Monday, March 31, 2014

Product Review: Lenny and Larry's FIT Protein Brownies™

This is why I rarely do product reviews - it has taken me an embarrassingly long time to get this posted. I was provided with a generous sample box of Lenny & Larry's FIT Protein Brownies, but was otherwise uncompensated for this review, and the opinions here are my own and my family's. This is also my first post from my phone...if this works, my blog might come back to life!

It all started at FitBloggin'...which I'm sure has been the start of many a great story, both on- and offline!

I was at my friend Abbie's dining room table, sorting through the FitBloggin'-SWAG-kit-that-is-LEGEND.  I found a plastic packet with 3 foil-wrapped bars:  Lenny and Larry's FIT Protein Brownies.  I didn't realize it at the time, but they were treating us to a sneak preview - the product itself didn't launch until after FitBloggin'!

Anyhow, my friend's sons noticed what I had in hand and gave me what my kids call "pretty eyes" - think the character Puss-in-Boots in the movie Shrek right before his opponents end up in tatters.  *POOF*!  Two of the three bars were gone.  (I, fortunately, remained uninjured.)  This left me with the raspberry chocolate brownie.  I'm not usually a fan of fruit & chocolate combinations, and a lot of nutritional treats tend to have more sugar and carbs and way less protein than I prefer in a snack.  But the nutritional stats looked good.  Here's the scoop for their Chocolate Raspberry flavor:
  • 190 calories per serving - and one bar IS one serving!  How many times have I ripped open a nutrition bar and eaten it, to find that one bar is 2 servings?  Well, enough times to be more meticulous about my label reading than I used to be, that's for sure.
  • 7 grams fat, 13 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrates (7 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar).  For those who use diabetic food exchanges in meal planning, this is equivalent to 1.5 starch (less if you net out the fiber) and 2 lean meat servings. When I had gestational diabetes, I learned from the nutritionist that one can maintain a more even blood sugar by spreading out one's carb servings throughout smaller meals and snacks during the day and by ensuring that you eat a little of your protein when you eat your carbs. (Similar to the recommendations made by the insulin resistance diet authors.)  The ratio of protein to carbohydrates in these bars definitely fits the bill for me!
  • Gluten-free and non-GMO
  • No sugar alcohols - you will know why this is a good thing if you, like I, have overindulged in  products that proclaim "Low Net Carbs!!!" and the fine print of "May cause gastrointestinal distress"....

"How was it?"

I gave it a try.  YUM!  The texture was chewy - more so than a regular brownie - it kind of reminded me of a cross between a brownie and a Tootsie Roll.  I tend to eat things way too quickly, and I found that these made me slow down and (1) enjoy the flavor and eating experience and (2) helped my brain register that I was eating something substantial.

When I Tweeted appreciatively, Lenny and Larry's contacted me about writing a review, and I happily agreed.  I got a nice, big box from them with bars in all three of the FIT Protein Brownie™ flavors:
  • Chocolate Raspberry, the one I tried from my FitBloggin' samples. 
  • Chocolate Decadence, an all-chocolate brownie.  This bar has 190 calories, with 7 grams fat, 23 grams carbohydrate (7 grams fiber, 8 grams sugar), and 13 grams protein.
  • Peanut Butter Crunch, a chocolate-peanut butter brownie with crunchy bits.  This bar has 190 calories, with 8 grams fat, 23 grams carbohydrate (7 grams fiber, 8 grams sugar), and 13 grams protein.

"This isn't one of those weird health foods, is it?"

Now, regular readers know I enjoy unusual foods. (Chocolate kale, anyone?)  So to "normalize" my "oooo, these things are tasty" review, I recruited my kids and one of my daughter's friends to try them. Here's how we rated the bars:
  • 1st place:  Peanut Butter Crunch.  We only had 2 other tasters for this one, because my daughter doesn't like peanut butter.  We tasters loved this one, with its crunch and the peanut butter and chocolate combination.  One taster preferred it to the plain chocolate one because "it is not as darkly chocolate."
  • 2nd place: Chocolate Decadence.  This one was in the solid "like" end of the rating scale for the kids; for me, it was a very close 2nd to the Peanut Butter Crunch.
  • 3rd place: Chocolate Raspberry.  2/3 kids were a little wary of the fruit and chocolate combination and declined to sample.  The one who tried it said it wasn't her favorite; she found it a little hard to chew.  I liked it, but if I had to buy a single flavor, I'd get the Peanut Butter Crunch.
Mr. Handsome-and-Handy also tried them, and he remarked that they would be an ideal food to have in one's desk at work in case one was too busy to grab lunch. (Oh, surely, none of us... ;-)  I imagine they would also be good to have handy in an emergency kit.

Do you have a favorite low/lower carb snack that you enjoy? Please mention in the comments - I love trying new foods that fit with my way of eating. 

Participants Needed for a Research Study: Diabetes and Future Pregnancy

Popping in from my slacking off in blogging busy day job life to let you all know that participants are needed for a research study on diabetes and future pregnancy.

I was contacted recently by Carrie Grady, a graduate student at Drexel University.  In her email, she wrote:
I am working on my Master’s thesis research project that studies women with diabetes’ perceptions of becoming pregnant. Many women with diabetes have reported a poor knowledge of the risks of hyperglycemia during pregnancy, a lack of information about planning a pregnancy from health care providers, and unsupportive attitudes from others, such as health care providers, family members, and partners. This study aims to assess how women with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes view their ability to control their disease, prevent a pregnancy, and understand how to reduce risks of adverse outcomes from hyperglycemia during pregnancy.
Participants fill out an anonymous online survey, which asks women about their diabetes and future pregnancy/planning (the survey link is I hope that this information will help doctors and nurses improve their quality of care for women with diabetes.
She is looking for women with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes who have never been pregnant. More details about the survey criteria are available in the Recruitment Flyer (click this link to view). In following up with Carrie, she mentioned that most respondents have been women with Type 1 diabetes and that they would really love to hear from those with Type 2 diabetes as well.

Good luck, Carrie!  I had not been diagnosed with Type 2 until after my pregnancies, but I did have gestational diabetes during both and was fortunate to receive excellent care.