New Snack Bar Review: Kate Bakes Bars. Plus, Open Call for Green Recovery Stories!

by Gena on August 20, 2012

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Hey friends.

At this time today, I was supposed to be at JFK, awaiting my flight to Portland to visit my friends Jasmin and Mariann. As my tweets and Facebook posts last night indicate, I started feeling weird in the early evening, and by 9, I was nursing a fever, chills, aches, and a headache. This morning, I woke up with the same symptoms but an upset stomach, too. It may be destined to pass quickly, but it hasn’t passed yet, and after a long morning of phone calls to the airline, taking my temperature and hoping to watch it magically fall, and checking in with my intuition–not to mention getting on the phone with Jasmin, who is beyond sweet and supportive–I’ve decided to stay in NYC, at least for today. I may be able to get on a standby flight tomorrow morning, but there isn’t a lot of space, so we’ll see. I’m not the type of person to cancel any plans I’m looking forward to–if anything, I tend to bulldoze through ailments heedlessly in order to stick to my plans–but I really don’t feel right today, and I didn’t want to make it worse or put passengers around me on a plane at risk.

Sigh.

Anyway, as long as I’m going to spend the day on my mother’s sofa drinking coconut water, I figured I might as well write a blog post as scheduled. A few weeks ago, Kate Sornik contacted me to say that she’s also located in Washington, D.C., and that she has started a new line of vegan snack bars. They’re called Kate Bakes Bars, and they’re 100% vegan, contain no gluten ingredients, organic, and prepared lovingly in small batches. Kate asked if I’d like to taste them, and I said yes, of course! I’ve grown very, very weary of dried fruit/nut snack bars lately (Pure bar overdose), so anything oat based (which these are) is a welcome, welcome break!

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The bars certainly lived up to my hopes. They’re sweet, but not sugary, the texture is awesome, and they’ve also got 7 grams of protein and 4.5 grams of fiber a pop. The flavors are scrumptious: chocolate coffee, banana cinnamon oatmeal, and sunflower butter raisin. I actually expected to like the chocolate coffee the most (chocolate and coffee, these are a few of my favorite things), but actually, the sunflower butter raisin were definitely my favorite of the bunch! It reminded me a lot of my sunflower butter oat bars, but softer and lighter. A lot of oat bars tend to get really heavy and dense, but these guys fill you up without weighing you down.

I asked Kate about the “no gluten ingredients” label, and she explained that, while all of her ingredients are certified GF, she does not have a special, GF kitchen space as of yet, so she has hesitated to label them as gluten free. I think this is obviously the right move, and appreciated her honest and immediate answer to my email on behalf of my readers with celiac. The bars are obviously not suitable for those with celiac disease, but that they may be tolerable for those of you with non-celiac gluten/wheat sensitivity. Use your judgment!

I’m so glad to have had a chance to sample these tasty, 100% vegan, organic snack bars! It’s great to be able to support a local small business! Right now the bars are available for online order here, but check the website periodically for more information as the brand grows.

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Second order of business: green recovery stories seem to be getting more and more popular with readers, which I love! Thank you for welcoming the guest posters with so much goodwill and compassion. Given the number of personal comments the series gets, I suspect many more of you have Green Recovery stories that you’re either too nervous to share, or not ready to share. I don’t want to push anyone into a submission–these stories have to come out when you’re ready–but if shyness alone is holding you back, I want to encourage you to submit a story today! All I need is a Word or Google doc. No required length, no required format. Some common FAQ’s about the process:

1) Do I need to be vegan? Right now, I really want to stay true to the series’ original mission of talking about recovery through the prism of a vegan (or at least an aspiring vegan) diet. I’ve had some posters who aren’t quite vegan yet, but who are well on their way and committed to veganism as an ultimate goal. If that’s you, then do please share with us!

If you’re not vegan and don’t suspect you will be anytime soon, then this particular series may not be the right venue for you. There are lots of other online resources for recovery dialogs, though, so I encourage you to seek them out actively!

2. I was never clinically diagnosed with an ED. Can I still share? Yes. Absolutely. EDs that meet diagnostic criteria (low BMI, amenorrhea, osteopenia, etc.) present special challenges to treatment providers, and the severity of their associated health risks is important to heed. That said, the criteria are imperfect. It is possible for a person with “normal” BMI to be seriously disordered in habits and in mindset, and defining EDs only as conditions marked by extreme weight loss or amenorrhea is misleading and problematic (because so many cases fall through the cracks). Green Recovery welcomes all stories of disordered eating and disordered thinking about food.

3. Can I remain anonymous? Absolutely. Just tell me you want to be anonymous, and you will be.

4. I want to write a Green Recovery story, but I’m not fully recovered yet. What should I do? Lately, I have been featuring some “recovery-in-progress” stories, so you are certainly welcome to share your own. Just be very clear about the ways in which you know you still need to work on your recovery, and the ways in which you feel you’ve already come a long way. Be honest with yourself, and with us. I will note in my intro that this is a “recovery in progress.”

In my opinion, all recovery is really “recovery in progress” (as last week’s post on dedication vs. obsession shows, I myself am always actively working to be more at peace with my body image and food choices), but I think we all know that there is a difference between full recovery that still allows for a few bad days, and recovery that is still very much underway. I trust you guys to know that difference, too, and be candid with me about where you are in the process.

5. But I’m not a great writer. I’m sure you’re a better writer than you think you are! And remember, this is not an essay contest. It’s a collection of open, personal testimonies. A community journal, if you will. The only thing you need to worry about is giving us an honest account of your story. Short n’ sweet is fine. You can leave the verbosity to me–Lord knows I have enough of it to go around :)

I hope this inspires you guys to share. I know that there are a lot of stories out there, waiting to be told. You can email your GR submission to gena@choosingraw.com.

OK. I should nap and keep loading up on electrolytes and TV. Have a great Monday, all.

xo

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah August 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Gena! I’m so sorry you haven’t made it out to Portland yet. I’m glad you listened to your intuition – very inspiring. I feel crampy today and thus feel like doing nothing and that is a-ok with me. Right now I am realizing how much I take for granted not having cramps, being in searing pain!

I’ve been thinking of doing a green recovery sometime in the future, but I feel like with my trip to Paris on Thursday for a year, which will undoubtedly include bites of cheese, that will make it harder to align it with the green recovery theme. Although I do still plan to be vegetarian and scope out the (few) vegan and raw restaurants in the City of Light.

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Hannah August 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Feel better soon, dear Gena! Sending warmth, cuddles, and comfort your way, though I’m sure your mother is providing you with all of that and more. xo

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Lia August 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Feel better. Take it easy. Glad to hear you’re showing care and respect to yourself when not feeling super.

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Lisa @ The Raw Serenity August 20, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Gena, Im so sorry to hear your unwell!
Its always when we stop working or studying for a break that we come down with a cold!

I have been thinking about writing a post for Green Recovery as you are the one who lead me to this lifestyle and has helped me more than any drug, treatment or remedy!

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Ela August 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Sending best recovery wishes to you, wonderful diva that you are! Thank you for taking such care of you.

I guess I’d be taking a risk trying those bars because of the possible cross-contamination issue, but I love the sound of them. Fruit and nut (pure, lara, etc) always seem unappealing to me–too heavy and not satisfying for the amount of heaviness. That much protein and fiber that you describe sounds more like it ;)
One of the things I’ve learned in my recent sojourn is not to constantly talk myself out of convenience packaged bars like that. Sure I can make my own, but not always, and they definitely have their place!
love
Ela

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Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy August 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm

oh no! i hope you feel better soon!! those bars look great! wonderful review!

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Christa @ Edible Balance August 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Hopefully you feel better soon, but get your rest when you can! Take it easy :)

The bars look mighty tasty! So happy when people take celiac and 100% gluten free seriously, and are respectful. Love the transparency!

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Rachel @ Almonds and Avocados August 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm

I’m so sorry you’re not feeling well!! I wish you the best and hope you have a quick recovery! On a lighter note, these bars look AMAZING!

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Marissa@ohhhsolovely August 21, 2012 at 6:59 am

hope you feel better soon! these bars look delish. i’m always looking for a GF bar & tasty ones are not always easy to find!

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Brian August 21, 2012 at 7:12 am

Would that be Portland,OR.? I just had a friend from Brooklyn visiting & she went back yesterday after spending ten days in the great Pacific Northwest. Hope you are feeling better soon & if you come in to town swing by Voodoo Doughnuts for a vegan delight.

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Ali Seiter August 21, 2012 at 7:19 am

I’m incredibly sorry to hear of your sickness, but am super glad that you’re listening to your body and trusting your instincts. I know it’s often tempting for me to deny my body’s cries for rest, especially when I’m used to such an active lifestyle, but I’ve recently learned (in the wake of getting my wisdom teeth removed) that it’s often for the best.

Wishing you health and happiness,
Ali.

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the delicate place August 21, 2012 at 9:15 am

yikes i hope you feel better! nothing is worse than being sick and travel! coconut water really is the best drink when you need hydrating–love the taste. i’m also a big fan of aloe + olive leaf tea.

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Juicingpedia August 21, 2012 at 10:06 am

Gena,

I am so sorry to hear about you getting sick. That is never fun! Those snack bars look absolutely amazing.

~Heidi (Juicing Blogger @ Juicingpedia)

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erin @WELL in L.A. August 21, 2012 at 11:02 am

Feel better! Love the series and will pass along to any friends who may be a good fit!

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Anne P August 21, 2012 at 11:36 am

Aww I hope you feel better, my dear. :(

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Lauren August 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Boo :( I am unfortunately suffering from the same illness. Worked it’s way through GI tract and then moved to sinuses and lungs. I had to start antibiotics, which is a love/hate scenario. Bacteria- killed; microbiome- dysbiotic :( Oh well, just need to get better. I hope you do too! Hopefully we caught the autumn bug early, and by the time everyone else gets sick during the first few weeks of school, we’ll be nice and immune. :) Those bars look de-licious!! I would love to try them! :)

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Gena August 25, 2012 at 8:44 am

Mine was never respiratory or throat, thank goodness! Take your antibiotics and feel better soon :)

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