Saturday, September 27, 2008

Kardea Nutrition Bars

The nice folks at Kardea Nutrition sent me a sample of four of their nutrition bars. I am quite the fan of eating "food in bar form," especially vegan ones such as these.

These bars are smaller than more energy bars but are dense. The consistency is very much like Power Bars (something I haven't reviewed yet because I have not had enough of them). The bars are held together by what I'm assuming is agave nectar. There are no weird chocolate bits that will melt everywhere, which is a plus.

Each bar has about 140-150 calories and around 7 grams of protein, which is pretty good. They seem like they would make nice, healthy snacks. And since they are vegan, I'm sure eating these would help with digestion, since I remember clearly having good digestion and high energy when I was eating vegan for a month.

Here are the four flavors I tried:

- Cranberry Almond: I'm not a big fan of almond-flavored things (though I do like almonds), so this kind of tasted cherry-like to me (not a big fan of that taste). This was the first bar I tried, so I was a little surprised by the consistency.

- Banana Nut: This was pretty good. Not too strong on the banana or nut flavors.

- Chai Spice: I had weird memories of Spiru-tein when I tasted this bar. I think the vegetable protein taste was apparent in this one.

- Lemon Ginger: I don't really enjoy lemon-flavored sweets, but I really did like this flavor. Both the lemon and ginger flavors were subtle. Eating this bar reminded me of a hybrid of a lemon-poppyseed dessert and a gingersnap.

Overall, I think these are definitely worth a shot, especially for those vegans or lactose intolerant out there or those who can't stand the taste of whey protein bars. As I said before, they would make great healthy snacks. I don't have a cholesterol issue, but these can help with that as well. I hope to see them around in stores...



Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I'm always trying to get my protein needs fulfilled. Bars are nice, but they melt and are boring after a while. Drinking protein is actually easier and probably more economical in the long-run. I tried straight-out soy protein, but due to the taste, I decided maybe I should try some soy/whey or pure whey formulas. However, my lactose intolerance has increased over the years, making this a poor option, which is too bad, since those are among the most inexpensive. (And luckily, I was able to pawn them off.)

Spiru-tein is a mix of soy/rice/pea protein that I found out about as I was on one of my signing-up-for-free-sample blitzes. I ended up with a free shaker cup and a sample of Cookies and Creme Spiru-tein... plus a coupon for future purchases of it. Given the fact that I don't drink milk, I go against the instructions and mix it with water instead. Yeah, that probably worsens the taste of everything, but what else could I do? It still comes out thick, maybe not as thick as it would have with milk, though.

Each serving, which is quite filling, contains between 100-130 calories and 14 g protein, depending on the flavor. Here are my reviews of sample-sized ones I have tried:

- Cappuicino: This tastes like weak coffee, though a bit disturbing since I've never had thick coffee before. Not too bad.

- Chai Latte: The taste is decent and likens itself to weak chai tea. The only disturbing thing is that it comes out light green.

- Cookies and Creme: This one tastes the best of the ones I've tried so far. The chocolate "bits" in there are not sweet, only reminiscent of chocolate, but overall, still pretty good.

- Cookie Dough: This one turned out so nasty that I gave up after a quarter of it. It did not taste like cookie dough at all... and I love the stuff.

- Strawberry Banana: I knew this might taste a bit medicinal, and I was right. Definitely more tolerable than the Cookie Dough, but I felt as though I was chugging down candy that I didn't like.

- Vanilla: [ update after I try this ]



Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Nike+ Human Race

EVENT: Nike+ Human Race 10K
DATE: Sunday, August 31, 2008
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA (and all around the world)
RACE BEGAN: 8:31:08 pm
FINISH TIME: 00:57:38

This race course took place at Exposition Park near the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, down and out of Figueroa and some smaller streets, passed USC, and made its way back to the start.

I was/am starkly disappointed by my race time. Charging down a hot, stuffy, dark, narrow path on an August evening with 12,000 runners, weird smells from restaurants and other runners, and a revisiting lunch was not the best.

However, knowing that Kanye West and Common were at the end definitely kept me from puking or quitting. They really did deliver an awesome post-race concert performing all of their hits with "flashing lights" abound!

Upon crossing the finish line, everyone was awarded a "baton" with a wristband thing.

There is not much else I can say about this race, particularly because I am unhappy with my lackluster race performances lately. This was my last chance to redeem myself before I get deep into marathon training, which I seriously barely even have time to do with all the stuff I have on my plate (or else I would have considered doing other races, but 11 in a year is plenty, I think).