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Why Most Nutrition Bars are Garbage — and What to Pack in Your Purse Instead

Robyn Openshaw, MSW - Mar 01, 2019 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

I feel like we’ve all done this:

You’re at Costco, or the health food store, reading labels on nutrition bars. You want to stock up because, like most everyone these days, you’re running around, trying to keep up with a hectic schedule–and if you have a bar in your purse, you’ll stay out of the drive-thru.

You read the nutrition labels, and some of the ingredients make you uncomfortable.

Photograph of a woman reading a box label at the grocery store, from

If you check the labels on most nutrition bars, you’ll see some less-than-healthy ingredients.

Any of these sound familiar?

Whey Protein: Studies show your body doesn’t absorb most of the protein, and it’s usually tainted with the steroids, antibiotics, and hormones fed to the cow.

Sugar Alcohols: Erythritol, sorbitol, and xylitol are common sugar-alcohol sweeteners. These wreck your gut and make you gassy.

I could keep going, but these filler ingredients, isolated from the whole food or created in a lab, are the MAIN ingredients in many bars. You might see some quality ingredients towards the end of the list on the label, but you suspect there’s just the tiniest pinch of carrot or spinach powder, hardly enough to make a difference for your health.

(You’d be right about that. Naked’s green juice is fruit juice with a PINCH of greens.)

Most nutrition bars have little pinches of good stuff. But where’s the bar that’s made from ENTIRELY greens, fruit, veggies, and nuts? Oh, and could it please TASTE GOOD?

I’ve spent years trying to come up with the answer, and I am THRILLED to tell you that we’ve landed on it. We’re bringing you three varieties of “green-smoothies-in-a-bar,” each with absolutely no artificial sweeteners, contaminated isolate protein products, whey (dairy), gluten, or the “-ides.”

(That’s pesticide, herbicide, insecticide, and fungicide. All linked to so many health problems.)

We have so many people tell us that they know they feel great when green smoothies are in their diet, daily. I did a 450-city speaking tour, for six years–and got tens of thousands of North Americans to start the habit!

So many of us have good intentions. We mean to have that green smoothie every single day, but in our busy-ness, we just don’t get to it. It’s hard to put a blender in your pocket, for when you’re out running around. It’s also hard to put a jar of green smoothie in the kids’ school lunches. (Trust me, I tried, in the early days. #fail #sociallyembarrassing)

Luckily, we’ve brought you Blendbars — high-quality, whole-foods, plant-based, organic ingredients, with serving-size convenience.

Photograph of Blendbar boxes on a white marble countertop, from Green Smoothie Girl.

Our delicious Blendbars come in three varieties. Get a box of each or a multi-pack to try them all!

The flavors are out-of-this-world, truly. Picky kids (and even pickier adults) love them. Each pack comes with 12 bars in the following flavors:

Green Smoothie Blendbars
Chocolate Dipped Smoothie Blendbars
Pink Smoothie Blendbars

You can also order our variety pack (use coupon code 5OFFBARS for $5 off!) and get four bars in every flavor to do a little at-home taste-test.

Check out the ingredient lists (you can compare these to ANY bar on the market):

Green Smoothie Blendbars

Dried Fruit & Veggie Blend (Dates*, Bananas* [with Rice Flour*], Raisins*, Carrot Juice*, Spinach Leaf*, Broccoli Sprouts*, Kale*), Protein Blend (Cashews*, Rice Protein*), Tapioca Syrup*, Vanilla Extract*, Antioxidant Vitamin Blend (Acerola Juice Powder, Rice Flour*, Vitamin E [as d-Alpha-Tocopherol], Vitamin A [as Beta Carotene-Natural]), Sea Salt.

The Green Smoothie Blendbar from Green Smoothie Girl

The classic Green Smoothie Blendbar has all the greens you’d expect in an organic green smoothie, including kale, spinach, and broccoli.

Pink Smoothie Blendbars

Superfruit Blend (Dates*, Dried Cranberries* [with Apple Juice Concentrate*, Sunflower Oil*], Dried Raspberries*, Dried Acai*, Dried Goji Berries*), Protein Blend (Cashews*, Rice Protein*), Tapioca Syrup*, Natural Flavor*, Antioxidant Vitamin Blend (Acerola Juice Powder, Rice Flour*, Vitamin E [as d-Alpha-Tocopherol], Vitamin A [as Beta Carotene-Natural]), Citric Acid.

The Pink Smoothie Blendbar from Green Smoothie Girl

The Pink Smoothie Blendbar is made with antioxidant-rich berries and protein-packed cashews.

Chocolate Dipped Smoothie Blendbars

Dried Fruit & Vegetable Superfood Blend (Raisins*, Bananas* [with Rice Flour*], Dates*, Carrot Juice*, Spinach Leaf*, Broccoli Sprout*, Kale*), Vegan Protein Blend (Cashews*, Pumpkin Seed Protein*), Dark Chocolate* (Coconut Palm Sugar*, Cocoa Liquor*, Cocoa Butter*, Cocoa Powder*, Sunflower Lecithin), Tapioca Syrup*, Vanilla Extract*, Antioxidant Vitamin Blend (Acerola Juice Powder, Rice Flour*, Vitamin E [as d-Alpha-Tocopherol], Vitamin A [as Beta Carotene-Natural]), Sea Salt.

The Chocolate Dipped Smoothie Bar from Green Smoothie Girl

The Chocolate Dipped Smoothie Blendbar gives you all the fruit-and-veggie goodness of organic green smoothies, dipped in chocolate!

*Organic ingredients

I know what you’re wondering–with no sweeteners, and no garbage ingredients, will it taste good?

And you might be thinking, will my kids actually eat this?

Try the Variety Pack and see for yourself (use coupon code 5OFFBARS to get $5 off your order!). I sent the variety pack to a bunch of families I know before we announced the launch of these amazing products. Check out what the kids said:

“I like the bar because it gives me energy to climb trees. The pink one is my favorite!” (Reddick, age 5)

Photograph of a young boy playing in a tree and holding a Blendbar nutrition bar, from "Why Most Nutrition Bars are Garbage -- and What to Pack in Your Purse Instead" at Green Smoothie Girl

“I like the green bar because it tastes like a treat!” (Rayna, age 7)

Photograph of a young girl on a tire swing eating a Blendbar nutrition bar, from "Why Most Nutrition Bars are Garbage -- and What to Pack in Your Purse Instead" at Green Smoothie Girl

“I have to have my own box of green! I feel healthy when I eat these after school.” (Kess, age 14)

Photograph of a teenage girl holding a box of Blendbars against a multi-colored background, from "Why Most Nutrition Bars are Garbage -- and What to Pack in Your Purse Instead" at Green Smoothie Girl

And this, from a satisfied mom: “I tried to take pictures of Braxton (age 1) eating the bars, and he was eating the little pieces I was breaking off for him so fast that I could barely get a shot before all the bite-size pieces were gone and he was grabbing for the bar wrapper begging for more. He LOVES them! All 3 of my kids LOVE the bars and beg for them. I had to take them away and hide them high in the pantry because I didn’t want them to eat all the bars I have in one day. Basically they are a huge hit. Yesterday I asked Brielle if she wanted a GSG BlendBar or chips for her after school snack and she chose the BlendBar (she didn’t even have to think about it).”

I hope this adds to your tips and tricks to be a sneaky parent who gets whole-foods nutrition in the small humans you’re responsible for. And that you have a great way to put something nutritious in YOUR bag, too, so you have a snack that will keep you far away from the drive-thru.

You can get $5 off your order of BlendBars with the coupon code 5OFFBARS. Check out what our customers have been saying!

Read next: Need a Healthy Treat? 6 Easy Swaps for Your Favorite Recipes

Robyn Openshaw, the Green Smoothie Girl


Robyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.



Posted in: Tools & Products, Whole Food

5 thoughts on “Why Most Nutrition Bars are Garbage — and What to Pack in Your Purse Instead”

Leave a Comment
  1. Judith Malmgren says:

    I live in Canada and have found Larabars. Could you give me any information on them, i.e. are they healthy, etc. ? I am pre-diabetic and have to cut down on carbs as well as sugar. If I use flour in recipes which ones have less carbs, if that is at all possible? Thank you.

  2. Marilyn says:

    Hi Robyn, Isn’t the 16g of sugar a lot-in the Blendbar?

    1. Rose Butler GSG says:

      Hi Marilyn, thank you for this important question. The ingredients in the BlendBar are from whole foods. The sugar content in the BlendBar is not the same on a cellular level as a processed bar with processed sugars.

  3. yossi klein says:

    I simply need a vegan bar that is kosher certified. Are yours? and if they arent, you need to get them certified as you will get more buyers for them

    1. Nikki GSG says:

      Hi Yossi Klein! While our BlendBars don’t yet have the Kosher certification, we are working on it and should have it by the beginning of 2020!

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