Julie Schoenfeld is a founder at Outsoul, working to connect outdoor guides with new clients. She is also is a former professional climbing instructor and has worked as the Director of Digital Development of Rock and Ice Magazine. In her free time, Julie can be found crimping up her latest project, backpacking and mountain biking through the mossy forests of the Pacific Northwest, skiing backcountry powder, or paddling her local waterways.
“This is good… this is really good,” Bryan proclaimed, thoughtfully masticating his fifth PROBAR of the day, a Cran-Raspberry Fuel. As he nodded approvingly, I was struck by his enduring satisfaction after several days of subsisting on a PROBAR-based menu. We were camped on the shore of an uninhabited island in the outer San Juan Islands, three days into a week-long kayaking trip, enjoying a pre-dinner snack and fabulous sunset.
As the designated grocery-getter, I was responsible for organizing enough calories to fuel our three-person gluten-free, dairy-free, organic-preferring, crew for the journey. Along with dinners and some eggs and oatmeal for breakfasts, I packed up a variety of PROBAR Bite, Fuel, Meal and Bolt products, and then we set out on the water.
Here are a few tips for using the PROBAR products to build a meal plan to keep you happily snacking for an extended trip:
Meal bars are the big daddy of the PROBAR lineup and are made up of tasty nuts, seeds, chocolate and fruits. They have a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates and fat and at nearly 400 calories, they really satiate morning or midday hunger. We each rationed 2-3 of these per day and ate them mostly when we took longer breaks on shore.
Pro Tip: A cut-up Superfood Slam Meal bar makes a delicious oatmeal topping on a cold morning.
The Bite Bars were my favorite. About half the size of a Meal bar, around 200 calories, and low on sugar, I found these to be my go-to on-the-water snack. I tried to keep one of these easily accessible at all times, and ate a couple of them between meals each day.
Favorite Flavor: Chocolate Cherry Cashew, 6g protein, 7g fat, 10g sugar.
The aforementioned Cran-Raspberry Fuel bar was a group favorite. These are a fruit-based bar, with more carbohydrates than the Bite and Meal, for a quick energy bump. We did some trail running and hiking around the islands, and the Fuels were great for higher output activities. The berry flavors and dried fruit texture were a treat as well.
Sometimes you just need a burst of sugar and caffeine to make it through the end of a long day. Bryan, with his hummingbird metabolism, popped Bolt chews all day long. These little turbochargers are organic and available with or without yerba caffeine.
Pro Tip: These pack a punch even without the caffeine, if it’s close to bedtime skip the caffeinated version for a better night’s sleep.
After a week of eating PROBARs for most of our snacks and lunches, we were all very impressed with the lineup. They kept us full while paddling and running, supplemented calories to our light-duty dinners, and when eaten along with a couple savory sausage or cheese bites, offer a variety that didn’t become monotonous.
All of this, plus they met everyone’s dietary preferences and needs in a portable, waterproof package.