Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Quest bars via Best Supps

March 15, 2014

Have you tried Quest bars? If you haven’t tried one yet I’m sure you’ve heard of them. They’ve been big news in the USA for a while and have slowly made their way over here. One UK stockist – Best Supps – kindly sent me some to review.
quest bar free delivery uk
First of all, why is the fitness community going crazy for Quest?

Aside from the taste (more on that later!) the nutritional stats and ingredients are pretty fantastic for a “store bought” bar. Very few ingredients, no nasties, no chocolate coating. In short, they’re not one of those protein bars which are basically a chocolate bar in a hench wrapper. Quest bars are the real deal. High in protein and very low in carbs (most of the carbs are soluble fibre) – in fact most of the bars have around 3g net carbs, and they’re all from nuts.

Here’s what the various flavours contain:

Whey protein isolate (WPI) and milk protein isolate
Isomalto-Oligosaccharide (IMO) (a plant-derived fibre)
Natural nut butters (peanut, almomd)
Peanuts, almonds, cashews
Sea salt
Lo han guo (a plant-derived sweetener)
Stevia, erythritol and sucralose

Sucralose is probably the “worst” thing on the ingredient list. Not too shabby!

Quest bars are famous for their flavours. Here are my top three:

Banana nut muffin
Amazing! Not too sweet, a true banana bread taste. Warm the Quest bar up in the oven for a few minutes and it’s even more authentic.

Chocolate brownie

The chunk-factor of this is amazing! I don’t quite know how they do it. Big, soft chunks of chocolateyness in a slightly chewy bar. Delicious.

Vanilla almond crunch
I was really surprised that I liked this one so much (more than the Cinnamon Roll or the various Peanut Butter flavours!) I thought it would be too mild and bland but actually it’s a lovely taste, subtle but so moreish. Not many chunks in this one (you want the brownie bar for that) but very soft.

I have to say that the bars I was sent are definitely softer and nicer to eat than the two Quest bars I’ve tried in the past (from elsewhere). It’s really noticeable. I asked Mike at Best Supps why this might be and he said: “We do turn them over quite fast, so they’re never on our shelves for long.”

Why buy Quest bars from Best Supps rather than anywhere else? Two good reasons that I can see: you can buy individual bars (rather than an entire box of one flavour) and delivery is free, even for one bar. So if you want to try a bar or a new flavour but you’re not sure about it (or if you don’t want the temptation of a dozen bars in the house!), it’s ideal.

One last thing: don’t just eat your Quest bars straight up. That would be wasting a ton of opportunities! Check out the official Quest youtube channel for some amazingly creative “15 second recipes”, or use my favourite method (it takes about 5 minutes):

– unwrap the bar, pop it in a warm oven for about 2 minutes til it soften
– roll it out thinly with a rolling pin or bash it with something to flatten it
– turn the oven up a bit
– slice the flat bar with a sharp knife into strips or squares
– you could add a berry or a smear of nut butter on each strip/square at this point
– put the bits back in the hot oven for 2-3 minutes
– leave them to cool slightly

Voila. Quest bar mini-cookies (or thumb-print cookies if you did the berry thing).

Yum Yum!

Thanks Best Supps – find them online here or at the Best Supps Facebook page or follow them on Twitter for offers and deals.

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Quest bars via Best Supps is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: NutriPro Bake bars

June 13, 2012

Hands up who likes baked goods? Yeah, me too. Problem being that normal cookies, brownies and cakes don’t really jive with the whole idea of eating clean and being lean. Or feeling mean. Or however the saying goes. (Eat mean? Train clean? Who knows.)

Anyway, so three cheers for NutriPro Bake for being a wonderful source of high protein, low carb, full-of-healthy fats baked stuff! NutriPro Bake is a little bespoke nutrition company based in Wales, a one-(wo)man band supplying gorgeous homemade treats (to order) to bodybuilders (lots of my friends buy from her) and really anybody who wants to eat nice treats without sabotaging their healthy eating efforts.

Leyna (Ms NutriPro Bake) very kindly offered to send me some sample bars to review. She does have standard bars, cakes and slices but will also make bespoke recipes, either to suit your palate or your macros. She’ll tweak any of her existing products to suit you too – if you don’t like (or can’t eat) walnuts, for example, or if your diet demands a certain set of macros. She really gets it. You don’t have to explain, double check or give reasons. She knows that people like us need to eat a certain way, but she also understands that we don’t want to go without. And, as you’ll see, there’s no reason to go without when you can have NutriPro Bake’s goodies!

When Leyna said she’d send samples, little did I imagine that this is what I’d find on my doorstep – thank you Leyna!

Fresh, moist baked goods ready to be eaten now, kept in the fridge (or a sealed container) for a few days, or even frozen (which is what I did – honest, Kat!)

Someone else shared my excitement…!

So, onto the goodies, all of which I have now sampled (thanks for your patience Leyna). All come labelled clearly with kcals, macros and ingredients (refer to NutriPro Bake on Facebook for more info).

Lean moist banana peanut butter & choc bread (aka OMFG have I died and gone to heaven?)
Per slice as standard recipe: 328 kcals, 6.9 pro, 47.5 ch, 12.5 fat

This was moist, soft and light, with the banana, chocolate and peanut butter tastes coming through but none of them too strongly. Absolutely delicious! Wowsers.

Choc orange walnut seed lo-carb protein bar
Per slice as standard recipe: 28.5 pro, 11.8 ch, 24.5 fat

Leyna actually emailed me saying she was disappointed with this batch: “That batch was ‘different’ (texture wise) and I know the orange flavour weren’t intense enough…” She needn’t have fretted! I thought this bar was wonderful. Chocolate and orange are the ingredients I can see skipping hand-in-hand into the sunset together, so she was always onto a winner with this one. Yes, it’s a heavy, dense bar but it is a protein bar, not a cake slice. It’s chewy, substantial and better for you than most other protein bars (plus, it’s freshly made, not sat on a shelf wrapped in plastic!) I didn’t eat it all in one sitting, that’s how filling it is!

Lemon Poppy Seed Protein Slice
Per slice as standard recipe: 85 kcals, 8 pro, 7.5 ch, 2.8 fat

This lovely little slice won me over despite not instantly appealing to me. Lemon and poppy seed isn’t a combo which jumps out at me, but I’m so glad I tried this and I’d definitely order it again. It’s really light, beautifully soft with a little crunch from the tiny seeds. Lovely! (By the way, I hope I’m typing the macros out correctly – at the moment, Leyna hand-writes all her labels. Double-check her Facebook page if you want!)

Peanut Butter Seeds Lo-carb Protein Bar
Per slice as standard recipe: 31 pro, 5.9 ch, 18.9 fat

This was another dense, heavy chewy bar like the chocolate one, but pale in colour, containing peanut butter, flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and low fat cream cheese. Really lovely! Not too strong, obviously only containing natural ingredients. Again, very filling – I couldn’t eat a whole slice in one go (and I am greedy have a huge appetite!) Very cost-effective.

Vanilla Almond Lo-carb Protein Bar
Per slice as standard recipe: 30 pro, 9.2 ch, 16 fat

Another chewier bar, this one had a stronger taste I think, with the great combination of almond and vanilla. Leyna will customise any of her recipes to suit your needs and tastes, though, and will even come up with completely bespoke recipes for you.

The verdict? Three cheers, hooray, yum yum and thank you, NutriPro Bake. I can highly recommend NutriPro Bake to all my bodybuilder friends and to anyone interested in eating treats which are simply better for you than shop-bought stuff. Not only will you be getting less carbs and fewer nasties (in fact no nasties at all!) but you’ll be getting a hefty dose of important good fats and fibre.

Follow NutriPro Bake on Twitter and NutriPro Bake on Facebook.

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: NutriPro Bake bars is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

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