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Cleanse Excitement, Product Review, and Gratitude

Posted Jan 07 2010 6:35pm

spark-logoThank you to all the lovely ladies who participated in last night’s Spark! Wellness + Choosing Raw Cleanse teleclass! Hadley, Andrea and I were blown away by the intelligent questions and comments you all threw out, from “how do I explain the cleanse to my husband?” to “how much exercise is recommended while you’re cleansing?” Hopefully we helped to clear up some of these issues. For those of you who are already signed up for the cleanse, the call was recorded and is available for listening; details here.

For those of you who are still considering signing up for the cleanse, which was just featured in VegNews magazine, the deadline has been extended to this Sunday, January 10th, which is the day on which cleanse materials (including meal plans, recipes, and tips) will be sent out to participants. I, for one, can’t wait to lead the program and to follow it along with my cleansers. The level 3 forum is already abuzz with wonderful conversation about the cleansers goals and intentions, and I’m looking forward to more dialogue with these smart and motivated women!

On to food. It’s been a while since I did a product review, so I thought I’d share with you all my latest taste test. The lovely folks at Divine Foods were kind enough to send me samples of their Boomi and SuperCharger PranaBars!

002-375x500I’ve been hoping to sample PranaBars for a long time. They’re certified organic and gluten-free, sweetened with organic agave nectar, and (this is my favorite part) the nuts are slow cooked at low temperatures to denature their enzyme inhibitors, making them slightly more digestible than other nut based bars. The new SuperCharger line is infused with so-called superfoods: maca, goji berries, acai, and the like.

Now, you guys know that I’m a devoted fan of LaraBars. But I will confess, I was excited to add some variety to my bar options. And overall, these guys hit the spot!

The pros: Flavor! So far, I’ve tried the Raspberry Pomegranate and Goldenberry Goji flavors. Like  LaraBars and Clif Nectar bars, they taste simple and clean. But their flavor is slightly more complex and rich than LaraBars; the Goldenberry Goji flavor, for example, tasted of fresh vanilla. It was delicious! These guys are sweeter than some other bars I’ve tried, so I’d suggest them for when you’re in the mood for a dessert-like snack. I sampled by bar along with a large tahini-romaine salad (pictured here–nothing shouts “scenic photo op!” more than a desk lunch), and found that the bar held my hunger nicely all afternoon—a big plus!

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The cons: The bars all contain puffed amaranth in addition to nuts, which means that they’re miscombined. In fairness, they didn’t upset my stomach in the slightest, and amaranth is absolutely one of my favorite grains, so I was psyched to see it on the ingredient label. That said, it’s present in a very small amount, so part of me wishes they’d leave it out altogether, for a well-combined treat.

The mix of grains and nuts was more evident in the Boomi Bar, which contains crisp rice. I didn’t love this bar as much, to be honest. It was mostly a question of texture: I enjoyed the density of the PranaBar more than the crunch of the Boomi Bar (I also see on the company website that some Boomi Bars–not the flavor that was sent to me–contain Whey Protein Isolate, which I’m not a fan of, primarily because it’s not vegan, and secondarily because protein isolates are highly processed and some are suspected carcinogens).

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My other quibble here is that I tend to cringe at too much hype about “superfoods”—I think it’s a highly misleading label for foods that are simply nutrient-dense (like many other foods). Goji berries are not going to save your life, and the effects of such plants as maca still demand more study before they can be considered conclusive. I have no problem with people enjoying superfoods; certainly, they’re far more nourishing and tasty than many other foods that our society has deemed health-promoting! But I think our obsession with superfoods is a part of our search for quick fixes–foods or supplements that will magically serve as cure alls for weight loss, sickness, and low energy–rather than doing what we should be doing, which is to eat a clean, balanced, plant based diet every single day.

The cult of superfoods, though, is not the issue here. The issue is, how did Gena ultimately like her PranaBars? And the answer is, a lot! I’m not a BoomiBar convert, but I am a big fan of the PranaBars, and encourage you to give them a shot. They’re delicious, healthy, made with great integrity, and (from what I experienced) highly digestive-friendly.

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Thumbs up.

Speaking of products, there is a stevia giveaway going on here. And speaking of delicious snacks, I’m sending a giant hug to my dear friend Nelly, who made me chocolate peppermint donut holes for Christmas!

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I’ve been enjoying these treats all week, Nel: thank you so much! May everyone have friends as thoughtful and culinarily gifted as Ms. Nelly: attorney, crusader, ultimate Frisbee champ, vegetarian, hottie, and newly-initiated food processor addict.

On that note, I wish you all a great night :-)

xo

P.S. It’s Thursday. Everyone check out my friend Katie’s awesome Vegan Thursday Challenge!

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