WIAW: Real food versus protein bars

Hello, hello, hello. Welcome, welcome, welcome. Is it that late already? I always forget about the time.

Are you confused? I know I would be and very much was after the theatre play I saw on Monday. That’s where the above lines come from though they probably were the easiest understandable part of the whole story. No theatre review here, though, but some much easier comprehensive food talk featuring some of Monday’s meals.  Thanks to Jenn and Laura for hosting today’s What I ate Wednesday shenanigans!


By now you should know I’m not the person for average breakfasts. Most mornings, I don’t like breakfast at all because I hardly ever know what I want to eat. Yet skipping is no option. Luckily, Monday was rushed so I ran a few errands and then quickly packed breakfast/first lunch (?) to-go as I just got note there was a teaching assignment for me that early afternoon. Polenta had been absent from my diet for months – shockingly and not okay – so its quick preparation turned it into my breakfast savior along with Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and chickpeas, all seasoned with my favourite organic curry blend. If you haven’t tried microwaving polenta yet you’re missing out. It’s the most fuss-free/no-second-pot needed/less clean-up prep method ever.



Lunch was a two-part story as we were heading out in the afternoon shortly after I came home from teaching German. The first part was a repeat of breakfast – did I mention a slight obsession with polenta? – but as I didn’t take a picture again here’s yesterday’s candlelight lunch instead. Yes, lunch and yes, already dark. The weather hasn’t been treating us kindly this week so far. Anyway, polenta with thyme-y mushroom chickpea tomato stew was on the menu. When I like something, I really like it so polenta might very well stick around for a while.


So … part two: my first ever whole Quest bar. Not my first ever Quest bar but the first I actually ate as a whole in one day. Here’s what I didn’t mention in my post a while ago. For me, Quest bars or any kind of protein bar actually aren’t safe foods hindering recovery. Eating them as opposed to real treats like chocolate that I have every day is the challenge.

I was glad to get lucky in receiving these Quest bars as it gave me two boxes of challenges. Because you might be wondering: I liked the S’mores flavor. I’ve never had an actual S’more before meaning no expectations could be met or disappointed. The con for me is that the bar overall is very sticky-sweet. Pros are the chocolate pieces [are you surprised in any way?] and what I guess are supposed to mimic graham crackers plus the cinnamony taste. More interesting for me, though, was the saturation factor. Protein is believed to be that super macro filling you up like no other after all. I was doubtful if I bar could deliver this.

Quest bar_protein_s'mores

Verdict? I was positively surprised but not overly impressed in this point. Not overly impressed because I didn’t feel full the same way I do with protein from real food sources. Positively surprised hours later when we returned home and I didn’t crave the Greek yogurt that usually acts as part of my night snack. That’s my interest in macros: I don’t prefer a certain one but will keep experimenting to see how I react to them. Neither carbs, nor fat or protein are inherently good or bad to me. In relearning to trust my intuition. I see them all as equal and try to find my happy balance. At the moment, I tend to need a little extra protein with my meals but I opt for real foods like legues, cottage cheese and above-mentioned Greek yogurt to fill the void.

As we were out and about the remainder of my meals escaped the camera or were eaten before I remembered to get it out. Life > taking pictures. Not like I wasn’t curious about everybody else’s meals, though …

Enjoy your Wednesday and eat some good food!


Happiness-inducing today:Editing yet another text. What can I say? It’s my element.

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I’m really curious: Do you find protein or Quest bars in specific  filling?

Have you noticed yourself gping through phases of needing more of a certain macros [even iff – like me – you don’t track them]?

21 thoughts on “WIAW: Real food versus protein bars

      • cookiesnchem says:

        Oh no! That’s a tragedy 😦
        If you ever have the chance to try them, you MUST. They look and sound unappealing but taste like chocolate brownies or blueberry muffins or whatever they’re going for. Peanut butter chocolate chip is my favourite!

  1. mylittletablespoon says:

    Okay so I’ve never had polenta. I have a tone of recipes pinned that use it, but I have yet to actually give it a go. You make it in the microwave!? Do share! Quest bars… meh. Ya, they do fill me up, but I’ve never been a fan of the taste to be honest. When I’m lacking protein, I always crave peanut butter. Kind of weird, but I’ve known this sign for a while now. Carbs are definitely the macro that I feel my body needing most profoundly. Lack of carbs for me = all sorts of blegh. Happy Wednesday!

  2. Kate Bennett says:

    I need to try polenta! It looks so good.
    When I tried a quest bar I ended up feeling really sick. The amount of fiber, I think, did me in.
    How cool that you teach German! Are you teaching in another country?

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Yes, give polenta a try! Prepared the right way it’s such a fabulous and fast side.
      I’m not a proper German teacher with a degree but have been teaching it and other subjects at a local institute on and off the past years. The specific class I mentioned here is for asylum seekers’ children who came to Germany only a few months ago.

  3. danicaliforniacooks says:

    I go through phases with quest bars. I really like the fruit or PB flavored ones. The chocolate ones leave way too weird of a taste in my mouth! It’s true though, they don’t leave you the same way “full” as real food does but I have them around in my bag for quick snacks on the go.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Bars of any kind are definitely handy for emergency snacks. What you said about the chocolate flavours could very well be true for me, too. I’ve only tried this flavour so far but I think the mixed box I received contains at least one chocolatey kind.

  4. masala girl says:

    definitely real food over protein bars! i think whole food bars are okay in a pinch, that’s what they’re there for 🙂 in that case it would be a homemade bar, or a bar that I COULD make at home! (and if I COULD make it at home… i try to justify that reasoning for not buying it 🙂 works sometimes haha)
    (also, of course there are a few things i buy that i cant make at home, but the less processed is better 🙂 )

  5. katalysthealth says:

    I adore Quest Bars – but because of the price [as well as the fact they are processed foods] I do try to limit my consumption. I pretty much buy them if I have a little extra that month OR if I know I am going to be in a pinch and need some quick fuel. I do agree though, real food always holds me over better!

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