Shocker — My Body Likes Real Food!

I had a revelation yesterday.

I think we all know each other pretty well by this point.  And we all know that healthy eating is important to me.  In my life, that isn’t necessarily low fat or low calorie.  Instead, I tend to put more importance on foods my body needs.  Whole foods, nutritious foods.

Lately, during the week, I’ve been feeling rundown.  I’ve mentioned this a few times lately.  Even when my legs feel fine after 20+ days of running, my body was exhausted.

Welp, looking back…guess what I’ve fallen back to eating through out my work day.



We all know I LOVE me some protein bars. LOVE THEM.  My body needs protein, and as somebody who doesn’t eat a ton of meat — bars are a good supplement.


The past few weeks, without even really recognizing it, I’ve grown to literally just snacking on bars through out my work day.   So come 5 o’clock, there were literally days where I’ve only had water, coffee, a thinkThin bar before work and a Clifbar during my short lunch break.

Ummm — these bars are my favorites.  I LOVE them.  My favorite way to use them is AFTER eating normally my entire work day, an hour before I leave, when I know I have a POST work run/workout scheduled.  Then I’m properly fueled for the workout without being overly full.

I’ve even paired thinkThin bars with apples OFTEN for breakfast, and that’s better than nothing.  But my crazy busy schedule is NOT an excuse for the way I have been eating these bars lately.



not my picture . . . but you get the idea

This morning, I made a quick pit stop at Whole Foods on my way into work and built my own little breakfast at the oatmeal bar.  I added hot oats, berries, and some of their granola-like topping.

Delicious, so nutritious, warming.  Seriously, it’s amazing how much MORE energy I have had through out the morning just giving my body food that it needs.

I have some other ideas for easy “real” at food meals/eats

  • Fresh fruit of any kind
  • Veggies and dip
  • Smoothies (when it isn’t freezing)
  • Tortillas and eggs
  • Tortillas and PB/Banana
  • Homemade granola/mix with yogurt
  • Chicken salad

Just a few easy options that I can eat on the go — similar to how I was doing with my bars.  I just need to make the real food EASY, and I will be THAT much more likely to go for good grub versus a bar.

Just my two cents 🙂

Question of the Afternoon:  Do you eat protein/granola/cereal bars?  What are some of your favorite work-friendly meals?


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47 thoughts on “Shocker — My Body Likes Real Food!

  1. I’m so glad you’ve been able to pinpoint what is likely wearing you down so much! I will eat a protein bar a few days a week as an afternoon snack. Since I am always having to either eat at work or during my short lunch break, I try to have easy meals around (or leftovers). Recently I made a bunch of breakfast burritos and refrigerated them to last throughout the week. Smoothies are also great for breakfast or lunch! Hope you start feeling better soon! 🙂

  2. The only time I’ll really eat a protein/power bar is before a long run. I agree that they are a supplement, to be used in moderation, and not a meal substitution. I like to make a quiche (no crust) on the weekends which gives me an easy breakfast that’s high in protein for the week. I love smoothies too and just wish I could figure out a way to make them for lunch at work!

  3. I end Kind bars a lot but they’re pretty unprocessed…I used to be really into Larabars but recently the thought of grabbing them is just eh…I prefer greek yogurt for breakfast or today I had overnight oats which were delish and so easy since I did the prep last night. I suck at any prep work in the morning because I love to sleep so it’s great to be able to grab something and go.

  4. I love cliff bars, but really they’re like a candy bar. Maybe that’s why I love them. But you’re right. I have so much more energy when I eat whole foods. I have oatmeal every day for breakfast except the weekends. I can tell a difference when I don’t!

  5. Be careful with the bars as they are convenient and claim to be healthy, but can contain some bad stuff 😦 Lara bars are supposed to be all natural – just fruit and nuts, but I heard recently that they may be sneaking in bad stuff too that they aren’t disclosing 😦 Also, commercially produced tortillas almost 100% of the time have trans fats added to keep them soft 😦 I find corn tortillas don’t usually have the trans fats added, but they have other issues in itself (corn). It’s so frustrating trying to eat healthy as you can’t trust anyone! I wish we could go back to the days when everything was made locally and with love!

    • Amen to that. Seriously. I used only Lara bars before my long runs, because they had so few ingredients, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they were managing to sneak in small quantities of other stuff and not reporting it. Interesting about tortillas, that’s disappointing because I LOVE me some corn tortillas. Do you ever make them yourself?

      • Yeah, it’s a bummer because I can’t eat burritos anymore.
        I do still eat corn ones , but haven’t made them myself. Interesting idea! But then we still have the problem of pretty much all corn in this country being GMO. I guess I need to grow some in my backyard!
        Have you made your own? I wouldn’t know how!

  6. You’re not alone on those bars. lol I freaking LOVE them too. But yes you must eat those in moderation especially since they have so much sugar in them >.<. I didn't know that Whole Foods had a oatmeal bar, but i don't go during the morning and maybe that's why. I'll check it out later. Their smoothies are amazing.

  7. I love those Pecan Pie Cliff Bars, but I can’t find them in stores any more — it’s like everyone loves them or something!!! Do you order yours online or get them locally? I want some more!

  8. I had a similar realization after eating so many rich foods over the holiday weekend — my body needs/wants the healthier stuff. So this week, I sliced up carrots, celery, and cucumbers and made five baggies of each so I’d have grab-and-go snacks for my work week. Makes it a lot easier to just say no to the vending machine …

  9. I do eat a protein bar int he afternoon a little time before my workout so I have a little boost. The time between lunch and dinner can be up to 7 hours so I need a little something. I’ve been baking eggs (whole in the shell or straight into a muffin pan. It saves some time in the morning. That and some fruit or oatmeal tides me over.
    I’m relatively new to clean eating. I like it though! And my body definitely does.

  10. I used to eat a Lara Bar every day, but I recently decided they were too expensive and cut back. Haha. I get to eat at home, but Kevin almost always eats leftovers of what we had for dinner. That requires making enough food the night before!

  11. I completely agree with this post! Whole, real foods are the way to go! I know eating protein bars are the easier route but not the best nutritional choice. I used to eat cliff bars, marathon bars, etc years ago and they never did me any good.

  12. I don’t eat protein bars or cereal bars. Breakfast is cottage cheese with fruit, or smoothie. Every day at work my snack is the same – veggies with dip which keeps me full til my 1:30 lunchtime. Another good snack I’ve done is a hard boiled egg. We boil like 6 on Sunday and keep them in the fridge. Lunch is usually soup with fruit. But I’m not gonna lie, I have a weakness fie candy and often pack some for after lunch. Glad you’re listening to your body!

  13. Haha, I cracked up at this. I try not to eat too many granola bars/protein bars. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE them, but I tend to lose my cool by how much sugar they have in them (I’m really picky about that). I tend to try and make bars a special snack and when I do I love the pure protein chocolate bar. So delicious. My favorite work lunch – some type of homemade soup that I can easily heat up and a salad. If it’s not that, it’s always something that’s been made and leftover from the day or two before that I can easily reheat. 🙂

  14. I like Kit’s Organic Bars, which are made my Clif. Same principle as Larabars with dates, fruit, and nuts – but organic ingredients and somewhat lower in calories (under 200). I work long hours so dinner is usually pretty late for me, and I normally have a snack in the late afternoon to keep me going. But a crisp apple often does the trick. I also try to eat real food and not rely too heavily on prepackaged treats (I’ve definitely been guilty of that)!

  15. I don’t work in an office anymore, but when I did, I was the crazy woman who trucked a head of lettuce and veggies to the office (I commuted via bike and train and still lugged it down there!) But since I know everyone is not that crazy, I totally second the making lots for dinner and packing it up as lunch – it’s so so so much easier than preparing a separate meal. Just double or triple the recipes you make at night and pack it up the night before and voila, lunch!

    I also second the overnight oats – I really thought I’d hate them, but it turns out I love them. And if you want to make your own protein/snack bars/balls, there are some great recipes out there. Here’s a few good ones, but you could do endless variations on these:

    You could do pumpkin spice, peanuts and raisins (tastes like a peanut butter and jelly!), coconut and dried tropical fruit, etc. When I make them, I don’t make them into bars like this, I just make balls and toss ’em in the fridge. I don’t even use the freezer!

  16. I used to eat protein bars and cereal bars but weaned myself off them when I reallsed that the protein bars were disturbing my stomach and my head, and that the cereal bars are packed full of sugar. I now go for a handful of nuts or plain yoghurt & fruit & seeds after exercise or as a boost, or i make my own balls of goodness or energy bars. It feels so much better to know exactly what you’re eating and enjoy real good food 🙂

  17. I eat protein/granola/cereal bars, but in moderation. Because we’re twins, it won’t shock you when I say that my body responds to whole foods better as well. Don’t get me wrong, I love those things. I just find that I have more energy if I’m sticking to whole foods.

  18. I only eat bars as an absolute last option. The only way I am able to eat healthy at work is to prepare meals on Sunday, package them all up and that way they are grab and go the rest of the week. One of my favorites is Baked Steel Cut Oats. There’s actually quite a bit of protein in plain oats, but you can up the protein by making them with milk, adding protein powder, nuts, apples, top with greek yogurt, etc if you want. It takes no time to prepare on Sunday, just pop it in the oven and spoon it into 5 containers when it’s done. Reheats very well, but sometimes I’ll add a little milk to thin it out.

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