Apparently I don't get enough protein. That can happen when you don't eat cows, birds, eggs, cheese, butter, ice cream, or anything else that tastes good.
So about two months ago, I went to the health food store and asked the woman in the snack section which protein bars are the most popular. I figured people who actually eat them ought to know.
She recommended five. "I eat (Bar 1) every day," she said. "I like the dark chocolate."
Well, of course, I thought, and picked up Bar 1.
"These are good, too," she added, handing me four more options.
They all have 12-14 grams of protein. Which is good, I guess. I don't know how big a gram is. I know 4 oz. of meat is a serving.
My husband just informed me there are approximately 28.5 grams in one ounce. He knows this, he said, because in the Air Force, he weighed confiscated marijuana.
Really, I said. I never knew this.
That day, for lunch, I opened Bar 1. It had a sweet, waxy white frosting and tasted like a dense granola bar. Chewy, but gritty, like sawdust. But in a healthy kind of way.
I ate only half before I was full. No kidding. It felt a bit heavy in my stomach. Not uncomfortable, just very filling. I guess that's what 7 grams of protein feels like. A brick.
I ate the other half a few days later, when I knew I'd be out running around for awhile. A little concrete in the gut would hold me for several hours. And it did.
A week later, I tried Bar 2. It was gritty too, but more like potting soil. The bar was chocolate, so it looked like I was eating dirt. But the flavor was OK. Again, I could eat only half.
These bars are only 1.5 ounces, but I swear, they're like eating a whole turkey. Never have I eaten so little and been so stuffed.
That night, I ate the other half of Bar 2 for dinner. Along with a banana. Half an hour later, I was in my pj's, dozing off.
I decided to wait a week before I had another bar. Two bars in ten days was too much. How can people eat an entire bar every day?
The following week I tried Bar 3. Still couldn't get the thing down in one sitting. I find this ridiculous.
Of the first three bars I tried, this was my favorite...
As protein bars go - now knowing they are a heavy, typically grainy product - this one is fairly good.
Bar 4 came in handy several weeks ago, when Mom was hospitalized after a fall. I strolled the halls and gnawed on this bar while Mom slept. It was the first protein bar I finished in one eating.
But it took me an hour.
I've decided you have to work up to these things. Kind of like jogging. You run a mile, and as you adjust to the soreness and exhaustion, you add another mile. It's not really enjoyable, but it's good for you, so you keep at it.
I had Bar 5 last week. Another day of running errands, not knowing when I'd get a meal.
A protein bar doesn't really taste like a meal, but after you eat one, you're not eager to eat anything else for awhile. So it's good to carry one when your schedule is off kilter. They're wrapped so tight and are so solid, I think they would last for years.
They'd be the food you'd want to take into a bomb shelter.
I learned recently there are "dozens" of brands of protein bars out there. But, I think I'm done with exploring the options. I doubt any will taste like a Milky Way.
My favorite (favorite is a relative term here) brand?
balance is really kind of OK.
A final note: they all taste better with a vanilla milkshake.
(p.s. If you eat protein bars, let me know what you like.)