June 19, 2012

Gnu Food fiber bar review + GIVEAWAY!!!

Fiber is my new homie, courtesy of the Gnu Foods fiber bar.
A couple of weeks ago the company contacted me about trying their fiber bar because they thought it would be a product my audience would be interested in.

And after snacking on them for a couple of weeks, I’m hooked.
See, I’ve mentioned before how a lack of fiber diet is sort of a huge issue in my family.
My dad has IBS, and occasionally I’ve been known to have a spastic colon.
I’ve tried upping my fruit and veggie intake, as well as nuts and grains, but it takes a lot to reach my daily fiber content of 25g-30g.
So, while I was in college I tried taking some fiber supplements but I had a hard time jumping on that bandwagon.
I mean, I’m 25 years old, and I’m just now learning to take my vitamins on a regular basis.
After the pill-popping fiasco, I tried some of the crazed fiber bars that started to hit the market: Fiber One, Kashi, Kellogg
They were good, but each bar had about 9g of fiber which was way too much for me to handle at once.
Not to be gross, but they tore my colon up in the sense that it cramped a lot, and I’m so not about eating food that causes me pains.
So... I decided to stay away from tons of dairy, eat smaller meals, and stick with fruits and veggies and the occasional LUNA bar that had a tid bit o’fiber.
But I still knew I wasn’t getting enough.
Because here’s the thing about fiber.
It’s a complex carb that is super great for your health. It’s not digestible and has no calories. It moves through your digestive system without being absorbed, improving digestion and promoting natural regularity and intestinal health. Some of the benefits of fiber include reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, lower cholesterol, and diverticular disease. It’s also a proven tool in preventing weight gain.  (Fiber 101)
AND it helps with IBS symptoms: Many IBS sufferers have reported that eating fiber soothes their symptoms. Dietary fiber helps regulate bowel movements and create softer stools, resulting in less strain and discomfort on the sensitive colons of IBS sufferers. Increasing dietary fiber gradually can help avoid excessive gas or bloating. (Combat Digestive Disorders)
I mean, running does wonders for cleaning out and keeping a healthy digestive system, but despite that, we runners still need fiber. It’s imperative to our health.
Enter the The Gnu Foods Flavor and Fiber bar.
  • They were launched in 2004
  • Contain 12g of fiber (which is 48% of the daily intake!)
  • About 130-140 calories each.
  • Made with 6 whole grains and organic whole wheat and kamut flavors
  • Loaded with both insoluble and soluble fiber
  • Fruit juice sweetened
  • Soft, chewy, homemade texture which is HUGE in my book
There are 9 flavors: Banana Walnut, Cinnamon Raisin, Chocolate Brownie, Orange Cranberry, Peanut Butter, Espresso Chip
3 of which are recently launched dessert-inspired flavors: Carrot Cake, Blondie, and Blueberry Cobbler
Can I just tell you how much I enjoyed every. single. flavor. ? Even after my leeriness at eating 12g of fiber in one sitting?
I honestly wasn’t sure how my colon would handle all of the fiber because after the other bars I had tried at 9g each, I’ve honestly not been able to eat a lot of fiber at once.
But for the sake of a review, I gobbled a whole bar down.
And I had no issues.
My colon was happy.
I firmly believe the difference is because the Gnu flavor and fiber bars are entirely natural.
Meaning there is NO high fructose corn syrup, NO refined sugars (except the chips in the brownie, blondie, and espresso bars), NO hydrogenated oils, and NO dairy (except in the blondie) or Whey.
And that has made all the difference.
The company sent me a sample box of 16 bars, and I’ve been snacking on them morning and afternoon, eaten a few for breakfast, tried them for pre-run fuel and post-run recovery, and even crumbled one in some Greek yogurt.
I love them and recommend them all ways!
Flavors (In order of favorite)
  • Chocolate Brownie: This one definitely has the chewy brownie down, and the chocolate is rich in flavor without the guilt. And it tastes great crumbled in some Greek yogurt for a nice dessert.
  • The Blueberry Cobbler  and Orange Cranberry  are a tie for second. Both have very strong fruit flavors, and the fruit juice really adds to the layers of taste! The blueberry is bursting with berries and tastes almost like a honest cobbler. The orange-cran smelled citrus-heavenly the minute I opened the package and it reminded me of Fall.
  • Espresso Chip
    I love espresso flavored treats, and this one proved for a delicious breakfast paired with a cup of coffee. As a warning though, if you aren’t a coffee-flavored person, this isn’t the bar for you. It’s very bold in flavor.
  • I have yet to find something that out does my family's banana bread recipe, but  the Banana Walnut is close. This was the first one I tried, and I was in heaven. It’s soft, and chewy, and I bet if I warmed it up it would taste exactly like banana bread. It has a nice, non-overpowering banana flavor and the walnuts are generous.
  • One of my wedding cake layers was a carrot cake flavor, and my sister-in-law Baker Queen is an amazing baker, but the Carrot Cake bar might just be creepin’ up on her. It’s full of raisins, carrots, walnuts, and spices. I really wanted to spread a little cream cheese icing on top, but I figured that would detract from the health factor. It did, however, make a lovely lunch dessert one day.
  • I’ve been known to scoop peanut butter out of the jar every once in awhile, but I often stay away from peanut butter flavored bars. There’s just not enough real flavor in
    them for me. But, the Peanut Butter was a success. It has a deep, nutty flavor, and out of all the bars, this one reminded me more of a protein bar than anything. I may or may not have added a little slab of PB for some extra pre-run fuel.
  • Like the banana bread, the whole cinnamon raisin flavor is sacred to me. I blame Grandma Goldie’s oatmeal raisin cookies. The Cinnamon Raisin bar was good, and very strong in cinnamon flavor which I like, but just not my favorite of the bunch. I’d eat it in a variety pack, but personally I would order other flavors over this one.
  • I am not a huge Blondie fan in real life, so that’s probably why this was my least favorite bar. Gnu definitely has the flavor down pat, with some plums for added flavor, but I just find the blondie flavor to be too bland for my taste buds. It was still good though, and if you’re a fan of the sweet treat, you’ll really like this one!
These are a very strong believe ‘em product and overall they get a 10* These are strongly becoming a staple in my life and my pantry. If you have issues with not getting enough fiber in your diet, or complications where fiber can help, I highly recommend these bars. Not only are they full of fiber, but they are a healthy, low-calorie treat that tastes really good.
Honestly, there was no stick tasting, full of wood flavor that I often associate with fiber. These taste like they just came out of my oven.

Gnu foods offers a store locator to find the closest products near you, but you can also order online.
  • Single bars are $1.99
  • 5-packs are $7.89
  • 16-packs are $23.99
  • AND they offer a JOY of Fiber club where can order 30, 45,60,75,90, or 120 variety packs delivered to your door every month with free shipping.
GIVEAWAY TIMEThe fun part is that Gnu has graciously offered to ship one lucky reader a free 16-pack of flavor and fiber bars in YOUR choice of flavor!
All you have to do is
1. Leave me a comment telling me which flavor you’d like to try, AND your favorite way to spend summer!
For extra entries you can
2. Follow @gnufoods and me @RnnrCait on twitter and tweet about the giveway linking to Gnu and me
3. Like Gnu Foods on Facebook
Just leave extra comments telling me you tweeted or liked!
The giveaway will run through Tuesday, June 26th, and I’ll pick a winner via random.org. The winner will be announced Wednesday morning via blog post!
A HUGE thank you to Gnu foods for the samples and giveaway sponsor!
Passing the Baton: Have you tried Gnu before? If so, what’s your favorite flavor?
* Disclaimer. I was not paid to write this review. I received the Gnu bars, fair and square, from the company.  All of the thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone based on personal tasting of the product. 100% honesty. Gnu was not promised a positive review, they just happened to get it.