August 14, 2011


Being gluten-free has its challenges, and that’s no secret. Even those who aren’t gluten-free are hard pressed to think about the positive aspects – only the negative comes out. People, whether in the celiac community or not, talk about cheating. There’s the one side sounding like a strict granny telling you not to think twice about it and on the other side, someone you know well pushing you to try something that they make 15-year-old-peer-pressure look like childsplay. Then there are the moments when you’re stuck. That happened to me last weekend and I was practically in tears. Thankfully I had a lifesaver.

After being gluten-free for a while, one develops some tricks and secrets. One of mine is stashing fairly-healthy granola or snack bars everywhere. I always have some in my classroom. I had a box at my desk last month. And I always have some in my purse. Lucky for me I had some with me last weekend at Algonquin College because as I closed my car door I remembered my lunch sitting on the table beside the front door. The f-word came out a few times (making a man nearby look at me from his trunk) and I felt like crying. I had told my trainer the day before not to worry and order me lunch and here I was stuck. When I entered the classroom I pulled everything out of my purse and thankfully I had two granola bars. They were squished, but I had something to eat. The trainer had some fruit leftover from the day before so grazing tied me over and had given me enough energy through my test.

Finding decent gf granola bars can be tricky. There are some loaded with soy protein, some with a pile of sugar, and some that are more like a snack – two bites and it’s gone. And of course, some can be downright pricey. One of my tricks is to pick up some new ones when they are on sale so if they aren’t that great, I haven’t spent an arm and a leg. I also stock up on the ones I like when they are on sale. If I can save a dollar per bar, it’s even better (especially if you tend to be stuck as often as me).

Larabars are on the small side and a little pricey, but they pack enough in to hold you over. They come in a variety of flavours and are tasty. When they are on sale, by the box or individually, they are better for your wallet.

Enjoy Life makes some snack bars that might not hold you over till dinner after missing lunch, but they will help you make it to lunch at your morning break. They aren’t super filling so these bars could also be a nice treat at lunch. My favourites are the chocolate and apple as they remind me of chocolate cake and apple pie.

Kind Fruit & Nut bars are light and sweet. They should be treated as a snack or go with your lunch. While they come in a variety of great flavours and taste good, they don’t pack enough to tie you over till lunch or dinner.

A&H Natural Bars and Taste of Nature are packed full of goodness. They are full of nuts and seeds (and I think some kind of syrup too), and they have enough in them to get you through to dinner. Both bars come in a variety of flavours that taste great. An added bonus with these is even when they are flattened or squished to death in your bag, they still stick together and stay in one piece. The downside is the Taste of Nature are becoming harder to find for some reason, so when I find them I stock up.


Bakery on Main remind me of rice krispie squares. They are full of rice crisps and are just as light. A nice light treat, but won’t hold you over when in a jam. Plus, I found them a little bland.


Glutino granola bars; not much to say about them. They’re an overgrown wafer cookie. They will satisfy a small sugar or chocolate craving (maybe with two) and that’s about it. Given the price, I’ll go for something healthier and with more heft.


Although one can't survive on these alone, they can help getting to lunch or dinner a little easier and be a lifesaver when in a bind.


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