Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I received the Hemp Heart Bars and compensation from Fit Approach in exchange for a fair and honest review.)
Whenever we go hiking, especially in the chilly months of winter, Ryan and I pack our backpacks full of nutritious and satisfying snacks. Our hikes last anywhere from 3-8 hours and the energy demand of climbing uphill for miles and staying warm in the cold cultivates a hearty appetite for nourishing and nutritious foods.
I do not restrict my eating; if I feel hungry or know I need the nourishment, I eat nutritious whole foods to help my body fuel my active lifestyle. Hiking is no exception; those hours are on the trail are not the time to skip a meal or eat too little, since reaching the top of the mountain with low energy stores is not an ideal scenario (see: our summer hike at Gothic Basin).
Hiking snacks need to be energy-dense whole foods with plenty of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. This combination, according to Backpacker Magazine, will provide a steady stream of energy while also stabilizing your blood sugar, thus providing the energy to hike for hours while preventing a sugar crash.
Additionally, snacks must pack well, which means they cannot be bulky, heavy, or refrigerated. The longer the hike, the more you feel every ounce on your back. While you can bring small camping stoves, these add weight to your pack and you still want to avoid food that requires extensive preparation. Plus, in winter, you begin to feel the cold mountain air very quickly when you stop, which means spending ten minutes preparing a meal or snack will leave you feeling rather chilled!
Dried fruit, organic jerky, natural peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread, and nutritious whole food bars such as Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Bars offer a bounty of nutrition and energy in a small package.
Proper hiking etiquette upholds the principle of leave no trace, which means you do not even want to drop a banana peel along the trail because of how it can affect the wildlife and local ecology, not to mention that littering is slowly destroying our earth and makes the trail unsightly for other hikers. So whenever you hike, be sure to stash your trash in your pack until you can appropriately discard it at the trailhead.
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Bars
I am unsure whether this is merely my own perception or actually scientifically supported, but eating foods full of healthy fats satisfies my appetite and keeps me feeling warm on a hike. On a cold hike through several feet of powdery snow, snacking on these Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Bars kept Ryan and I both warm and energized!
The hemp hearts in these bars are not the same type of plant you see sold at marijuana pharmacies in Washington. While hemp is from the same cannabis family as marijuana, the similarities between the two end there.
Hemp contains virtually no trace of the psychoactive chemical Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is what induces the high, while marijuana contains 10-27% of this chemical. So, essentially, eating hemp is not going to get you high. Hemp will, however, provide you with fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
The hemp plant is actually remarkably versatile and sustainable. The seeds (hearts) are used to create nutritious snacks such as Hemp Heart Bars, while other parts of the plant can be used to make oil, cloth, wax, rope, paper, and even biofuel. Because of its versatility, hemp was one of the most commonly farmed plants in colonial America and even held a high role in American agriculture during the ration period of World War II.
And yet again, I get far too excited about food history. What you should be excited about these Hemp Heart Bars, as they are a delicious and nutritious option for fueling your winter hiking, running, snowshoeing, or other winter fitness activities!
Each bar contains 230 calories, 10 grams of plant-based protein, 10 grams of omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, 4 grams of fiber (15 grams total carbohydrate), and 25% percent of your daily iron. Each bar contains only 10 grams of sugar from unrefined and organic sources, and the ingredient lists are concise and full of only natural ingredients.
I received three flavors to sample: chocolate, vanilla, and apple cinnamon. When Ryan and I embarked upon our first hike of 2016, we packed all three Hemp Heart Bars to make sure we had nutritious snacks for our hike.
The chocolate bar was a little too cocoa-y for my preference, but otherwise it provided a healthy alternative to a chocolate craving during a cold winter’s hike.
The apple cinnamon Hemp Heart Bar tasted so perfectly cinnamon-y with a real apple flavor that Ryan and I immediately decided it was worth purchasing again for our hiking foods. The texture was dense and chewy, but not so chewy that you would struggle to eat this bar while hiking.
Since we only hiked 4 miles, we saved the vanilla bar to enjoy at a later time. It was certainly tempting to eat it, though, especially after how good the apple cinnamon bar tasted.
Unlike some sports nutrition bars that pack a lot of calories and sugars and do nothing to actually satisfy your appetite, the Hemp Heart Bars kept us feeling full for our hike. We snacked on them halfway through our snowy hike at Talapus Snowshoe and felt satisfied and energized as we climbed slowly through the deep snow.
Even Charlie wanted a bite of the bars! (Except he had to wait until we returned to our car for his snack, since some of the ingredients in these bars may not be acceptable for canine consumption.)
Want to try Hemp Heart Bars to fuel your running, hiking, or other outdoor sports? You can purchase them on Manitoba Harvest’s website! Readers will receive 15% off of their purchase of Hemp Heart Bars with the discount code hhbarlaunch1015 on orders placed by March 31, 2016.
You can also enter to win a free box of your choice of flavor from Manitoba Harvest! Simply share a photo on Instagram (it doesn’t have to be of Hemp Heart Bars) and tag @ManitobaHarvest #fuelledbyhemp @fitapproach #hempheartbar #sweatpink to enter! US and Canada residents only and you can learn more details here.
What are your favorite whole foods bars for fueling exercise?
Would you try Hemp Heart Bars?