A few weeks ago, Jesse, one of the brains behind Picky Bars, sent me some products to review. Knowing that I would need healthy and portable snacks while I was in NYC, I packed the Picky Bars along with a few Larabars. On days when I was working from 7:30am to 10:30pm with short breaks in between, an easy snack came in handy.
At first, I was a little skeptical of Picky Bars because of their size, but all of my doubts were erased after I tried one. The idea behind Picky Bars is simple. Three pro-athletes developed the bars with a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein in mind. The combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit creates a bar with lots of staying power—perfect for days when you need a quick but nutritious snack at just under 200 calories. My favorite part of the bar? The large chocolate chips that make them extra sweet!
Picky Bars come in three different varieties—mega nuts, nutless wonder, and all in almond. Because they all have the same consistency and are made with similar ingredients, I didn’t notice much of a difference between the bars. I didn’t taste-test them all in a row, but from what I can remember, the nutless wonder kind was my favorite (not much of a surprise considering I’m not a huge fan of nuts). Picky Bars can be bought online, or you can check here to see if they’re carried in a store near you.
Although I ate healthy foods when I could while I was in NYC, I also indulged—a lot. For breakfast, I would typically eat a cup of fruit and Greek yogurt while sitting on the steps outside of the Lincoln Center (so Gossip Girl-esque).
I would then have a granola bar mid-morning and would go out for a late lunch. Fashion Week volunteers were provided with one meal per day; on the first day, I politely took a container of the curry rice and “salad,” aka cold cardboard and a shred of lettuce, but promptly threw it out upon opening the lid. With so many amazing restaurants surrounding me, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try out some local spots.
My breaks varied day-to-day, but a few other volunteers and I would walk a few blocks to get either a late lunch or an early dinner. I was surprised that nearly every meal I had was delicious, especially the ones from hole-in-the-wall kind of places. Among the places I tried, Nanoosh, a hummus bar, and Burrito Box, a Mexican spot, were my favorites, but nothing could beat the expansive Columbus Circle Whole Foods. I may have gone there six times in one week.
The best gem of all presented itself when I had an extra long break on my second-to-last day in the city. It was a gorgeous afternoon, so I wanted to get outside for some fresh air. After seven exhausting days, most of the other volunteers just wanted to collapse in the lobby during the break. I decided to aimlessly walk down 9th Avenue, where I found Holey Cream.
Oh. My. Gosh. Holey Cream is right! Talk about pure decadence. I am a true ice cream lover, so after talking to Meghan, the girl who was working there that day, I was convinced that I had to try the donut ice cream sandwich. She informed me that this creation is going to be featured on the Food Network’s Unique Eats, so I picked my ice cream flavors and donut toppings!
I can’t remember what flavors I chose, but I know that I went for several of Holey Cream’s homemade ones. While it was delicious, I started to feel sick after a few bites. The vanilla icing was really sweet (I would have preferred chocolate, but it wasn’t ready at the time), and I found nuts in one of the ice creams. I only ate a small portion of the sandwich—I’ll definitely need to share it with friends next time!
In my opinion, the best way to enjoy a vacation is to balance out indulgences with healthy choices. I would have been sad if I missed out on the red velvet cupcake ice cream!
Have you ever tried Picky Bars?
What do you like to indulge on during vacation?
Have you ever tried a food that has been featured on the Food Network?