Monday, July 13, 2015

Fagan Eats Paleo Product Review: Exo Paleo Protein Bars with Cricket Flour

Exo Protein Bars with Cricket Flour
Exo Protein Bars with Cricket Flour

I have so many recipes that are just floating around in my brain and not enough time get them down and photographed.  Some things I've got in the works are a simple duck confit, seared duck breast with fig sauce, and lemon butter shrimp over spaghetti squash with a broccoli/cauli puree "pesto" sauce.  I'm finding that eating duck is giving me tons of energy.  I always feel great after I have it, so I'm trying to incorporate more of it into my diet.  I'm so looking forward to getting these recipes down and onto the blog!  

Hmm.  Let's see.  What else is going on?  I got my butt kicked last week doing a FitRanx fitness test for Level 3.  I made it through, but it was not pretty.  My previous tests have been so empowering that I was surprised by how this one left me feeling a little defeated.  Damn kettlebell cleans.  Such an awkward movement. That and simply not fueling up properly before the test were my issues. But I learned a lot from the experience, and I'm just going to focus on preparing for the next test.

I also just finished another six-week boot camp challenge this past week, and I have to say i'm kind of glad it's over.  This type of thing was great at the beginning of the year when I was really trying to start new healthy habits.  But this time, the required weekly weigh-in and food journal tracking on myfitnesspal kind of wore me out and felt like a little overkill since I'm already making good food choices.  But I love the sense of community, making new friends, and the team-oriented atmosphere--so either way, it was a fun experience.  

So, that's what's new in my world.  Now onto this post's intended topic:  A review of Exo Protein bars made with cricket flour.  I heard about these first from the Paleo View podcast with Stacy Toth and Sarah Ballantyne. They mention these protein bars often because cricket flour is a great source of protein if you happen to be doing the autoimmune Paleo diet. Other sources of protein like whey or egg white protein don't work for those doing the autoimmune protocol. Thus, those on AIP are forced to use collagen hydrolysate as their protein source, which, unfortunately, isn't a complete protein.  And that's why these cricket flour bars are so helpful.  Cricket flour is a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids, that's AIP compliant.  Yea--they're made with insects.  So what.  Right?  Haha.  

Let me back up a little bit by explaining what Exo bars are:  Exo Bars are protein bars made from cricket flour as the protein source.  They come in a variety of flavors like Cacao Nut, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Apple Cinnamon, and Blueberry Vanilla.  They can be purchased online at the Exo Bar website or at various natural grocery stores.  

These Paleo-friendly protein bars were created by some Brown University students while they were in college.  They doubled down on their idea, turned down some great post-college job opportunities, and launched a successful kickstarter campaign.  And voila--the Exo bar brand was born.  Along with a pretty good story to boot.  

I absolutely recommend that anyone looking for a protein bar or some sort of Paleo-friendly convenient bar try them.  It's certainly worth a try. But for me, these were not my favorite.  I ordered the sampler, which had one of each of the flavors. It seems like the Cacao Nut flavor is most popular among customers.  I've seen it described as tasting like a "brownie."  I wouldn't go that far. It doesn't taste like a brownie to me.  It tastes like a protein bar.  But it isn't bad.  It just isn't great in my book. And that was my feeling about all the other flavors.  Good and okay, but not great.  I also found that the carb-to-protein ratios kind of did weird things to my blood sugar and didn't keep me satiated for long.  But that's just me.

I'm not a low-carb, high-fat, keto kinda girl.  I eat a moderate amount of carbs and my body seems to like that approach best.  But for some reason, the balance in these bars just didn't work well for me. And I didn't really love the flavors.  But really, who loves the taste of protein bars, anyway?!?

To sum it all up, I'd say that these are worth a try to see if they work for you, especially if you are doing the autoimmune protocol and are looking for some type of convenient, take-along bar that meets your individual dietary needs.  

Hope you enjoy!  --Jamie

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