Saturday 23 May 2015

Trek Protein Flapjacks

   I never used to like flapjacks as a child. Or fruit or veg. Or anything that was 'healthy'. I just wouldn't touch it because healthy stuff didn't taste good. Fortunately I didn't have a say in the matter and my parents made damn sure I got my fruit and veg, but I steered clear of oats and the like. But about a year ago I had a flapjack and suddenly I loved them. I like to buy one-off flapjack boxes from Graze because I'll be surprised by the 'flavours' but they're all essentially the same. But that was more or less my only source of flapjacks since they're usually quite high in calories. Oats are carbohydrates, after all, so they're high in energy.
   But Trek - a sister company of one of my favourites, Nakd - recently started making protein-filled flapjacks that actually fit my calorie 'budget' perfectly. Rather than 350 calories per bar as most flapjacks are, Trek's protein flapjacks range between 200-250 calories for 50g. This is because, rather than being made up of mostly oats, they've got a good dose of soya protein, so you still get a good sized bar, but the protein has meant there's less room for the carbs.

   Because flapjacks are usually made up of mostly oats, I've always considered them a great source of energy (it's really the syrup used to hold them together that make most flapjacks unhealthy), but the calories have meant that if I have a flapjack, I have a small piece or none at all, and only just before or after a workout. Trek's protein flapjacks have changed up the game, though.
   Each bar contains 9-10g of protein, depending on the flavour, and about 20g of carbs. The carbs really give you a good refueling, but the protein means that the carbs digest much slower, so instead of it being a case of 'use this energy immediately or I'll store it as fat instead', the energy is released at a slower and more steady pace which gives your body a good chance to use the energy rather than storing it awa. This makes it perfect for when you're on the move and need an energy top-up, and the protein also means it's great if you're hungry and looking for a snack because it will keep you fuller for longer, and the carbs and protein combined make it a great post-workout top-up, refuelling your body for the energy you just used, and giving your body the protein it needs to repair itself from the strain of the exercise.

   But aside from all this technical nonsense, the flapjacks are truly gorgeous. I like a bit of crunch. Soft flapjacks are lovely, but I find crunchy textures more satisfying, and Trek's flapjacks offer a happy medium. They're soft and chewy, but somehow there is still a gentle crunch, and I love it. They're crumbly because they're not absolutely filled with syrup, it's just a bit of rice syrup holding them together, which also means they're not too sweet. You can taste the fruit in the morning berries flavour, the coconut in the cocoa coconut flavour, the banana in the banana bread flavour and so on. The lack of overpowering sweetness also makes them quite gentle in taste, to be honest, and really pleasant with a cup of tea because neither overpowers the other (at least as far as drinking green tea goes).
   Each of the protein flapjacks I've tried have kept me full for two hours without fail, making them absolutely perfect between meals. I try to eat every 2-3 hours and about 300 calories. This keeps my body constantly fueled, by metabolism constantly working, it avoids long stretches of hunger (which avoids snacking on unhealthy things that might be closer and easier to grab than healthy alternatives) and ultimately helps weight loss in a safe and effective way.

   Put simply: I love them. I love Nakd, too, but these are bigger than Nakd bars and far more filling, and that has meant that they've stayed a little closer to my desk than Nakd has. Nakd is a great way to get your five a day, but Trek is more filling and satisfying, and I've just ordered myself a box of just morning berry flavour. I absolutely love them. Plus the name makes me want to get more active. Always a bonus.
   You can buy all six flavours in a box of 16 bars for £16 on the Trek website, or a box of 16 of one flavour for £15, and, just as with all Nakd orders, there's free next day shipping and a 'sprinkling of freebies' in every order. You can't lose!


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