Protein Bars for the Perfect Afternoon Snack

When I started this journey I was on the go a lot. I worked a full time job and going to school at the same time. I needed portable and portion controlled foods. I needed something I could stash in my desk or backpack to keep hunger at bay and keep me away from the vending machine.

LUNA bars first appeared in 1999, the same year I started my journey. They became my go to protein bar. They started with four flavors, if I remember correctly: Nutz Over Chocolate, Chocolate Pecan Pie, Lemon Zest and Toasted Nuts & Cranberry. I would keep cases in my desk drawer at work and have one every afternoon around 2:30 pm with my diet Coke. They got me through the long afternoon between lunch and when I might finally get around to dinner.

I have since kicked my diet Coke habit, but LUNA bars are still a part of my snack bar repertoire. I recommend them to my clients as a transition away from granola bars and a healthier way to satisfy a sweet tooth. They are and always will be one of my favorite snack size protein bars.

I have expanded my protein bar rotation in the past few years. I’ve sampled many new bars over the last several weeks but, as with the LUNA bar, I find myself coming back to my old favorites.

Designer Whey Bar

I’ve used their protein powder for years. When they introduced a bar, I was thrilled. With only 160 calories and 10 g of protein, the Triple Chocolate makes the perfect afternoon snack when paired with fiber rich fruit, like an apple or a pear.

NuGo Slim

One again the NuGo team brings you a bar that is free of artificial sweeteners. Yes, it has real sugar but only 2 g. The 15 grams of protein far outweigh that small amount of sugar. The Brownie Crunch will satisfy a chocolate craving and is gluten free.

Kind Madagascar Vanilla Almond

While it may not have as much protein as I normally like, the healthy fats from the nuts helps give it plenty of staying power. The texture is more like a granola bar and it is gluten and GMO free.

DIY Protein Bars

My favorite (and less expensive) protein bar is one I make myself. I found a recipe for No Bake Protein Bars in Oxygen Magazine many years ago. The ingredients are simple:

4 scoops protein powder
2 cups oats
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup water
1 tbsp milled flax

Mix and press into an 8×8 pan. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes and voila – 8 ready to go protein bars. If you use chocolate protein powder they taste a little like no bake cookies.

Quite honestly, I am tired of testing protein bars. I am ready to get back to my homemade favorites with the occasional store bought bar. What about you? What’s your go to protein bar? Have you found a new favorite based on my recommendations?

  • Sarah Kerner

    Ooh — I’m excited to try your homemade bar! I have a stash of Luna bars in my desk drawer right now. Were the ALT Larabars not that good? I really love the classic larabars.

  • Tamara Grand

    I love that Starbucks carries Kind bars. Not an everyday occurrence for me, but a once in a while treat! And I only recognize 3 of the bars in your photo! (Clearly, I need to expand my repertoire..)

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    Love the ALT bars! I just put them with the energy bars because of the dates.

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    And I could have grabbed at least 10 more. :)

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    By the way, the DIY bars are really good.

  • Toni Church

    I love Kind bars, but only use them on occasion, I am going to have to try your DIY ones!

  • http://sensualappealblog.com/ Kammie @ Sensual Appeal

    I love the designer whey bars they are so good. I love the chocolate one and I top it with some almond butter.

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    I need to make some DIY ones. :) I miss them.

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    Wow, good idea!

  • Coco

    Luna Chocolate Peppermint is my favorite. I haven’t tried the Designer Whey bars.

  • Jennifer Speer

    I love the Luna Chocolate Peppermint. Honestly I have been too lazy to make my own lately. I just found a recipe for a cashew/apricot bar I hope to try this weekend. I really appreciate you doing the footwork on this for me. :)

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    I love Chocolate Peppermint, but my absolute favorite is chocolate dipped coconut. :)

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    That sounds good! I have another bar I make with oats, protein powder and apricots and it is very yummy.

  • berlinoise

    I keep coming back to your DIY bars – so good!

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    Hello Liz! I just wish I could take credit for the recipe but alas it is not my own creation.

  • Kathy Schaffer

    Love the Fit n Crisp vanilla marshmallow by Promax. They tasted just like a rice crispy treat. I have heard they’re not made anymore. Anybody know? Where can I find them or a recipe to make my own

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