mixes are meant to help you personalize your diet and can be found in our July Trailfoody box. Stay up to date with her yoga events and workshops, or contact her for one-on-one coaching at BeHappyHealthyHuman.com

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Energy Bar Review: Simple Squares Cho-Coco

Simple Squares Cho-Coco energy bar

Chewy, mildly sweet, and smooth. That was our first impression of Simple Squares’ Cho-Coco energy bar. The coconut and chocolate work a little magic together, much like chords on a piano, to create a brand-new flavor with bright sweetness and subtle creaminess that you have to try to “get.”

The texture is an unusual combination of chewy and crunchy, which we like. You take a bite, and it’s soft, then the chopped cashews and almonds add satisfying little bits of crunch.

“Simple Squares makes good on their promise to keep it simple with only five ingredients—just whole, natural ingredients.”

Simple Squares makes good on their promise to keep it simple with only five ingredients. There’s no refined sugar, no corn syrup, and no preservatives—just whole, natural ingredients. And, with 230 calories, this bar has plenty of spunk to get you to the top of the ridge.

We’re cuckoo for this Cho-Coco bar.

The Simple Squares Cho-Coco bar was selected to be part of the June 2017 Trailfoody.

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Trailfood Review: Made In Nature’s Toasted Cinnamon Coconut Chips

coconut chips are good food for hiking

Here’s a trail treat that will give you some pep in your step.

Outdoorspeople love the bars. And the jerky. And the bars (did we say bars?). But, if you’re looking to mix it up with new trailfood for an adventure, try these  Toasted Cinnamon Coconut Chips by Made In Nature.

In a (coco-) nutshell:  they’re tasty.

When you take a bite, the first thing you notice is the crunch. Not so much a potato-chip crunch, but something a little bit meatier. Made In Nature leaves part of the rind on, and they also cut them slightly thicker. Both techniques give a little more substance to the crunch and impart a subtle earthiness to the flavor.

But the star of the flavor isn’t the earthiness, nor is it the coconut. It’s the toasted cinnamon—Vietnamese Cinnamon to be exact.

“When you take a bite, the first thing you notice is the crunch. Not so much a potato-chip crunch, but something a little bit meatier.”

Vietnamese Cinnamon has more aromatic qualities and depth to its flavor than regular cinnamon. Combine that with roasting, and the flavors are brought out even more. Sweetened with maple syrup instead of sugar or corn syrup, these coconut chips will remind you of the French toast your mom used to make.

It’s good for the trail, too, with 150 calories per 1 oz., making it a weight-efficient fuel. Plus, it provides calories through high quality fat, which is lacking in many trailfoods and essential—especially if you’re a thru hiker.

There’s something homey about this trailfood, that even non-coconut lovers can enjoy. We give it a thumbs up.

The Toasted Cinnamon Coconut Chips were selected as part of the June 2017 Trailfoody.

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Trail Mix Review: Conundrum

Trail Mix from Conundrum

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Conundrum Trail Mix lives up to its name with a curious mix of flavors that range from savory to sweet.

 

Often, the generic trail mixes you buy at the grocery store are filled with peanuts, but there’s not a peanut to be found inside your bag of Conundrum.

Instead, an earthy medley of Northwest hazelnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and pecans form the nutty base which contrasts nicely to the sweetness provided by raisins, dried cranberries and blueberries, and a dash of maple syrup.

Energy-wise, it’s a great mix of healthy, calorie-dense fats and proteins from the nuts plus slower-burning complex carbohydrates from the berries.

And, then there’s this wonderfully enigmatic part of the flavor that is simply difficult to describe. When you taste it yourself, you’ll know what we mean.

We selected Conundrum Trail Mix to be part of the June 2017 Trailfoody.

Here’s what our tasters had to say:

“The berries give a quick pep of energy, and the roasted hazelnuts satisfy and stick to your ribs.”

Grif Steele
Caught a Yuge Fish Once

“With a flavor that’s difficult to adequately describe, the aptly named Conundrum teases your taste buds with waves of earthiness, sweetness, and savory.”

Britt Foodlove
Trailmix Mix Master

“I heard the people say, ‘Mmmmm.’ That usually means I don’t get any.”

Gracie
Stick Fetcher

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What’s in June’s Trailfoody?

See what’s included in June’s Trailfoody, with a handful of this month’s items hailing from the Northwest! With approximately 1300 calories, this food kit will fuel any adventure.

Conundrum Trail Mix

Conundrum Trail Mix

From Portland, Oregon, The aptly named Conundrum teases your taste buds with waves of earthiness, sweetness, and savory, yet leaves you guessing the ingredients that create such an interesting flavor. Goes well with a hand-crafted beer, but we recommend saving it for the trail.

New Primal Jerky

New Primal Uncured Maple Bacon Sticks

Because everything tastes better with bacon. This pork-flavored beef stick is a superior alternative to the gas station peperoni stick, and the perfect amount of protein for outdoor activities. Plus, the pork is naturally raised, so it’s healthier, too.

Simple Squares energy bar

Simple Squares Choco Coco

We went cuckoo for these choco coco bars (try saying that fast 10 times). The coconut is subtle, but adds a wonderful creaminess to the chocolate. This bar just feels wholesome to eat, so you know it’s good quality fuel.

LivBar energy bar

LivBar Lemon Ginger Turmeric

Also from Oregon, this bar combines sweet, salty, and zing! This bar is feather light, made from organic superfoods, and comes in a compostable wrapper. It left us craving more.

KIND energy bar

Kind Pressed Mango Apple Chia

This bar had us at “mango.” Two servings of fruit in this little bar, which is the energy bar equivalent of a smoothie.

Kates energy bar

Kates Real Food Grizzly Bar

Also from the Northwest, from Idaho, this high-energy meal-in-a-bar can get you wherever you’re going. A wonderful peanut butter taste combines with dark chocolate and dried fruit. And, just as the name says, it’s made from real food.

Made in Nature coconut chips

Made in Nature Toasted Cinnamon Coconut Chips

Somehow the cinnamon coconut work a little magic together, making a tasty, energizing treat. These coconut chips are cut a little thicker, so they impart a more robust flavor.

Mamma Chia energy squeeze

Mamma Chia Blackberry Bliss Chia Squeeze

Perfect a quick burst of fruity energy, just open and squeeze. Organic blackberries are the star, along with some purple carrot juice and chia.

Mestrength electrolyte drink

MeStrength assorted performance hydration drink mix

This drink mix provides 5 electrolytes, and contains no sugars or calories. Flavors are all-natural, making it cleaner than many electrolyte drinks. Just add one stick to your water bottle and shake.

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Why “naked” jerky was such a good idea

Naked Cow beef jerky for hiking

We asked the folks at Naked Cow to tell us why we should all get excited about their all-natural, grass-fed “naked” jerky. Naked Cow’s honey jerky is featured in the May Trailfoody. Here’s what they had to say.

 

There continues to be a growing interest in eating natural and less processed foods, especially by those individuals who live active lives, like hikers and CrossFitters.

And, for good reason–the better the fuel you put in your body, the better it will perform.

Grass-fed beef, in particular, has benefits for active people due to its superior levels of omega-3 fatty acids (compared to regular beef), which aids in cardiovascular health. Grass-fed beef is also usually raised without antibiotics, another big plus. Cutting down on sugar intake can also benefit your cardiovascular health, according to Harvard Health Publications.

Naked Cow jerky CrossFit
Naked Cow at CrossFit Regionals

Put to the Ultimate Test at CrossFit Regionals
Naked Cow Jerky attended the CrossFit Games East Regional event in Albany, NY. We were excited to get feedback from some of the top athletes in the country about our all-natural beef jerky.

Response was phenomenal, and 100% verified our decision almost two years ago to develop an all-natural beef jerky using strips of grass-fed beef, spices and no sugar or preservatives (“No Udder Stuff”). When athletes approached our booth at the CrossFit event, the Nutrition Facts (which almost every person at this event would immediately read) was our biggest ally.

We don’t think this is a fad, and more people will demand healthier food products. We are proud to be able to deliver.

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Energy Bar Review: Evo Hemp Mango Macadamia

Energy Bar Evo Hemp Mango Macadamia

If you want to be instantly transported to Hawaii, give this bar a try. Mango and macadamia are the stars of the show. The mango provides its fresh, juicy sweetness, and the macadamia and hemp hearts combine to impart a wonderful mild, nutty flavor. It even has a touch of coconut. Take a bite, and feel the warm breeze of the tropics dancing across your face.

The Evo Hemp Mango Macadamia bar is a great one to eat right before a steep climb, because it will give you a quick jolt of energy.

“A quick jolt of energy. Greater mental and physical focus. And, a yummy flavor reminiscent of the tropics.”

There are additional health benefits to boot. This bar contains yerba mate, a plant primarily found in South America that can stimulate mental focus and energy. It’s also made from raw ingredients, without heat, to maximize the living enzymes. This helps with digestion and nutrient uptake.

And, for those of you who were wondering, the hemp plant is not the same as the marijuana plant. In fact, hemp has the opposite effect on the brain and actually stimulates brain function and health due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids.

A quick jolt of energy. Greater mental and physical focus. And, a yummy flavor reminiscent of the tropics. Sounds like a win to us!

The Evo Hemp Mango Macadamia bar was featured in the May 2017 Trailfoody.