I’ve been traveling a lot and as a result, have been eating more bars than usual. Each time I visit Whole Foods, it appears there is another new brand or flavor in the snack bar/protein bar/energy bar aisle. So you don’t have to, I read each nutrition label, taste tested and came up with a short list of my 7 favorite protein bars you can buy at a near by grocery store. 

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The Requirements:

Realistically, I do not buy bars online. I buy them at the grocery store before I travel to have on hand. There are other bars that I like but they were not for sale at my Whole Foods. I’ve been sent them by various PR people to try but I never remember to order them online. I only included ones you could buy conveniently because I assume you are like me and buy what’s on sale at your grocery store. I also only included bars that have less than 11g of sugar and more than 7g of protein. The ingredients needed to be short and simple. Lastly, they had to taste good! I liked a few bars on paper but when I tasted them, I thought I was eating grass. Gross. Alas, your taste may be different than mine. Some of you do not like ThinkThin, I do but I get that we aren’t going to agree 100% of the time on flavors.

Some of these are vegan, raw, gluten free, low carb or macrobiotic. I did not use any of these for my criteria but hope there is one that fits your diet preferences. 

Did I miss your favorite? Some other bars that I really like and would fit my criteria but sadly are not available at Whole Foods include Square Bar and Simply Bar. Let me know down below. 


Boston was recently named one of the healthiest cities in America according to BetterDoctor.com. Yes, many different publications and websites make their own rankings but Boston is always in the top. The criteria used for this list included:

  1. Population data about physical fitness (exercise rates, eating habits, chronic health problems and disease rates, access to parks and recreational activities, and more.)
  2. The percentage of doctors in the state that are highly rated according to BetterDoctor’s comprehensive, seven-variable algorithm.
  3. The percentage of residents with health insurance coverage to assess how feasible it is for residents to get medical care.
Naturally since we have to have health insurance in the state of Massachusetts and we have some of the best hospitals in the country, we are ranked number 1 with Minneapolis, DC, San Fran and Hartford, CT (what!?) coming in at 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively. New York City was 24th and Memphis, TN was last. [More results here.]
One element I would be interested to know would be what city is the friendliest for health conscious people. If I’m visiting Minneapolis, can I find a good spin class or juice bar? What about an organic or vegan restaurant? That type of a list would make me want to travel to visit a city. One would think if Boston is the “healthiest” city we would have a ton of healthy restaurants… well we don’t, at least compared to LA, SF or NYC who we allegedly beat.
While in LA last week, I enjoyed delicious smoothies and prepared food from places like Earth Bar and Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop.

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I also tried dairy free chia yogurt and raw avocado cucumber soup from Kreation Kafe, which has many locations.

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At the pool in Palm Springs, I had a kombucha instead of an alcoholic beverage! No, Palm Springs is not LA but still – kombucha on tap is rare in Boston, the “healthiest city.” Thank you Life Alive and the few that do.

On ClassPass, there were so many fitness studios to choose from in LA I was totally overwhelmed. It seems like NYC has more fitness studios than taxis these days. Boston is catching up, we are a much smaller city though.

Boston has very few restaurants that are dedicated to people who want to eat clean. If you are a gluten free vegan, good luck! In LA, you have so many options in my opinion. Same with other cities like New York and San Francisco. I’ve found Miami is pretty friendly for health weirdos like me too. Listing healthy cities means nothing to me unless I can benefit from their offerings. Doctors, hospitals and insurance I cannot unless I get hurt while traveling!

If you are visiting Boston any time soon – lucky you, our snow is awesome – and are looking for a healthy meal, here are a few of my favorite places – note many sound like juice bars but ALL have food too. Depending on what neighborhood you are in, there is usually only one show in town. There is little competition. One neighborhood missing from this list is mine!

  1. sweetgreen (Back Bay & Seaport) Salads…
  2. Life Alive (Cambridge) Vegetarian…
  3. CocoBeet (Gov’t Center) Juices, smoothies and raw vegan foods. Try their chia pudding!
  4. Jugos (Back Bay) I don’t love this place but it’s super conveniently located…
  5. Root (Allston) Vegetarians rejoice! Not the lowest calorie place but delicious with gfree & dairy free options.
  6. Mother Juice (Kendall Square) I actually haven’t been yet because Kendall is not convenient for me but their food truck juices were good and the menu looks awesome!
  7. Thirst Juice Company (Downtown along Freedom Trail for tourists!) In addition to juice, serves oatmeal in the AM, acai bowls and soup!
  8. Pret A Manger (Back Bay & Downtown) Few places in Boston give calorie content and offer this many vegetarian options!
  9. Whole Foods Market… sort of a joke but not really. WFM won best salad a few years ago in Boston Magazine lol.
  10. Pressed (Beacon Hill)… The newest to open on the list. I haven’t been yet but can’t wait!
  11. B.Good (Downtown, Back Bay and more!)… I originally forgot to add b.Good. I don’t know why. Their kale and quinoa bowls are amazing!

*None of the above places have waiter service. You order at the counter. There are other places I like, but literally I have 1 or 2 favorite dishes on the menu that I would consider healthy. Flour is a great example. They have a delicious sandwich you can get as a salad with jicama, avocado and roasted chicken!

Sadly we don’t have many sit down healthy places to eat like LA or NYC. When they finally arrive, then I will proclaim Boston is the healthiest but until then, I just think we are a running city with good hospitals and mandatory health insurance laws.

Did I miss your favorite healthy spot in the city?


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