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Wednesday, February 22, 2006 

Peak Protein Granola by Bear Naked

I LOVE granola.

Unfortunately, however, since most granolas out there are full of sugar, corn syrup, saturated & trans fats and *gag* CANDY pieces, I don't allow myself to eat it. At least I didn't allow myself to eat it until I found Bear Naked Granola.

Bear Naked granolas are soft-baked blends that are inspired by the latest nutritional research. They are packed with fiber, protein, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, & complex carbs and are are free of trans fats, cholesterol, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and preservatives.

All of the flavors are fantastic, and I love that they contain only natural, wholesome ingredients. My personal favorite is the Peak Protein flavor--a delicious blend of whole grains and tasty cranberries packed with 10 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving. I love it mixed in with lowfat yogurt for breakfast or a post workout snack, and I've also been known to eat it right out of the bag.

A 1/4 cup serving is 140 calories, 7 grams of fat (.5 saturated), 25 mg of sodium, 15 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.

Ingredients: Whole grain oats, wildflower honey, soy flakes, expeller pressed canola oil, sweetened cranberries, soy protein isolate, sunflower seeds, crisp rice (rice and barley malt), whole grain flax meal, cinnamon, natural flavorContains: soy and gluten

Try it now: Bear Naked Granola

The first time I had Bear Naked Granola was a few years ago when the owners of the company used to drive around to local sporting events and give out free samples to everyone. They showed up at the end of one of my rides and handed out tons of the stuff to all of us starving cyclists. A couple years later, I started to see it in grocery stores regularly.

I tend to prepare my food differently than most (just check out my comments on Papadini High Protein Lentil Pasta for proof), and granola is no exception. Tired of the same old cereal every morning (raisin bran w/ ½ scoop of protein powder), I replaced the cereal with a package of Bear Naked Peak Protein granola, tossed in a sliced ripe banana, added a few fresh raisins, and soy milk. What resulted was an awesome alternative for breakfast that set me up perfectly for my 2 hour morning ride.

Good for Training?
Definitely. The cereal concoction mentioned above is a great early morning or pre-workout meal to get you going. I’d also recommend one or two servings right after a workout, or one serving before bed to aid in recovery and weight loss. Am I crazy? No, the idea is that having a bit of protein right before bed allows your muscles to recover better during sleep, while the carbs will keep your metabolism going throughout the night, thus avoiding the starvation mode that your body would otherwise go into.
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