Sunday, September 20, 2020

Bar Rant, Me the Inventor, All up in my Head

In an attempt to up my daily calorie intake, I’ve been experimenting with various “energy” bars, which I am not a fan of for the same reason that don’t like protein shakes or juices. Beside that fact that the vast majority of them have way too much sugar, I don’t enjoy utilitarian eating. Slurping down a milky drink or chewing on a cakey bar in the middle of the day to jam in “macros” feels joyless and laborious. But my food choices at work are very limited. Unless I can find time in my day to leave the building, I’m at the mercy of whatever they stock in the auto-checkout kiosk, and sometimes they don’t stock it all. And yes, I know I could bring food from home, but I gave that a honest try for a few weeks and it just didn’t work out. I don’t have access to a sink or a proper food prep space, fridge space is very limited, and it was a huge unsanitary hassle. So I have forayed into the world of bars, with limited success. The only one I semi-like so far is the lemon-flavored Luna bar. All of the others are too chocolatey, too sweet, or contain the type of nuts that I can’t eat. I don’t want what is essentially a roided-up candy bar, and I don’t need there to be chocolate on everything. I have not been able to find a single energy bar that is purely savory without some sort of obligatory chocolate or caramel or other sweet syrupy stuff ladled over it. So, I announced at dinner with Mr. Typist this week that I shall embark upon the experiment of making my own bar.

I have no idea how to actually do this, mind you. Yet I am convinced I can. My ideal bar would contain a mix of roasted, salted sunflowers seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and cashews, maybe with some peanuts or sesame seeds, too. It would have salt and dill but not too much and it would contain nothing sweet. Also, it would have a pleasing, crunchy texture instead of the weird dirt-clod feel of most bars. I would call it the Kristen Bar. Why not? Some lady named Lara has her own bar. Two can play that game. I just don’t know how to put all of the elements together. What do you use for “glue”? How do you mash everything together into a bar shape? Would there be baking involved? These are mysteries that I will be exploring in the coming days, hopefully with enough success that I can report back in a few weeks that I have a reliable source of nutrious calories in the form of a delicious, healthy bar that doesn’t taste like chalk.

At any rate, I will be needing the extra calories because I will be doing lots and lots of self-defense practice in preparation for teaching the classes. I had a bit of an emotional breakdown over all this last week, but I’m okay now. As is my way, I got all up in my head and freaked out and starting crying in the kitchen and running dialogue in my head that sounded something like this: What in the bloody hell was I thinking even considering doing something like this? I can’t teach this stuff, I can’t even learn it, and my lack of confidence is going to undermine my authority and I am going to fail myself and fail my co-workers and it be entirely my fault if someone gets choked out because I didn’t teach them the carotid defense correctly. But fortunately, Mr. Typist talked me down off the ledge and I was able to regroup. I have figured out a way to study and practice that works for me and that involves lots of sketching, hand-written study notes, and visualization...and of course copiuos practice on Mr. Typist, who is always up for being a test dummy. Between my super-bars and all of the self-defense practice, no one’s going to be touching me!

Here is some fun, flashy martial arts performance stuff, which I’m sure I’ll be doing in no time. Note: Blogger is driving me insane this morning. They changed the platform and made it ten times as hard to use and took all of my preferred formatting away. I have no options anymore and I hate it. I cannot seem to embed video now, so here's the link:


--Kristen McHenry



Dale said...

I eventually discovered that I was way too picky about refrigeration, and that I could just toss my lunch into an insulated lunch bag, with a freezable cold pack on top of it, and stuff (including meat and dairy) would be fine all day. Not being able to eat a lot of nuts does make it difficult, though -- those are always my go-to snack: so easy to store & travel with!

A nice side effect is that I spend about a quarter of what I used to spend on food. In savings, you make back the outlay on a lunchbox and a couple freezeable cold packs in about a day and a half :-)

But good luck with the home-made protein bars! I look forward to the status reports.

(Yeah, blogger is kinda maddening.)

Kristin Berkey-Abbott said...

This blog post has a breakfast bar recipe from Mollie Katzen. IT's delicious and versatile and portable:

Kristen McHenry said...

Thank you for the link, Kristin! That's great.

Hi, Dale! I have an insulated bag. It's just clean-up and sanitation that is the issue. I have no access to a sink other than in the public bathroom, where the water is a always cold. It's all just a pain. Maybe I will try to regroup and come up with lunches that don't require prep.

I am furious about the new Blogger, but I guess I am just going to have to figure it out. *Sigh* said...

Your rants are always the best!