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MonciaB

I don't understand the Larabar allowance...

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I've hesitated to post for a while, but this question bugged me all through my research, my Whole30, and ever since.  I don't want to sound disrespectful by asking it, but I just have to know...

 

Why are Larabars allowed???  

Aren't they just a paleo junk food substitute, just like paleo pancakes, paleo breads, etc?  

 

I got an email a few weeks ago announcing a whole other line of "compliant" bars.  I didn't save the email, but these were a savoury line of snack bars.  Again, I thought, "Aren't these just paleo candy bars?"

 

It just doesn't seem logical that homemade "paleo junk food" is forbidden, but paleo "bars" are allowed.

 

Can anyone clear up the reasoning for me?  

 

Thanks!

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I don't get it either. I think they're officially only for serious emergencies. Those, and other technically compliant foods like roasted salted nuts, I'm learning that I'm better off just considering non-compliant.

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Yes, like you, I just avoided them because it didn't make sense to me.  But receiving an email promoting the new savoury bars (sorry I can't remember the brand!) really felt like an endorsement of this type of convenience food.  

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The other compliant bar was probably Epic -

 

while lara bars and other bars made wholly of compliant ingredients are allowed, they are NOT recommended and should only be used for a true emergency situation. LIke you're in total gridlock, with no way to get off the freeway to grab a salad, and you're going to be stuck there for 10 more hours kind of emergency.

 

Here's a whole article about which bars are "Whole 30 Approved" (only savory ones now), which are compliant and the reasoning behind limiting the use of them to true emergencies. 

 

http://whole30.com/2015/06/future/

 

Personally, in 2 whole 30's, I have had exactly one lara bar. It was after a half marathon, after I'd had the post-workout meal I brought. about an hour after that I was STARVING, and still 2 hours from home so I used my one emergency bar I keep in the car. They're too sweet for me so I never bothered to replace them. I may get some of the epic bars if I can wrap my head around eating basically a meat bar...we'll see.

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It's definitely not disrespectful to ask about this, it's certainly one of the more confusing points of the program, and there are plenty of people who think Whole30 would be better without allowing these at all.

 

Bars, in general, are allowed if all the ingredients are compliant, but are intended to be used for emergencies only. Your Whole30 will be much, much better if you focus instead on eating real, whole foods. But, sometimes stuff happens, and people do have emergencies -- a while back, we had someone posting that they felt bad because they ate a Larabar, but they got a phone call late at night that a relative was in the hospital, and they just grabbed what they could and went to be with them, and the Larabar was a better choice than anything they could have found in vending machines. That is a good example of when a Larabar is a good option. 

 

I understand some of the bars, like Chapul (cricket-based) and Epic (meat based) are not as candy-like as Larabars, and people may be less prone to overeating them.

 

People definitely misuse bars, and if they were just flat out not allowed, that wouldn't happen as much, but another aspect of Whole30 is taking responsibility for your own health. There are times when a bar is not a bad option, but each person has to learn for themselves to use them responsibly. The Hartwigs could have made the program super strict and outlined exactly what we all should eat at each meal, down to the number of almonds per serving -- but no program is one size fits all, and they've chosen to focus on helping each person learn what makes them healthier, individually. There are people for whom the bars are a convenient option occasionally, they don't abuse them, and it works for them. And then there are those of us who can't eat one Larabar without craving more of them, and whose lifestyles really don't require much use of "emergency" food, because we're never far from a grocery store or our own refrigerator where we can get compliant foods, and our jobs don't often result in later than normal hours, extensive travel, or other situations where people may not be able to plan as well or count on being near places that stock compliant foods.

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Thank you for these clarifications!  I think I understand a bit better, but I feel like maybe there should be a warning label on them or something.  :-)  

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I think you've made some really good points.   Perhaps, Larabars are intended for those who have absolutely no problem with foods that remind them of a candy bar.  Some people have no issues with food whatsoever.   They're rare but they're out there.   I'm not one  but I know they exist.  

 

I've met a few normal people.   I admire them.   That's all  I've ever wanted to be was normal.  It would be fun to belly up to a buffet table of  Larabars of all flavors in your house and leave them there for months on end.  I don't know if eventually I would snitch a few.   I might.   Until then,  I'll keep my can of Raid handy and spray any that come into my home.   That'll teach 'em a lesson. Even the mere shadow of Larabars should not darken the door of my house.   They're goners. 

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I have only ever had 1 larabar and it was actually a few years before I even did a Whole30.  I have eaten this way, with a few off roads, for almost 3 years now and I have never had an emergency bad enough to actually need a larabar or any other of the compliant bars. 

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I think you've made some really good points.   Perhaps, Larabars are intended for those who have absolutely no problem with foods that remind them of a candy bar.  Some people have no issues with food whatsoever.   They're rare but they're out there.   I'm not one  but I know they exist.  

 

I've met a few normal people.   I admire them.   That's all  I've ever wanted to be was normal.  It would be fun to belly up to a buffet table of  Larabars of all flavors in your house and leave them there for months on end.  I don't know if eventually I would snitch a few.   I might.   Until then,  I'll keep my can of Raid handy and spray any that come into my home.   That'll teach 'em a lesson. Even the mere shadow of Larabars should not darken the door of my house.   They're goners. 

MeadowLily, I adore your sentiment! <3 <3 (And no, those aren't intended to look like double scoop ice cream cones, but yeah...they kinda do. Wow, no issues with junk food here! Lol)

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We love questions where you're really thinking about what is healthy and what isn't!

 

When the Whole30 program began, there were not many "compliant" options on the market. Larabar was one option, and there were a couple of companies who made compliant beef jerky.

 

But there were few choices if you found yourself stuck in an airport by a weather delay, for example. Even if you planned ahead and packed some compliant food, a long enough delay and you would have to eat something.

 

These have always been intended as emergency food, not snacks or quick options in place of real food.

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The best part of Whole30 is that you can decide that Larabars aren't allowed on YOUR Whole30.  There are lots of us who wouldn't even think of them as an option and you're welcome to join us!

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As taboo as this is going to sound based on other people's comments...I ate a Larabar yesterday.  No emergency, just ate it.  Then mildly obsessed about it for the rest of the day.  I'm on Day 12 today and woke up SO TIRED this morning, more so than any other day thus far....  Clearly there was a correlation, right?  Needless to say, I won't be doing this again....

 

Happy to hear feedback/comments...

 

Thanks!

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Right. I hate to say 'I told you so' but, well.............................  :D 

Think of it as a learning curve & move very swiftly on.

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I carry Larabars (usually one, sometimes two) in my purse for the reason Shannon describes above. I discovered them during my last W30 and kept them in my diet afterwards.

 

It really depends on your ability to keep them in their proper place, so to speak. I do much better with these than I do with kale chips and plantain chips...I can eat an entire bag of those in one sitting and that's why I don't keep them in my house.

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I ate a Larabar yesterday, and lived to tell,about it. It didn't derail my progress, in fact for the rest of the day I was Whole30 compliant, and I actually craved Brussel sprouts not more Larabar.

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