Snacktime: Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew Kind Bar

In my grocery store I have passed the rack of Kind bars quite often and to be honest they just looked like candy bars so I didn’t pick them up. While I am fond of the occasional sweet, they are not my go to when I go for snacks. I tend to go for savory. I pick up pretzels or nuts or cheese when I need a special treat.

And to be honest most snack bars of this sort are too sweet for me. However I was drawn in by the name. Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew. I love Cashews and will happily take down more cherries in one sitting then I really should. And when I go for chocolate, I do tend to lean towards the darker varieties. In addition I stopped by the rack looking for a snack and saw that most of them had some sort of cookie dough flavor.

the bar

Don’t get me wrong, I like cookie dough in itself. I am not a fan of cookie dough flavored things as they are almost always too sweet for me. So the Kind Bar stood out even more as it was not cookie dough flavored.

The bar has 170 calories which is a bit much for me. I generally try not to go over a hundred with my afternoon snack. Occasionally I will push it to 130 but 170 is pretty high. However once in a while I can indulge.

The Kind bar has a chewy texture with enough crunch from the nuts to make it satisfying to bite into. The chocolate is sweet but it has the dark chocolate bite to it that I really enjoy and the cherries are more tart than sweet, almost to the point of cranberry tartness but not quite.

cross section

It was a rather enjoyable snack. In fact it was everything I hoped for when I read the label. However for me, it was too large. I would have been more satisfied with a bar half the size. It was simply too much for me in one sitting. However when I went to the website I saw that they do sell boxes of mini kind bars. From the package on the screen it looked like they sold this bar in a version that was about half the size.

While this was delicious, in this size i would probably not buy it again. It is simply too much of a good thing, However I would happily purchase this dark chocolate cherry cashew bar in a half sized version. I think that would be just enough sweet, just enough afternoon energy and just the right amount of calories for me to feel comfortable with this as an afternoon snack.

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Snacktime: Modern Mill

I know what you are thinking. That is a salad topper, not a snack. I know, but stick with me. The Modern Mill Salad toppers are a line that is carried at most grocery stores, at least the ones near me. There are a bunch of different varieties. This particular one is my favorite. It has edamame, cranberries, cashews and sunflower seeds.

Now here’s the thing. As a salad topper, I am not a fan of this. I’ve tried most of the line and while I purchase them, rarely do any of them make it onto my salad. I think it is a bit too heavy for a salad topping. The cashews are whole and over all this mix tends to dominate whatever salad it is put on. There are also just too many things going on with it. It’s like they pack one too many ingredients into the mix for me to feel happy with it on my salad.

However, as much as I am not a fan of this on my salad, I love it as a mid afternoon snack.

With the whole cashews, sunflower seeds and edamame adding salty nutty crunch and the cranberries adding a tart fruity note, it is actually a really good snack. Very well balanced and really enjoyable. Especially on those days where you just want something to crunch into.

One fourth of a cup is 140 calories so it is a snack for a day when you are going the extra mile with your work out, not for one where the most activity you are getting is chasing a paperclip that some how shot across the room. However there is no filler. The ingredients are really edamame, sunflower seeds, cranberries and cashews. It has 11% of your fiber and 7 grams of protein.

While this isn’t something I enjoy on my salad, I love keeping this in my pantry for a protean packed pick me up. It is well worth having on hand. Just remember that it is very easy to go over board with it, so measure it out instead of simply eating from the bag. I love measuring it out into a small container and taking it with me on bike rides or to snack on between meetings. It is also a good reminder that just because a product is designed for one thing, doesn’t mean it can’t be fabulous for something else.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Green with Apple from Smoothie Box

This is it my darlings. We have reached the fourth and final smoothie variety in the Smoothie Box that the brand sent to me for the purpose of review. Each Monthly Smoothie Box contains four packs of Smoothies. Each of the packs contains five separate smoothie packets so in total there are 20 smoothies included. Each packet contains two portions. In general I find that if I am eating the smoothie for a snack i will only eat half of the package (1 portion) but if I am using it as a lunch then i will mix up the full package. So I would get 20 lunches or 40 snacks out of a Smoothie box. Of the three I’ve tried, the Orange (Clementine) and the Cacao smoothies are fantastic for lunch replacements and the Berry I actually prefer for a snack.

This is the first of the Green with Apple that I have tried so let’s see where I would place it. I will be honest, I left this one for last because I thought it would be too sweet for a meal and thus end up as a snack item. I decided this solely based on the fact that there are both apples and pineapples on the front picture. I know, you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover or a smoothie by it’s bag.

out of the bag (pre blending)

So I blended up the smoothie to see if it would be a lunch item or a snack for later. I blended it with skim milk as I didn’t want to risk the Almond milk making it sweeter than it might be on it’s own. Plus I find that milk is a nice neutral base so that i can determine the actual flavor before I start to adjust it. I can’t lie, when I blended it, the smoothie very much resembled my homemade spinach dip. which isn’t too surprising considering spinach is the first item on the ingredients list.

Full ingredients: Organic Spinach, Organic Granny Smith Apples, Organic Pineapple, Organic avocado, Organic apple juice, Organic Lemon Juice, Organic Brown Flax Seeds and Organic Hemp hearts.

Smoothie Box

And each serving is 80 calories.

When pouring the smoothie into my cup I thought spinach dip. I had to look away to convince my brain that it wasn’t spinach dip. It didn’t smell like spinach dip, which helped. while there is an undertone of spinach the smoothie tasted predominantly of brown flax seeds with a little bit of the hemp hearts thrown in. Occasionally there would be a little nibblet that would make me think apple or pineapple, but it is overwhelmingly flax and hemp heart. It is a very seed-y tasting smoothie.

Which is not a bad taste, just not what I was expecting. And oddly, I miss the sweetness. I think this one could do with a little hint of sweetness added to kind of balance out the seed/nutty taste. In all of the smoothies there were recommendations. With almost all of them I was worried that the additions would make them too sweet and take them out of lunch territory and into snack milkshake ground. (Except for the cold brew coffee added to the cacao smoothie. If I could have that for breakfast every day I would.)

with this smoothie I think the add ins would not only make it delicious, i think they might make it better. The suggestions for possible add ins include, Protein powder, Almond Milk, fruit juice, banana or nut butter. I try not to do too many add ins because I don’t want to increase the calories too much. For me though I think adding the almond milk and banana are the way to go with this smoothie. The almond would pair well with the nuttiness of the seeds and add a little sweetness and the banana I think would bring the other fruit forward a little more.

The smoothie isn’t bad on it’s own, but it feels very one note. I love the iron level, calcium, and protein that I get form this, I just want to add a little bit of sweetness. I will happily have this smoothie as a lunch, but it is the only one that I received in the variety pack where I feel the add ins are needed. In every other smoothie the flavors were complex enough that it feels like a full developed well thought out smoothie. The add ins would be nice but not necessary. This one, needs just a little bit of help. While this Green with Apple is probably my least favorite of the smoothies, it is still quite delicious and I will be consuming all of them during various lunch times. I will also be picking up a bunch of bananas.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Berry from Smoothie Box

Smoothie Box very kindly sent me their monthly smoothie box for the purpose of review. The full subscription review you can find here. As I make my way through the box I am reviewing the individual smoothie types in the box. I received the Variety pack and it contained four separate flavors. This Super Smoothie Berry flavor is number three.

With these smoothies, each pack contains two portions. In general I will always make both portions at the same time, however if I am using it as a snack instead of as a meal, I will only eat half and save the other half for the next afternoon. I still mix them at the same time, then split them, put the unused half in the freezer and then the next morning transfer the un consumed half from the freezer to the fridge. By the time I am ready for my afternoon snack it has the right consistency again. It is super easy and something that really helps me out on days that I know are going to be jam packed.

This smoothie has the lowest calorie count of the smoothies I have tried from the brand. It has 90 calories per serving. For me this was an interesting one. I generally find that if my smoothies are too sweet, my brain thinks of them as a desert and I don’t really feel like I’ve had a lunch. It will feel like a snack rather than a meal and then no matter how many calories are in the mix I will still feel like i should eat something.

If I am using it as a snack then I am fine with the sweeter varieties. Thus far it hasn’t been a problem with the Smoothie Box Smoothies. They have had enough savory elements that I think of them as a meal. With this Berry Smoothie I mixed it up with Almond Milk (one of the recommended liquids). It was absolutely delicious. The issue was that it tasted like a fabulous berry flavored milkshake.

I think part of it is that I always find almond milk to be a little on the sweet side. Once I tasted it, I knew it would be too sweet to serve as a meal, so I went ahead and divided it into two and froze half. I’ll have the other half as a snack tomorrow afternoon.

It was absolutely delicious I just can’t think of something that sweet as a meal. which is my own personal preference. As a snack though, it felt completely indulgent. I found myself double checking the calories. (90 x2 + 60 for a cup and a half of almond milk = 240 for the shake, split in half is 120 cal). It felt like it should have been a lot more. And because it felt like a lot more, I did a little extra in my work out telling myself “Think about that milkshake you had as a snack”. which helped me out in other ways.

I think if I were to use this as a lunch, I would use skim milk and possibly throw a knob of ginger into the mix to make it a bit more savory. However that being said, I am okay with having one variety of these smoothies be designated as snack smoothies rather than lunch time meals. That may just be it’s lane. either way i was delighted with the taste and am looking forward to indulging in the rest of the Super Smoothie Berry bags from the pack.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Clementine from The Smoothie Box

Recently Smoothie Box sent one of their Smoothie Boxes over to me for the purpose of review. The full review of the box can be found here. This is a review of the individual smoothie, Clementine. As always my thoughts and opinions are my own.

At this time of year, time is at a premium. It is almost as though with the arrival of spring the world wakes up shakes off it’s lethargy and goes into hyperdrive. It is my busiest time of year and honestly, my lunch time game suffers because of it. While a lot of studies go into breakfast being the most important meal of the day, for me lunch time is key.

As anyone following along with my posts on a regular basis knows, I am working towards losing weight. I have no desire to run around in a bikini or imitate any form of model-esque appearance. My goal is simply to be a healthier me. And for me to be healthier I need to get some weight off of my bones. If nothing else it will help out my joints in the long run.

today’s add in

the thing is, I cook. I love to cook. Even before activities were curtailed we ate out at most once a month. Other wise I cook. Which, when paired with a weight loss program, means breaking down recipes by caloric intake and portioning things out. Time is often a factor (for everyone, I know) so a lot of times I will make a larger meal, and then portion it out into several meals, freezing portions so that on days when it is to rushed to cook, I have a meal handy.

In theory, this is fabulous. In practice it means that on the nights I cook I really have to monitor what it is that I am portioning out and not say to myself, ‘Well it wouldn’t hurt to have a little extra since there are so many left overs.’ The key to not doing that is a good lunch. And often an afternoon snack.

These smoothie packs are fantastic for that. The calories are listed on the back, all the ingredients are chopped and ready for blending and they are a great mix of ingredients. This Clementine Smoothie (renamed Orange Smoothie on the website)is 120 calories per portion and has loads of good stuff inside. There are two portions per bag. If I am having it as a snack I will only have one portion. If I am having it for lunch i will have two.

The ingredients in this smoothie mix are: Mandarin Segments, Organic Sweet potatoes, Organic Ginger, Organic Coconut Water, Organic Dates, Organic Coconut Cream, Organic Lemon Juice, Carrots and Pumpkin seeds.

Smoothie Box

It is a really interesting mix. The carrots, mandarins and dates make up the sweetness but the ginger and lemon bring it into the savory category. It is a spicy carroty orange flavor which I really enjoy. While the back of the package recommends adding in bananas, Protein Powder, Banana yogurt Orange Juice or Pineapple juice, today I went rogue. I added coconut water and then added a scoop of vanilla bean Greek Yogurt (I am absolutely loving the brand Noosa right now. For me the Vanilla bean has taken the place of after dinner ice cream. It is my favorite.)


The blend oddly enough ,makes it taste a little more like carrot cake. Which I have to admit is my favorite kind of cake. I have had this smoothie with orange juice before and the juice bumps up the orange flavor (obviously) but even with the added sweetness it still has that ginger spice to it.


For me, I am okay with the sweetness, but if it is too sweet then my brain won’t register it as a meal. It will simply thing of the smoothie as a “treat”. Even though it was vaguely reminiscent of carrot cake, it wasn’t too sweet and it made the perfect lunch. As I knw this afternoon was going to be crazy, I went ahead and mixed it up in the morning and put the smoothie in the fridge to wait until lunch time. That’s actually why I used the yogurt. well besides added taste. It keeps the smoothie thick even though the fridge lets some of the frozen bits melt a little by lunch time. It is still just how I like it. This Clementine (Now Orange) Super Smoothie was a fabulous addition to my day.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Cacao from Smoothie Box

Recently Smoothie Box gifted me a Smoothie Box for the purpose of review. For the review of the box as a whole you can click this link. As I work through the box I will be trying out each flavor. As always my opinions are my own. The Smoothie Box I received was the variety pack. If you remember some of my earlier posts, I love a good variety pack. It is a great way to try out a bunch of flavors and get a good idea about the brand as a whole. I love this approach with everything from food to perfume Samples.

I put this review in my snack time line up because these smoothies can be either a snack or a lunch time option. Each smoothie is in an individual bag and has two portions in it. I generally find that if I am eating it a a snack, I will blend the entire bag, and then only drink half. If I have the entire bag then I will use it as a meal replacement. So since it can be both, we are calling it Snack time.

the Smoothie I am trying out today is the Super Smoothie Cacao. Like all of the smoothie bags it has two portions inside. each portion is 130 calories. To mix up you need eight to twelve ounces of liquid added to the mix in the bag when you blend it up. I have a traditional blender (although i am looking at some of the more updated blenders because mine is getting up there in age) and to get the smoothies to blend well I need 12 ounces of liquid. With eight ounces things tend to get stuck and it becomes too thick. So I use eight ounces of Skim Milk (90 cal) with four ounces of water. which means when I have this Cacao Smoothie for a lunch it comes in at 350 calories which is the perfect lunch time meal for me.

The contents of the bag

On the back of the bag there are listed recommended add ins which I really like. Sometimes I will add other items into the mix, just so that it varies them a bit more nd makes them taste different. A lot of the times I just add the milk and water. Smoothie Box recommends Bananas, Protein Powder, Almond Milk, Cold brew, and Nut butter. Quite frankly all of them sound like they would be delicious add ins.

They recommend you add in the contents of the smoothie bag first and then add the piquid, but I find with my blender adding the milk and water in first helps keep the frozen bits from getting caught under the blade.

All blended

I chose this smoothie first from the box because I often have issues with chocolate based smoothies. I actually expected this one to be the one I liked the least. I am not a huge fan of overly sweet things. My tastes tend to lean towards the savory. So when you get Cacao type smoothie mixes two things can happen. One they will be very sweet and it will feel like you are drinking a milkshake.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of milkshakes. However, if I drink something that tastes like a milkshake for lunch it will feel like I am just having dessert. My brain will not think of it as lunch and a little while later i will think, ‘Wow that was a nice treat, but I better have some actual lunch now.’ and I will over eat.

the second thing that can happen with chocolate themed smoothies is they can become chalky. I think to make them healthy a lot of healthy smoothie mixes will reduce the amount of cocoa fat too much and they become chalky that way. At least that’s my theory.

Neither of those things happened with this smoothie. There is a chocolaty taste which is quite nice. There is also a banana taste which is quite nice. And actually it is more banana forward than chocolate. There is a nuttiness to the mix and underneath is a light vegetal note. It is this note that makes it feel like a meal rather than a milk shake. I know it sounds strange but the mix really works well together. It is actually quite delicious.

Smoothie Box has really managed to get the mix right with this one. And what a mix it is. Let’s look at the ingredients list shall we?

Organic Bananas and Banana Puree, Organic Zucchini, Organic Kale, Cacao Chips, Organic Coconut Water, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Coconut Cream, and Organic Cacao Nibs and Cacao Powder

Together the elements simply work. It tastes like a banana chocolate smoothie with a nutty back note, the vegetables only balancing it to remove some of the sweetness and make it feel more like a meal.

Well not only taking the sweetness. All of the elements are good for you and work towards making this a very nutritious meal. According to the ingredient break out:

Organic Bananas and Banana Puree: High in aspartic acid which helps every cell in the body work. It plays a role in hormone production and release and normal nervous system function.

Organic Zucchini: Zucchini is rich in vitamin B6. This vitamin can help with regulating blood glucose which plays a protective role against diabetes.

Organic Kale: Kale contains several antioxidants that help the body remove unwanted toxins that result from natural processes and environmental pressures.

Cacao Chips :To efficiently package ingredients we mix several ingredients together and then freeze them into a smoothie chip. This allows us to include beneficial ingredients like coconut cream, cacao nibs, and other fun ingredients.

Organic Coconut Water: High in electrolytes which are minerals that help your body carry out a variety of vital functions, such as hydration, muscle contractions, pH balance, and nerve signalling.

Organic Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, magnesium, protein, and linoleic fatty acids which may help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.

Organic Coconut Cream: Rich in vitamin C, vitamin E and other B vitamins. These vitamins are good antioxidants which help fight free radicals and thereby reduce the risk of most major diseases.

Organic Cacao Nibs and Cacao Powder: Cacao in any form is exceptionally rich in antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Cacao has been linked to reduced heart disease and diabetes risk.

Smoothie Box

It is a well thought out mix that is quite honestly delicious. As there were five in my Smoothie Box Variety Pack, I am very much looking forward to having the other four come up in rotation.

Snack time: Original Ginger Chews

I know strictly speaking, these Original Ginger Chews fall more into the candy side of things than the snack side, however as I used them to help curb my apatite in the afternoons, I’m going to call them a snack. As many of you who have read these posts often might recall, I generally find a snack in the afternoon keeps me from overeating at dinner. I try to keep my snack around a hundred calories. And in general if I can get it around a hundred, then I will call it a snack.

No these ginger chews are not around a hundred calories each, they are 15 calories each. I picked them up because I really like ginger and because sometimes I need a break from peppermints.

Thies ginger chews are listed as gluten free and 100% natural. While I am thrilled to know that, what I like is the ingredients list. Are you ready for it?

Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Tapioca Starch, Ginger, coconut fat

Wasn’t that a mega long list? Seriously it is essentially ginger mixed with a bit of sweetness to tame it and something to gelify and stabilize it. As you can see from the picture it has a jelly like consistency. It is bendable which I really like. It is slightly stiff but not rock hard (which i think the individual packaging helps with). While I do like hard candies, I like the fact that something labels chew isn’t rock hard.

the two big issues that candies like this have are that they could be rock hard or they could be so sticky that it gets stuck in your teeth. As I said above, this one avoids the rock hard trap. It is a little sticky in the mouth but I haven’t had a problem with it sticking to my teeth too much. While I will bite them, I do tend to suck on them and let them dissolve in my mouth rather than chewing them. And yes I know that chews are meant to be chewed, but somehow I never have. It used to really bother my brother.

The ginger flavor really comes through. It is not overly sweet and not burn your tongue gingery. It strikes a really nice balance between the heat and the sweet. It is also a nice break from the other snacks I tend to pick up which fall into sweet, salty or creamy sections. The texture makes me feel like I’ve eaten something (even if I don’t chew). And the ginger, while very tasty, can also help to settle my stomach if it is feeling upset in anyway. If you like ginger or want a sweet and spicy treat, this might be something to check out.

Snacktime: Four Sigmatic Mushroom Cacao with Reishi

Today we have something a little different for snack time. Instead of a tasted edible, we have a drinkable. It is the Four Sigmatic Mushroom Cacao with Reishi. I recently received several packets of this in a subscription box and I have to say I was very excited to give it a try. I have heard all this talk about how good reishi mushrooms are for you. Apparently it is supposed to help with stress and promote immune health and at this time of year both of those sound like amazing benefits.

Plus while I always love mushrooms, now is the time of year where I really like hot chocolate. So this sounded like the perfect time to try it.

I actually have a set of tea cups that hold 4 ounces of liquid and since that is the amount of liquid needed to turn one of these packets into a drink, I chose it to use today. I wanted to make certain that I didn’t overly dilute it with extra water.

I boiled my water in my electric kettle. I added the mix to the cup and then added the boiled waster untop of it. I stirred really well so there was no left over residue on the bottom. And then I had to wait for it to cool down a little because the cup is uninsulated and too hot to hold.

When I could hold the cup without burning myself I lifted it up and inhaled. There was a wonderful chocolatey scent. I took a sip. The taste did not match the scent. According to the Four Sigmatic website this drink is…

An evening treat that’ll transform your mornings too – Better bedtime starts with a better evening ritual. Organic cacao plus Reishi helps you leave today’s stress behind so you can feel great tomorrow. It’s delicious, just a little decadent, and undeniably good for you.


Organic Reishi mushroom (500ml per serving), Organic cacao powder, organic coconut palm sugar, organic cinnamon, organic cardamom, organic stevia

Four Sigmatic

When I tasted it, I got the cinnamon. I got the cardamom and I got the stevia. There was a slight chocolaty taste as a back note, but it was obliterated by the spices. In addition, even though I deliberately used a cup that could only hold four ounces which is the recommended amount, it tasted watered down with a back note that just read as stale. I think the stale might be down to the watery taste mixing with the mushrooms.

I think they were going for a Mexican Chocolate sort of flavor, which normally I really love. I think the problem is the water. As I said at the beginning, I have a couple of packs so I decided to try a little experiment. I heated up four ounces of milk. And made another cup of the cocoa.

With the milk it tasted more like Mexican Hot Chocolate and I enjoyed it more. It still tasted a little stale, as though it was a box of hot chocolate mix that was stored too long in the cupboard.

To be honest they need to bump up the chocolate flavor. But the milk did help. I honestly think it was the milk fats that kind of helped it out. I know they are going for a healthier alternative, but if they dialed back the cinnamon and cardamom and upped the chocolate it would have a better taste. If you are a vegan, I would consider using a vanilla almond milk with it. Normally the vanilla almond milk is a little too sweet for me, but I think the extra sweetness might actually help this out and make it a more rounded flavor.

I understand what they are trying to do and I think it is admirable, but for me I would rather just have a hot cup of tea or splurge for a hot cup of actual cocoa. This doesn’t replace either but falls short somewhere in the middle. I like the thought of a healthier drink and I don’t mind them adding mushrooms, In fact I would love to see them added to more things. They just fell down on flavor. I just plain didn’t like the taste. This is not a drink I will be repurchasing.

Snacktime: Daisy Cottage Cheese with Strawberries

I have a long time fondness for cottage cheese. I know, it gets a bad rap. A lot of people don’t like it. Some think it’s bland and boring, others that it is tart and slightly sour. Some hate the texture.

Personally, I like the slightly sour taste and enjoy the texture. Plus it is something I grew up with. For me cottage cheese with applesauce was a breakfast staple. In cold weather it was almost always oatmeal in the morning, often with a swirl of maple syrup. When the weather was warm there were grapefruit halves sprinkled with sugar or cottage cheese and applesauce.

So when I saw the small snack sized container of Cottage cheese with strawberries, I had a wave of nostalgic good feelings and scooped one off the shelf to try as my afternoon snack. It is slightly over my usual snack time calorie count as it sits at 140 calories per cup (I generally try to stick to 90-120 cals) but I figured it was only a small amount over and I was only having one during the week, with fruit making up the rest of my snacks this week.

I’m actually using grapes as the grocery store had a really good looking bunch. The amount I measure out only comes to around 100 calories so I figured one day of splurge wouldn’t hurt.

I like the container. It is neat and easily portable. if you have an office fridge then it is easily tucked away. when opened, it has two compartments, the strawberries contained in the upper lid away from the cottage cheese until you mix them. I know it is a little extra packaging, but I do like the separation of products. (more on that in a minute).

The strawberry part of the mix is more like a thin strawberry jam. It slid easily out of the container and into the cottage cheese and was quickly mixed. No muss no fuss. Personally I think it is a little too sweet. It is as if they are trying to negate the slight sourness of the cottage cheese with extra sugar. While I liked the cottage cheese, and daisy is a good brand for cottage cheese, I did not care for the strawberry jam. It was too sweet.

What I did like was the reminder that I do like cottage cheese. And while I do like the separation of products until I am ready to mix them. I really am not a fan of so much packaging. Once in a while I can justify it, but a consistent repurchase I can’t. As the strawberries weren’t really to my taste (even though I love strawberries in general) I think that a little bit of cottage cheese mixed with a fruit substance might not be a bad snack.

I think that Buying a larger container of cottage cheese and measuring out a small serving and then adding my own fruit like bits…like applesauce, might be a better alternative. While I do work from home, if I was to take my snack elsewhere, reusable containers would be my preference. It would also be easily accomplished with the containers I have at my disposal. I have small containers designed to contain a servings worth of salad dressing that would be perfect for applesauce and many containers appropriate for the cottage cheese. It would be a simple enough thing to create and I think better to do so at home than to purchase the premade pack from the store. This way I get to waste less and create my own ideal flavor combination.

While the Daisy Cottage Cheese with Strawberries gets a thumbs up for concept, it is a thumbs down for execution. While it inspires, it will not be repurchased.

Snack Time: Larabar Lemon Bar

As most of you know, a good mid-afternoon snack is a key part of my diet plan. While I generally try to avoid snacking, mostly because I find when I do my calories quickly escalate without me noticing, the afternoon snack is different.

Most meals, I cook at home. I like cooking. I did even before I started my diet plan. I really enjoy the process. Plus I found out very quickly that I really liked playing around with different spices and flavors. I found this out mostly because my babydoll was diagnosed with high blood pressure and we had to cut out a lot of salt laden products on his doctor’s orders. This knocked out a lot of processed food from out eating habits as well as a lot of restaurant meals.

We still go out to eat, but it is a once in a while treat rather than something we do routinely. Our local grocery store can sometimes be limiting, so we do drive out of town to a larger city for some things. We also use the internet a lot, especially for hard to find spices. In addition places like Vital Source has been a huge help in securing quality product as well (we like to eat fish about once a week).

However life gets busy. Sometimes I will make extra portions of a meal that I know freezes well so that on a day when my schedule is swamped, we can have a great meal in a very short period of time. I know, some of you are thinking it is a good idea and you don’t see the problem (or what this has to do with snacking).

The problem is portion control. It is one of my biggest weaknesses. “This turned out really well. I like this recipie. Oh there is still a lot left, maybe I’ll have just a little more.”

If you are going to make multiple portions for saving then you can’t nibble around the edges of the other portions. Not only will it make your planned meal too large but it will short you on a meal at later times. For me the mid-afternoon snack is a very important tool in making sure I stick to my portion. The snack needs to feel substantial without adding a lot of calories. On days when I know I am making extra portions of a meal I really enjoy and know I will want to take extra, it needs to feel like an extra treat. If it does then i feel like I already indulged for the day and am less like to indulge a second time.

This is also why sometimes my snacks aren’t the healthiest of items. Sometimes a guilty indulgence is what I really need. It is also why I generally pay close attention to the calorie count when I have those indulgences. If I am having cinnamon bears then I am counting each one of those little guys to get the portion correct. And then I am lining them up like soldier and destroying them like a rampaging giant. But that is another story.

Often time my afternoon snack is fruit.

Today we are going to talk about the Lara bar. I picked this up because I know a lot of people who swear by it. I also picked it up because it was not cookie dough flavor. While I generally like the flavor of cookie dough, in a snack bar I often find it too sweet and to cloying in the mouth. Occasionally it is very good, but it isn’t my go to. The lemon bar looked like much better bet.

I do have a confession though. You know how I mentioned calorie count earlier? Well I generally try to keep my afternoon snack around the 100 calorie range. Sometimes it will go up, sometimes down, but that is generally the target that keeps me satisfied and makes me feel like I had a bit of a treat.

My confession: I didn’t read the calorie count on the label.

I picked it up, thinking, Its a three inch long power bar, how caloric could it be? It turns out that little bar is 200 calories. I know, packed with nutty fruity goodness. But still it is 100 calories more than I planned to consume. It wasn’t particular problem as I just extended my walk a bit, but it is something to be aware of. Those proteins bars can be packed with calories, as well as good things.

This one does have good things in it. And the taste was very nice. It is a fresh lemon that is tart enough to make you pucker pared with the nutty almonds. I really enjoyed the flavor. It was very fresh tasting. My problem is actually that some of the lemon peels included in the mix were overly large and rock hard. I couldn’t chew them and had to take them out of my mouth as though they were orange seeds when i was eating an orange. The lemony burst was delicious, but the removal was not that pleasant.

And while I could, in theory break the bar into two pieces and use half of it on one day and half of it the next, there is no natural break. It is a bar that is meant to be eaten in one sitting. It is not like the E3 Bars that are deliberately broken into three pieces so you can decide how much you want to consume. This is one whole thing.

I will say though that the calories mean I will treat the Larabar Lemon bar sparingly and go in with the full knowledge of how many calories the product holds. The taste means that I want to eat it again because it was just plain yummy. The overly large and really hard lemon pieces mean if I do pick up another one of these it will be with caution. I’m just not sure the taste is enough to move me past the lemon peel bits. They are tasty, but at one point, I thought I chipped a tooth. I might go for something tasty, but less hazardous in the future.

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