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The Whole Foods Kosher kitchen

What Price Protein? Beware of those Protein Bars

Posted on 26th of January, 2012 by Lévana

Protein Bars

The Dark Side of Soy By- protein Bars

It is really fascinating, when we are on the road, or too harried, or trying to loose a few unwanted pounds, that we can find a whole meal snugly fitting in a tiny packet, which we can enjoy with great abandon, whipping it out on a moment’s notice, taking no room, making no mess, needing no maintenance, calorically ideal, and making you as strong and energetic as a champ!

Or is it?

It seems every trouble we get into in every area of our lives is, we never bother to read the small print. Think about a few examples: Some marriages not made in heaven; some business deals gone sour; some diets gone unslimming, maybe even fattening; some miracle cures meant to make one stop smoking that caused hallucinations and suicidal thoughts – or worse: actions! All right, I think you get the picture.

A “glowing” example is, the ubiquitous protein bar. I decided to look in earnest into their contents after I used them several times (Delicious: that, they were!) on a multi-city book tour that kept me on the run and included very few kosher amenities. Pretty soon I was doubled over with bloating, cramps and blinding headaches. Probing into it deeper, this sleuth had no trouble finding the culprit, not only in energy bars but in many cold cereal mixes: Soy Protein Isolates: I don’t think I will explain it better than the linked article will: Please read it and act on it! I hope it is not too presumptuous or too optimistic to hope that very soon, we will be able to trace many diseases and allergies to the offending soy protein isolates that swarmed our continent and our food, looking treacherously small, tasting treacherously sweet, and ripping through the figures and well being of millions of unsuspecting people. You think because it is marketed as health foods it is good for you? I beg you think again! The Health Food Industry is governed by the exact same principles as the rest of the food industry: tugging at your heartstrings, tugging at your purse strings, and in the process sending out the constant seductive but nefarious message that is getting our country so sick: “You don’t need to cook or do anything! We will do it ALL for you! You just relax!” That’s right, relax, lose total control of what you ingest, and miss a good time: meal time!

When you  need to maintain your diet, with less food and more energy, and a good amount of protein, make yourself Hot Cereal Fit for Champions, which will take ten minutes from beginning to end: Throw in the greatest quick-cooking grains: Thin granulation buckwheat (kasha), millet, quinoa, teff, steel-cut oats, thick corn meal. Mix and match any way you like. Cook it with some water or milk, dairy or dairy-free. Gluten-free? It will work perfectly as well! Add some olive oil or butter, a nice handful of raisins or cranberries, lots of cinnamon, salt to taste. Thin it to your personal taste. Make a nice amount, and save for the next couple days. It doesn’t hurt that it is delicious too!

18 grams protein in 2 ounces of protein bar food? Hello: Shouldn’t this raise a red flag? Twice the amount of the protein contained in a steak the size meant for a St Bernard (to the extend that you would feed your dog, say, fillet mignon!) or Olympic swimmers, and obtained by the most unnatural unorthodox, and yes, dangerous methods? Please repeat after me “High Energy Bars? No thank you! I’ll have hot cereal!”

But what about when we are on the road? OK,  let’s see what we got: Fruit, salad greens, frozen yogurt, cottage cheese, yogurt, hummus, nuts etc… What’s wrong with that? We’ll have more protein at our next meal, always coming up soon enough!

Filed under: Buckwheat Recipes, Energy Bars, Gluten Free Recipes, Hot Cereal Recipes, Kosher Recipes, Low Gluten Recipes, Millet Recipes, Natural Foods Recipes, Oatmeal Recipes, Quinoa Recipes, Recipes, Soy Protein Isolates, Stories, Teff Recipes

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5 Questions

  1. Rishe Deitsch, on Said:

    Dear Levana,
    My sister-in-law sent me the link to your website. She knew I would love this article. And I do! We need to be shaken awake and urged to stop believing every promising ad for “nutrition.” I’m a big believer in hot cereal. There’s nothing like it to start the day, plus, if you’re eating with others, it forces us to slow down, let it cool, and talk a little while we eat.
    I love how you describe your experience with the energy bars that you ate while on a book tour. Well put!!
    Thank you,
    Rishe Deitsch

    Reply
    • Lévana, on Said:

      Rishe, my pregnant daughter, told she needed to boost her nutrition, asked me to make her hot cereal, and I made her lots of little containers, which she put in the freezer and takes out as needed. Not only that, I also made her a grain mix, exactly like the cereal I made her but uncooked for future use: Equal parts Teff, steel-cut oats, millet, medium-granulation kasha, lots of cinnamon. Told her to cook the mix in water or milk or a combination, dairy or not, with a nice handful raisins. That’s the whole story. Breakfast for champions, and delicious!

  2. cora, on Said:

    I completely agree. So we wait for the master chef to design a recipe for energy bars or the like and share it with her readership!

    Reply