For those of you who are always on the go and would opt not to eat if you didn’t have to, it’s time to try out one of the many energy bars available today. It used to be the options were few and far between, not to mention the fact they tasted like … uh, yeah. However, now there are so many healthy alternatives to snack on, the problem isn’t what to eat, but which one to eat.

To make things easier, nutritional information describing each of the bars is provided so you can become familiar with which are good for you, a few key words are defined for clarity, and a panel of taste testers let you know what’s up with the overall flavor.

I hope this helps you decide which quick-energy fix you want to pick up when you don’t have the time to slow down and eat a well-balanced meal. And keep in mind, a healthy diet is not just about boosting physical welfare; our mental and emotional well-being is equally affected by what we put into our bodies. There is a lot of truth in the old cliché, “You are what you eat.”

Odwalla Bars are made from organic oats, crisp brown rice, crunchy nuts, and real fruit such as cranberries, apples, figs, berries, and citrus. They are wheat and dairy free, sweetened only with natural nectars, and contain nothing artificial. Antioxidant vitamins E and C are also included. Flavors: Cranberry Citrus, Peanut Crunch, Organic Carrot, Chocolate Raspberry, Fruity C Monster, and Super Protein.

Organic Carrot
Cotex 3000x says, “A hippie would love this.”
Lola Soloa says, “No tastiness to speak of. The bar falls apart as you chew.”
Aunt Bea says, “The name scared me, but it tastes like crumbly carrot bread.”

Peanut Crunch
Lola Soloa says, “Bits of nuts make it seem healthy.”
The Man Who Knew Too Much says, “Crunchy, good flavor. Tastes like a real treat, not a vitamin.”
Denver McAllister says, “Yum! It’s a vegan peanut-butter cookie!”

Boulder Bars are oven-baked, sweetened naturally with fruit juices and brown rice, and contain figs, berries, and non-genetically modified soy protein. They do not contain wheat, honey, dairy, oils, or preservatives. They are all-natural, provide pure sources of complex carbohydrates and proteins, and are certified vegan by the National Vegan Products Association. Flavors: Apple Cinnamon, Original Chocolate, Boulder Berry, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter. *Bonus: The wrappers use recycled materials and soy-based inks.

Apple Cinnamon
CoCo Puffs says, “Looks like liver paté and tastes like a fruity space- food bar.”
Sal A. Vader says, “Strong apple cinnamon flavor reminds me of Quaker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal.”
Priscilla says, “Not too bad at first, but the aftertaste is wrong!”

Peanut Butter
Lola Soloa says, “Much moister than most.”
Denver McAllister says, “Consistency of cookie dough¿I like this one!”
Priscilla says, “Doesn’t taste like peanut butter¿more like a Fig Newton, but good.”

The Grabber Energy Bar is 100-percent natural fruit with no added sugar, caffeine, preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, dairy, wheat, soy, gluten, or nuts. It is high in fructose (warning: sugar) and carbohydrates from natural fruit juices. Flavors: Apple-Apricot, Apple-Raspberry, Apple-Strawberry, and Wild Mountain Berry.

Apple-Apricot
Hot Moves says, “Mmm, jelly-like.”
Denver McAllister says, “It’s a super-dense fruit roll-up.”
CoCo Puffs says, “Looks like a ‘package’ from Fido¿tastes like baby food and booty.”

Clif Bars are baked with whole grains, rolled oats, and real fruit and nuts. There are no highly processed sugars or hydrogenated oils. They are sweetened with brown-rice syrup and evaporated cane juice, are wheat and dairy free, and contain non-GMO soy protein. Also included are antioxidants A, C, E; selenium; and decaffeinated green-tea extract. Flavors: Chocolate Brownie, Ginger Snap, Carrot Cake, Cookies n’ Cream, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Cranberry Apple Cherry, Apric, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch, and Chocolate Almond Fudge.

Ginger Snap
The Man Who Knew Too Much says, “Ginger? Yuck! Why ginger? At least make it like a gingerbread cookie.”
Sal A. Vader says, “Not quite as tasty as their other flavors.”
Priscilla says, “The ginger makes me crave sushi¿I don’t like it.”

Chocolate Brownie
Cotex 3000x says, “Like chocolate mixed with healthy stuff.”
Steve Fever says, “Mmm, like chocolatey grain straight from the trough.”
Roscoe says, “Yummy. Tastes like a brownie.”

The PowerBar Harvestà‚„¢ is made with real fruit pieces, natural whole grains, high-quality soy protein, and natural sweeteners. It contains sixteen essential vitamins and minerals, including 100- percent daily value of antioxidant vitamins C and E. There are no artificial colors or flavors. Flavors: Blueberry, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Cherry Crunch, Apple Crisp, Chocolate, and Strawberry.

Blueberry
Amanda Hugnkiss says, “Not too bad. Kind of tastes like an uncooked blueberry muffin.”
CoCo Puffs says, “Kinda cute, mystery crunchies, millet?, and ‘booberries’¿fake-sweet blueberries¿taste nice.”
Lola Soloa says, “Blueberry flavor is noticeable, but overall taste is like a bird-seed stick.”

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
Steve Fever says, “My tastebuds weren’t harvesting the flavors.”
Horacio says, “Yums. This one is the most sugary tasting, which means it’s the best.”
Cotex 3000x says, “It’s stuck in my teeth.”

The Balance Outdoorà‚„¢ contains all natural ingredients and nothing artificial. It is sweetened with organic agave nectar and organic brown-rice syrup, is made with soy protein¿a natural source of isoflavones, and has 40-30-30 balanced nutrition. Flavors: Crunchy Peanut, Chocolate Crisp, Nut Berry, and Honey Almond. *Bonus: Send in four Balance Outdoor wrappers to the Balance Outdoor Project Global Releaf, and they will plant a tree in your name. Call (323) 966-5721 for more information.

Nut Berry
Sal A. Vader says, “Balance should go back to the flavor drawing board.”
CoCo Puffs says, “Too much mystery leads to resentment. Okay nut flavor, but scary texture and appearance.”
Lola Soloa says, “Initial bite wasn’t bad, but a few chews in exposed a not-so-pleasant flavor.”

Honey Almond

Horacio says, “You can taste the almond lots. My grandma used to make cookies like this, but hers were better.”
Steve Fever says, “It reminds me of eating those rubber tan erasers in grade school.”
Hot Moves says, “Very refreshing.”

The Gatoradeà‚„¢ Energy Bar is made from crisp rice and whole-grain oats, and contains six B vitamins and antioxidants A, C, and E. Watch out for dextrose, sugar, glucose, wheat, and oil. Flavors: Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Mixed Berry, and Orange.

Orange
Aunt Bea says, “Tang-flavored Rice Crispy treats¿if you like that sort of thing.”
Hot Moves says, “Tastes like Fruit Loops.”
The Man Who Knew Too Much says, “They should stick to drinks.”

Chocolate
Steve Fever says, “Yum, I love Choco-Cocoa Pebbles.”
Cotex 3000x says, “Okay for the first couple of seconds.”
CoCo Puffs says, “That’s nasty! Fake choco-taste and stale crispy bits.”

The Mountain Liftà‚„¢ has all natural ingredients and contains 100- percent RDA of twelve vitamins and minerals; antioxidants A, C, and E; and an herbal blend of ginseng and ginko biloba. It is formulated to improve oxygen utilization, increase energy, and reduce muscle fatigue and soreness. Watch out for high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, dextrose, lactose, and oil. Flavors: Banana Nut, Peanut Crunch, Chocolate, Cappuccino Crunch, and Berry Crunch.

Banana Nut
CoCo Puffs says, “Yummalicious!”
Lola Soloa says, “Most consistent taste and not overwhelming banana flavor.”
Hot Moves says, “Damn! Where’s the garbage?”

Cappuccino Crunch
Amanda Hugnkiss says, “Looks and tastes like a candy bar.”
CoCo Puffs says, “Nice candy-bar appearance, but coffee grounds/bottom of my shoe flavor was ghastly!”
Steve Fever says, “McLyte once wrote a line in a song: ‘Why oh why did I eat cappuccino?’”andy-bar appearance, but coffee grounds/bottom of my shoe flavor was ghastly!”
Steve Fever says, “McLyte once wrote a line in a song: ‘Why oh why did I eat cappuccino?’”