Vegan, Gluten Free Bars and Protein Powder from 22 Days Nutrition
May 8, 2013

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They say it takes 21 days to make or break a major lifestyle habit. We should probably take this with a grain of salt, because habits run deep, and change is different from person to person. But I think there’s something to the idea that, after a few weeks of trying something new, we can at least see a vision of life lived differently. It took me a lot longer than three weeks to stop craving cigarettes, but after 3 weeks of not smoking, I could at least sense what life as a non-smoker would be like. It felt healthier and stronger, and I knew it was right for me.

When we make a major dietary change–like becoming vegan, or starting to eat a healthier, more wholesome diet–it’s totally normal to struggle with cravings or setbacks. Food habits are particularly hard to change, in part because the act of eating is so much more than a physical process–it’s emotional, cultural, and social, too. I’m not a fan of restriction, which means that, from within a plant-based model, nothing is off limits to me: sugar, starch, fat, caffeine–it’s all good, once in a while or in moderation. But sometimes health or ethical leanings dictate that we give up something completely, and when we do, there’s a period of adjustment. When I gave up dairy, it was because I loved it, but it didn’t love my sensitive GI system back. Nowadays, I steer clear of all animal foods because it’s what resonates with me philosophically. Those are major dietary shifts, and there have been things I missed along the way, but what I’ve found is that eating a lot of delicious, wholesome new foods can certainly help to make the change easier–and fun.

“Delicious” and “wholesome” are good words to describe the snacks and protein powders from 22 Days Nutrition, a snack and wellness company that’s leading the way in making plant-based transition easier. All products from 22 Days are:

  • Vegan
  • Gluten free
  • Soy free
  • non-GMO
  • USDA organic
  • Rich in healthy fats
  • Full of raw and organic superfood ingredients
  • Delicious

The company was started by Marco Borges, a vegan athlete and exercise physiologist who was hoping to offer his clients more wholesome, plant-based snacks. He found the market lacking in snack products that were made of whole foods and free of major allergens, so he set about creating his own line of healthy, on-the-go foods. 22 Days Nutrition was born.

If you look at the 22 Days Nutrition company mantra, you’ll get a sense of their philosophy: self-empowerment through whole, tasty, and simple food. My persoal favorite?

WE BELIEVE in the idea of embracing great foods, not avoiding bad ones, and that dedication can taste like decadence. 

I love this idea–it reminds me of my own “mantra” as a counselor, which is “add first, subtract later.” It’s no fun to approach change with a focus on sacrifice. And plant-based, whole foods have so much to offer us–beautiful, fresh ingredients, delicious taste, a rich array of nutrients–that it’s easy to focus on what we’re gaining when we start to center our diet around them.

22 Days Nutrition recently sent me a bunch of their products to review. It wasn’t my first time tasting their food–I’ve been a huge fan of the energy and protein bars since I first sampled them at a Whole Foods!

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I really like the ingredients in the bars, and I also like that they don’t taste like vegan candy bars (not that there’s anything wrong with a candy bar…but if I want a candy bar, I’ll probably whip up some of my mini almond joys instead!). The sweetness is usually date paste or coconut nectar, and it’s perfectly balanced.

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You can check out the ingredients and nutrition facts for the energy bars here. A sample ingredient list (for the Goji Mate Firecracker bar): Organic Raw Cashew Butter, Organic Coconut Nectar, Organic Dates, Organic Gluten-free Oats, Organic Dried Goji Berries, Organic Raw Sunflower Seeds, Organic Yerba Mate, Sea Salt. Not bad!

Energy bar flavors include:

  • Pineapple chocolate chip wonder
  • Cherry Chocolate Bliss
  • Fruit Nut Karma
  • Goji Mate Firecracker

The protein bars, which boast between 10 and 20 grams of plant protein per bar, include:

  • PB & Chocolate Chip Nirvana
  • Nut Butter Buddha
  • Daily Mocha Mantra
  • Enlightened Pumpkinseed

The PB & Chocolate Chip Nirvana has 20 grams of plant protein and 20% of your RDA of iron–sourced from brown rice protein and sesame seeds, respectively. That bar, as well as Enlightened Pumpkinseed and Daily Mocha Mantra (which is my personal favorite in terms of taste) fueled me through many, many long afternoons of MCAT study in the library. And it satisfied my chocolate craving, too!

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The 22 Days protein powders are simple: brown rice protein, stevia, ground flaxseed, guar gum, sea salt (again, I wish the stevia were coconut sugar instead, but a lot of folks do avoid sugar for various reasons, so this fits everyone). 22 grams of protein per serving, in two tasty flavors: chocolate and vanilla.

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My favorite 22 Days smoothie at the moment is a blend of mixed berries, the chocolate protein powder, my homemade hemp milk, and some kale or spinach if I’m in the mood for greens. It’s a super easy and delicious drink, and I can’t get enough of it!

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It’s been such fun testing out the 22 Days products–and showing off the super cute t-shirts they sent me!

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Because the values of 22 Days align so strongly with what CR is about, too, 22 Days is now a Choosing Raw monthly sponsor! Click through the banner to the right to check out all of their delicious products. You can now order 22 Days Nutrition products online or by phone, or you can find them at Whole Foods or the Vitamin Shoppe (check out the company store locator here).

I hope you enjoy 22 Days Nutrition as much as I have. A lot of my readers have already established the happy, healthy habits they’re hoping for–but it never hurts to have new inspiration in the form of delicious, nutritious snacks!

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xo

 

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    35 Comments
  1. Greeting Ms Blogger Gena
    I too have received some samples of plant based protein bars and powders from 22 Days Nutrition. I am turning towards an all vegan supplement diet and today was my first time trying their chocolate protein powder. I am curious if it was grainy and thick like your? I mixed mine with some squash, a little apple and rice milk.

    Have a Nice Day.

  2. Hi,

    I am not sure how 14G of sugar and evavaporated cane juice on the chocolate coating makes Daily Mocha Mantra a healthy bar.

    Thanks.

  3. I haven’t heard of them before, but will be looking for them today at our local natural food store. Lots of yummy looking, healthy sounding options for our whole family!

  4. I’ve seen those bars in my local market, and always pass them by since I prefer to make my own bars in general. Now that they have the Gena seal of approval, though, I just might take the plunge! I’ve been looking for a wholesome protein bars for a while, and the texture of these looks spot on!

  5. Does their protein powder come in big tubs too? I hate the thought of using individual packs everytime I want protein (seems wasteful).

    I must say: pineapple and chocolate?! What an interesting combo!

    • Hi Becca! Yes, the pouches were sent to me because they were a product sample from the company. You can get tubs!

  6. I just discovered 22 Days Nutrition from last months Vegan Cuts box 🙂 Their protein powder and PB Chocolate Chip Nirvana bar was included. I was quite impressed with the flavor, texture and stats, I will definitely order more when I can as long as they ship to Canada! I can’t wait to try the Pineapple Chocolate Chip Wonder 🙂

  7. I have been trying to find a protein powder I love but with better stats. The one I currently use only has 12 grams of protein with 6 grams of sugar. I don’t think its the best so I’ll have to try out this one. I love vanilla!

  8. So true it takes longer than 21 days to break a habit that we have carried for ages, maybe a lifetime. It take courage and a lot of strenght and determination to break something that is not good for us BUT when when we have collected enough energy that the wish for a change is bigger it makes it a lot easier. It was that for me when I decided to go cold turkey and make the transition to a Vegan Lifestyle and 10 days later decide to go Raw Vegan! Love your posts and your thoughts. Many hugs!

  9. The bars sound delicious! I’m not sure why using stevia instead of sugar makes them “fit everyone;” I hate the taste of stevia! Still on the lookout for a vegan protein powder that doesn’t have stevia or palm sugar (besides plain hemp).

  10. I fell in love with the bars some time last year (especially the daily mocha mantra) but they disappeared from the Whole Foods Markets in my area and I actually thought they were out of business! Glad to see that’s not the case and hope to see them back soon.

  11. I received a boxful of samples from this same company earlier this week and have begun to work my way through them. Back in February, I entered a contest on Facebook, and the winner received some samples delivered right to their door. I wasn’t the main prizewinner, but they decided to give smaller selections of samples to four other entrants, and lucky me, I was one of the four! Here is how good their customer service was: the e-mail informing me I was to receive a sampling ended up in a folder I didn’t even know existed, and so I didn’t read their note until mid-April — two months after the contest. When I wrote back I expressed my disappointment that I hadn’t found the e-mail sooner, and that I would understand if it was too late for them to still consider me for samples, but I soon got a reply assuring me that it wasn’t too late and asking for my mailing address!

    I received a single serving of vanilla protein powder (gone already; tasty; noticeable but not overpowering), a single serving of chocolate (still in the cupboard), and one each of the peanut butter – chocolate, chocolate cherry, pumpkinseed, and mocha mantra bars. I have tried and really liked the mocha and the chocolate cherry, found the peanut butter-chocolate a touch chalky, and am saving the pumpkinseed one.

    Funny you profiled these products the same week I received and tried them for the first time, Gena!

    • One of the nicest, most gracious, and positive companies I’ve interacted with, for sure. So glad you’re enjoying them too, Alanna!

  12. I love their philosophy too and it really does fit so well with Choosing Raw. I’m curious enough to make a little side trip to Wholefoods sooner.
    Gena, I still can’t picture you as a smoker…

  13. I got some in my Vegan Cuts monthly box… the peanut butter chocolate chip was so good. I haven’t used the protein powder yet. I always cut the Vega in half too… and sometimes there are great sales on Vega that I can buy it otherwise I use another Vegan Brand.. Thanks for the review

  14. I saw one of their bars and didn’t have any info on it so I shied away for now. thanks for the review. I am not sure which bars you are referring to that are mainly stevia, I’d actually love a bar that was sweetened with only stevia so if you hae any info on that please let me know! I don’t always find out about the latest products down here in the middle of nowhere.

    hope you are enjoying your time off.

    • You know what, Bitt? I totally misspoke! I’m so, so sorry. I went online to peek at the two brands I was thinking used stevia, and they totally don’t (just in other products). So that’s my bad 🙂 I’ll amend the post, but in the meantime, apologies for misleading you.

      I really do think the bars are great. Someone else just noted cost, which is a fair point, but the ingredients and nutrition are very good — and probably well worth it if they are used for vegan eating on the go.

      Thanks for your kind wishes.

  15. The product line’s ingredients looks terrific, but $60 for 22 servings of protein powder?! Yikes! I realize you receive many complimentary super foods products in exchange for promoting them, but seriously, I’m not even on a student budget, and I consider this ridiculous…

    • It also occurred to me to say that the scoop serving for this brand is big. I could easily use half per smoothie — this is what I used to do with Vega, before I started getting offers for product reviews. Not that it’s ideal to use a half serving, but just noting it as an option — still 11 grams protein 🙂

      • Fair enough, Gena…I trust your endorsement as genuine, regardless of the financial benefit to you. And, I know that in the grand scheme of one’s food budget, esp. if one is using these as a (partial) meal replacement on the go, $3 bucks (for a bar or protein serving) is completely doable for most of us. But by the same token, the ingredients in the protein powder – primarily brown rice protein, is very inexpensive; alternatives exist for 1/3 the cost. (Unlike Vega, there’s no supplementation w/vitamins and minerals to justify the cost in my mind.) I was less focused on the bars b/c I usually need a full meal to keep me going, and am more inclined to eat fresh food for a snack.

        • Karen,

          I don’t like giving small vegan companies (or even large ones, for that matter!) poor reviews online–there’s nothing wrong with candor, but I just always feel a little bad–so generally when I review a product it’s something I tried and genuinely liked. And my strongly positive endorsements are always very honest. 22 Days was also one of the more transparent, friendly, and passionate companies I’ve ever partnered with.

          I totally hear you on the ingredients. The protein does include a fruit/veggie powder blend, but you are right that it cannot double as a multi-vitamin. Anyway, thanks for raising this concern…since cost is now of paramount importance in my personal life, there is no reason why it should not be a consideration in my product reviews. I honestly forgot, having been gifted with the items gratis. I’ll be sure to mention pricetag in future reviews 🙂

          G

    • Hi Karen,

      Yeah, that’s a lot of money for protein powder, and yes — I do get these sort of products in exchange for blog promotion! I wouldn’t be able to purchase them otherwise (and if I did have money to spend, it would go to a bar, not a protein powder, since I use bars more often).

      For everyone who can’t afford the “designer” plant proteins, I still post a lot of smoothie recipes using simple hemp seeds or plain hemp protein, which do the trick just as well. And I’ll definitely be sure to review other brands that have lower price points. I really like Nutiva’s hemp protein, and Oriya Organics, which I reviewed, is priced lower, too. Sun Warrior tends to be a great deal, but I do find it a little chalky, so hemp protein would be my preference over it.

      G

  16. Those look delicious and well-balanced… I will definitely be checking them out! My new personal fav is the LaraBar ALT, particularly the pumpkin pie flavor. I always found LaraBars too strongly nutty/fruit, and the ALT bars add 10g protein, from pea protein. The taste more earthy and balanced- overall a similar ingredient list to these bars.

  17. I hadn’t heard of 22 Days Nutrition products before, but I’ll be on the lookout the next time I’m at Whole Foods! The bar flavors sound really good and I like that they’re a little different (like pineapple chocolate chip!). Thanks for sharing!